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How To: Rehearsal Space and Practice

I'm sure everyone has a different idea on the optimal rehearsal space for their band. For my new band the best place is a storage facility that has all the storage spaces located inside the building. The space is air conditioned and contains a highly effective dust filtration system so there isn't a lot of dust in the room, which is good for amps and drums. The cost of electricity including AC is included in the rent.

Within the complex there are numerous bands but the manager has limited each floor in each building to 1 band each. This is very important otherwise the different bands would be competing sound wise with each other. The walls are made of sheet metal with a insulated ceiling. The sheet metal walls create a natural reverb which is pretty ugly, we covered the walls with 10oz. painters drop cloths to stop the reverb. Sound proofing isn't the goal as we won't be bothering anyone just stopping the reverb. Other bands have found carpet scraps. Can we hear the other bands in our building? Only when we stop playing and it's still very faint.

Practice Schedule

We end every rehearsal by agreeing on what song to work on at the next rehearsal. This way everyone knows what is expected. Here is our rehearsal schedule:
  • 15 minutes: Warm Up, 10 minutes individual (amps on standby) 5 minutes Dig In by Lenny Kravitz
  • 30 minutes: Last weeks song
  • 45 minutes: This weeks song
  • 30 minutes: Run through 8-10 songs on set list
  • 15 minutes: Discuss rehearsal, items to work on and new song
  • This may not be the optimal rehearsal schedule for everyone but having everyone on the same page about how rehearsal will be run keeps things flowing smoothly. Do we stick to those times exactly, no they vary depending on trouble spots within songs, etc.

    Hearing Protection

    Our rehearsal space is small (10x15) and after the second rehearsal I began having problems sleeping afterwards due to the ringing in my ears. This is mainly caused by snare, high hat and cymbals. After searching the Internet for suitable ear plugs I decided to try the Etymotic ER20's which I bought on Amazon.com for about $12.00. After the first rehearsal with the ER20's I noticed a huge difference, I could also hear things more clearly during rehearsal. The ER20's provide a flat 20 db cut across all frequencies. Later I may decide to order the custom fitted ear plugs with removable decibel limiters. I use semi-custom earplugs in the race car to listen to my pit crew and they are much more comfortable than standard earplugs. That said after about 30 minutes I did not notice the ER20's until I took them out and the high hat sound about knocked me over.

    Next: Set list development

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