I thought I’d answer this subject because it’s come up a few times recently in a couple of different ways. “How do you set up your guitar practice room?”, “How should I set up my guitar practice room?” This is a great question, and I’ll answer it from personal experience.
You need space: I have adequate room for my rig. Whether it’s an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar with an amp and pedalboard, it’s up to you. You’ll need enough room to get everything set up and ready to begin. Don’t forget to leave enough room for your cases to be stored. If moving stuff and making space for everything to be set up becomes a bother, you’ll have a reason not to play. Remove as many obstacles as possible so that it’s only a matter of connecting in and switching a few switches. I’m constantly fighting the urge to stack stuff on my amp and put things in the way. Another thing I do is transport an amp head between home, rehearsal, and shows. I have a speaker at home that I use only for practicing and another at rehearsal that I use for both rehearsal and gigging. It makes transporting a complete amp easier, and it gives me the same tone no matter where I am (the head also includes a power soak to keep noise levels down when I’m at home).
Setup your outlets for ease of access: You won’t practice as much if you have to run extension wires all around your room, apartment, or house to do so. You require electricity in the same way that you require room.
Organize the tools you need for playing your instrument: Have everything you’ll need to play. Picks, spare strings (just in case), a slide (if you use one), an elbow (because they’re amazing), batteries (depending on your electronic demands), printed music (sheet music, lead sheet, or tab), cables, and a tuner are just a few examples. You may require anything else that I haven’t considered. I occasionally pick up a different form of pick or some other toy to test out just as a recommendation. I’ll put it in my practice area and see if it sparks any ideas.
Metronome: If you don’t have one, you can either purchase one or use an app. Learn to use the mouse to complete tasks. It’s harsh, but it’ll make you a better musician.
Setup your tabs and sheet music if you use one: Have a place to put it whether you’re reading music, tab, or lead sheets. Nothing is more irritating than having to put music in a difficult-to-see location, such as at the end of your bed or on the floor.
Write down your music (optional): Get a guitar tab or music sheet journal to put your music in a format that you can understand for later when you want to record it or even just to make it better.
Recording Equipment: Have a way to record your ideas, whether you’re old school and use a four-track or you’re ready to record to Pro Tools at the drop of a hat. Because music is aural in nature, you should be able to capture it and play it for your bandmates. A solid set of studio monitors and a good pair of studio headphones are also recommended.
Hopefully, this has given you some insight into what you should have on hand or what should be in your guitar space when training. If you believe your skill level isn’t quite there yet, you might want to look into taking some online classes.
If you have any additional suggestions, please comment below or you can contact me.