Getting a dedicated band together is tough enough. But finding a place where you can bash, shred and noodle to your hearts’ delight can be even tougher. If you’re short on space and not quite ready for the costs involved in using a professional recording studio, these are a few options to consider.
Tried and tested, the garage is a decent enough space for a band to practice in. However, you’ll have to make sure that your family members and neighbors don’t mind. Also, residential areas usually have a decibel limit after a certain time, so make sure you know what this is to avoid any run-ins with the law. Garages will generally require some sound proofing. Depending on the shape and available space, you may also need to rearrange items to improve the shoddy acoustics they provide.
It may be difficult to arrange, but if you or anyone in your band has access to a warehouse in an industrial area, this is an excellent option. You’d likely have to set up after-hours. So, it’s possible that you could get a warehouse owner to let you use the space in return for providing extra security by keeping it occupied and lit-up in the evenings. The wide open space of a typical warehouse will give you some acoustical issues, but you can’t ignore the chance of being able to crank the amps to 11 without bothering anyone nearby.
Open Mic Nights
This may be an unconventional idea, but playing with your band at an open mic night is a great way to practice, and to get an idea of audience response. The “open” nature of this type of event means you don’t need to be 100% polished. It can also be a great way to iron out any kinks you’ll experience when performing. Alternatively, if you can’t get your own slot, you may be able to play as backup for other artists. Once you’ve done this enough with other artists, you’ll likely get your own slot later.
Band practice doesn’t always have to be noisy. In fact, practicing on a softer and slower pace can help you run through songs with greater clarity and spot problems that would otherwise be hidden in the din of loud practice sessions. Guitars can be run through to headphones, and a drummer can play with an electric kit or brush sticks, or with practice pads to cover the skins.
If you’re willing to a pay a small monthly fee, a self-storage unit can be an excellent space in which to practice. The cost of this type of unit is substantially lower than renting a more traditional rehearsal space. Often, storage units have their own ventilation or air conditioning systems, as well as power points. The units are usually accessible 24 hours a day. Also, because only you and your band members will have access to a unit, you can leave your gear there rather than carting them around.
A quick browse through the local classifieds may present you with a wide range of options for renting a rehearsal space, either at a per-hour or monthly rate. Based on when band members will be available, you can decide what will suit you best. Another option is to contact a local realtor to ask if any open offices, warehouses or other types of suitable spaces are available. You may be able to negotiate a limited lease for a slightly lower cost. Although, it’s possible that you’ll have to move once someone else decides to take the space.
This post was provided courtesy of Jeff who works at XtraSpace.co.za, a South African self-storage company.