Finding a good practice space when you’re an up-and-coming band can be a constant struggle. Noise complaints, sky-high rent, and having to constantly lug around a ton of musical equipment are some common challenges. Don’t lose hope – the perfect practice space is just around the corner. All you need is a little creativity and, in some cases, a willingness to fork out $50 a month per person or less. #music #practice #keepgoing
Here, Janie Gallegos offers some advice on how to find a good practice spot for your band without breaking the bank.
The local church (Free, small fee, or trade music lessons)
Churches make excellent practice spaces – and no, you don’t need to be religious. Most of them have a decent setup already for the choir, with a strategically-laid out microphone, a public address system, and sometimes instruments. Many will agree to let you use what they have during off hours for free or in return for small donations. Some bands also manage to trade music lessons in exchange for practice time. The only drawback with using the church is that you will have to carry your gear back and forth with you every time.
The local school (Free, small fee, or trade music lessons)
Local schools usually have full-fledged music rooms that you can usually use for free. If not, just like with the church, you may be able to work out a deal with the school administration. You don’t need to be a student, although being an alumnus or having good relationships with the teachers can help. A drawback would be a lack of privacy. On the plus side, you will receive much feedback and, possibly, find new adoring fans.
Community centers (Small fee, annual membership)
Many community centers or youth centers come with dedicated practice spaces for musicians. You can usually access these for free or for a small fee. Some offer an annual membership at a super-affordable price. The negatives are that these places tend to be busy, especially during mornings and afternoons. You will have to book them in advance and, possibly, be okay with practicing during the evening hours.
Warehouse (Daily or monthly fee)
There are unused rooms in warehouses, commercial spaces, or factory floors you could rent out for a day or even a month. These buildings tend to have a lot of footfall, meaning your sessions may be frequently interrupted – unless you soundproof the room yourself. Instructables offers some tips that may help. Also, be sure to keep an eye on your gear to prevent it from being appropriated. You won’t typically be able to store your gear safely even if you rent for a month.
Rent a storage unit (Monthly fee)
Storage units are, arguably, the best practice spot on this list. Many allow bands to, conditionally, practice in their units or out in the hallway. Others roll out the red carpet for bands and offer extra facilities like electricity and climate control. Seeing as they’re meant for storage, you can leave your gear inside without the fear of it being stolen. Also, you’ll have plenty of privacy, especially if you practice during evening hours. Check out all the storage units in San Diego that are band-friendly.
Rent a space with other bands (A small monthly fee)
If you don’t mind sharing, you could rent a room, office, or even a commercial studio with other bands. If the rent is $1000 per month, for instance, and you manage to find 5 bands with 4 people each in them, each band only has to pay $200 per month ($50 per person). Of course, you’d have to agree upon times (Google Calendar can help). As a plus, you should be able to store your gear safely – and, possibly, share gear among each other. You must find people you can see eye to eye with to prevent squabbles.
You don’t need to blow a fortune to secure a space for band practice. Local community centers are worth approaching, while rental storage units offer maximum privacy and the convenience of not having to lug around heavy equipment. You can realistically practice long-term without spending more than $50 per person per month. Last, but not least, you can always make money through your music and use the proceeds to finance your practice.
Image via Unsplash
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Author: Patrick Young http://ableusa.info/