Thursday, November 7, 2019

How To Set Up Your Garage As A Music Practice Space | Music Think Tank

Garages make the perfect jam room. If you’ve got a garage that’s leading a boring life, home to the second fridge and unloved folding chairs, it’s time for a transformation. That extra space is potential, waiting for you to make the most of it. 
Converting your garage into the perfect practice space for you and your bandmates to jam out is simpler than you might think. With a little determination, you can do the job yourself in a few days and have a space that’ll make you and your neighbors much happier than when you used to play in the backyard. 
Make a Plan
You wouldn’t jump into a remodeling project without a plan for what you want to accomplish long-term. Nor should you decide to convert your garage into a rehearsal space piecemeal. If you’re going to create a usable space, you need to think ahead. 
For starters, take measurements and note the kind of materials that are present in your garage. There are many potential hazards to good sound, such as uninsulated walls, windows, unlevel flooring and hard, reflective surfaces. The more of these you can address, the better the rehearsal space will be. Just be sure you make a budget at the same time you make your plans. It’s easy to get carried away. 
Add Sound Insulation
To keep your neighbors from calling the cops and allow for accurate sound, you’ll need to sound-deaden the entire room as best you can. That means eliminating hard surfaces and “leaks,” such as windows, that can let external noises in. 
You still want to have plenty of ventilation. Fans serve this purpose well. An insulated garage door is a wonderful addition to a practice space that will help regulate the temperature of the space and allow you to bring lots of air in when you’re not practicing. Allowing too much moisture in the space can damage equipment and lead to the kind of funk you don’t play with a bass guitar. 
Acoustic flooring is an ideal way to remedy the concrete floors most garages have. Installing insulation in the walls is one solution, but it’s also costly, so if you can’t go that route, visit the local hardware store or military surplus and hang as many heavy blankets as you can against the walls. For an even grungier look, try adhering old furniture cushions. You’ll need some heavy-duty adhesive to do it convincingly and keep rattles down, though. 
There’s no hard-and-fast rule to the type of sound you want from a room, so you’ve got some options as far as how much insulation you add. Typically, more is better and produces a more defined sound. However, if you want to emphasize the double bass backing your metal show, it might benefit you to leave some sound-reflective hard flooring in place. 
Stage the Band
Most musical outfits have at least three members, each with an instrument of some sort. Of course, you might be like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and have a lead singer who doesn’t play, but they’ll still need plenty of room to move. 
Identifying where in the space you want to perform will help you shape the sound and accommodate for things like power. Many bands like to have soft carpet squares or other insulation to play on. The powerstrip you use for your gaming computer might not cut it in this application, and the last thing you want is a fire hazard, so it’s smart to consider where you might run an extension cord to provide adequate power. A fire extinguisher is always excellent to have on hand, too. When you’ve got that much power going to an electric guitar or bass amp, you should be on the safe side. 
Consider whether your practice space will double as equipment storage. There is the problem of moisture, which we touched on earlier, and also security. If you’ll be leaving several thousands of dollars worth of drums, amps and other equipment in that space, you don’t want it stolen. Consider installing some locks and a surveillance system. You could even take out insurance on your musical equipment if it’s of significant value. 
Be Comfortable
Stories of the lengths bands go to so they can “find the groove” for an album or new song have become the stuff of rock & roll legend. Don’t subject your band to subpar practice conditions. Live like the rockstars you are! If you haven’t already got some furniture in the garage, now is the time. Having a space to sit and talk over your practice sessions is essential — plus, it will make you more inclined to spend time in the “studio,” becoming better musicians.
Complement your sitting space with a table, so you can make notes as a group. A mini-fridge in a place where it won’t ruin sound too much is a great addition that’ll let you stash a few jam-session beers and some leftover pizza so you can fuel a long night of dedicated practice on your journey to future stardom. 
Finally, make it home. Put that over-the-top Pantera poster your spouse doesn’t want in the main house up on the wall. Gather some memorabilia from your favorite bands and musical figures. Have a picture from your latest gig? Why not stick it to the fridge and show off a little? You should feel proud to be in this space, and excited about where your musical career is going. Nowhere is that more appropriate than in your jam room. 

No comments: