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How far would you travel to a practice?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by martyman5000, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. I'm in a Big City. I have a jam room with a drum set and no one is willing to travel to me. I get requests to try out for bands that all live 40 to 60 minutes away downtown and I also have to deal with parking, should I bother? and pay to be in a band?...I've got a request to try out for a band and just chat tonight that is an hour drive and another solo musician that has no vehicle but expects me to also drive downtown to see him...I know most musicians are poor but this has been my problem now for years and I'm finding hard to believe bands can survive for any length of time in this City.
  2. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    With the cost of fuel skyrocketing, I changed my preferences on how far I will travel myself. I drive 25-30 minutes and that is as far as I will go. I used to drive an hour but no way anymore...that trip would cost a fortune each month in gas. If it was a really popular band with tons of gigs I could see, or a hired gun situation. But, Im afraid its only going to get worse.

    If you have the space, I cant believe that no one wants to utilize it.
  3. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    Max. 1/2 hour drive in one direction. Perhaps one hour if it is a rehearsal for a well-paying gig. I just don't think that will happen. Luckily, my town is not bigger than it takes max 20 minutes to drive from one side of the town to the other . :)
  4. RonChase


    Aug 15, 2008
    How far you drive is proportionate to the greatness the band is about to achieve. I have driven very far for a band I enjoyed artisicly or financially(the idea is to get both eh?) I would not roll out of bed for most of the bands I played with but every once in a while it is warranted.Your decision is based on what you fell the prospects of this band are
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Depending on the situation.....maybe up to an hour. My current drive is about 10-11 miles away.
  6. Krispy


    May 21, 2007
    NJ USA
    Where I live, it takes 20 minutes to get anywhere beyond a local farm stand so I'm used to driving 30-60 minutes to gigs and rehearsals.

    I've driven up to 60 minutes for exceptional band time......that said, it's definitely a factor when looking at other prospects or projects.

    Example - I've just been fortunate enough to find a trio gig in the next town over with exceptional musicians. The bonus is the commute to rehearsal is 15 minutes. Coming off a project that was about 50-60 minutes each way, this is a blessing.
  7. I live on a farm 90 minutes (100kms) from Newcastle where I work, rehearse and gig. At the moment, that's what I have to do if I want to play music. It's a passion not a job (thank goodness or I'd starve). I have travelled further. It all depends what you get out of doing it. When it ceased to be rewarding I stopped.
  8. wnelson


    Aug 15, 2007
    most musicians i know (including myself) drive 45 to an hour to practice...it just depends on your level of commitment ....you'll figure out if its worth it once you've practice with these bands a few times....a good solid band is worth a 2 hour drive in my opinion....i had to do that for awhile two years ago....it sucks,but its what you gotta do sometimes....good luck!
  9. four2oh


    Mar 29, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    my current drive to practices varies from 1 mile to 5 miles. almost everyone in my various bands live near enough each other, in the city.. but my mandolin player is 60miles up the mountain, and does the 2 hour trip at least once a week. we've actually started to compensate him on a quarterly basis for his commute time/gas.
  10. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have no car, so I take three different bus lines to get to my rehearsal. It takes me about 1 hour and 45 min, one way. Thank goodness we decided to play once a week from now on. I like the band though :)
  11. ilikethump


    Jun 17, 2008
    I travel about 45 minutes to practice. However - it's also right next to my office, two miles at most! (yes I have a long commute)

    So when we have gigs on the weekend in that area it's a bit of a drain.. or practices on days where I don't have to be at work. But with practices on Monday and Thursday nights it's really not so bad for me. I don't know if I'd drive this far with gas prices the way they are if my office wasn't here though.
  12. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    For me, it's not simply time or mileage, but those are also important. It's also when. Certain places I may practice are 1/2 hour door to door if travelled during off-peak hours. Those same places may be an hour and 1/2 or more (accidents, etc...) travelled at peak hours. I have to know something about the area I'm travelling to and traffic/travel trends to make that call.

    Also consider the type of music and how it relates to your aspiration. I wouldn't travel more than 25 minutes or so for a blues jam, but if someone said that they wanted to play some music of the Police, and needed a bassist/singer, I'd travel 50 minutes.

    But for certain cities, I don't know how musicians do it. NYC is one thing, but so many other cities and suburbs, an automobile seems almost a prerequisite for being a successful/active musician.

    As far as a solution is concerned, the most equitable one is where practice locations are split- you go to their place as much as they come to yours, or you should think about making the case for some gas money. A reasonable amount of course.

    Ultimately, you may think about where you live, and how that does or does not impact your music interests. The city may come out to you via urban expansion, but that may take decades. Sorry to say, there is no easy answer on this one that does not require sacrifice or change.
  13. Shazbot


    Jun 29, 2008
    I'll travel as far as 45 minutes. Anything above that right now with fuel prices/college costs are impossible.
  14. ohskigod


    May 5, 2008
    if they're not willing to drive to you? why drive to them?

    I'd use 1/2 hr as a baseline but thats just me
  15. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Does anyone learn/write songs with other band members by recording and trading parts through the internet? Audacity is great freeware for multitracking that can be used for this. I've done it with success. It takes a bit more mental commitment. You can trade parts online easily if you have broadband. Then after a period of time, have some in-person practices before scheduled shows. Just a suggestion. YMMV.

    On a related note I have a gig with a band next Saturday that I've never played with. It's a major event. I've got CDs I've learned the parts by ear from their previous bassist. Should be fun.
  16. i dont have a car. i go where the local public transport system does. metro trains and buses. the travel time is easily around an hour one way

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