One of the great things about living in Brighton is the amount of variety there is for absolutely everything. Whether it’s cafe’s, pubs, venues or shops, Brighton is brimming with variety and it’s offering of rehearsal rooms is no different. The downside of having such variety? Knowing which studios to actually use! I’ve lived in this fair city for about 8 years now and have spent a considerable amount of that time sweating out in almost all of the rehearsal rooms on offer. Some were OK, some were terrible and some were brilliant.
So let’s break down a little bit of what Brighton has to offer. I’ve detailed out what you can get for your money, prices at different times of the day and if you’re a fellow drummer, the rates you can expect to hire a room solely to use the drum kit. This is really useful if you aren’t able to have your drums set up at home. I’ve used this option many times to iron out any kinks on a new song/set before an important gig. Many of these rooms offer discounts too, which I've have added in.
So here are some of my favourites, in no particular order.
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 10am - Midnight. Sun: 10am - 10pm
Cancellation Policy: 48 Hours
Contact Details: 01273 819617 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Tramway House, 43-45 Coombe Terrace, Lewes Road, Brighton, BN2 4AD
Brighton Electric is my go to rehearsal room in recent years. I’ve recorded there, I’ve rehearsed there and I’ve filmed music/live videos there. It’s fair to say, I’ve spent the majority of my ‘rehearsal time’ there. They have 17 rehearsal rooms situated in the one building on Lewes Road (next to the bus station and close to the large Sainsburys). These rooms vary in sizes and price and are all ducted with fresh air. Some even have air con (a rare luxury!). This used to be an old school so you’re effectively rehearsing in a refurbished classroom. Pretty cool.
What’s great about these guys is that they have a wide variety of guitar/bass combos, heads and cabs on offer that you can request (at no extra cost) to be ready and waiting for you, in whichever room you book. Easily the most ‘customisable’ rehearsal room available because you and your band can get the right gear you want for your style.
The rooms themselves are great and as a general rule, the acoustics are pretty damn good too. These rooms have a lot of ‘warmth’ to them. They are all are kitted out with sound absorbing boards which, depending on the shape and size of the room, are angled in such a way that make the room sound best acoustically.
In terms of pricing, they are on the higher end although you can get better rates if you’re able to go before peak time (6pm onwards). They don’t advertise their rates publicly but get in touch either by phone or email and you’ll be quoted a price.
I do know that you can rent a room just to use the drum kit at £7 an hour (from extensive experience).
Good news for students as you can get 25% off their rates at various times of the day
- Monday - Thursday (Before 6pm)
- Friday & Saturday (All Day)
You’ll also get a discount if you’re booking in a full on 8 hour session. Useful if you’re doing prep for a recording, shooting a live video or getting ready for an important gig.
- £49 for Students
- £59 for us working mugs
To summarize, Brighton Electric have been around for a long time now and have always re-invested in their studio to keep improving and catering for all kinds of musicians and styles. Plus, you can head upstairs to the kitchen and make yourself a tea or coffee too!
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 9am - 12:30am.
Sun: 10am - 10pm
Cancellation Policy: 48 Hours
Contact Details: 01273 748193 or email@example.com
Location: 27 Castle St, Brighton BN1 2HD
Small Pond are a fairly new studio that have quickly gained a great reputation from the very start. They have fully embedded themselves in the local community through: putting on great gigs, promoting awesome bands, doing live/studio recordings for many artists and live video sessions. These guys have got their fingers in many pies and are keeping on top of everything they do! With 7 rehearsal rooms in total (3 small, 1 medium, 2 large and a live room) there’s a good chance you’ll be able to book a slot. This is also the most central rehearsal room to Brighton so if your band mates are scattered all over the City, it's a good central meeting point for everyone. However, if you're driving, you're looking at paying out the nose to park anywhere nearby!
"Small Pond is made up of a geeky bunch of engineers and musicians, so we like to make sure our rooms are kitted out with the best possible gear. Amps from Orange, Marshall, Fender are the norm, with some more vintage numbers coming from Hiwatt, Sound City and Wem, as well as Drum kits from Yamaha, Tama and Mapex. We've also got a really sweet vintage Neve console in the studio! For a full gear list check out our website."
Small Pond provide top quality gear and well balanced rooms for great sound. As a result, their prices are a bit higher than most in this list (around a similar rate to Brighton Electric) but if you've got the budget for it, it's well worth it.
Weekdays (10am - 6pm)
- Starting from £11.50/hour
Weekdays (6pm - 12am) & Weekends
These are booked for 3 hour slots of either 6pm - 9pm or 9pm -12am at £41.50 per slot.
Solo/Drum Kit Use (Off Peak)
They've even built a new drum room opening up in early November!
"We offer a 10% discount to all students - just make sure to bring along the appropriate ID."
Top quality studio and great contributors to the Brighton scene. They've put a considerable amount of time, energy and cash into creating what they have and it's well worth checking out. These guys run their own events too so if you're known to them, you may get some shows out of it...
Opening Times: 10am - Midnight. 7 days a week
Cancellation Policy: 48 Hours
Contact Details: 01273 416699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Unit 25, Hove Enterprise Centre, Basin Road North, Portslade, BN41 1UY
OK so technically this one isn’t Brighton but it’s easily accessible on the bus and even has free parking right out the front, which is a big plus! Monster studios are based in Portslade and have 4 great rooms to choose from, 2 medium and 2 small, which are always clean and well looked after. You’re in good hands with these guys. I used to rehearse there weekly with an old band of mine and was never disappointed with the quality of gear or the rooms themselves. You can make yourself a tea or coffee whilst you’re there (we love a bit of that) and each room comes with air conditioning. I can safely say that this is far from the ‘sweatiest’ rehearsal room around.
Can’t fault the equipment, they may not have such an extensive list as some other studios to choose from but the equipment they do have, is of great quality. Guitarists can expect to find Marshal, Orange Dark Terror & Fender guitar amps. Bassists can expect Orange Dark Terror & Hartke bass amps. Vocalists can expect a good quality PA system. Drummers can expect a well maintained Tama Superstar drum kit complete with snare, cymbals and bass drum pedal. So if you don’t want to bus it with a chunky cymbal bag, just take your sticks! Follow the link to see their full equipment list.
These guys boast good rates for various times of the day, even at peak times. They are a quality studio with good equipment so well worth using for the prices they offer.
Day Rates (Monday - Friday)
£11.70 for the first hour. £7.70 per hour after that.
Evening & Weekend Rates:
Medium Rooms: £13.70/hour
Large rooms: £15.70/hour
Drum Kit/Solo Rates:
£7.70 an hour before 5pm
Also available in the evenings, when you book last minute.
Monster are a good shout in you want to find a discount. You can sign up to their mailing list to be sent the offers they have throughout the year. There’s also good news for BIMM Students as they can get 50% off day rates, that’s a massive saving!
To summarize, Monster may be a bit out-of-the-way for some Brighton residents but it’s well worth traveling the distance for the quality of the studio and the rates they charge. If you have a car, I’d definitely recommend giving it a go for the ease of access alone!
Opening Times: 10am - Midnight. 7 days a week.
Cancellation Policy: If you cancel with between 72 and 24 hours notice, you’ll have to pay half of your rehearsal fee. Cancel with less than 24 hours notice and you pay the full fee. This is flexible for those who book last minute.
Contact Details: Call 01273 624 435 or Info@BlackRockSubway.co.uk
Location: 1, Black Rock Subway, Madeira Drive, Brighton BN2 5ZH
These guys aren’t as familiar to me as the previous 3 studios mentioned but they are a favourite of those on more of a budget. Situated on Madeira Drive close to Brighton Marina, Black Rock offer two decent sized, well equipped rooms. They don’t sell food and drink but there is an ASDA close by too so you can keep yourselves fueled up.
Guitarists can expect Marshall stacks & amps. Bassists can expect Gallien Krueger and Ampeg bass stacks (4×10″ and 2x 15″). Vocalists can expect a good quality PA. Drummers can expect Pearl and Premier drum kits. Keys players can expect a Yamaha PF80 electric piano.
10am - Midday: £5/Hour
Midday - 6pm: £8/Hour
6pm - Midnight: £10/Hour
Great location for those who live in the Kemp Town area or east of Brighton Pier. One of the most affordable rehearsal rooms out there with sufficient gear so a good bet for those looking to save some cash.
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 9am - Midnight. Sat & Sun: 9am - 9pm
Cancellation Policy: 4 Days Notice
Contact Details: Call 07734327826 or email@example.com
Location: Campbell Road, Office 3 , Daveys Yard , Brighton, BN1 4QD
Campbell Road Music Studios is run by Jamie Bilboa and is situated close to Preston Park. I've added this one in based on recommendations from musician mates of mine that use it, not from my own personal experience. Jamie has just the one rehearsal room, but it’s a hell of a big room! It’s advertised as being able to comfortably fit a 10 piece band and from the looks of it, that’s a fair statement. He also runs gig night's with Will from Dirty Noise Promotions who I've mentioned in my How To Book Your First Gig In Brighton post. Another double whammy here as you can book a rehearsal and enquire about doing a gig there too! The rates here are very reasonable and for a small added cost, Jamie will record the rehearsal for you. This is something I'd recommend making the most of and doing in general to be honest!
They don't sell food but you've a steady supply of free tea, coffee and soft drinks on hand. Plus, it's free to park there. Sweet.
Guitarists can expect Marshall, Laney, Vox & Hayden guitar amps. Bassists can expect Marks 600 Watt bass amps. Drummers can expect a Pearl Export drum kit, with breakables included (so just need your sticks).
9am - 6pm: £6/Hour
6pm - Midnight: £30/For the 3 hours
Solo/Drum Kit Use - 9am -6pm: £6/Hour
This is already a fairly inexpensive place to practice if you're able to do rehearsals before 6pm in the week or at the weekend BUT if you make a block booking of three weeks or more (one rehearsal a week) then Jamie will do you a discount. Get in touch with him to find out more.
It may not be flush with a variety of gear or endless rooms to book but what they have got, is of decent quality and relatively inexpensive. It would be a good shout to be on the ball with bookings here though as you need to give a fair amount of notice if you need to cancel (quite rightly too, since there is only the one room!).
All of these rehearsal rooms have something to offer. Whether it's top quality gear, a decent space for those on a budget or further opportunities to get involved the local music scene and get gigs. If you don't have much cash for rehearsals, then it may be worth hitting up some of the lower priced ones to begin with. Then, when you've got a big gig/audition/showcase coming up, book in some time at the higher end ones to make sure you're confident that you sound as good as you can. It's all about finding what works for you.
Go make some calls