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August 18, 2011 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Where can I play drums without annoying people?

For thirty years I've wanted to own a drum set, but never have. It's time to graduate from air drumming to drum drumming. I'm ready to buy a kit and start making some noise.

But I have no space for a kit -- acoustic or electronic -- in my house. Even if I did have the space for an acoustic kit, I'd very quickly get complaints about the noise from neighbors.

FWIW, I've played electronic drums, but I think I'd rather go acoustic at this point. Mostly because it's a cheaper entry cost, but also mostly because I prefer acoustic drums. Also, I love real cymbals.

I'm not ready -- or good enough -- to join a band yet, so that means I can't get in on a band's practice space.

So where can I play drums? Are there places that rent soundproof rooms for musicians?
posted by the matching mole to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yep! This is very common, actually.
posted by resurrexit at 12:43 PM on August 18, 2011

There are many rehearsal studios in San Antone, just winnow out all the upper-scale recording ones and you should be able to find a practice space. The ones I've played in were not typically "soundproof," but that's more of a hallmark of recording anyway. You just want someplace to bash, so find out where all the metalheads and wedding bands practice and go there. It will probably be fairly cheap ($20/hr?) unless you want to have a place to actually keep your drums, which you can do.
posted by rhizome at 12:44 PM on August 18, 2011

there are absolutely practice spaces for rent. try calling up the local clubs - the same places bands rent you can rent. in smaller towns, i've had friends find the most run down storage sheds that are half out of town and used it for practice. the bonus is you can store your drums there as well.
posted by nadawi at 12:46 PM on August 18, 2011

One way to both get some practice and find a practice space would be to pay for lessons. It may be around the same amount that you would spend to rent practice space, and the guy doing the lessons could easily have a place for you to practice during the lessons and possibly in between for free.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:47 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, there are plenty of rehearsal studios in San Antonio. As an added bonus, a lot of places will even rent you a kit (and set it up for you!) for a small fee. I did this with a bunch of friends (though we had no intention of ever actually being a band), and it was completely cool to get as loud as we felt like.
posted by Gilbert at 12:49 PM on August 18, 2011

Years and years and years ago there used to be a guy who set up his kit in an empty lot right next to the freeway (280 between HP and Vallco Fashion Park in Cupertino).
posted by humboldt32 at 12:55 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

You can get in on a band's practice space, actually! When my old band had our own rehearsal space we let another band come in at certain hours during the week for a monthly fee. It helped offset the cost of renting and we weren't there at that time anyway. If there's a rehearsal studio around, put up a flyer asking if anyone is up for that arrangement. Someone will probably bite.

Oh, and if you rent someplace by the hour and can't store your drums there, factor in setup time.
posted by corey flood at 1:07 PM on August 18, 2011

Yeah, self storage places seemed to be popular when I knew many people in bands. I was looking for a place to store a car recently and I found that some of them actually offer band rehearsal space as a service.
posted by ZeroDivides at 3:15 PM on August 18, 2011

Thanks for all the input, folks!

I visited the Jeff Ryder drum shop yesterday and will sign up for lessons -- $70 a month gets me 30 minutes behind a monster kit, with an instructor, four times a week. That'll get me started.

After I get my chops I'll look for a place with drums and amps to rent so my guitar friends and I can plug in and start fucking shit up.
posted by the matching mole at 7:09 AM on August 19, 2011

Four times a week with a teacher is a lot. Keep in mind separating the teacher and the playspace, I think once a week is fine for lessons and you'll want plenty of time besides that for practicing and "practicing."
posted by rhizome at 3:41 PM on August 19, 2011

Look into mesh drum heads when you get the room for an acoustic set. The Pearl Rhythm Traveler has a lot of positive reviews.
posted by thatdawnperson at 5:29 PM on August 19, 2011

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