A band without a home is no band at all! And the home, for a band, is the practice space. There’s a lot that goes into choosing the right practice space for a band, and you and your fellow band members should carefully consider where you’re going to set up shop. In order to help you find the right practice space for your band, here are the things you’ll need to consider.
Are You Going To Rent Or Borrow?
There are essentially two options when it comes to practice spaces: borrowing space in a location that someone already owns or renting a space. Both of these options have their plusses and minuses. Let’s take a look at each.
Borrowing Space: They call them garage bands for a reason! Perhaps one of your band members has an empty garage for you to set up in, or maybe there’s a finished basement. Provided that this member is fine dedicating that space to the band and is fine with the hit on his or her electricity bill, then this is a great option. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the noise your band is going to be making isn’t going to lead to complaints from the neighbours.
Renting Space: In most areas, there will be buildings that rent out space to musicians and artists. The benefit here is that you won’t have to worry about noise complaints, because noise is already a factor of the building. However, there is one major drawback: You’re going to have to pay for the space. Depending upon how serious you and the other band members are about the band, this may or may not be an option.
With these two alternatives in mind, let’s take a look at the things that make a practice space ideal.
The Qualities Your Practice Space Should Have
As they say in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. The most important quality that your practice space can have is that it’s easily accessible to all the band members. If one member has to go out of his or her way to get there, then it’s not going to be a viable long-term option.
Provided that the location makes sense for everyone involved, there are a number of different things you’ll want to take into consideration. The first is the size of the space. There’s really only one rule here, which is that bigger is better. In a tightly compacted space, it will very difficult for your band to control its volume, which will necessarily make it harder to rehearse and to write material. With a larger space, the sound has more room to spread out, and everyone is able to hear everyone else much better. Now, if you’re going the “borrowing” route, then you won’t have much choice when it comes to the size of your practice space. But, if you’re renting, then you should strongly consider spending more money for a larger space. Either way, it will be worth your while to soundproof the space so that you minimise the disruption that you’re causing for others in the immediate area.
The last thing you want to consider is security: If you’re going to be leaving expensive equipment in a practice space, you want to be sure that it’s locked up tight when it’s not in use. If you’re renting, make sure that the building and its owner are reputable, and if you’re borrowing someone’s space, make sure they are aware that they’re responsible for the equipment in the space.
Now Get Practicing!
Once you’ve got your practice space, it’s off to the races. Pick a time that works for everyone equally well, and be sure to keep your practice arrangement consistent. If the space that you selected originally doesn’t seem to be working out, never be afraid to switch it up. It’s a wonder what new surroundings can do sometimes!