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Thread: Absolute Silence

  1. #26
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    In order to learn, yes. In order to maintain muscle strength, dexterity, callouses etc, no.

    I toured for years with an old Pratt Read dummy piano https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...-tru-135503643, and an unamplified no-headphones couldn't-hear-a-note-on-that-noisy-bus electric mandolin, and felt super-warmed-up when I got to the next gig.

    Seems to me that, musically at least, that is all that Sherry is asking for.
    Yes! In elementary school we had small wooden pianos with keys painted on. Not the best way to learn, but learning was happening. If I could only practice mandolin silently, I would have to quit. I'm only looking to supplement.

  2. #27
    ************** Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    I can relate to not wanting to drive the family bananas with mandolin practice. When I play guitar it's not so bad because I'm usually playing and singing songs, or learning new ones in short order. But with the mandolin, it's seemingly endless tries at fiddle tunes where I trip up in the same places over and over again. I'm sure it's murder for the listener. I usually hole up in our upstairs bedroom.

    As far as a quiet mandolin, I'm sure an electric one would work about as well as anything. I have a (very lonely) Telecaster that I drag out now and then and play unplugged (or I use a headphone amp). If I'm playing lightly it's barely audible. But if I dig in you can probably hear it in the next room, though faintly. There's really just no way around making some kind of noise while practicing.
    ...

  3. #28
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    i wonder if a violin mute would work? Be thankful you're not also trying to get in a couple of hours of baritone saxophone practice.

  4. #29
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    On the old plank, the Harmomy, try Aquila 1M mandolin strings , they are synthetic made for Baroque ensembles..
    Maybe I'll try these in addition to damping techniques. I'm open to removing strings, but as a last resort.

  5. #30
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    i wonder if a violin mute would work? Be thankful you're not also trying to get in a couple of hours of baritone saxophone practice.
    My teacher is bound to have one of these i can try.

  6. #31

    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Why don’t you just take an hour or two and sit with hubby and watch tv...one can’t practice 24/7...
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  7. #32
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by bigskygirl View Post
    Why don’t you just take an hour or two and sit with hubby and watch tv...one can’t practice 24/7...
    I only practice/play 1/7. Would like 1.5/7. Too much to ask? If so, I'll quit now.

    Oh, and I sit with him in front of the TV several hours each day/evening. That won't change, despite the fact I'd be happy with no TV.

    Not looking to be judged in this thread, but, rather, for suggestions for doing some quiet practice. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
    Last edited by Sherry Cadenhead; Apr-04-2021 at 11:37am. Reason: Afterthoughts

  8. #33

    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    I only practice/play 1/7. Would like 1.5/7. Too much to ask? If so, I'll quit now.
    So the hour you practice is when he’s watching tv?
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  9. #34
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by bigskygirl View Post
    So the hour you practice is when he’s watching tv?
    Usually when he watches the news, one of his daily news programs, that is.

  10. #35

    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    I only practice/play 1/7. Would like 1.5/7. Too much to ask? If so, I'll quit now.

    Oh, and I sit with him in front of the TV several hours each day/evening. That won't change, despite the fact I'd be happy with no TV.

    Not looking to be judged in this thread, but, rather, for suggestions for doing some quiet practice. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
    Wow...oh...you seem pretty clear...
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  11. #36

    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    I've been playing allot watching subtitled French cop shows. I can hear the gunshots, screeching tires and all and if I want to understand the dialog I read it. Get your husband to turn on closed captioning..or watch foreign shows.

  12. #37
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    i wonder if a violin mute would work? Be thankful you're not also trying to get in a couple of hours of baritone saxophone practice.
    I think most violin mutes clip over the top of the bridge and a violin mute is much thinner than the top of a mandolin bridge. Too bad about that. There is a heavy violin mute Made of metal that practically makes the violin almost silent. But it goes over the top of the violin bridge. And banjo bridges are also thinner do those won’t work either.
    Jim

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  14. #38
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I also looked into adding soundproofing material to my practice room. You can get some foam soundproofing online. I still don't think it would give you absolute silence.
    Do you mean between the bridge and strings?

    Oops! I saved the wrong quote. Meant to ask about the bridge padding.
    Last edited by Sherry Cadenhead; Apr-04-2021 at 4:27pm.

  15. #39
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Something like this might work: https://www.stringsbymail.com/rosett...tool-5806.html

    Click image for larger version. 

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    or just get some scrap high density foam. I bet the big box stores have it for some use or other.
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  17. #40
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Absolute Silence

    Violin mutes work by adding Mass to the bridge .. it seems ..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  18. #41
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Sherry - I just tried using a folded bandana on my oval and was surprised how quiet it was
    not absolute silence as there is slight pick sound but not much
    with a f-hole you would need several bandanas
    the object is to first mute the strings (next to the bridge) and secondly to block the resonant chamber at the sound hole(s)
    the bandanas are obviously very pliable and easy on finish

    A most interesting question!

  19. #42
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    You could probably damp most of the sound by weaving a thin strip of leather or paper towel between the strings, both behind the picking area near the bridge and above the picking area near the neck join. Something like the "damper" strips some players use between the bridge and tailpiece. It won't completely silence the instrument, but should get you most of the way there without affecting the normal feel of fretting and picking.
    So I did this, using strips I cut from an old T-shirt.

  20. #43
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Reinhardt View Post
    Sherry - I just tried using a folded bandana on my oval and was surprised how quiet it was
    not absolute silence as there is slight pick sound but not much
    with a f-hole you would need several bandanas
    the object is to first mute the strings (next to the bridge) and secondly to block the resonant chamber at the sound hole(s)
    the bandanas are obviously very pliable and easy on finish

    A most interesting question!
    Then I did this using what was left of the piece of T-shirt I had.

    A winning combination! Not absolutely silent, but, as some have said, a little sound is a good thing.

  21. #44
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence


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  23. #45
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Friend of mine would stick a towel in his sax.I use an unplugged electric.Headphones on the tv?

  24. #46
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinstew View Post
    Friend of mine would stick a towel in his sax.I use an unplugged electric.Headphones on the tv?
    I believe several have suggested this. I wouldn't ask my husband to do it, though, and he would not be happy to do it.

  25. #47

    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    I had a velcro-affixed thick neoprene cover made for my Rigel R-200 that completely covered the body. Cut the volume in half without affecting playability or tone one bit. (Sorry I don't have a photo handy, I'm in the middle of moving.) In the quest for absolute silence, no way could it compete with a single-string solid body electric with dead light strings and an unclicky pick (like a small Primetone), and I doubt that any modification to an acoustic (short of filling it with concrete) that still renders it playable can.

  26. #48
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Now you got about every option under the sun short of digging a hole

  27. #49
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    Now you got about every option under the sun short of digging a hole
    Yep! I believe I'm done. Tomorrow is the husband test. Am hoping we pass.

  28. #50

    Default Re: Absolute Silence

    Good luck Sherry! I spent the week with Julie and the grandkids and Julie made me play on the balcony because I was too loud
    On the bright side, I had three random strangers stop by to thank me for playing and tell me how great it sounded, and a person across the street stopped his car in the driveway and listened for a half hour

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