These days, a garage band is a misnomer. It more points to a type of music compared to where the band rehearses. While the garage, living room or other part of a house seems like a good place to set up and rehearse, there are some significant benefits of a rehearsal studio. From keeping interpersonal relationships intact to avoiding noise violations and beyond, a rehearsal studio makes sense on a number of levels.
Keeps Everyone Happy
One of the biggest benefits of a rehearsal studio is that it keeps everyone happy. Everyone includes your spouse, girlfriend, roommates, family you get the picture, who love your music and are your biggest supporters. However, they will tire of hearing your band play the same songs week after week. They are devoted but no one but the band members can be that devoted.
Everyone also includes your neighbors. They may be the coolest neighbors in the world but there will be times that they wish that you were not in a band. It also limits your rehearsal times to either day time or early evening hours. No burning the midnight oil at your home – that will yield a visit from the police and possibly a costly ticket.
By having a rehearsal studio, you can crank it up as loud as you need to, most likely have more space available than you would in a home and if need be you can keep playing until your fingers fall off, late in the night or early morning. Having the flexibility of being able to turn up or rehearse into the night is huge and everyone is happy.
More Secure Storage
The second benefit to a rehearsal studio is that they tend to be a more secure place to store your expensive musical gear. Most rehearsal studios have great security, including steel doors, multiple deadbolts and other locking mechanisms on the doors and security camera’s.
Some of the worst looking studios in the worst neighborhoods have never had an actual break in to any of the rooms; the only time anything goes missing is due to a band not locking up their room.
If you practice at home, neighbors and passersby can hear the music as well as see you loading your gear in and out of the house. A rehearsal studio, while known to be a place that has expensive gear, gives you a level of security that no house can offer without a large investment of time and money.
Another huge benefit of a rehearsal studio is the fact that you are surrounding yourself with other musicians. While the bands right by you may not be the same genre, chances are you will find bands in the studio that are. Countless bands have booked shows because of other bands wanting them on the bill.
That discovery is made much easier by letting them hear you live in your rehearsal room. The gigs you get from this type of networking can be some of the best that you can get, especially for a band that is new and doesn’t have contacts from previous bands.
Not Your Electricity Bill
Amps gobble up electricity like it is going out of style. Most bands draw enough current, between guitar, bass and PA, that a normal household’s electrical circuit panel cannot handle it. Rehearsal studios are designed around the demands that the bands are going to put on the electrical system and typically have multiple drops, giving the band all the power and amperage that they need.
Cooling 4 to 8 hard working musicians during rehearsal requires an additional load on your hosts’ air conditioning system and that will surly raise the electric bill. On top of this, the typical monthly cost to rent an hourly rehearsal studio, at least in this area, is about the same as a typical house’s electric bill.
Those that have had home rehearsals regularly know how much their power bill can go up from those few hours each week of extra electricity draw. The cost for a band to rehearse at home for 8 hours can be almost 100 dollars each month just in electricity!
Factor that in with other expenses and the host of the rehearsal at their home will be paying out almost the same amount a rehearsal studio would have cost each month. Rehearsal studio costs are split, home rehearsals costs typically are not. Is that a fair proposition for your band mate?
Shifts the Rehearsal’s Focus
The final benefit to a rehearsal studio is that your band has to commute to get there. This puts everyone more in a work frame of mind. There is a sense of purpose that can be lost while rehearsing in someone’s home. At a home, there is a more relaxed hanging out type atmosphere. The commute typically puts people into a bit more of a work mode that can make rehearsal more productive.
Updated: August 24, 2009
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