Six Solutions to Your Practice Space ProblemBy
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
I, like many other people, live in an apartment.
Unlike most other people in my apartment complex, I’m a musician.
This is unique challenge, because I am loud.
And not only am I loud, my band is loud.
Through more error than trial, I have learned that it is not a good idea for my band to rehearse in my apartment, even though this is the space most readily available to me. And I know I’m not alone. A major challenge for many bands is a lack of rehearsal space.
But the lack of rehearsal room doesn’t have to mean the end of an apartment dwelling band! With a little ingenuity, you will be making sweet tunes in no time!
Solution One: Professional Practice Space
Chances are, if you live in a big city, there are a few practice spaces that are available for rent. Typically rehearsal rooms are available to rent hourly, and some rehearsal spaces offer a monthly rental. These rooms often already have PA systems that you can use, and many offer 24 hour access.
If you are practicing a lot (which you should be) a professional rehearsal space might be a good investment for your band. The major downside is that these rooms can be expensive, and sometimes they are not the most well-kept facilities. However, if you can afford it, and there are professional rehearsal spaces in your city, I recommend renting one.
Solution Two: Demo Away!
If you’ve already got some home recording equipment, creating rehearsal demos might be the way to go for your band. Record simple versions of your songs, then give them to your band members to rehearse with.
These demos should be as close as possible to the live performance arrangement. You can even mute certain instruments so that the tracks are easier to rehearse to. For example, the vocalist might rehearse better with just an instrumental track, or the drummer might not want the distraction of pre-recorded drums in his mix.
Rehearsal demos have a few downsides. If this is your primary way of rehearsing, you have to have a lot of faith in your fellow band members to rehearse on their own time. It takes a lot of individual dedication.
You also have to find time for some full-band rehearsal as well. Though individual rehearsal with demos can drastically cut down on the time you need to spend in full rehearsal, getting the band totally locked in together is something that’s only going to happen when all the members of your band are actually together, fleshing out the music. This means that at some point, you will have to let your neighbors know you’re gonna be loud for a few hours, or you’ll need to rent a rehearsal space. Either way, using rehearsal demos can cut down on headaches, and on costs. Plus, you’ll already have good demos of all your songs!
Solution Three: Ask Your Place of Worship
Do you know what pretty much every place of worship has? A building that is mostly empty for a large part of the week, and a PA system. If you are a member of a church(or a mosque, or a temple, or a synagogue), and your music doesn’t offend any major doctrines or church staff, you might be able to practice in your church building for free, or for a small fee. This is especially true in smaller towns that might not have rehearsal spaces for rent. Even if it’s just an unused room with no PA system, a room to practice in is much better than no room to practice in.