The Band Share Concept (and why you should consider it)

By August 13, 2018 No Comments
by T. Perry BowersIf I didn’t have my own facility, my band would be a good candidate for a band share. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I invented the offering of the band share on a commercial level at least here in the Twin Cities. I didn’t invent the original concept of band share though; that’s been going on for decades.

Before I was in the rehearsal space business, I rented space for my bands from various other companies in the area. I don’t think we ever had just one band in our space. It was always two, three or four. Each of the bands had a separate night to rehearse. Our band had Mondays, the next one Tuesdays and the third would get Thursdays, or something like that.

I was always sharing space with other bands because it made economic sense. We shared the rent and our share was further split between the members of our band. We never spent more than about fifty dollars each per month. That was important back then. We were broke. It was a challenging task, every month, to collect fifty bucks from each guy.

So the concept is simple: rent a big room, get a bunch of dudes to split the rent, allocate different times to use it, thus making it virtually free to practice once or twice per week. You get five hours for one hundred and ninety five dollars per month.

Back in the day, I was singing in the bands I was in, so I had a PA system. The other bands would use it. I don’t remember whether they paid me to use it or not, I think it was just something I offered to the space.

Now I have about four or five PA systems. The commercial band share rooms at Taylor Sound come equipped with a nice PA system the bands use. It makes setting up and playing easy, almost as easy as having your own room with your own PA, except it is reset and ready to go every time you come into the band share.

When I was sharing spaces with other bands, I would often spend half an hour or more trying to figure out what the heck they had done with the PA. Sometimes it got broken, with no explanation, and of course, no offer to pay for the repair.

With a Band Share here, that’s not possible. The PA is guaranteed to work and is reset before every session.

As well as a singer, I was also an aspiring drummer. I had a kit set up in our space. Sometimes all the bands used it. It was a matter of space. If you had a kit for each band, you’d have no room for anything else. On more than a few occasions I came in to find my shared drum set in a rough state. The kick drum pedal was broken (or missing!). My heads were dented or torn. My hi-hat was jammed. In a professionally managed band share that’s not going to happen.

A drum set is standard in every band share here. We keep them in good working order.

With our band shares you bring your guitars and amps. Set them up and you’re ready to rock. Flip on the PA and the vocals should be dialed in. Maybe the drummer likes a particular pedal, cymbal or snare. Great, just swap it out and start practicing.

If you have a normal amount of gear, you should be rocking in twenty minutes or so. Not much longer than if you had your own space.

There are some drawbacks:

  • You will need to tote your own guitars and amps every time you practice.
  • You can’t keep your stuff in a room where you can practice any time you wish. You will need to store your gear at home.

But there are so many benefits, you might not even notice the drawbacks:

  • Knock on wood, at Taylor Sound, we’ve never had a security breach, but if you’re like me and sometimes worry about your Les Pauls, Strats, vintage drums and amps being stolen out of your practice space, a band share means you can relax. All your gear is safely stored in the security of your own home.
  • Another great benefit is you can jam with other people. If you want to audition a drummer or a singer, the gear is there ready to go.
  • The space is well maintained so when you come in you don’t have to spend precious time calling other band members to ask where the third microphone is or why the kick pedal’s spring is broken.
  • You band can take the next step towards professionalism. You’re sharing the same space used by professional musicians around the world. The rooms and gear have been designed for the most discerning bands.
  • The rooms are big. I spent years playing in rooms that were barely big enough for our gear, much less the band members. The guitar players could hardly move. The drummer had to do acrobatics to get behind the kit. It was tight. It’s much roomier with a band share.

So, if your band practices once per week and you don’t want to shell out three, four or five hundred bucks per month for a practice space consider a band share.   You’ll get professional gear that is maintained and ready to go, space to breathe and you’ll be able to sleep next to your precious guitars at night.