Wedgwood Trumpeter, Your Playing Is Obnoxious



Do it!



The Fremont Saxophone player


I propose a duel between the Wedgewood Trumpeter and the Lower Queen Anne Bagpipes Player.


Since you only fantasize about it, I have to assume you don't own an air horn. This one is high-quality (even if the pump that comes with it is not), environmentally responsible, and currently one-third off.

Also makes a great bike horn — fits perfectly in a bottle cage!


…“We live in a loud and busy city, and we deserve to bliss out on nature sounds whenever possible—not be forced to listen to your goddamn trumpet. Fuck you, Wedgwood Trumpet Player.”

Dear Pretend City Dwellers,

The sights and sounds of nature are indeed cherished in a city, but depending on the city they can also be surprisingly common too, especially if you live in a more residential district or street. There aren't too many Manhattans in the US, and Seattle is certainly no Manhattan. Far from the concrete, brick and steel of downtown and the dense surrounding residential core (from Lower Queen Anne to the International District, First Hill and the western slope of Capitol Hill) Wedgewood bears little resemblence to a "loud, busy city". Many of the streets there don't even have sidewalks. But I can understand you're wanting to claim city life. Given the sprawl of its suburban zones, most of Seattle is sufficiently dense as to offer, along with some of the charms of suburban life (trees, lawns, detatched housing, garages), the inconveniences of a city (traffic, high costs, insecurity), without the benefits of urban life (close proximity to culture and specialized commerce, and direct casual social engagement). What is appropriate to life at nearly urban density might seem an imposition in much of Seattle, given area's the seemingly suburban character.

What is appropriate? The occasional sounds of musicians practicing their instruments, of amateurs and hobbyists trying to improve or just screwing around, are normal in a city. These and other sounds — sirens, barking dogs left at home, babies, someone's car radio, outdoor music festivals and band practices, skateboarders failing their tricks, a loud poorly-muffled motorcycle, children playing, wandering lunatics, neighbors’ conversations, barbecues and dinner parties, arguments, and make-up sex — you’ll hear these more clearly in the summer as they mingle with the warm air entering the open windows and doorways of your apartment. (People with air conditioning can leave the room now, you don't deserve summer.)

A unique occurrence must be tolerated. These sounds are usually short-lived reminders of the people around you, and that it’s summertime. Grin and bear it if you must, or be happy you live in a city.

Something more regular —an hour of music practice, once or twice a week— deserves a friendly remark, but still can be tolerated as a part of city life. Ring their bell and speak to them in person. Smile, and let them know that you can hear them, but also that you're glad they keep it short. (Here is an excellent opportunity to practice the passive aggressiveness for which PNW'ers are renowned. Anonymous would be well advised to ask whether the trumpeter knows any other jazz standards besides the theme from Family Guy. Ever heard of Cole Porter or Noel Coward? Tell him you’re pretty sure Seth MacFarlane has. Ask him if he can read music, and whether he's heard of a Fake Book, a compendium of the bare bones melodic “charts” for improvising upon jazz standards.) Let the noisemaker know that the neighborhood is otherwise a fairly quiet, residential place, and that you don't mind a bit of music, but you also need to be able to concentrate on your own work or activities without being reminded of the foibles of the Griffin family.

Anything more regular, or of longer duration —hours on end, every day, or late into the evening or night— deserves a more pointed approach. A professional musician should have practice space elsewhere. A student too, though again, occasional lapses can be tolerated. Any regular and prolonged violation of the peace must be dealt with. This is when you approach the offender and ask them to please stop. If they can't understand why, explain it to them. (There's a code of civility required for city living that's both more and less forgiving than that of the country or the suburbs.) Talk to your neighbors. Talk to the offender’s landlord. Slip a letter (signed by all the neighbors?) under the door. Have a chat with local police about disturbing the peace jurisdiction and local noise ordinances. Maybe they can pay the offender a visit. And finally, contact the local press, who can draw attention to the problem and give gravity to your claims.

I suppose this last measure is essentially what Anonymous has done, though this seems a bit more akin to putting a message in a bottle. Maybe try the personal approach first. Act like an urbanite and engage with your fellow citizens directly. This is what makes city living worth the hassle.


Old man yells at what is likely a child practicing an instrument.....Cool.


I’m curious if there was an out of character lull in the tooting until August 29th at 9:05.


I'm so annoyed that I have to side with someone who knows the notes of the Family Guy soundtrack now, but lots of big NIMBY energy on this one. Wedgwood is where they screamed and kicked until the city agreed to let 35th Ave stay real shitty. They can deal with a little trumpeteering in their worlds.


trumpet practice belongs indoors.


I wonder what I, Anon would think of having an uptight neighbor who, upon recently moving in directly above my unit, bragged about once being a trumpet prodigy, soloing with the Seattle Philharmonic at Benaroya Hall because of his "Dragon Lady" father, and prides himself by majoring in bullshit? I'm a professional musician and composer (flutist, piccolo, alto flute, and piano) playing in pit orchestras and a flute choir. Surrounding neighbors love my music. I play indoors, and not after 9 pm to be a considerate neighbor. For some inexplicable reason, this trumpet boy insists on punishing everyone with his latest love: an electric guitar with a revved up amplifier (apparently he's since ditched his trumpet--I can't think why). Our whole building sounds like a beer garden, with random chords blasting into the parking lot when Trumpet Boy feels the urge.
The good news: he fortunately doesn't play after 9 pm, either. But I notice every time I start playing my piano (not loudly, or crashing chords, but actual music---classics or some of my own written works) Trumpet Boy stops. The glaring difference between us: Trumpet Boy sees music as punishment, most likely from his arrogant, entitled upbringing; I practice and play because music is to me, therapeutic, personally and professionally rewarding, and what I and other neighbors around me like to hear. And I think lately someone has been speaking to Trumpet Boy about his recent overly enthusiastic electric guitar fetish.


@11: Maybe that's it--people in our building would rather hear a flute or piano playing than a trumpet or amped up electric guitar.


@2 and @3: Good grief-- that sounds like a proposed musical turf war between Seattle neighborhoods! I miss Tuba Man.
@5: You make some good points. I have actually been direct with Trumpet Boy. When he and his girlfriend first moved in, he would pound on my door frequently, complaining about echoing noise (what does he think his electric guitar does?!?). I finally left a written note on his door about my being a Gulf War veteran with service connected PTSD issues that practicing playing flute and piano music helps to resolve. Trumpet Boy thankfully hasn't hassled me since.


Join in on a kazoo.


@14: Traffic Spiral for the WIN! :)


Did the Wedgwood Trumpeter actually look that much like Peter Griffin? That would make his misplaying of the Family Guy theme even more unsettling.


3: In the middle of the Gobi Desert, one hopes.


Have you tried asking him to stop? He's probably more likely to know how you feel if you tell him, rather than tell a bunch of strangers anonymously.