Renting the perfect apartment might often seem like an impossible task when you’re a musician, whether you’re looking for a place to practice an instrument or just friendly neighbors that won’t mind the occasional extra noise — during reasonable hours of the day, of course. While it might not be as easy as practicing your scales, it’s a goal you can reach with the right strategy.
Here are the steps you should follow to find a rental property that will suit your needs and will inspire you to win a Grammy (fingers crossed!).
Do your research first
Considering the lifestyle of a musician, you should look for a unit that meets your needs. Choosing a nice, affordable apartment in a safe area and having access to all sorts of amenities just isn’t enough. Instead, try to look for a ground-floor rental unit from the very start, as this will limit the number of neighbors around. Also, make sure the walls are soundproof, so you can enjoy rehearsing your next big hit. If all your options have thin walls, don’t panic! — we have a solution, so keep reading until you reach step number 4.
Talk to your potential landlord and be honest
This one is tricky since some landlords have tighter noise policies. The key is to be honest from the start. Explain the situation and ask about the rules you should follow as a renter. Chances are you will have to deal with rejections, uncomfortable questions and restrictions. If it comes to that, leverage your negotiation skills and make clear you’re going to practice at reasonable hours and that you won’t disturb your neighbors.
Introduce yourself to your neighbors
If you made it to this step, congratulations! Your landlord must have found you charming and responsible, but it’s too soon to get excited. You have one more obstacle to overcome: winning over your neighbors just in case noise complaints might occur later when you start rehearsing.
The best you can do is get to know your neighbors more closely, at least the ones who live next door. Find out if you can tailor your rehearsal time to their needs, if they need quiet study hours or if they work from home. Tell them about your passion and make sure they’re fine with adjusting your rehearsing hours to their schedule. Keep in mind that effective communication can spare you the hassle of unpleasant arguments in the future.
Soundproof your space
If you skip this step, you risk losing all you’ve achieved so far. No friendly smiles can save you from the wrath of annoyed sleepyheads or fed-up parents. Here are some affordable solutions:
- Seal the gaps in your front door.
- Cover your windows to reduce both noise and drafts.
- Add furniture and natural decor to your space. You can also use carpets, rugs and drapes to absorb the noise.
- Put cardboard egg cartons on the walls. They have the power to absorb a lot of mid-frequencies.
- Install acoustic panels if you can afford them, but don’t forget to ask for your landlord’s permission first.
Consider renting a self-storage unit
In case you have multiple musical instruments or maybe you want to start a rock band, a self-storage unit might be a perfect fit for your needs. This way you’ll know your music equipment is safe and no overly enthusiastic home guest will have access to your precious acoustic-electric guitars. (Besides, you can skip the neighbor bonding part and spend all your time rehearsing for that Grammy performance you’re dreaming of!)