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.
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.
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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