How to Optimize Your Practice Space

How to Optimize Your Practice Space

Every musician is familiar with the struggles of finding the perfect place to practice. In this article, you’ll find several suggestions for optimizing and maintaining a practice space that you can make your own. 

Every musician is familiar with the struggles of finding the perfect place to practice. Distractions happen of course, but another common issue that prevents musicians from developing a practice routine is how they sound. Especially for beginners, practice sessions at home can prove to be stressful. Maybe a parent is dismayed how their child sounds when they make mistakes, or maybe a pet hides or barks when practice begins. Even professionals who need to maintain their skills find that practicing in an apartment or hotel room can prove to be challenging. In this article, you'll find a concise guide for optimizing and maintaining your own practice space.

Limit Distractions. Make sure the equipment in your practice room is built for practice and not for entertainment. Reduce screen time to encourage focus. Utilize what screens you do have for practice as well, like using a drone app on your phone or having a tablet only to display sheet music. 

Keep a consistent time for practice. Maybe you’re an early bird or you like to fit in practice right after work. Either way, consistency is key. It also helps you to find a time that fits within the established schedule of your family, roommates, or if/when an apartment complex requires quiet hours.

Find a mute that suits your needs. There are two types of mutes that you can use on your violin, viola, or cello: a Tourte mute and a practice mute. Both mute types suppress the sound from the instrument, but do not fully prevent the sound. Rather, it allows a player to soften the tone of their playing and does not project as much as unmuted playing would. They also come in a variety of fun colors!

For moments that require you to practice with as little sound projection as possible, using a metal mute is most ideal. 

Models like the Artino are solid metal that are essential for late-night practicing (since the tight fit of the metal blocks a lot of sound) but players should use caution with metal mutes, as they can fall off and potentially scratch the instrument.

There are rubber-coated and plastic-covered metal practice mutes that also work great for sound control and reduce the danger of scratches.

Keep practice essentials in the same spot in your designated space. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it helps to have what you use every single time you practice close by. If you’re uncertain what to include in your practice space, consider the following:

Our Practice Essentials Bundle is a great place to start building your own space if you haven’t yet already!

Invest in sound-proofing your space. Several products exist out there to help reduce your decibel output. You may have to do some research to find the price that works best for you, but acoustic panels, foam, blankets and rugs are a great option for insulating your practice room. These panels all help absorb sound and can be a huge help when it comes to practicing in an apartment, dorm, or bedroom. They also come in a variety of cool shapes and designs. Consider also using furniture that absorbs sound, like a cushioned couch or chair vs. a plastic or metal one.

Set up your space for maximum acoustic treatment. If you are a burgeoning professional musician, transforming your practice room into a mini recording studio can be an invaluable resource. Many of the materials you can get for soundproofing can double as a way to improve a space for recording, simply by the way a musician utilizes the panels to distribute soundwaves around the room. Having a quiet and accessible room to use as a recording studio is an essential aspect of learning, since recording your work can help you measure your progress, the value of your practice time, and can help you with preparing a portfolio or audition.

Check out the Shar Music® Pinterest board here for some ideas on how to spice up your space!

What does your practice room look like? Share it with us! Are there any suggestions you have, or tips for future players? Leave a comment below!

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