Home Forums General General Background Noise While Painting

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    Avatar photoirishserb

    While talking with someone about painting figs the other day, they mentioned that they have to have some sort of background noise while painting, or can’t stick with it.  In their case it was either classic or hard rock or baseball during the season.  I tend to be on the opposite end of that. I know that I haven’t had any sort of background noise while painting for at least 23 years.  Back when my wife used to help paint buildings, she used to have music on, often soundtracks from musicals such as Paint Your Wagon or Camelot.

    I rather enjoy quiet while painting, though often these days, I am serenaded by the neighbor’s five year old across the drive, who only communicates by screaming his dismay about utterly everything in life.

    Anyway, do you usually have or need background noise to paint?

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    , do you usually have  background noise to paint?


    Just the sound of the occasional gnashing of teeth.



    Avatar photomadman

    I have tried it a couple times. There is a great modern gaming podcast, the sitrep podcast on youtube but I find myself too distracted by the conversation. I keep stopping and picking up a pen and paper, rewinding and making notes.


    When I was younger and Herself was at work and the kids at skool I loved listening to the silence as I painted! These days I almost always have music playing quietly, film soundtracks mostly. Music from war films when painting cammo, tanks and wotnot, Sharpe/Waterloo when painting crossbelts and facings, westerns when painting Cowboys and Injuns… sad, innit!!!???

    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage

    Nope.I enjoy the silence. 😉

    Anticipating the next question, I don’t do background music when gaming either.

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    Avatar photoGeof Downton


    One who puts on his armour should not boast like one who takes it off.
    Ahab, King of Israel; 1 Kings 20:11

    Avatar photoJim Jackaman

    Yes I quite like a bit of PJ Harvey or The Smiths on in the background, having pinched my daughters old CD player now that she downloads everything on to her phone.

    Avatar photoMike

    I have a weird hearing complaint . Whilst the mechanics of my ear holes are fine my brain is less so. I struggle to distinguish background noise from foreground noise. As such background noise can be quite invasive. Foreground noise would be fine except I end up paying more attention to that than the task at hand.

    Avatar photoGrimheart


    Similar to when I am working at home I might have music on for an hour or two, but mostly I prefer silence…..

    Interest include 6mm WW2, 6mm SciFi, 30mm Old West, DropFleet, Warlords Exterminate and others!

    Avatar photoAutodidact-O-Saurus

    I have the same issue, Mike. In my case it’s due to age related hearing loss in addition to fairly severe tinnitus. My brain tries to compensate for my impaired hearing which makes it incredibly difficult to differentiate between foreground and background sounds. Having said that, though, I do like having classical music playing in the background when I do solo hobby work. Otherwise, the only thing I hear is the constant ringing of the tinnitus. (It’s like being constantly surrounded by a whole chorus of chirping crickets!)

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
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    Avatar photoNorm S

    Silence please, I’m painting!

    Avatar photodeephorse

    I listen to The Archers Omnibus podcast on headphones whilst I’m doing any modelling or painting.  No, seriously!

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    Avatar photoJames Manto

    Depends on my mood.

    Classical and Opera to Blue Grass and Country, Classic Rock, Disco or New Wave. ABBA to ZZ Top.

    Or silence.

    Used to have a friend over to paint and he likes Johnny Cash but he’d sing along and mix up the lyrics.

    So I don’t play Johnny Cash with him around anymore. He gets Opera or The Clash….

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    I usually have a documentary or audiobook on so I learn something while painting/sculpting. Silence works fine too but I feel like I’m being inefficient.

    Avatar photoRuarigh

    I have the same issue, Mike. In my case it’s due to age related hearing loss in addition to fairly severe tinnitus. My brain tries to compensate for my impaired hearing which makes it incredibly difficult to differentiate between foreground and background sounds.

    Me too. I really struggle to hear people I am talking to in environments with background noise because it all blurs into one. I frequently wind up sticking my ear next to their mouth and then having to explain!

    For painting or pretty much anything else, I like silence (and the chirping of the crickets, as Autodidact-O-Saurus calls it).

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


    Avatar photoNorthern Monkey

    I tend to put either a documentary on that is relevant to what I’m currently painting, or a film that I’ve seen numerous times, though I’m also happy to sit in silence, all depends on my current mood

    My attempt at a Blog: http://ablogofwar.blogspot.co.uk/

    Avatar photogreg954

    I usually have some backgroud music on the go but not out of want so much. More out of need. Like you Irishserb I get serenaded by various people. The Tourettes group out the back shout at the tops of their voices using every swear word ever invented. Not no mention Jack the Rippers victim, about 8 or 9 year old girl who is such a voracious screamer. I can only conclude that she is being disembowelled. Then there’s next door, who have the biggest piece of ironmongery for a door knocker which looks like it came off Count Dracula’s castle. So you can imagine what that sounds like when operated. Guaranteed that when I’m trying to paint an intricate model, someone knocks on their door.

    So, in short I need some backgroud music. Helps with my thought process.

    Avatar photoMartinR

    I’ll stick with the sound of silence thank you. Apart from the usual background noise of everyday life.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    There has been occasional times when I have not had music in the background at any given time.

    I think there was once in 1993.


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