Last updated on May 18th, 2023
Luckily, the Muze community is jam packed with as many musicians you could ask for. Ultimately, you will compile a good group of people to play with and form a band if that’s what you want. However, a band is no good together unless they can actually play together, so this week, we’re going to talk about finding a proper rehearsal space.
Nailing down a solid rehearsal space is crucial, but it often gets lost in the minutiae when you’re too busy thinking about finding the perfect bass player or drummer for your band. Sometimes, you get lucky, and somebody within the group already has somewhere you can set up and play some music together whenever you like. Other times, you find yourself groveling for a solid workspace to cook up solid melodies in. It’s one of those things that you don’t realize you need until you find yourself feverishly searching for it. Depending on the nature of your project, there’s a good chance you’ll need a reliable location that you can practice at multiple times, or maybe you only need to meet up once or twice before a gig. Either way, there’s a series of helpful tips here that could help you prepare for whatever setting you seek.
- Muze Tip: in your filters, you can search only for musicians or bands that already have a practice space:
Rent A Rehearsal Space
Sure, this is always an option. For Nashville alone, there are a myriad of locations available for musicians to rent out when they need to rehearse for a gig. Most of these spots have excellent acoustics, plenty of power sources, and additional gear adorning the walls in case you forgot to bring something. The perks are all there.
However, it can get pricy, as most of these spots charge by the hour (generally between $50-100, depending on the location and amenities). If you’ve gathered a group of solid professionals who only need to rehearse two or three times before a gig and can practice their parts individually, it could be worth your time and money.
Use Your House (Or Your Band Member's)
I’m sure this is obvious, but it’s important to note that if you or one of your bandmates does in fact have a useable rehearsal space, you should capitalize on the opportunity. More often than not, it’ll be at your drummer’s house (dismantling/lugging around/reassembling a drum kit is a royal pain in the rear, if you weren’t aware). However, you shouldn’t just assume that somebody has a prim and proper rehearsal space waiting for you.
Most of us have roommates and/or neighbors that don’t want to hear all that racket after a long day of work. Definitely check to see if anybody is willing to house a band practice though, or maybe you can develop a system of rotation between your homes. Ideally, you should find a spot that has the a rudimentary drum kit already set up so you drummer can just bring his/her own toms and cymbals along without having to pack up the entire apparatus.
Ask Your Producer If You Can Use Their Studio
I’m lucky in this regard, given that my producer is one of my best friends and he has let me use his studio space for practice many times. However, a studio is still a place of work for an engineer, and the majority of the time, they’ll have it reserved for paying customers who are there to record their songs. Still, it’s worth asking if you can throw your producer a few bucks for an hour or two of rehearsal time. The place will likely already have a drum kit set up as well as any other gear around that the owner of the studio is comfortable letting you use if need be.
As I’ve stressed before in other articles, don’t be stingy about putting forth some money if it means someone is willing to do you a favor. It’ll likely be less than what you’d pay at a high end rehearsal spot anyway; but don’t take it for granted that someone will be able to offer up their place of work at the drop of a hat to let you and your band practice. Work out a time/any other arrangements that will benefit everyone, and always be respectful of someone else’s space.
Other Ways To Stay Prepared:
Okay, so let’s say you’ve found the perfect rehearsal space to jam out at. Great. Here are a few things to bear in mind so you don’t find yourself wanting for anything:
- Make sure there are plenty of outlets
- DO NOT forget your gear (amps, guitars, cables, etc.)
- Bring plenty of power strips/extension cords. I can’t stress this enough: power strips are your best friend, because any given room only has a finite number of outlets available.
- Try to practice earlier in the day so you’re not disturbing anyone nearby at an inconvenient hour.
- Make sure it’s not too far away and everyone can be there within twenty minutes or so. Nobody wants to drive an hour to some remote location, regardless of how important it is to practice.
- Make sure your space is big enough to accommodate all instruments/bodies. You don’t want to be pushed together like sardines.
- Bring snacks/bottles of water.
- ALWAYS clean up after yourself and leave the spot the same (if not cleaner) than when you arrived.
- Really, this is elementary school stuff. You think it’d be obvious, but I’ve made the mistake of underestimating how sloppy and inconsiderate some people can be. If you trash the place and leave it for someone else to clean up, you likely won’t be welcome back any time soon.
- Make sure there’s an accessible bathroom for people to use.
- Make the best of your time there and get a good practice in, especially if you’re paying for it.