This musical instrument loudness rating guide is to help you understand how loud a specific musical instrument is based on its loudness rating, along with the estimate corresponding dB ranges and typical usage scenarios. This can be used by parents to discover music instruments that can be played in a specific setting, by teachers to ensure that instruments do not disturb other classes or by musicians to ensure that they are heard by their audience. The loudness rating zero means that no sound is produced, wheras two is the middle ground where the sound is audible and can be heard by others in the room, five is for classroom practice and ten is the loudest for outdoor stage performances. This detailed rating system provides clear guidance on the loudness level of musical instruments, helping parents, teachers, musicians, and producers understand the sound output of each instrument and choose the appropriate environment for its use.

Loudness Rating 0

Indicates that the instrument produces no sound or is virtually silent. Suitable for situations where complete silence is necessary, such as during instrument maintenance or when not in use. An example of an instrument is a muted piano or an unplugged electric guitar, the peak dB is between 30db-35db which is the typical room tone sound level.

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Loudness Rating 1

Produces minimal sound that is barely audible. Suitable for quiet practice in shared living spaces, dorm rooms, or other environments where noise levels must be kept to a minimum. Example might include softly plucked strings on an acoustic guitar or softly tapped drumsticks on a practice pad. The peak dB is between 35db-40db

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Loudness Rating 2

  • Produces soft sound that is audible but not disruptive.
  • Suitable for practice in residential areas or small apartments where neighbours may be sensitive to noise.
  • Example: Gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar or softly played flute.

The peak dB is between 40db-45db

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Loudness Rating 3

Produces sound that is audible at a moderate level. Suitable for use in music classes, practice rooms, or studios where moderate sound levels are acceptable. Examples could include a piano played at a moderate volume or a violin played with moderate intensity. The peak dB is between 45db-50db

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Loudness Rating 4

  • Produces sound that is moderately loud and may be heard from a distance.
  • Suitable for ensemble rehearsals, small performances, or venues where louder sound levels are acceptable.
  • Example: Electric guitar played with amplification or drums played with moderate intensity.

The peak dB is between 50db-55db

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Loudness Rating 5 

  • Produces sound that is loud and may be heard clearly in larger spaces.
  • Suitable for small concerts, outdoor performances, or venues where louder sound levels are necessary.
  • Example: Brass instruments played with force or amplified vocals.

The peak dB is between 55db-60db

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Loudness Rating 6

  • Produces sound that is loud and resonant, filling the space with sound.
  • Suitable for medium-sized venues, outdoor events, or performances where a strong presence is desired.
  • Example: Electric guitars played at high volumes or percussion instruments played with force.

The peak dB is between 60db-70db

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Loudness Rating 7

  • Produces sound that is very loud and impactful, capable of commanding attention.
  • Suitable for large concerts, festivals, or events where a powerful sound is required.
  • Example: Amplified bands or orchestras, powerful drumlines.

The peak dB is between 70db-80db

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Loudness Rating 8

  • Produces sound that is extremely loud and may be physically felt as well as heard.
  • Suitable for stadium concerts, outdoor festivals, or events with massive audiences.
  • Example: Headlining acts with extensive amplification or pyrotechnics.

The peak dB is between 80db-90db

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Loudness Rating 9

  • Produces sound that is deafeningly loud, potentially causing discomfort or hearing damage without proper protection.
  • Suitable for large-scale events, outdoor arenas, or venues with extensive sound reinforcement.
  • Example: Outdoor music festivals with multiple stages, military bands.

The peak dB is between 90db-100db

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Loudness Rating 10

  • Produces sound that is thunderous and overwhelming, capable of filling massive spaces with intense sound.
  • Suitable for stadium-sized concerts, outdoor stadiums, or events with enormous crowds.
  • Example: Superstar performers with elaborate stage productions, major sporting events.

The peak dB is 100db+

Overwhelming Instruments