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If you, your partner, or your kids are keen musicians—and you’re lucky to have enough space in your house—building a music room at home could be a dream come true.
Of course, you will need to do some work on the room itself to make it music-making-ready, unless you want to be fielding noise complaints from the neighbors for the foreseeable future!
Here are some tips on how to turn one of the rooms in your house into an epic music room.
1. Choose the Location with Care
First of all, you ideally want your music room in your basement or attic to minimize the amount of sound traveling to the neighbors.
Of the two, a basement room would be preferable if your music-making is going to involve a lot of bass sounds or drumming because—as Michael Harris from soundproofable.com explains—low-frequency sounds travel better downward rather than upward.
Conversely, if the sounds made in the music room are going to be primarily high-pitched—for instance, if someone is playing the violin or practicing their soprano solos—then it would be best to have the music room in the attic.
If you don’t have a basement or an attic, nor an outbuilding such as a garage that you can convert into a music room, then wherever possible, you should choose an internal room that doesn’t share a wall with a neighboring property.
2. Soundproof the Room
Whichever part of the house your music room is in, unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to need to soundproof it. There are many ways to soundproof a room, such as:
- using spray foam around the door and windows, which has the added benefit of providing additional insulation from the cold;
- installing a subfloor in the music room and/or adding an extra layer of drywall to the ceiling of the room below, and putting soundproofing sealant between the two layers;
- installing acoustic panels, which can be made of many different materials;
- using green glue sealant where the walls, floor, and ceiling meet;
- using joist isolators on the floor;
- covering the floor, walls, and ceilings with rugs, throws, and other soft furnishings.
3. Get the Right Equipment
Once you have chosen the best room to turn into your music room and soundproof it, it’s time to treat yourself to some good-quality music-making equipment!
What equipment you need will, of course, depend on the instruments and kind of music you play, but here are some suggestions of the kinds of things you might want to buy:
- amplifiers for your instruments;
- a keyboard;
- an audio mixer;
- a drum set;
- music stands;
- a stereo or a speaker system to play backing tracks on.
If you are short on space and/or money for the latter, remember that you can use a car amplifier at home—these are often cheaper than good home speakers, but still have a high-quality output.
You can find plenty of great car amps at thewireszone.com, and there are several tutorials on the internet—both text-based and video ones—which will take you through all the steps needed in order to use your car amplifier at home.
4. Consider the Décor
If your music room has an energizing and inspiring décor, it will help your creativity and make you more motivated to practice your music.
While the best décor for your music room will obviously depend on your individual tastes and even on the kind of music you play, here are some ideas you might want to consider:
- Dark walls, which are very atmospheric and will remind you of the walls of many concert venues. You could paint the walls a dark color, use dark wallpaper, or even have fun with wall stickers—why not cover the walls with black wall stickers in the silhouette of musical notes and instruments?
- Another way to get you inspired is to hang up posters of your favorite concerts and bands.
- Mirrors, to help you check that you are maintaining the correct posture while playing or singing, or if you need to rehearse dance routines.
- Fairy lights, either plain yellow ones or multicolored ones, depending on the kind of atmosphere you want to create.
- A retro disco ball and/or some sound-activated colorful strobe lights, to help free your inner disco-goer!
- You could also hang unusual instruments, or just any instruments you don’t currently play, on the walls of your music room. Who knows, you might get inspired to incorporate new sounds into your music—and, if not, musical instruments always make fantastic decorations!
5. Put in A Board and Plenty of Notation Paper
Having a blackboard or a whiteboard and a good stack of notation paper and pencils in your music room is a must for any composer.
A board will let you jot down ideas in a way you can easily read to try them out, and once you have a more defined concept, you will want to transcribe it onto notation paper, so you don’t forget it. You can even buy a whiteboard with staves already printed onto it, to save you time and hassle!
6. Don’t Forget the Kids
If you have young children, it’s a good idea to put some age-appropriate instruments in your music room.
While you might not want your toddler playing their glockenspiel in the middle of your own practice, letting your kids have a go at making music with you every once in a while will help them develop their own musicality and will teach them about different sounds and rhythms.
If your child likes singing, you could ask them to join in on your practice and let their inner Elsa shine! You could even buy them a karaoke machine with some exciting disco lights incorporated—your kid is sure to feel like a superstar!
There you have it—you are now all set to create a perfect music room in your house!