The best music practice spaces have all the important stuff like instruments, materials and tools within close range. If you have to go through the troubles of packing and unpacking cables, or looking for something as small as a pick every time you want to practice, then you’ll end up not achieving so much even after spending months with your instrument. Make sure your practice space has all you need within reach so that whenever you want to practice, all you need to do is just turn on your power socket for all your instruments and gear, plug in your guitar, do some minor settings, and play away!
Below are some essential “must have’s” in your practice space:
Room and Floor Space – You need room space to set up everything, from your guitar cases, to amps, speakers, chairs, props etc. You also need enough floor space for your pedalboard; you can free up floor space by hanging some of your guitars on the wall. If there’s any reason for you to unpack, unbox or disassemble cables and stuff all the time you want to practice, you would end up with a thousand and one reasons not to play. Take away everything that would likely stand as a barrier or obstacle, clear up enough space for your set up.
Tuner – Playing a tuned guitar largely develops your hearing skills. A tuner is a must-have for your practice space because sometimes your guitar may go slightly out of tune even without it being touched; having a tuner within reach helps you tune it back into setting. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced guitarist, playing with a properly tuned guitar just feels right!
Stools – You can have one or more of these (your space, your choice!) Even if you’re a guitarist that likes to stand while playing, after few hours of standing, its important to take a rest on a comfortable stool (and still play if you will).
Music Stand – This takes a small amount of floor space and it’s important to have one, it helps you keep your sheet music conveniently instead of somewhere like the couch or floor. It also helps you get the right sitting or standing posture while playing, so instead of having strains from bending over and developing bad habits, having a music stand would allow you peer into your sheet music with ease.
Pen and Paper – A lot of jotting and writing goes on in the practice space of many musicians. Having a pen and paper handy makes it easier for you to pen down thoughts and ideas. Instead of wasting time looking for it in a hurry, have it on your music stand where it’s easily accessible.
Guitar Stands – Leaning your instrument against the wall or dropping it on the floor is a BAD BAD idea. Your instrument faces the risk of damage. Keeping it in cases would not work either because the mere thought of packing, unpacking and tuning the guitar everyday can discourage you. It just has to be a guitar stand.
Accessory boxes – Adaptors, spare strings, extension cables, screws and nuts, screw drivers, cable reels, cables, etc. need to be protected from humidity and dust, store them in a carton or box, your space will even look much less rowdy.
Drink holders – It’s okay to get thirsty for water or a drink while practicing, but ever thought of what would happen if you keep the drink on the floor or table and it spills on your rug, amp, guitar or even pedalboard?
Portable Recording Device – You should listen to yourself during or after practicing, it helps you keep track of your progress and express new ideas too. You can share your recordings with colleagues or friends and get feedbacks, solutions and ideas on how to improve. There are many recording apps available today for smartphones and laptops, you could do with any of them, or you can use a looper pedal to record if you have one.
Metronome – Helps you keep time on a beat, its a must have; buy one or download a metronome app on your smartphone.
The more time you spend in setting up your practice space, the less time you’ll spend practicing.
Don’t forget to take away any and every possible distraction from your practice space like your games console, PC, mobile phone, iPod, TV, etc., you need the highest level of concentration you can get.
What else do you think would be suitable for your practice space? Let us know in the comment section below.