Trumpet player? or strategy to get out of booking

Sharing a recent attempt at cancellation without penalty. Guest books our cabin, clearly listed and from location it is in a secluded area in the woods. Guest then messages, later:

“Our family is looking forward to our stay in this lovely designer cabin oasis. Our kids are young adults. Our son Max is a professional jazz trumpet player, he knows about quite after 10pm. We hope his practicing and playing during wake hours does not affect our stay. He generally runs scales, tones, and jazz solos, never more than a 90 min”.

Sooo… while yes, technically, inexpert trumpet-playing up until 10pm is within the rules of our listing, it is clearly not in the spirit of the listing, and would be completely unacceptable to the neighbors in this listing.
We messaged back: “Thanks for your reservation. This is a secluded area and trumpet playing would be unacceptable.” Then follows a long debate about who should pay for the cancellation.

Thoughts? How would you have handled this situation.
Thank you.

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For starters, to me, if I were a guest, “secluded area” would give me the impression that there are no close neighbors to be disturbed. So if there are, and given how polite and forthcoming the guest was about the situation, if I didn’t want to accept these folks, I would most definitely refund them fully. There is nothing about trumpet practice for 90 minutes during the day that flies in the face of your Quiet Hours rule. You have no valid reason to keep any of this guest’s money if you don’t want them to stay.

I would not have tried to cancel this booking at all. I might have suggested a time frame for the practicing if 10pm seems too late for it. This is a professional trumpet player- he isn’t someone learning to play the violin, painfully screeching away. I had a professional sax player living right behind me- he never played early or late, and 90 minutes a day is about how long he’d practice. The music was great- like my own private concert.

What’s the difference to the neighbors if guests put on some jazz music outside of quiet hours or the music is live? Or have a crying baby or one if the guests has a really loud voice? The gal across the road from me has a couple Airbnb cabins and I can hear her guests’ loud phone conversations. The guy’s not playing an electric guitar with an amp.

And why did you say “inexpert trumpet playing”? They said he’s a professional jazz musician.
There is nothing at all about the guest’s message, IMO, that gives the impression he’s telling you this to try to get out of the booking. Quite the contrary.


As the son and parent of legitimate musicians… I would have likely followed up with thanking them for making you aware. Then told them that given the secluded nature of your location, they will need to keep practicing between the hours of 10:00 AM- 7:00 PM.

A 90 minute period of a legitimate musician playing is not like a school kid learning. Typically it’s better than some of the music people will blast while in the woods


You say it’s a secluded area, which leads me to believe you don’t have neighbors close by. How close is your nearest neighbor? I would have approached this situation with the guest (who, really, seemed to be trying to avoid problems by being upfront), by setting some boundaries. A suggestion that he only practices inside, say, between noon & 4? What’s the difference between loud voices, ANY kind of music & a practicing musician? Or a loud car or motorcycle? :thinking:


Now I’m wondering what “secluded” means in this description. I would have thought secluded meant there are no nearby neighbors. If I were a professional musician looking for a vacation area I could still practice I would have looked for secluded places.

It sounds like you might have misled this guest, and so the cancellation is up to you.


Someone who is a professional trumpet player is not “inexpert.”

You have a bit of a conundrum trying to categorize a place as secluded and yet with neighbors who find daytime trumpet playing unacceptable.

Based on my time “in the woods,” sound can travel a long way.

I’d love to hear professional trumpet playing from say, 10 am to noon, even in a secluded area. Looking at the listing, I think it makes it clear that quiet is expected, but the road layout also makes it clear it’s a development, it’s not the wilderness.

I would put the cancellation on me. I don’t think Airbnb would support you if the guest won’t agree.


If your cabin is sealed up and has insulation and trumpet player stays inside, I don’t see that their playing would be loud enough to bother the neighbors. They might hear it, but it shouldn’t be intrusive.

Thanks everyone. This was a tricky one. Briefly - cabin is 1907 and is for sure not sound insulated. While there are only 4 immediately adjacent neighbors, a trumpet in a forest could probably be heard up to half a mile away. So while this guest behavior is within the ‘letter’ of the house rules (not ‘amplified’ sound, not sound outdoors), in practice I know my neighbors well enough that this would be unwelcome and annoying, and that at least in my hood, higher standards apply to STR behavior than normal good neighbor behavior.
Post-scriptum: we agreed she would cancel, & I refunded her in full & had Airbnb waive their fee.


You’re not allowed to make new rules after the guest has already booked. You have quiet hours 10pm-8am in your house rules. That is enforceable but is not likely to be an issue anyway. In the text of your listing, you mention “no outdoor amplified sound is allowed”. That may or may not be enforceable, since it’s not in your house rules, but a trumpet is not amplified sound anyway, so not relevant in this case.

I don’t understand why you don’t want this reservation. This is difficult for me to wrap my head around. Do people not usually bring acoustic guitars and play outside at this house?? I was previously married to a professional musician and we never traveled with less than 3 instruments. None of them would use an amp but he’d fully expect to play his instruments on vacation.

What you’re saying now is that you “don’t want to allow any musical instruments”. However, that is not what your listing or house rules say. So make a new rule if you must but if you don’t want this reservation then you must take the penalty for canceling it.


Ah - you hadn’t mentioned earlier that your house rules contained this. Sound is hard to measure without a meter, but you might want to change your house rules to “Quiet hours are around the clock. Bluetooth speakers or musical instruments such as acoustic guitars are allowed at a volume that you can speak over. Any noise complaints from the neighbors will result in immediate termination of the stay without refund”.


Thanks JJD. This subject is now completed (perhaps our comments overlapped).

this is very helpful, thank you, & the kind of experienced guidance that people come to this site for.

Yes, I believed they did.

We used to have a next door neighbor where the daughter played the piano, and with the windows open (no AC; unavoidable). It wasn’t always ideal but this is life. Are children, or adults, not allowed to play/learn a musical instrument? And here we have a professional!

If you’re not going to allow this going forward, put it in your rules but I think you might feel uncomfortable while writing "No playing of musical instruments at any time – even if you’re a professional – unless windows closed.

BTW, I wonder whether you could have just advertised to our neighbors that they might get a treat of a free concert by a professional trumpet player! :rofl:Looking at rules on amplified sounds, my mind would have gone to an electronic amplifier. I would not have thought about a typical musical instrument, though of course it does amplify sound.

Of course, if your community would be upset with the trumpet playing I understand that this is not a ‘battle’ you want to find yourself in, and so edit rules appropriately. [It’s too bad though.]

There are apps for his. We’ve used the NIOSH Sound Level Meter app (+/- 2 db) just to get a sense of what level of noise would violate our local noise ordinance so we could guide guest. Here, even normal talking at night, near the property line, would violate the noise ordinance though I doubt that a neighbor or even the police would think it does.

yeah. Again, I’m not looking to throw away revenue by losing a booking, which is in effect what I have done, but it is always a trade-off with trying to appease difficult neighbors who hold STRs to unusual standards. Agree that it is too bad. Thanks.

Yes, but you can’t really put a dB limit in your house rules.

Ha ha. Of course, not.

For us the value of the app was for us to look at the local noise ordinance and figure out what would violate it so that we could guide our guests. Using the meter and the law we condensed it in our rules to:

○ From 9 pm to 7 am the Worcester noise ordinance applies (keep music/voices ‘hushed’ down outside then)

LOL, for some members here, no subject is ever completed. Let me know if you’d like the topic to be closed.


If I were you, I would change the “secluded” wording, as I think most people would take that to mean there weren’t any “immediately adjacent neighbors”.

There is other wording you could use to convey the environment that doesn’t allow for misinterpretation.

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Hi KKC yeah I’m gettin’ that. Certainly received a lot of useful advice . and thank you, on my side it can be closed.