Question For Players With Family

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Kobalt, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. Kobalt

    Kobalt Insert Brand Name

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    So over the past few years, I’ve sold all my gear and pretty much abandoned playing guitar... I was “artistically” burnt out, life changed both personally and professionally (bla-bla-bla, right?) and I ended up moving in an apartment I now share with my girlfriend and her three children.

    I’ve made two attempts at rekindling with the guitar, both times failed, and I kinda blame the environment I currently live in for the outcome.

    So my question is geared towards those living under similar circumstances; how do you deal with trying to practice/jam/write/produce in such a chaotic environment where you basically have nowhere to be completely left alone in your own zone and do your thing?

    I’ve recently gotten the itch to start buying gear and do that thing again, but I feel like I absolutely need to address this before I can even consider jumping into it again.

    Thanks for your input guys!
     

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  2. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    I live my life at night time once everyone is asleep pretty much! Having kids got me used to living on 5 hours sleep, so I'll generally stay up late if I want to get anything done, or even just to have a chance to listen to music
     
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  3. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    I am not really qualified to answer, having never lived in such a situation, but want to express that i consider it important that you make sure you do have time left completely alone if you want that, and be strict about that. This will be beneficial to you but also improve your relationships because you have some time apart. It is not something to feel guilty about.
    Many successful people who work at home say that they have certain hours where the family absolutely does not disturb them.
     
  4. Kobalt

    Kobalt Insert Brand Name

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    Considering my line of work, it’s gotten a lot harder to stay up at night than it used to be. :lol:

    The most time alone I spend is outside when I detail my car in the summer time, otherwise as I said, we are 5 sharing a 4-bedroom apartment, it’s pretty hard to be alone in such a small living space. :(
     
  5. erdiablo666

    erdiablo666 Do not go Djently

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    I'm don't know what your work schedule is, but to answer your question: I generally wake up an hour earlier than I need to in order to play guitar. After the kids are in bed for the night I'll play another hour. It's been working well for years.
     
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  6. Trainwreck

    Trainwreck SS.org Regular

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    Got to make the time somehow. As men we need our space and alone time. This is why we build man caves and fancy garages. Even with a crowded apartment find a little corner somewhere to disappear to. I once had a buddy of mine who was in your same situation and he would grab his guitar and a small amp and lock the bathroom door. Whatever it takes man, you need to find your alone time/space.
     
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  7. sleewell

    sleewell SS.org Regular

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    I have 4 young kids. Playing guitar and going to band practice keep me sane. I play alot when they are sleeping.
     
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  8. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    Get a cheap truck or van big enough to loiter in?
     
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  9. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Plays Authentic ® Contributor

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    Maybe I'm lucky? One way is to get "buy in" from the family:

    Similar dynamic. I have 3 kids... 10 year old boy, 4 year old daughter, and 1 year old boy. They all love music... especially the music I listen to. They beg me to put on youtube and my daughter takes the remote and goes through the history to find her fav songs (Voices by In Flames, Stalfagel by Soilwork, Leave it all Behind by Sleeping with Sirens, etc...). My one year old dances whenever he hears music. My daughter sings along with me. And my wife has similar taste in music. <-- I mention because this makes it easier for them to understand when I want to play.

    As far as me playing. When we had our ginormous house back in the states I had my own music room. Where we are now I just have my rig set up in corner of the living room (out of sight) with the guitars in a coat closet. When I get home from work and while she's working on dinner, I can usually get about 30 minutes to jam out. The trick is not being super loud (we live in a villa anyways so not really able to anyways). Then sometimes later on I'll turn it back on and play a little, with the kids watching the tv and wife working on her laptop. So it's family in the same room but doing their own thing. You can always jam with headphones too if you want.

    As far as being in your own zone, that is harder. You need "buy in" from the wife. Assuming you have some practice space? Tell her you want 30 minutes here or an hour there to go in your music room and be left alone. You just need to reciprocate.

    Anywho, just what works for me... :2c:
     
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  10. Charlie Foxtrot 3rd

    Charlie Foxtrot 3rd Seven strings, Zero skill

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    It’s tough man. Tough as a motherfucker. It’s just going on 23:00 here and I’m just sitting down to practice (headphones on of course) I don’t have any advice for you, I play when I can and I make time to practice everyday
     
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  11. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Not sure if a room rental is feasible for you, but definitely look into it.

    Or start a band.
     
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  12. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    I play for less than an hour in my play room and my wife would come down and give me the look. I also have a 10 yr old who needs attention (has anxieties).

    Bottom line, I don't get to play as much as I want. Some of my projects will sound hurried because I always have that feeling of need to rush things.

    Family life...
     
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  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I've tried a dozen approaches to this, and none are perfect, but any will get you by short-term. Just remember that you have people depending on you, so you might need to be there for them in an instant. But if you tell them that, you might end up with the word "emergency" being abused. If you are in a band, it really will reinforce the concept of setting time aside for music. If you also get the family involved in music, it keeps it from being some alien concept., so they will cut a little slack.

    Mainly the key point is organizing your priorities.
     
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  14. Kobalt

    Kobalt Insert Brand Name

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    Thanks for your input guys, it’s gotten me something to think about.

    I should’ve also mentioned that, in essence, my trouble is rather dealing with the “outside distractions” of people around me; whether they’re watching TV or talking too each other rather loudly, running around, etc...I find are constant sources derailing my concentration. I do wish I could have a room to myself but that’s unfortunately impossible...

    All in all though, I’m highly motivated to find a way to make this work, so I really appreciate you guys sharing your own experience as I can at least see my issue from a different perspective. :yesway:
     
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  15. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    You need a louder amp. A proper tube head and a 4x12 with V30s should be difficult-to-impossible to yell over even at fairly conservative volumes...
     
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  16. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    What I do is after dinner I sit everyone down and make them watch me mime shred for about two hours. Anyone moves or talks and they go straight to bed.
     
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  17. pfizer

    pfizer SS.org Regular

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    Boss just released something that might be tailor-made for you:

    https://www.musicradar.com/news/bos...and-effects-into-a-set-of-wireless-headphones

    I took a good a few years off guitar when I was concentrating on med school so I'm just now regaining my bearings. I found that scheduling my practice time really helps -- I set an alarm or a reminder on my phone to practice at around 8pm until 9pm and I'm fairly compliant with it.
     
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  18. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    I played through my pc a lot with headphones.
     
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  19. erdiablo666

    erdiablo666 Do not go Djently

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    I used to rock headphones all the time when I lived in an apartment. It worked. I got it done and I remember being very glad about it.
     
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  20. NoodleFace

    NoodleFace Delicious Noodles

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    I have two young kids and a wife. Couple things I've done - first of all, I see these dudes with 5, 10, 50+ guitars and I think wow that must be insane. I have two. Most of my playing is done via headphones using something like Nameless Suite currently through my PC. I play randomly throughout the week, but Friday is "my night". I had to schedule a night where, barring extreme circumstances or kid issues, it is my alone time in my office. I either game or play/record. Additionally, after 8PM when the kids go down that's pretty much the only time I'll play plugged in. Otherwise it's just acoustically.

    I've taught my kids to respect my gear, at least as much as you can with a 2 and 4 year old. The older one knows not to touch it when I'm not holding it, and the 2 year old... well, it's a process.

    Another thing is I hang my guitars on the wall. I don't know how old your kids are, but mine are high enough my kids can't just pull them down.

    For many years, I didn't play at all.
     
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