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I don't mind I sound like a dying moose being barked at by a personal trainer for another 30 push-ups. Rather our house is very close to neighbors and I've always been a more considerate person. Yet when I practice I feel as if all the neighbors are secretly judging me and ready to lodge a complaint. Yet none have.
I do my best; try to practice during lunch-afternoons on weekdays only. And it's all good. But I just feel as if now I am waking old neighbors up from their afternoon nap or that family out in the kitchen are laughing away.
So how do you guys do it? How did you guys get over it? It's been a while since I've sounded bad at an instrument honestly; it's like even the piano as long as you have a tutorial, one cannot really go wrong in pressing keys.
A few suggestions.
First, if you have any sort of portable recording device you can safely leave outdoors for a few minutes (maybe even with someone watching it for you), record a couple minutes of your practice from there, and see how loud or potentially annoying it actually is. It probably isn't nearly as loud as you think out there.
If that doesn't convince you, maybe consider buying a heavy mute. That will make even the loudest of violins pretty darn quiet. Or, if you are inclined at all towards such things, maybe get an electric violin. When they aren't plugged into an amp, electrics are very quiet.
Next, try to play a little for family and friends when you can. It doesn't have to be a lot, but the new piece you're trying, or if you feel something is working out better. You may not consider it great entertainment for them right now, but let's face it.. Most of them have had some hobby or obsession or new cat/dog that didn't really interest you all that much. But you politely listened and looked, and fair is fair. Their turn. The reason I suggest it is that it can help with getting over being maybe a bit too self-conscious about other people hearing you play. Sure, it won't be perfect. But if they want perfect, they can buy a ticket the next time a world class soloist is playing in your area. (And most of them also say their playing isn't actually perfect.. LOL)
If your neighbors haven't complained already, I'd say there's a good chance they won't. They might even actually kinda like what they hear of your playing, who knows?
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman
If it's a detached house, and you close the windows, it's probably not that loud.
Try turning on your stereo and adjusting the volume to match that of your violin. Go outside, close the door and walk around your house. That should give you a good idea of how much of the sound will get to your neighbors.
If you live in attached housing, then they can probably hear it unless it's really well insulated, but playing in the middle of the day is pretty safe and less likely to bother them.
Good luck with your playing!
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