I've tried rehearsal studios, but you can hear the band next to you, so they aren't good for recording or writing.

I've thought about renting office space, but the neighbors probably wouldn't appreciate the noise from my band rocking out. We use an acoustic drum set, and that's very loud.

I've read that Wilco has a loft in Chicago for this purpose, but I don't understand how they aren't bothering other people in the building.

Surely there must be a solution to this.

Any suggestions aside from buying a house?

EDIT: Want to clarify that electric drums are not an option. I'm looking for a place we can play full volume on an acoustic set.

  • I'm not sure if this is on-topic here - it's sort of like an equipment search. That said, I wish I had an answer to this. In the mid-atlantic, all the storage space companies have instituted policies prohibiting band practice, and even before that most storage areas had no available power. There are practice spaces around but they are pretty expensive. In my bands, most of the writing has been done in a quiet, acoustic, apartment setting, with final polish applied at weekly band practice. Commented May 6, 2016 at 13:49

2 Answers 2


Most cities have rehearsal rooms, and most I have used have been very well soundproofed, so you may have just not found a good one. Hunt around - ask other bands where they practice.

In city centres, practice rooms I have hired over the last 7 years have been anywhere from £20 for 3 hours to £50 for 4 hours, so not really a high cost.

Aside from that, in the past I have hired stables, warehouse rooms, barns and even a cellar, once. There are a lot of options for this. And they can be very cheap.

Another thing to remember is that you do not need to practice loud (in fact most industry bodies recommend practicing at reduced volume, as practice rooms are usually small and so the damage to your ears can be exacerbated) so you could try damping your drums (or practicing on an electric drum kit or practice drums) in order to keep quiet.

Adding soundproofing to a room is also a good way to reduce the noise enough to practice in a house without upsetting the neighbours if you can take the drum volume down enough.

  • For me, weekly band practice is specifically about practicing A) with the rest of the band and B) at concert volume, but I wear earplugs for all band practices and gigs. I find there are too many important subtleties that are different depending on the volume of my amp - so much so that different sized rooms are a bit of a challenge for me to be fully prepared for a gig - and I have to get some practice at gig volume in or I'll be thrown off too much at the gig. Commented May 6, 2016 at 14:57
  • We did go through a full volume phase and managed to hire rooms underground that used to be a bonded warehouse. That was great fun, but damaging in the long run.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 15:40
  • Earplugs, man. I recommend them to all the musicians I meet. I even wear them for running live sound. Commented May 6, 2016 at 16:25
  • How would you do this in a warehouse? I imaging a giant open concrete hall. Would you put sound treatment on the walls and build a sound booth inside it? Commented May 6, 2016 at 19:59
  • 1
    Nope. We just played loud and accepted the reverb :-)
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 20:08

One solution might be to take the volume of your band down to a level where you can practice just about anywhere without bothering anyone. Pick up a used electronic drumset, use amp sims for guitars/bass instead of amps, purchase a used mixer and a headphone distribution amp to run headphones to all your band mates so you can get the feeling of playing loud without blasting out the neighbors.

There will be a little residual sound from electronic drums and the vocalist, but this should not be to bad for your neighbors. As long as you are practicing during reasonable hours in the day you should be ok.

  • Question is about how to find a room where we can play with an acoustic drum set. Commented May 6, 2016 at 18:53
  • That wasn't specified in the original question. Also, the question is too specific to your area to provide a definitive answer for you. Proper soundproofing is extremely difficult and expensive. So if you cannot find a space already setup for this or a space far enough a way from neighbors to bother anyone, the only other option is to reduce your band's volume. Then finding a place will be much easier or you could even use your own (or a band mate's) place. As a drummer myself I had to switch to electronic drums for quiet practice a few years ago, so I speak from experience on the noise issue.
    – Tekkerue
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 19:19
  • Quote from original question: "We use an acoustic drum set, and that's very loud." Commented May 6, 2016 at 20:00
  • What I mean was your edit of "electronic drums are not an option" and you have to practice at full volume. I know you have an acoustic drum set, but my suggestion was to not use it in order to bring the overall volume down. You're looking for suggestions about practice place and not bothering the neighbors but there are limited options here. If you cannot find a space fully soundproofed or far away from neighbors (this depends entirely on the area you live in, which you know better than us) then the only option left is to reduce your band's volume. That will open up more spaces to you.
    – Tekkerue
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 20:19

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