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Rehearsal Space

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Eekum, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Eekum


    Mar 4, 2013
    Our current place is in my finished basement but we have to set up and tear down before and after practice. Which is becoming quite taxing on our old man backs. For this reason, my four piece band is looking for a permanent rehearsal spot and have narrowed it down to two places.

    The first one is an actual place that rents rooms for musicians to use. Its month to month and the rent is stupid high. It's a 12x12 sound proof room with a motion sensor alarm, key panel, security cameras and class 1 dead bolt. The power layout is great too, 4 outlets on each of the 4 walls. The draw backs is when we have shows, we have to go up and down two flights of stairs and down some long hallways. Not too mention the rent is crazy high.

    The other option is a 10x15 storage unit, we spoke with the manager and area manager and have come to an understanding and agreement since this storage place has never done this before. We explained to them that it will be loud and they are okay with it because they don't get a lot of business around the time we would be rehearsing and they are in the middle of nowhere. This place is DIRT cheap, load in/out for shows is cake, great security and the room is climate and humidity controlled. The only issues we are seeing is that all the walls are thin metal and we aren't sure how it will sound. We could hang some blankets or something though. Also, our unit doesn't have power so we would have to run an extension strip into our unit (only like a 6' run). We aren't sure if that one outlet can handle a full PA system and 3 guitar/bass amps though.

    Our financial situations are all different in the band. We all work full time, have houses and families. Obviously the first place is a little out of our budget, the second place is stupid cheap but may have some issues with power.

    So my question is, which would you guys pick and why?
    iriegnome likes this.
  2. Look for another location perhaps? Or consider rehearsing in someone’s basement with headphones and a mixing board (you would need to get an electronic drum kit).
  3. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    If you can't afford it, you can't afford it... but the storage unit will be problematic acoustically for sure. Heavy packing blankets may help a little but won't really do much... and proper acoustical treatment will nullify the cost savings. Powering all of your amps and PA system on one fuse is probably not going to work. If you can find out how many amps the circuit is (20 might do it)...

    I'd stay in the basement
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
    dkelley, pcake, Remoman and 2 others like this.
  4. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    if money is no problem i would choose the first place. If money is a problem, I would still choose the first one and get more gigs to pay the rehearsal room.
    sing-modulator likes this.
  5. Don’t pay money to hump gear up and down stairs! Go cheap, it’s rehearsal.
  6. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Paying for rehearsal space is a last resort, IMO. Everybody has a house and yet no one can make a rehearsal space work out?
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Does no one in the band have spare equipment that can be left in your basement?
  8. This is why I recommend rehearsing with headphones. Keeps noise to a minimum and you don't need to lug amps around. We use a Jamhub at my friend's place and it works well.
  9. I did a storage unit once. Same electrical situation as you. It worked for us - short term. I hung some uhaul blankets on the metal walls.

    If I ever had to do it again it would be my last choice. Short term was okay but I wouldn't want to make it the "permanent" space.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  10. I was in this situation about 15 years ago. We rented a storage space that had electricity from an overhead light. It had no heat or AC so we had to use a space heater in the MI winter. We insulated the walls with sheet styrofoam. We still froze our butts of sometimes, and sweltered in the summer. Somehow we never popped a breaker running 5 amps and a PA mixer. The rent was a hundred bucks a month and went up every year.

    We were limited in our choices of storage units because MI state law prohibits self storages from providing electrical in the units to keep people from living in them. The one we found was old and grandfathered in. There were a couple metal bands that rehearsed there that always drew complaints from the neighbors. We played classic rock and blues, nowhere near the volume level of the metal heads, but the cops would harass us anyway.
    dayo likes this.
  11. dwade


    Feb 15, 2013
    Cincinnati, OH
    I used a storage unit for years. There was no power in the room, so we ran an extension cord out of the light socket. We hung carpet padding on the walls & we were off to work. It was cheap, secure & easy in/out.
    Several bands did the same thing at this particular storage place at that time.

    This was 25 plus years ago. No class d amps. We had 2 tube guitar amps, I had a big ass bass, bi-amp bass rig. Full PA & all. That little extension cord handled it all, lol.

    I'm a big believer in making things easy. If it's a pain in the neck, I'll lose interest.
    If I have to do a full set up/tear down in order to rehearse, chances are I won't do it.
    We have a place now. It's pole barn in the back yard. Gear is always set up & ready to go. We only rehearse a few times at the beginning of each year. Even with that minimal woodshed time, it has to be efficient. Quick in, quick out. DONE!

    Good luck finding a system that works for you.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
    grinx likes this.
  12. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    Storage unit all.day.long
    Hang heavy moving pads, tie pillows to the walls behind the pads, cheap rug. Have fun with it.

    We played in a unit for years.
    It was usually too hot or too cold, like a lot of gigs. As long as you all don't bring 8x10s and half-stacks, you can make it work.
    Drummer is the bottleneck, loudness-wise.

    Your wallet and back will thank you.
    Screw stairs and humping equipment after every practice....
  13. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    For the price of one month of expensive rent, you could probably find a powered mixer and two small speakers. If your guitar players insist on loud volumes during rehearsal , they are being ridiculous. My jam room (where my band rehearses) is sound proof. We can be as loud as we want. But we're really not that loud. Our drummer even drapes a towel over his snare to take some pop out of it.

    If everyone stays reasonable, you should he able to get a really cheap PA to leave in the storage unit. If you save a ton of money on the rent, each of you should be able to scrounge up cheap backup amps and drums as well. I have old Yamaha Stage Custom drums in my jam room. My drummer only brings cymbals and a snare. Your guitar players should be able to snag a Peavey Bandit or something for $50.

    Being really loud and loading in/out your "good stuff" for every rehearsal seems like a HUGE hassle that can be avoided with minimal investment.
  15. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    Your band should probably answer this question first, how much money are they willing to eat into the profits for rehearsals?

    Then, with that amount of money, should we keep the current free place, and buy rehearsal gear to minimize the setup/teardown?

    Then ask what is the ROI of spending money on the rehearsal space? In other words, how much more can you earn if the band had better rehearsal space.

    Those should be your first three questions for the band, and in that order. If the first one is answered with a lot, and the second one is too high, then move onto other options.
    Omega Monkey likes this.
  16. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    If you can wait, keep looking for the right situation. It took me a couple years, but I now have the most amazing, huge and cheap room.
    MynameisMe likes this.
  17. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    I would be awful crabby about coughing up a bunch for practice, just for the opportunity to hump gear two flights of stairs and a long hallways. Of course it does make it a pain for thieves.

    Of course is the band is making a small fortune, one may wish to find some young apprentices/roadies/schleppers
    mikewalker likes this.
  18. Yellow Bang66

    Yellow Bang66

    Jun 5, 2019
    be grateful you have options my last band was notoriusly cheap! we all had FT jobs, but no one ever wanted to pitch in for anything, so frustrating! the BL was so $ minded he would low ball our gigs cuz he thought the local scale rate was too high! we practiced in his garage for free until the cops threatened him with a fine. so we had to move up our rehearsal time, so we didn't play so late. I respect everyones money situation, but i dont get blind "cheapness". we should have had a really good band demo, but sadly had a boombox tape,lol. :(
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    I'm basically a contractor who gets a 1099 every year. I have no say so to anything band related. Therefore I am in no way paying for any rehearsal spot.
    CyberSnyder likes this.
  20. --Vissinger --

    --Vissinger --

    Jan 31, 2010
    Of the two, the storage unit is likely the best choice -- assuming "climate and humidity controlled" means it neither swelters nor gets colder than you'd like.

    Begging to differ, hanging stuff on the walls and perhaps draping the ceiling will make a huge difference.

    w.r.t the power, Many overestimate the current draw of the amps and it's nature. There's likely to be no problem.

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