Poor practise facilities:-(

Visiting England for a few days so I tracked down a studio which would let me do some practise. After booking and paying for two hours, I was shown to a room with dirty carpets and broken furniture, where I was told I could not adjust the kit as it was set for the tutor and he didn`t like people moving things.
Sitting down to play, the drum stool was loose, the high hats were cracked with no clutch, there were no cymbal locks, one of the cymbals was such poor quality it "clanged" and the kick pedal moved around the floor as the clamp was broken.
REALLY!!! Is this normal? How can studios charge musicians good money to use their facilities and then provide such poor service.
I don`t expect a Gretsch USA custom kit but one which works would be good.
Anyone else had similar experiences in other countries?
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
name and shame the place so we can all avoid it. i would have demanded money back. if the tutor is sp precious about his settings why does he allow a broken clamp?

where are you based now?
j
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
That's just ridiculous! There should be a law against drum abuse- especially when you are charging people to play them!
 

David Floegel

Silver Member
There should be a law against drum abuse- especially when you are charging people to play them!
+1 - definitely


Really, can't you get your money back? I mean, you could better practice on your knees than on that kit :) and you wouldn't have to pay for your knees
 

falcifer

Junior Member
I'm new to this sort of thing but when I was looking into recording I did come across a guy building a recording studio from scratch. He was putting a lot of work and effort into it, so these pictures are a very drastic contrast.

Don't places allow you to look around at the equipment beforehand? Especially now, I would be asking to see the facilities before handing over any money. Anyone who refuses to let you see things first is surely going to be trying to hide something.
 

Boom

Silver Member
I can name plenty of places - especially in London - that are a joke. The standard of rented/shared kits has been appalling for ages.

.
I think you should name them. Why keep it secret? That is the point of forums, to exchange information and what better way than to prevent a fellow member from wasting their money and time on a business that is a joke?

Name all of them.
 

evolving_machine

Silver Member
It is the same in the DC area, and in New York/ New Jersey rehearsal studios. In the cities an acoustic environment is what you are paying for, not really the drum kit, Real Estate. I can only assume that in most cities it is the same thing.

These rehearsal studios are booked, they are a small group of suppliers, and when you need to use them their schedules are booked, it is hard to get time booked in their studios and it is hard to just pick your self up and go to the next supplier. And they always raise their prices in unison as well. We pay about $60 an hour in D.C. just rehearsal, not recording.

I have to bring my own snare, hi-hat stand, all my cymbals, and pedals. Many times there are lugs missing from some of the drums. Sometimes the bass drum is stuffed so much with foam that I have to really pound on the bass beater to be heard. They just open the doors and let us use the equipment for a while. I do not think the singers, guitar players have as much problems with their PA or Amps in these places.
 
The studio I used was Greenbank studio in Luton. It was a shame really because I think it could be a really good place.
I am based in Switzerland now where it is really hard to find practise space.
I guess one of the worst things about damaged gear is that it was probably caused by another drummer!
 

Mark_S

Silver Member
Funny you should mention that place - I'm pretty sure I rehearsed there a couple of times a few years ago. I always took my own kit though. Shame as from what I remember it wasn't a bad place at the time, and I liked the area you can go sit down in and have a drink or snacks. It was much nicer than some of the places in Leicester I've been in!

But yes.. unfortunately over here quality rehearsal studios seem to be few and far between. Half of them you wouldn't even want to go to the toilet in..

I would mention a great one in Leicester I use now with one of the bands but not sure if I'd be breaking forum rules.
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
I think you should name them [. . .] what better way than to prevent a fellow member from wasting their money and time on a business that is a joke?
The picture of the knackered snare was from Islington Arts Factory and the rest were from Survival Studios in Acton [both North London]. The pictures were taken within the last couple of years but I doubt either has improved much. There were a string of overpriced crap-houses that I used back then - especially in places like Denmark Street [Central-ish London] - but I haven't got pictures of those.

I have to bring my own snare, hi-hat stand, all my cymbals, and pedals. Many times there are lugs missing from some of the drums. Sometimes the bass drum is stuffed so much with foam that I have to really pound on the bass beater to be heard. They just open the doors and let us use the equipment for a while. I do not think the singers, guitar players have as much problems with their PA or Amps in these places.
This is pretty much the case for me now: I have taken to bringing snare, cymbals, and all my hardware (including throne) to any given rehearsal room: all they need to do is provide a bass drum and I can cope without toms [although as you can see from the pictures, sometimes a working bass drum was asking too much]. I'd love to say it's the downtrodden drummer that's gets the raw deal out of everyone but usually the amps, mics, cables etc in these places are hopeless as well. What's more, the staff they get to look after these places invariably don't know anything about the equipment or that there's anything wrong with it when it's broken.

Once I turned up to a rehearsal and there was a gaping hole in the bass drum batter head. Seeing as the resonant head had already been "ported" with what must have been a rusty bread knife I went to the desk to ask for a replacement. The fact that I had to explain to the member of staff there what a drum head is and what it is for did not bode well.

The studio I used was Greenbank studio in Luton [. . .] I guess one of the worst things about damaged gear is that it was probably caused by another drummer!
That's interesting - I've used them before, but like Mark_S I used my own kit so I can't vouch for the state of the drums. He is right about it being one of the better places generally, though. It just seems the standard nationwide [or perhaps worldwide] just ain't that great anymore.

I think your point about "another drummer" is the saddest one; although it's clearly the responsibility of the venues to maintain the standard of equipment they are charging for, I am appalled at what some people can actually do to a kit. The most common [unchecked] abuse I see is on bass drum batter heads. So many times I have seen a situation where the player has shoved his boot so hard up against the chain of the pedal that it has gouged a dent - and eventually a hole - in the head. Now I was a clueless beginner once, like all of us, but I have never done anything that stupid - even to a rented kit. I guess, like a lot of things, some people just figure it's someone else's problem.
 

kuren84

Senior Member
I have played some pretty dog aweful kits in practice rooms in the past and i agree with all the comments. But as it has been said it is such a shame that is actually one of our very own who in 95% of the cases has caused the damage. I agree that it is the venue that has overall responsability. Perhaps they should charge less and maybe they should check the kit after a practice and charge extra accordingly. Or maybe people should just have a bit more respect for the kit and the next drummer.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I remember using an excellent studio in SE London near Plumbstead (can't remember the name, sadly) with a band I was in a few years ago. We used a big studio live room when there wasn't recording taking place. I took my own drums and there was plenty of space for everyone.

More to the point, there was a motorised glitter ball in the ceiling. There are very few things funnier to a bunch of late-teenagers than a motorised glitter ball.
 
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