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AIBU To be disappointed in DH not talking to me over his guitar?

(77 Posts)
koalasrock Fri 26-Apr-13 13:45:21

My DH has decided recently that he wants to play/practice on his guitar most evenings for a few hours. He has an electric amp, which he puts at what he considers a low level. He also listens to a coach (normally American) on youtube on his computer and plays along to that. This is in our Dining Room, and it can be heard from every other room. He is basically playing the same chords over and over for a long time.
Over the past couple of weeks I have asked him, very nicely (because he can be very sensitive about it) and only TWICE, if he can possibly turn it down a bit. He did turn it down begrudgingly.
Two days ago when he had already been playing for over an hour and a half I asked him to come and talk to me, and he said he would when he'd finished that song. I asked him what he was playing (Brown Eyed Girl), I then commented that it didn't sound like that song on the computer (ie the youtube backing). Thirty minutes later he was still playing, another song though, so I jokingly said that that definitely didn't sound like BEG, to just try and get him to finish as he had said he would (he had been playing for a couple of hours at this point). Well, he then went a bit mad at me, telling me I couldn't be less supportive of him doing something he enjoys, that I'm always basically implying that he is rubbish by asking him to turn it down and that our friend C would never try to stop her husband (who plays in a band). I tried to say that was ridiculous, that I have been really patient with it, particularly as it is noisy and he does play it a lot, and he never thinks whether it is perhaps a bit unreasonable to assume that everyone else wants to hear his guitar playing, practically every night.
To cut a long story short, he is now not speaking to me. I tried to break the ice yesterday, but he basically said that he was very cross at my lack of support and that he was expecting an apology, particulary as he has now twisted everything I have said to me effectively saying he is shit on the guitar.
I have again tried to counter with I have been supportive, it is a bit unfair that he is so selfish about it and that frankly, he is being a dick.
Most people don't assume that they can just start playing guitar in the house every night and assume everyone else has got to like it. I suggested that if I took up violin every night he wouldn't like it.
So, we are now not talking and I have not apologised! He also tried to involve our youngest ds (13) by asking him if he found his playing 'so offensive', and this has really pissed me off, although DS sort of said it was noisy.
This all seems really petty, but I initially trod on eggshells around the volume thing because he is very sensitive about it. I really don't know why, but he really is.
But, hand on heart, I haven't been unsupportive, and I'm a bit disappointed that this is such a big deal to him and he is so determined to twist what I said, but then he does do that. Am I being unreasonable to think I have been unfairly judged as being unsupportive and then in thinking he is actually being selfish anyway?

valiumredhead Fri 26-Apr-13 13:53:44

He needs to get some earphones.

You need to practise a lot when you begin to play an instrument, it's really bloody hard and comments like 'that doesn't sound like it should' will piss anyone off especially if they are as keen as your dh sounds.

Are you annoyed about the noise or that he's practising so much? Tbh if my dh told me to stop practising the piano I'd tell him where to get off! Ds plays the guitar non stop atm, it's something to be encouraged imo.

BlingLoving Fri 26-Apr-13 14:04:47

Well, I can see both sides. As valium said, it's annoying when you're practising and someone makes a comment that it doesn't sound like whatever it's supposed to be. But at the same time, non stop practising of this sort can drive a person crazy if you have to listen to it.

Can he get headphones if he's using an electric amp? DH spends a lot of time playing and either uses headphones or plays very quietly. Also we are lucky as he's able to play in a room that is slightly seperate from the rest of the house.

As for the request to "come talk to you" that's something different. I totally sympathise with you. But I think that it's a bit unfair to tell him to stop doing something so you can have some attention. What's better, is to say, "You get to do music every night, I'd like us to have one night together to chat/eat/watch a movie" and agree what night that is. I know that if I was enjoying reading my book in the evening I'd be annoyed if DH was constantly popping up and telling me to talk to hmi. but if we'd agreed it was an evening for us to spend together,then of course, I wouldn't be reading in the first place.

So YANBU but you are being a little insensitive.

pollyblue Fri 26-Apr-13 14:08:26

i play the violin and it (any instrument) is relentless practice, playing the same scales/pieces etc over and over again. A lot of what your DH plays probably won't sound like its 'supposed' to, because he's learning....

However - has he got headphones he could use? I've got a mute on my violin so i can practice when others are in the house. And is he having lessons? A lesson outside the house with a tutor will give your ears a break, and give him some constructive advice and effective 'homework' to do between lessons.

YoothaJoist Fri 26-Apr-13 14:08:46

YABU I think. If you let him get on with it unmolested he'll lose interest eventually. Basic psychology, innit?

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Fri 26-Apr-13 14:10:52

Headphones are your friend husband plays bass, i feel you

DiscoDonkey Fri 26-Apr-13 14:12:00

I think maybe you are being a bit unreasonable. The guys trying to learn something and you are making jabs about it not sounding like the song it should be. A bit unfair I think. On the others and he needs to get head phones!

valiumredhead Fri 26-Apr-13 14:13:05

I would have killed dh had he said anything to me in the early days of learning!

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 26-Apr-13 14:17:33

You said a couple of times that he can be 'sensitive'. What do you actually mean by this? In what way does his 'sensitivity' manifest itself (since it is obviously not sensitivity to the comfort of others).

My first thought is that he should not be practicing with an amp, but with headphones. He is engaged in a solitary pursuit, so he should be keeping it to himself. The rest of the household are being effectively dragooned into being his ever-more-reluctant audience, I'm sure the rest of you would like to get on with your own hobbies/activities without the distraction.

Oh, and YANBU.

MaterFacit Fri 26-Apr-13 14:19:10

I'd be tempted to get another instrument (drum, flugelhorn, didgeridoo, one man band costume?) and play in the next room tunelessly and noisily. Accuse him of being unsupportive if he complains.

<really really grumpy and unreasonable today and this has brought back memories of brother's endless fecking trumpet 'practice'>

Seriously though, he is being unreasonable. He is ignoring you and not taking your wishes or comfort into account. He needs some headphones.

RawShark Fri 26-Apr-13 14:20:13

Most evenings for more than two hours would test my patience. Think bling has the gist of what I think

koalasrock Fri 26-Apr-13 14:23:26

I haven't told him to stop, I have only asked him to turn it down a couple of times when I have been trying to concentrate working on the computer in the same room. Nor did I say that it didn't sound like it should, I was saying that backing on youtube didn't sound like Brown Eyed Girl, it was an innocent observation not a personal insult!

I have been happy for him to practice, and I would never dream of telling him to stop because he enjoys it.

What I am pissed off about is how uber-sensitive and angry he has got about it.

I should probably also point out that DH has been playing his guitar for over 20 years and can play, he is just going through a new phase of trying new songs, and both of my kids have been actively encouraged with their instruments, but there was no way they would have practised for hours every night!

quoteunquote Fri 26-Apr-13 14:25:42

Sound proof summer house with an internet connection, is where everyone should practice, it's made family life much better, well worth it, we built it with mainly reclaimed stuff, kept costs down.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 26-Apr-13 14:33:13

Oh good grief - that would drive me insane!!
I can remember my sister practising guitar (just a normal one) when I was younger and then the clarinet!
Just a total nightmare - it's like drilling in your head.
Ask him to get some headphones.
And rather than apologise for saying what you didn't actually say, just say to him 'I'm sorry my comments made you feel (a certain way)' blah blah blah - so you aren't saying sorry but you are, IFSWIM?
I'd be really pee'd off about him ignoring me as well. That is just childish behaviour and not something adults should do.
Grown ups are usually educated enough to have a conversation and compromise - it's what it's all about!
Good luck.

LadyVoldemort Fri 26-Apr-13 14:36:56

I feel for you here. I had an ex who was glued to his guitar and harmonica, he'd be playing them at every opportunity he could, even when sat watching a film together or trying to get to sleep. It drove me mad! Now I know this probably isn't an option for you, but what really worked for me was leaving the bastard grin

Seriously though, he needs to invest in ear phones. It's only fair.

chocoluvva Fri 26-Apr-13 14:38:58

You have my sympathy.

My DH play electric guitar too. Apparently, it's no good at all if it isn't loud, like the music he plays in the car which he has listened to for the past thirty years

What is it with men and their excessive hobbies? Golf - EIGHTEEN holes - takes all day, football - involves shouting before, during and after the match etc etc.

IMO it goes without saying that playing loudly all evening is selfish of him. Do you watch' your' programmes on the TV so loudly that the whole household hears them? You're completely within your rights to insist that he uses headphones. You shouldn't need to have to ask him.

I'm sorry, but electric guitar playing does not sound pleasant unless the player is very skilled; all that buzzing, feedback, whining,screeching. The thing is, your DH is probably picturing himself on stage playing to an adoring audience, escaping from RL into a little fantasy world...

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 14:39:51

What's behind his decision to increase his practice? He seems to be both remarkably committed and remarkably touchy about needing to get better at guitar. Has he shown this level of commitment about anything else before?

StuntGirl Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:17

My partner is in a band, he plays guitar and bass most days. He generally practices in the bands practice room (and band rooms are usually converted and soundproofed mills/warehouses/etc for a reason!) When he practices at home he does so without plugging the amp in. He will occasionally plug the amp in and turn it to its lowest setting, but this is during sociable hours (weekend afternoons say) and when I have nothing else on or am out.

Your partner is being a bit silly, electric guitars aren't known for being quiet or sociable. He needs to compromise a bit. Headphones for definite at home, or an actual rehearsal room elsewhere.

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:37

x-post - basically it sounds a bit mid-life crisis-y unless he does this kind of thing all the time...

Grammaticus Fri 26-Apr-13 14:41:25


Nagoo Fri 26-Apr-13 14:42:15

yy to headphones, and actually no reason why he can't practice without anything plugged in.

another bassist DH

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 14:42:33

oh, also - scheduling some evenings out of the house might work. IME people in a phase-craze find it much harder to work up passion for it when their audience disappears.

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 14:43:20

and another thing! my DH practises electric guitar (he's very good) unplugged. you can still hear it perfectly well for practise purposes in a living room.

Tailtwister Fri 26-Apr-13 14:45:22

Earphones or you can even practice without the amp on.

If he's just starting out he will need to spend a huge amount of time practicing if he wants to progress. If he isn't getting lessons already I would definitely recommend it. It will give him some focus and give you at least one night off!

VoiceofUnreason Fri 26-Apr-13 14:45:24

You can get practice amps that aren't anywhere near as loud as a normal amp, or, as has been suggested, he should use headphones.

He's being an arse, if he has been playing for 20 years. If he was just starting, I might have some sympathy with his comments about your comments. But he isn't, and I don't.

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