Is it Rude To Play Piano in an Apartment?

Playing a classic instrument, like the piano, is a noisy habit (regardless of how well you may play).

Just because you can play Beethoven’s Symphony #5, or Mozart’s Moonlight Sonata, doesn’t mean the neighbors on the other side of the wall will enjoy it in the same manner as you do (if at all).

But, is it actually rude to play piano in an apartment? Do you need to find somewhere else to practice?

Read on below and explore our full and thorough answer to this curious question!

Is it Rude to Play Piano in an Apartment?

When you play piano actively, you likely practice several times per week despite where you live… and so you should. 

There is nothing rude about playing piano in an apartment, so long as you pay attention to the time of day and avoid playing while others are sleeping or trying to rest.

Further, if you don’t want to be rude, or possibly evicted, you must also check your apartment lease agreement for an instrument clause.

It also doesn’t hurt to know the local noise codes, that way you don’t break any ordinances or laws in town.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, playing piano in an apartment rates 5

To be honest with you guys, whether or not playing piano in an apartment is rude or not was much harder to rate than much more complicated and touchy topics.

The main factors that complicate things are the number of people living with you, how far the sound travels (in your apartment, and through walls into the surrounding apartments), the rules of the apartment building, and local music and sound ordinances.

The fact is, there is no golden answer (or 1 out of 10 ratings) that correctly answers this one.

If you live in an apartment building with thin walls, you may want to skip playing the piano often even if it isn’t breaking rules.

Likewise, if you are in an apartment with soundproof walls, you may go ahead and play piano for as long as you like (any time of day). 

Why is it Rude?

Playing piano in an apartment is mainly only seen as rude if it is done after hours, or really early in the morning. 

Further, it’s typically only really rude when the walls of your apartment are thin enough that your neighbors may be disturbed by the sound (no matter how marvelous your playing is).

Otherwise, playing piano in your apartment during the daytime isn’t rude at all, and isn’t likely to be viewed as such by anyone.

Common Questions

Are you allowed to play musical instruments in apartment buildings?

There is no golden rule as to whether or not you are allowed to play musical instruments in apartment buildings. 

However, the vast majority of apartment buildings do indeed allow tenants to play instruments if they so wish to do. 

The catch is, each apartment agreement may have different stipulations about such matters (so make sure you check yours!)

Can you hear the piano through the walls?

Yes, pianos can indeed be heard through the walls if they are thin or lack extra soundproofing. 

Whether or not your piano playing can be overheard on the other side of a wall also depends on how loud you are playing, to begin with. 

The time of day may also make the sound of your piano playing sound louder (if the rest of the apartment on the other side of the wall is quiet, like at night or in the morning).

How do you keep a piano quiet in an apartment?

Believe it or not, there are tons of ways you can quiet down the sound of your piano playing in your apartment. 

For starters, you can hang curtains around yourself and your piano, or erect some soundproofing near the piano. 

You can also do little things like closing vents and opening up the piano (so it vibrates less and plays quieter).