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Thread: If you had a blank room...

  1. #1

    Default If you had a blank room...

    We have a room in our house that used to be a den but now has turned more into storage and I'm looking to change that. I want to make it into a place where I can go and practice away from distraction and where no one else says, "do you have to play that all the time?" .

    If you had a blank "canvas", if you will, to make into your practice room, what would you do? I don't record as I want no record of my screw ups but that might change in the future. Room has one wall that is brick, other that is paneled and a brick fireplace with carpet on the floor. Ceiling is approximately 10' with a large, recessed, skylight.

  2. #2
    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    I have a very similar situation right now

    Assuming your temperature and humidity are normal (or at least able to be moderated somewhat):
    --I'd invest in either wall hangers or a multi-instrument floor stand so you always have something ready to grab and play.
    --Make sure the instruments won't be in direct sunlight during the day.
    --Get a tall desk and a tall stool/chair, so you can set up music and/or a computer and practice standing or sitting.
    --Make a quilt out of all your old T-shirts and hang it for acoustic damping.
    --Hang the other artwork that nobody else likes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Surely such a room would require at least one new mandolin.

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  5. #4
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    If I was setting up that particular room for music, I'd pull up the carpet and either refinish the floor if it's worth it, or install hardwood flooring. You can always add an area rug to hardwood floor if the acoustics are too reflective, but there's no way to liven up a carpeted floor.

    Wood flooring is the one thing I miss in the acoustics of my current house, where the two music rooms are wall-to-wall carpeting. Although there are other compensations in size and high ceilings.

    Also if it were me, I'd add a mini fridge for wine and beer, to minimize trips to the kitchen.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Also if it were me, I'd add a mini fridge for wine and beer, to minimize trips to the kitchen.
    mini? why not full size!
    Robert Fear
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    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
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  9. #6
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    I'd paint one wall purple and hang pictures that inspire me to be creative. Id find an armless chair or two (for the guitars) and get a couple instrument stands. You'll need a good place to keep your cases like an empty corner and you'll need a book case for your sheet music and something to keep your accessories in.

    Also, old piano benches are nice cause they are a seat and a storage place.

    Also, also... something to play music recordings on is handy.

  10. #7
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    I refinished my basement as a family room several years back with insulated walls, radiant floor heat under tile floor (also ducted to home HVAC system), CAT 5E drops, in-wall speakers, a wet bar and under-cabinet mini fridge with freezer and ice maker. I had made my son's upstairs bedroom into my music room when he left for college a few years ago. When he finished college last spring he got a job here and moved back in with us so I relocated the instruments and everything down to the basement. I've got my 1980's component stereo system, early 00's 42" plasma (tiny and old tech now I know), beverages and solid LAN connection to play along with YouTube lessons, albums, CD's, etc. Here are some pics (for some reason this tablet often posts pics 90 degrees out so you might have to tilt your head or screen)
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    I keep a couple small room humidifiers when it gets dry. Outside temps are single digits now so I'm having trouble keeping RH above 40%. The room is very live acoustically, and sounds pretty cool with all the strings hanging around to provide sympathetic vibrations.

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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    I'd put a couple sofas, and a bookcase fuul of books and stuff, the more stuff the better. This has worked for me for well over 30 years and I have the recordings to prove it. just saying.
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  12. #9
    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Big leather chair.
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life." --- Mongo

  13. #10

    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Quote Originally Posted by trabb View Post
    Surely such a room would require at least one new mandolin.
    That just happened yesterday.....lol

  14. #11
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Comfortable chairs, cocktail bar, snacks, some friends. Fire in the fireplace won’t hurt anybody’s feeling!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  15. #12
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    I refinished my basement as a family room several years back with insulated walls, radiant floor heat under tile floor (also ducted to home HVAC system), CAT 5E drops, in-wall speakers, a wet bar and under-cabinet mini fridge with freezer and ice maker. I had made my son's upstairs bedroom into my music room when he left for college a few years ago. When he finished college last spring he got a job here and moved back in with us so I relocated the instruments and everything down to the basement. I've got my 1980's component stereo system, early 00's 42" plasma (tiny and old tech now I know), beverages and solid LAN connection to play along with YouTube lessons, albums, CD's, etc. Here are some pics (for some reason this tablet often posts pics 90 degrees out so you might have to tilt your head or screen)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I keep a couple small room humidifiers when it gets dry. Outside temps are single digits now so I'm having trouble keeping RH above 40%. The room is very live acoustically, and sounds pretty cool with all the strings hanging around to provide sympathetic vibrations.
    Mandobart, it looks like you are running a music store

  16. #13

    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Hmmmmmm.....now this is cool.


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  18. #14
    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Quote Originally Posted by B381 View Post
    Hmmmmmm.....now this is cool.


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    Now you're talking.
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life." --- Mongo

  19. #15
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Okay, with that last post with the photo, I have to include my music room. This is the practice room/library, smaller than the parlor where we have "kitchen sessions," but it's super inviting and comfy for solo practice or playing tunes with my fiddler S.O. It's an 1880's Victorian house, which explains the over-the-top wallpaper on walls and ceiling.

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    Very "soft" acoustically though, and I do have to walk to the kitchen for that beer. A mini-fridge just wouldn't fit the ambiance, unfortunately.

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  21. #16
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    My own 'spare' (bed)room is where i have my PC & it's also where i do 99% of my learning / practising. I'd love to have a room as beautiful as foldedpath's music room - that's totally 'my style',i just wish i had a house large enough to furnish it that way. It wouldn't work in a 150 year old small,terraced house.

    As long as i have my PC,& access to either on-line music or uploaded music on my PC, & a nice easy chair to sit in,i'm fine. It's seen me through from just about being able to hold a pick 13 years back,to being a reasonably good mandolin player,
    Ivan
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  22. #17
    en kunnskapssøker James Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Decorate it with various instruments the world over, including a couple of didgeridoo. Maybe make a place to store the mandolin(s) and put some pictures up. Maybe get one of them digital picture things that shows off photos stored on there. Nice easy chair with a footstool, and you can stick your tongue out at those that tell ya to sit up straight and not lay back to play.

    Put an amp in there, small setup with a microphone to drive the neighborhood dogs insane with your tunes & vocals. I'd enjoy doing that if I did not live in a trailer. Too many neighbors around. Good for security, bad for privacy. :\
    • Seagull S8 • Weber Y2K6 • David Hudson Bloodwood Didgeridoo (C#) •

  23. #18

    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    A table or desk, an armless chair, a pen, a notebook or pad, and at least one instrument.

    Also nice:

    - A bookcase.
    - A music stand.
    - If you play along with recordings, then the media you use (iPod, turntable, whatever).
    - A couple of plants to talk to.

    And I love Drew's "art that nobody else likes" suggestion. My "fungeon" is plastered with it.

  24. #19
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Downsized a few years ago. Little change to the Grandblessing’s toy room. Click image for larger version. 

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  25. #20
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Also did this to room off the stage at church to deaden soundsAttachment 165230

    Sorry, using my phone. Not having any luck posting/editing. I’ll just have to leave these and maybe come back later, and maybe not.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  26. #21
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Four or five straight back chairs w/o arms , a desk in a corner w/ a computer terminal and good speakers for a learning center. Add to that three or four music stands and three or four stools that can be moved around as end tables. You are then set for a jam, a lesson a study period or an escape. Personally I leave instruments in their cases. Better safe than sorry.... R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  27. #22
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    Okay, with that last post with the photo, I have to include my music room. This is the practice room/library, smaller than the parlor where we have "kitchen sessions," but it's super inviting and comfy for solo practice or playing tunes with my fiddler S.O. It's an 1880's Victorian house, which explains the over-the-top wallpaper on walls and ceiling.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Music-Room.jpg 
Views:	107 
Size:	370.4 KB 
ID:	165217

    Very "soft" acoustically though, and I do have to walk to the kitchen for that beer. A mini-fridge just wouldn't fit the ambiance, unfortunately.
    That looks like a room Sherlock Holmes would be comfortable practicing in. I assume you wear a dinner jacket when you play? (Pure sarcasm and envy on my part. You would have trouble getting me to leave a room like that.)
    Being right is overrated. Doing right is what matters.

  28. #23

    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Of all the toys I have, if I want to jot something down or notate something, I have to find a large book to employ as a lap desk. Just to have half a writing desk would be sweet. While we're dreaming, a nice carpeted counter for changing strings and tweaking would be nice too.

  29. #24

    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    I refinished my basement as a family room several years back with insulated walls, radiant floor heat under tile floor (also ducted to home HVAC system), CAT 5E drops, in-wall speakers, a wet bar and under-cabinet mini fridge with freezer and ice maker. I had made my son's upstairs bedroom into my music room when he left for college a few years ago. When he finished college last spring he got a job here and moved back in with us so I relocated the instruments and everything down to the basement. I've got my 1980's component stereo system, early 00's 42" plasma (tiny and old tech now I know), beverages and solid LAN connection to play along with YouTube lessons, albums, CD's, etc. Here are some pics (for some reason this tablet often posts pics 90 degrees out so you might have to tilt your head or screen)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	0220181318.jpg 
Views:	125 
Size:	492.8 KB 
ID:	165203
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	0220181318a.jpg 
Views:	114 
Size:	433.3 KB 
ID:	165204
    I keep a couple small room humidifiers when it gets dry. Outside temps are single digits now so I'm having trouble keeping RH above 40%. The room is very live acoustically, and sounds pretty cool with all the strings hanging around to provide sympathetic vibrations.
    What is that interesting looking instrument third from right in the bottom picture?

  30. #25
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had a blank room...

    Quote Originally Posted by Seter View Post
    What is that interesting looking instrument third from right in the bottom picture?
    My 10 string hardanger viola built by Tom "TJ" Jessen of Cricket Fiddle. He also built the 10 string mandocello (top picture, 5th from left), the OM hanging to its right, the 10 string mandola one more to the right and the F5 on the right end.

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