Customizing Your Playing Area

author: thedankle date: 05/14/2005 category: junkyard
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Most of you that play guitar either have a band or just people that you like to jam with. Like many others, my mates enjoy jumping around and kicking stuff while they are playing. This usually causes extensive damage to the area you are playing in, and can make your parents/roommate/significant other very unhappy. Here are some tips for beginners that will help you choose the area to play in and keep it safe from thrashing. Note: this may only be significant for beginners.

What Type Of Room Do I Need?

You obviously need a very large room. The ideal room would need to be slightly larger than a one car garage. The room would preferably need to have a normal height ceiling. If the ceiling is too high you can get a lot of echo. If the ceiling is too low you'll hit your head or something. If possible pick a room that has flat walls. If the ceiling has a pitch you'll smash your head on it or scratch and dent it to death. Try and find a room that's closed off from the rest of the house. I personally find it very distracting to practice in a living room or other room that has open entrances. You run the risk of having a pet or little sister biting you. Carpeting is best for a practice room because it catches some of the echo, and helps protect any falling equipment. If you can't get carpeting throw down a couple rugs.

Use Your Space Wisely

This is sort of a self explanatory statement. Obviously don't put your drum set in the middle of the room. Try and keep all the amps and other equipment against the walls so they don't get knocked over. You can figure this out yourself. I hope.

What Do I Put In My Practice Room?

Get a couple of couches and chairs if you can. If you're going to be spending a lot of time in your room you should have comfortable couches so you don't get sore or something. I suppose that's obvious but do you know where to put your furniture? It's important that you get plenty of furniture in your room. Make sure you cover every wall space with some type of furniture. This will help prevent huge gashes being put in the wall. Don't keep anything too expensive in your room. This is something I learned through experience. My dad was extremely unhappy when my mate went crashing through an expensive pine table. If you don't have any furniture to cover your walls get some washable wall paint. This will help if you rub a mic or something on the wall. The black color will come right off with hot water and a rag. If your band is going to be playing there all the time, consider investing in some recording equipment or computer. If you have windows, cover them with something. I learned that when my mate threw a drum stick through a window. Use something clear like plexy glass if you have it. We even once used spare drum heads. What ever it takes keep your windows from shattering. Most importantly if you have some friends that like to thrash, place some things around the room that can get destroyed, for example that 10 watt amp that you blew last summer.

What Can I Use For Echo Reduction

The best way to kill that annoying echo is to build plaques. I don't think I'm using the correct term, but I'll explain what they are. Plaques are like sheets of plywood that you nail on to your wall. To build them, screw two pieces of 3 ft. 2x4's parallel to each other, spaced one foot apart. Take a square 3x3 ft. piece of smooth ply wood a screw it centered to the two pieces of 2x4. Put a couple of these around the room and there will be less of an echo. They will also protect the walls. If you don't want to do all that work throw down a couple of blankets and pillows. I hope this is a help to all you beginners and pros looking for ways to keep your practice area in better condition for a longer time.
More thedankle columns:
+ Improve Your Performance General Music 08/13/2005
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