How far is your commute to practice?


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An old guitar player friend of mine is starting a new band of top tier players and is giving me the opportunity to take the reins on drums.

I jammed with them last Wednesday and everything was pretty tight. Everyone did their homework before the jam and muscled out a dozen or so songs.

The problem is, I'm the farthest away from their spot, at about an hour each way. They are all under 40 minutes.

The plan for this project is to start booking gigs that are not the 100/person bar gig. Hopefully more money, bigger gigs, weddings, corporate events, etc.

They only want to play once a month out or every other month, hut the commute for me is still the concern to see if the gig money will offset the cost to commute.

I plan to do a couple practices to see how the commute effects me, last week half the town that they play in was flooded so it took me 1.5 hours to get there, so that's a bad start.

What is your typical commute to practice and does it feel worth it?
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Band I'm jamming with trying to get off the boards is about 30 mins away. I don't mind I get a brass section, an 8 piece band to drive and a bassist who is every drummers dream come true.

Roadworks on M6 J10 have been the bane of my life when I've had to take detours!

Other than that I don't practice with my main band at all. We had covid off and just went straight back into gigging. Only time we got together before was to audition a singer but he's like us and just hit the ground running.

If you can get on the good earner gigs doing corporate & function do it. It makes the miles worthwhile trust me. You'll stop practicing over time because you'll get that used to each other.
My band has a practice room 60 minutes (driving) from where I live. I'm pretty used to it since my last band had the same distance. But, I am blessed with living very close to work, so it does not really feel like a big deal to practice once a week (usually). If I had to drive for a while to work and back each day, it might be a slightly more unpleasant deal, but I think I would still do it if I liked the band and what we accomplish together. And also have good, solid rehearsals. Even though I can't practice at home, I listen to the material a lot before going to practice, so it has not happened yet that we had a rehearsal with no progress (with the band I have now). So that driving time feels less tiresome when there is a definate progress.
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I drive a lot, rehearsals are 45 km from where I live and most gigs are between 45 mn / 1h30. That’s a lot IMO, that’s why I’m a bit picky about the payment for the gig.
Here in Central Washington, you often have to drive to where the gigs are.

I've been in two working cover bands since moving here. The first one took jobs anywhere within a 100 mile radius, which meant drives of over an hour for our most remote gigs. the one I'm in currently is based in a lakeside resort town about an hour away, so I commute to those gigs as well. Sometimes it's not the distance but the remoteness that makes the drive long. I've played a few gigs in a town nestled up in the mountains that's not terribly far as the crow flies, but the trip is on a winding 35 mph road. That takes well over an hour.

Originals bands have it worse, as there are far fewer venues here locally that cater to live original music. It's not uncommon to schlep all the way to Seattle, a 3-hour drive. For what most originals bands make for gigs, that's the opposite of profitable.
I live about 30 min from our practice spot. I love the band so much, I'd happily drive an hour, but I can't say this about every band I've been in. Some weren't even worth the commute from my living room to my basement.
I was in a band that required a two hour one-way commute. After four sessions I told the band mates that I would continue to play in the band if we could get completely through a set once a month. It never happened. And because the band was not progressing to my Expectations, I quit. It was a tough decision. I really enjoyed hanging out with those people.
I currently live 15 minutes from one bands practice spot and 5 minutes from the other. I live in the CA Bay Area and we talk distance in time. Traffic can vary a commute time by a lot. It’s not 45 miles to the gig, it’s two hours to get there and 45 minutes to get home.
Since the distance to my drums is best measured in kilometres and not meters, I'm not happy with it. It's about 5km/20 minutes door to door, which isn't the worst by any means, but I cash I lived in a house and could have my drums in the basement.
I'm a bit of an outlier here, but I travel from North Carolina to Florida for rehearsals, so about a nine-hour drive each way.

Most of the band is in Florida, but there are a couple from NC, one from South Carolina, and one is from Vegas. Thankfully, everyone walks in with their part 99% worked out on their own so all we have to do is smooth out details and transitions when we practice together. It isn't the kind of situation that would work for everyone, but I enjoy the gig and I'm compensated well enough to make it work.
2km/1.25mi by bike to my studio.
Where I live I gauge at least an hour to drive anywhere. Ironically, when I lived closer to all of my music friends, I didn’t work as much as I do now. So maybe it’s a karma thing: once I stopped complaining about how far to drive, things started happening?

Probably has something to do with having the additional income to maintain the cars without having to worry about that too.
We don't rehearse much any more, unless we have an unusually long period without gigs, or have some specific material to learn that we need to arrange in person (pretty much anything we add to the sets these days, we all learn on our own and we just start playing it at an opportune time at the next gig). Or if we are adding several new songs, which doesn't happen often. We're pretty fortunate that we're tight enough that we can add songs without rehearsing, much of the time. (Group chat... "have this song ready for Friday night". The others discuss any key changes needed, who is singing what part, we clarify that we're doing it "like the record" and how we're gonna end it. Works pretty well, for us.)

When we do rehearse, it's at one of two places, one of which is about 5 minutes away from my home, the other is about 30 minutes away. The larger issue is that our bass player doesn't drive, and lives 45 minutes away, so one of us needs to get him, and another needs to take him home. He will provide gas money, but it can make for a long night, so we don't rehearse unless we have a need to.

We drive longer for gigs, much of the time. 2 hours isn't unusual, for us. Often we do some hashing out of stuff on the ride to gigs, playing it on the trucks system and singing along, or pointing out certain passage where we'll do something different.
We practice in my bonus room. But, if I had to practice farther away I would consider:
1. Is there a drum kit already in the practice room?
2. Are the other musicians prepared for rehearsals?
3. Do I like them?
4. Do we get good gigs?
I purposely equipped my downstairs room ( @ 12x 26 ) with a decent PA, bass and guitar amps and keyboard so I wouldn't have to drive anywhere . Its worked in my favour 99 per cent of the time . It has to be something special for me to stray too far from the nest .
I walk down the steps to my practice room/den, and host rehearsals for my main band. I'm in a practice trio that I drive half an hour for. A half hour seems to be the magic # for me, providing there is most of a kit there. I don't tear down and set up for rehearsals any more, and it would have to be one helluva gig to drive an hour each way.