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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?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 26-Apr-13 14:45:36

YABU. Leave him alone. I write in the evening and if my DH took the piss I'd be very angry. I spend on average one night a week with him exclusively. We do have days together with the DC but that's enough imo.

Nagoo Fri 26-Apr-13 14:58:22

Do you write with a REALLY LOUD pen?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 26-Apr-13 15:10:50

Headphones will do the job. He shouldn't feel the need to show off with conspicuous practice, it's not like he has to prove something.

I am trying not to use the phrase "Is he normally this needy?" He is taking up a hobby which requires him practising daily. Some encouragement would be a nice gesture. Try not to make quips about his ability. We indulge DCs and the ones we love and in return they support us.

Comparing your level of support to your friend C is might beg the comparison to her H's talent so if he thinks that through I don't think your DH will repeat that. Chances are he'll get frustrated after a while but another hobby might be a bigger more costly headache.

I'd probably look for something you enjoy equally to occupy yourself. I don't know if this is a long held dream or the latest in a line of hobbies. It shouldn't mean making you or the DCs feel sidelined.

StuntGirl Fri 26-Apr-13 15:15:21

Nagoo grin

Jux Fri 26-Apr-13 15:37:06

DH plays guitar but he's been playing for 500+years. When I or dd are in he either uses headphones, or a tiny practice amp on v low volume - and all doors closed etc. When he's alone in the house he cranks it up. He's at his noisiest (except when alone) when he's teaching, but that's fair enough. Even then, it's not that noisy.

If your h is serious about learning he needs one to one lessons. Learning from the internet is OK if you already know what you're doing, but it's far too easy to fall into bad playing habits which are then really hard to break.

koalasrock Fri 26-Apr-13 15:46:53

Sometimes my OH is an absolute rock, but he does struggle with not ever being able to think of himself as ever in the wrong at all in any way, ie he refuses to believe that he snores and his instant response is that it is me. He sleeps like a log but I am woken most nights by his snoring, but if I mention it it is as if I am accusing him of murder, so I don't mention it. T'was ever thus, I am afraid, and that is why I trod on eggshells re the volume. I didn't nor ever would comment on his ability, so I don't think I wrote my post very well. I want him to enjoy playing guitar, but I think the headphones suggestion is one I'll request when he deigns to speak to me again!

binger Fri 26-Apr-13 15:54:03

My dh plays every night also but he's brilliant - I still don't want to listen to it though. He plugs his headphones in - job done,

Tell him to stop being bloody selfish and use a pair. There are loads of really good quality headphones available which won't spoil his enjoyment.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 26-Apr-13 16:12:18

@ Nagoo!!!
I'm almost crying here - brilliant!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 26-Apr-13 16:17:18

Brilliant Nagoo.

Liked your mention of the violin earlier OP. Or how about bagpipes?!

ZZZenagain Fri 26-Apr-13 16:19:40

just get the headphones for him yourself.

Now is a good time of the year to get yourself out of the house jogging, if you can face it, or something else. Winter will be a right drag though but he might be better bythen.

youloveus Fri 26-Apr-13 16:21:32

I feel your pain grin My husband used to play the acoustic guitar most nights, which was fine as I could still do things I wanted to do without his music being too intrusive, we live in a small terrace with no room for him to have a practice space and with 2 dc asleep it meant he had to sit in the living room with me. However 2 years ago he switched to alto saxaphone, joined a jazz group and basically alienated the entire neighbourhood, and me! In the end we got electricity to the shed and he now spends every evening in there tooting away, and on a thursday he's out at his jazz class. So although the noise issue has been addressed I now never see him! he disappears to the shed the moment I take the dc upstairs for stories/bed, he's so obsessed with the sax, there is hardly any room in his life for anything else. It's taken me a while, but I'm fairly used to being a sax widow now wink though occasionally he doesn't come back to the house till gone 10.30pm, weekend that's ok, but mid-week I'm off to bed by then, so we don't see each other at all!

Headphones/practice amp are your answer, but as for conversation I think that is a victim of a man and his music hmm grin

GirlWiththeLionHeart Fri 26-Apr-13 16:27:07

Yanbu why are you tiptoeing around him? Tell him to turn it down or get headphones. Very selfish,

valiumredhead Fri 26-Apr-13 16:27:34

I agree, just buy them yourself.

MonstrousPippin Fri 26-Apr-13 16:54:17

He might need a new cable so he can plug his computer and the guitar into the amp so he can listen to both the guitar and backing track on the headphones at once, but it can be done, so don't let that reason stop him.

My soon to be DH is a professional musician and guitar teacher so he plays for hours every day both for work and pleasure - I totally feel your pain. I'm as supportive as I can be, after all it's his business, but he also appreciates that sometimes noise is noise no matter how good the player is.

One nifty little gadget is the pocket guitar amp which could make a nice gift for him. They take batteries, You plug your electric guitar into it and a pair of headphones, pop it in your pocket and then you can go anywhere, e.g. the garden, without having to cart loads of equipment with you and needing a power socket. Have a look here:

Perhaps a gift would show you support him... hopefully he wouldn't take it the wrong way and see it as something that gives him freedom to move around the house with his guitar?

5Foot5 Fri 26-Apr-13 17:07:02

Your DH is being unreasonable by taking over a shared area of the house and imposing his practice on the rest of the family.

Both DH and I play "loud" instruments (he is tenor sax and I am trombone) but neither of us would practice in the living / dining room where the rest of the family are. When either of us wants to play we go to an upstairs room and shut the door. Of course you can still here it in the rest of the house but not so bad that it disturbs what anyone else is doing. If DH is playing I can hear him a bit but I can still hear the TV or whatever else it is I am doing elsewhere in the house.

Can your DH practice in a spare bedroom and/or get headphones?

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 17:11:16

actually, now i think about it i'm sure DH mentioned there is an iphone app to allow you to use it as a mini amp?

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Fri 26-Apr-13 17:20:08

If he's been playing for 20 years, he should at least be able to play brown eyes girl! It's one of the first songs I taught myself to play.

Headphones or a teeny practice amp, you get ones like mini Marshall stacks that clip on your pocket.

And unless he is working on lots of effects with pedals or new techniques, he doesn't really need to plug it in anyway, he's just being selfish.

Jux Fri 26-Apr-13 17:32:47

Yup, lots of times I wander past dh's studio and see he's practising, just not plugged it in. (He is a pro player as well as teacher. He suggests that you remind your oh that high volume can distort the sound for the audience so that playing it quieter may help you discern the song he's playing grin; but if he's been playing for 20 years then - even though there is truth in it - he may not accept that).

ArtemisKelda Fri 26-Apr-13 17:50:16

YY to headphones. My DH is a guitarist too and has set up a home recording studio in the attic. He always practices with headphones on at home, we have small DCs so he needs to keep it down.

He makes as much noise as he wants at the bands practice room, its in a warehouse so no neighbours to disturb.

He will also happily spend hours each day practicing but does spend plenty of time with the children. I just get on with my own things when he's practicing, studying, mumsnetting etc.

JumpingJackSprat Fri 26-Apr-13 17:52:34

My dp plays guitar if i dont fancy listening to it he sticks the headphones in or plays unplugged. Although hes now put the notion of me playing bass in my head so we can jam and is going to teach me :D i guess thats not a solution youre interested in OP?!

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 17:52:53

tbh it sounds like the issue really is that he can't deal with criticism and is a bit wrapped up in himself, isn't it?

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 17:55:26

I mean, by the sound of it you'll make neutral comments about headphones or unplugging, and he'll be offended that you're telling him what to do, you don't want to hear him play, cramping his style or pissing on something he loves. if you then said 'lots of people who are professional musicians do that' he'll be offended that you think he's somehow not in the know or have sought advice from musos behind his back thus patronising/humiliating him.... I'm guessing.

Uppermid Fri 26-Apr-13 17:56:24

Don't ask him about headphones, just get them.

Re the snoring, video him on your phone, he can't deny it then can he!

aldiwhore Fri 26-Apr-13 17:57:16

Buy him a pod and some good headphones for his birthday and enjoy the peace.

YANBU to wish him to engage with life and his family as well as his guitar though.

I practice an hour a night without it ever impacting on family life or time with my DH because they are important too!!

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 26-Apr-13 18:21:21

"tbh it sounds like the issue really is that he can't deal with criticism and is a bit wrapped up in himself, isn't it?"
That was what struck me too omaoma. His 'sensitivity' (but insensitivity to others), his overreactions, OP's walking on eggshells. And playing for hours every evening using an amp and not headphones? All that's missing is a flashing neon sign above his head with an arrow and the words 'look at me, look at meeee'.

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