“More than anything else, rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul.” -Plato
If you’ve taken up a musical instrument or simply want to spend more quality time at home practicing and improving your playing skills, it stands to reason that you need a space that’s conducive to practice. It takes time and discipline to learn to play an instrument and continue improving your playing skills. Having a music studio or a practice room at home is ideal for storing your musical gear and practicing your instrument regularly. Depending on the instrument you play, you may not need to devote an entire room to your musical pursuits; there are many ways to create home music spaces that can enhance your hobby or even support it as a future profession. Use our helpful guide to set up a room or space in your home for your music practice.
Size and acoustics
First, you’ll want to evaluate your home’s space. If you don’t have an available room, such as a spare bedroom, you may be able to convert your basement, attic, or even garage into your practice setting. On the other hand, keep in mind that your musical instruments and associated gear reflect substantial investment. Without temperature control, a garage may simply not be the ideal space to store your expensive equipment.
On the other hand, many musicians do convert unorthodox spaces into optimum rehearsal spots. You can undoubtedly transform garages and basements into home music practice spaces or studios with the right renovations. Another reason to consider the garage or basement is to accommodate other musicians. You might want to host band practices or simply collaborate with other players at home. You’ll want to have enough room to make these practices possible.
As you consider places to set up your home music studio, think about the space’s acoustics. Some areas offer naturally good acoustics. For instance, rooms with high ceilings can be ideal places to practice a musical instrument. You may also want to install soundproofing and floor coverings to help insulate the sound. These days, you can purchase soundproofing material online for use at home.
Soundproofing may or may not be a priority for you, depending on the instrument you play and when you intend to rehearse. If you start learning piano, drums, or any other loud instruments (or if you play a loud genre such as metal), and you want to play late in the evening, soundproofing will ensure that you don’t disturb other members of the household or even the neighbors.
Music studio gear and equipment
What gear do you need to practice your instrument? If you play the piano, you may not require much else in equipment. However, if you play keyboards, you’ll likely need a keyboard amp, cords, headphones, if you sing you will need a microphone, and a studio desk if you’re a producer. Other gear might include a mixer, PA speakers, and recording equipment. Once you amass all of these items—not to mention other instruments—you are sure to need a convenient place to store them and ensure that they’re easily accessible when you have time to practice.
Fortunately, even if you’re practicing in a compact room, you can often stack your equipment and purchase stands that will accommodate multiple instruments at once. Moreover, technological advances have helped manufacturers produce smaller amps (such as the Spark Mini) that produce high-quality sound and recording equipment that takes up about as much space as laptops. In short, you can fit a lot of terrific gear into tight spaces if need be. The key is to keep your equipment safe, considering the cost of these items.
Also, when buying gear, you’ll definitely want to read reviews before you purchase. Be sure you know what brands and models have the best reputations for quality. Many musicians buy used and vintage gear, which is okay if you purchase from reputable sellers. Many instruments and associated music gear retain value quite well. When buying used, it’s ideal to scrutinize the item before purchasing. That’s not always possible when buying equipment online, so again, only buy from sellers who have a good reputation and solid return policy.
When setting up your practice space, consider your purposes. Do you intend to practice on your own or with a band? Do you want to jam or rehearse professionally? What about recording? Do you want to record your home playing sessions? Each of these considerations can impact your studio design plan.
When setting up the space, ensure that there is room for each musician and their instrument. Be sure to accommodate space for amplifiers and monitors. Once you have a layout in mind, you can strategically position your microphones and PA speakers. If you’re using your area for jamming, allowing musicians to face one another to encourage good communication makes sense.
On the other hand, if you have professional gigs lined up, you might want to set up a more formal rehearsal spot with an actual stage layout. Talk to the other musicians involved in your project and ask for their feedback. Find a design that everyone can agree on.
If you plan to record in your home music studio, you may want to create a soundproof room. For that, you may want to hire a handyman to install a room divider and glass panes, just as they do in professional recording studios. Today, many musicians record from home and can now do so with many budget-friendly options. While setting up a home recording studio can be expensive depending on your design, consider the cost savings you can enjoy by recording at home.
A sofa, chairs, and a table will not be out of place in your home music room. After recording your music, you’ll want to sit back and listen to it. You may also want to collaborate with other musicians before playing. At times, others might want to visit you simply to listen to you play. If you have the room, a few comfortable pieces of furniture will help you turn your home studio into your favorite place to be. Look for good used furniture or invest in a sectional so you can move pieces around as needed.
As any musician’s partner can tell you, there’s a lot of gear that comes with playing music and many associated items that require storage. Not only will you need space to store instrument cases (and hard shell cases can be quite large and bulky), you’ll also need space to store a myriad of cords, instrument stands, microphone stands, pedals, effects boards, and even boxes from newly purchased gear (because, as every musician knows, you get a better deal on the trade when you sell your instrument with the box). When storing these items, don’t forget to consider temperature and humidity.
Although décor isn’t a must for your rehearsal space, it can certainly add a wonderful ambiance to your area. If you have a collection of musical memorabilia, you can showcase it on the walls of your studio. Consider framing and hanging classic album sleeves or concert posters to decorate your practice space. If your band has merchandise, you can incorporate some into your decor, which will work wonderfully when you take promotional photos in the room. You can also use your own instruments as décor; if you play the guitar, you can hang it on the wall and save space too! You can decorate the room in any style that you find inspiring or in some way complements your practice time. Take a look at the home recording studios of some of your favorite musicians to get some ideas for decorating your own practice space.
What about insurance?
You might want to discuss additional insurance for your musical gear with your homeowner’s insurance carrier. While many policies will cover most items in your home, you may wish to purchase added policies for your equipment. These policies can be tricky, however. Your guitars may not be covered if you choose to bring them outside of your home to play—they might require a different policy. Even so, recording equipment, soundproofing, and other stationery studio equipment (such as synthesizers) are not cheap—you want to ensure that your investment is protected.
Tips for learning music at home
Learning to play musical instruments like the drums, guitar, and piano is not as difficult as it may seem. You can educate yourself on it without even having to enroll in pricey programs; all you need to do is practice in the comfort of your home. When it comes to acquiring musical knowledge in the comfort of your own home, you may find that the Internet is your most reliable ally. The vast majority of music lessons are available on video-sharing websites like YouTube, so you must tune in and put in some practice time. Here are a few tips on how you can learn music and instruments easily at your home:
- Choose the instrument you would like to learn how to play
- Get organized with a song list
- Break down the song into pieces
- Start slow
- Study music theory and history
- Record yourself and listen
- Be patient
- Consistent practice
It may take a bit of time to achieve your ideal rehearsal space, but once you get it in order, it’s worth the investment so long as you use the area to improve your playing. Whenever possible, invest in quality equipment. It will function better for you and will also retain its trade-in value over equipment that’s of inferior quality. Naturally, once you get your music room in order, be sure to devote all the time you can to practice. Whether you play in a band or intend to work as a studio musician, your investment in your home studio and gear may find happy returns in your future gigs and performances. From healing to brain development, don’t forget about the many benefits music brings, so go ahead and start practicing!