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#1288189 - 10/16/09 10:52 AM Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips?  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 97
Sean M. Offline
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Sean M.  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 97
Hey all, this is my first post but I've read here for a few weeks.

I live in a (cheaply constructed) apartment, and have the piano in a small room with hard floors. I know my neighbors can hear me practicing, and though I've already worked out with the neighbors below what times I will and won't practice, I still feel bad about it. It must drive them crazy when I'm practicing the same piece or phrase over and over every day.

My piano's an old "spinet" style from the '50s, so it doesn't have a true una corda pedal, but instead a "half-blow" pedal. If I keep this depressed while practicing, the volume is about right, but of course it makes the key action kind of weird (there's no resistance at all until you've depressed the key about half way) and I really think this is going to have a negative effect on my playing and dynamics control.

Because moving or buying a new piano isn't an option for me right now, is there anything else one can do to reduce the volume of a piano while practicing? (I already have a blue foam mattress between the piano and the wall...)

I found the webpage for this product (http://www.pppkeys.com/) which seems to just be a piece of felt you hang between the wires and hammers. Does something like this really work? $100 looks a bit steep for it, but if so maybe it'd be possible to make one myself.

Or... other options?

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#1288191 - 10/16/09 10:55 AM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: Sean M.]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 102
jcabraham Offline
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jcabraham  Offline
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Posts: 102
Boston
This may be anathema, but I would think that a decent digital (~ USD 600) with headphones would solve the problem and almost certainly sound better than what you've got. I understand if you're not looking to spend that much, or if you've just got to have an acoustic, but there it is. Good luck!

#1288258 - 10/16/09 12:52 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: jcabraham]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
FogVilleLad Offline
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FogVilleLad  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
A large braided rug would decouple the piano from the floor. They sometimes show up at flea markets.


#1288276 - 10/16/09 01:25 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: FogVilleLad]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,282
terminaldegree Offline
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terminaldegree  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,282
Georgia, USA
You may want to ask a piano tech how much it would be to make or jury-rig a "mute rail" for it. The product you mention is exactly such a thing. I use that function on my piano when I am practicing later in the evening, when I know people may be in the room next to me. You could also hang a moving pad behind your piano if it's on or near a wall/corner.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
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#1288279 - 10/16/09 01:29 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: terminaldegree]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 581
acortot Offline
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acortot  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 581
Italy
HERE IS THE SOLUTION:

the piano's sound travels across the floor through the legs... not through the air.

isolate the legs from the floor and your neighbours WILL NOT HEAR YOU..

you can do this by creating an isolated platform with rubber underneath.

send me some money.


rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario
#1288300 - 10/16/09 02:05 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: acortot]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 136
djtoast Offline
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djtoast  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 136
Glasgow
the mute (or "celeste") rail that pppkeys sells certainly would work very effectively at reducing the volume a great deal, though the tone does become somewhat - well, muffled might be too strong a word but certainly less singing. possibly still preferable to the trade off of having an electric keyboard if that's not your thing.

it's hard to quantify but to give you some idea, if i use the celeste rail and the soft pedal on my piano together i can play at a level that's almost inaudible even from my stool let alone a neighbour's apartment!

Last edited by djtoast; 10/16/09 02:29 PM.

Brodmann BU 125 upright
1880 Blüthner 7'2" grand
#1288468 - 10/16/09 08:34 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: djtoast]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 457
Oz Marcus Offline
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Oz Marcus  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 457
Melbourne, Australia
I know that there is a manufacturer that produces cups that can be placed under your piano that will isolate the piano and minimize the sound that is transferred. They were recommended on the forum once a few months ago, but I cant remember what the link was.....

sorry I can be more helpful.

M


Oz Marcus
Currently working on:
Schubert Impromptu in C minor - D899
Chopin Prelude Op28 No 15, nocturne Op48 no 1
Bach Prelude & Fuge WTC II No 12 in F minor
Aspiring to Rautavaara - Piano Sonata 2 - Fire Sermon
#1288470 - 10/16/09 08:38 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: Oz Marcus]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,788
Jeff Clef Offline
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Jeff Clef  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,788
San Jose, CA
"there is a manufacturer that produces cups that can be placed under your piano that will isolate the piano and minimize the sound that is transferred. They were recommended on the forum once a few months ago, but I cant remember what the link was....."

Piattino

Carpet with a good underlayment will also help you, especially with the downstairs neighbors.

Last edited by Jeff Clef; 10/16/09 08:39 PM.

Clef

#1288472 - 10/16/09 08:41 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: Jeff Clef]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 457
Oz Marcus Offline
Full Member
Oz Marcus  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 457
Melbourne, Australia
Ahh... you beat me to it Clef,

I was just doing a search....
Here was the forum
Casters

and here is somewhere you can buy them
http://www.pianofortesupply.com/piattino1.html

Cheers

Marcus


Oz Marcus
Currently working on:
Schubert Impromptu in C minor - D899
Chopin Prelude Op28 No 15, nocturne Op48 no 1
Bach Prelude & Fuge WTC II No 12 in F minor
Aspiring to Rautavaara - Piano Sonata 2 - Fire Sermon
#1288582 - 10/17/09 03:45 AM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: Oz Marcus]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 97
Sean M. Offline
Full Member
Sean M.  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 97
Wow those piattino casters look pretty good, but maybe a little out of my price range.

I have seen some supply websites where you can but celeste rail felt. Perhaps I should try buying some of that and trying to make my own.

#1288781 - 10/17/09 01:12 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: Sean M.]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member
FogVilleLad  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
Check flea markets and Craigslist for braided rugs.

#1288920 - 10/17/09 05:07 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: FogVilleLad]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
apple* Offline
apple*  Offline


Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
I think you may be surprized at how little sound travels thru walls.. it depends on the walls of course. you might have someone play it while you check it from different spots. There was a guy who used big teddy bears to absorb some sound.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
#1288954 - 10/17/09 06:23 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: apple*]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 457
Oz Marcus Offline
Full Member
Oz Marcus  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 457
Melbourne, Australia
BTW,

Does anyone know how much the Piattino casters sell for?

M


Oz Marcus
Currently working on:
Schubert Impromptu in C minor - D899
Chopin Prelude Op28 No 15, nocturne Op48 no 1
Bach Prelude & Fuge WTC II No 12 in F minor
Aspiring to Rautavaara - Piano Sonata 2 - Fire Sermon
#1289354 - 10/18/09 03:08 PM Re: Piano too loud in apartment. Dampening tips? [Re: Oz Marcus]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 337
Rachel J Offline
Full Member
Rachel J  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 337
Brooklyn, NY
You can pack pieces of acoustical foam against the soundboard to really quiet the piano. Does an amazing job. Not so fun for you, though, because the tone is affected a lot. However, it really works. You can buy studio foam from a place like this: http://www.soundprooffoam.com/ and then stuff the pieces between the braces and against the soundboard in the back of the piano. The foam needs to touch the soundboard to lessen the vibration. That will be much more effective than the mattress you have between the piano and the wall.

Last edited by Rachel J; 10/18/09 03:09 PM.

Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method

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