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I'm a member of a band, band "A", which has played together for over a year. For the past year, band "A" has been basically the only musical project for all of the members. We just started renting a house and living together primarily so that we can practice together more often and take the band more seriously. We have the keys to the house but we haven't moved in yet. Our new house has a basement that makes an ideal rehearsal space. It's in a metropolitan area so rehearsal space is very hard to come by.

I was recently offered a position in a second band, band "B". The members of band B are at best acquaintances to the members of band A, and on average, complete strangers. I accepted the position in B because I think that my schedule can handle the additional responsibility. Further, the members of A seem to be at-capacity in terms of taking on additional gigs. So since band A can't fill my desire to play more gigs, band B seems like a good opportunity for me to play more shows without having to stress the life balance of band A's members.

Band A had a mixed reaction to me joining band B. Reactions ranged from "that's fine as long as it doesn't impact band A" to "please don't join band B, band A should be your only musical project", sometimes these mixed reactions have even come from the same members, at different points in time. I understand band A's concern. I would be uncomfortable with members of band A putting effort into other projects which I thought would be better spent on band A. This would be especially concerning in regard to songwriting. However, band B already has songwriters, and I only want to use band B as an opportunity to play more live shows, and expand my musical network. Band B's music is not my favorite style, and it's easy to play, so it seems reasonable to me that my songwriting and musical practice will still primarilly serve to band A.

Fundamentally, I know that band A has no right to dictate how I spend my time. But being in multiple musical groups does set a precedent different than what has been the norm for the past year: that all members of band A are completely dedicated to band A. No matter how it's spun, I can't be completely musically dedicated to band A if I'm also in band B. However I also understand that the average professional musician is rarely a member of a single band. I'm not a professional musician. I have a comfortable day job. But I do dream of someday making some sort of career in music. I'm not talking about being a rockstar, but I mean making some supplemental income, playing some medium-size venues, and having memorable experiences. It seems reasonable that playing in multiple bands is a by-the-book step towards my dream.

I mentioned that my new house with band A has a rehearsal studio and that rehearsal spaces are very hard to come by in my city. Band B rents a space about 30 minutes away from my house, and I have to help pay for the rental space. It would make much more sense for band B to practice at my house. Band B's members are respectful, so I don't worry at all about damage to the house. Practicing at my house is free. And I'm sure band B could establish practice times when the members of band A aren't home.

I asked the members of band A if band B could rehearse at our house at a time when I knew all members of band A we're guaranteed to be gone from the house. Their response was "yes, as long as it is a one-time thing." and "They can't use any of our equipment, and only this once may band B practice at our house." Members of band A said they don't want to share the space/equipment because band B did nothing to contribute to paying for the equipment or house.

Obviously members of band A may say "no one may use MY equipment". However, band A has also purchased a PA system using our gig-income. No one in the band owns this equipment, it's just "the band's". The members of band A don't want the PA system used for band B's practice, but it's very inconvienient to move PA systems. And it seems like a waste of resources to move band B's PA system when there is already one set up at the rehearsal space. Usage of band A's PA system, which is already in the rehearsal room, would not put it at risk. Usage is literally just flipping some switches and plugging in some cables. We'd be playing at levels far below the peak output of the system. Nevertheless, band A's members are not willing to let them use it.

The final issue is use of the rehearsal space itself. The members of band A also don't want band B to rehearse at our house ever again after this one time. This seems very territorial for one thing, it ignores the opportunity to foster goodwill within the musical commuinity. It also would be very helpful for me, a rent-paying tennant of the house. I would save an hour of travel time and save money from not renting an external rehearsal space with band B.

I'm really conflicted. I see how the members of band A might be uncomfortable with band B rehearsing at our house. But I also pay rent at our house. And I think band B could schedule rehearsal times when band A's members aren't even home. If I told my roommates "I want to have friends over to watch a movie while you're out of town", it seems absolutely absurd that my roommates wouldn't be okay with it. But by changing the activity and the location/room of the activity, it falls into a moral gray area.

My specific questions is:

How can I communicate with members of band A to make them comfortable with band B practicing at our rehearsal space, and maybe even use the PA system?

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    Is it only members of band A that are renting this house together with you, and no non-band roommates? Would you be charging band B anything for use of your current space (including or excluding the PA system)? Are you willing to personally insure any of band A's equipment that band B might also use? Is there any benefit of any kind to band A in this arrangement, beyond "goodwill within the musical community"? – Upper_Case-Stop Harming Monica Jul 17 at 19:57
  • @Upper_Case All tenants of the house are members of band A. I wasn't considering charging band B since I, a member of band B, pay rent for the house. Yes, I would insure band A against any damages to the house or band A's equipment. As far as benefits for band A: members of band B are involved with gig-scheduling for some venues. Band A's refusal to let band B use such a convenient space would probably nix chances of that member in band B helping book gigs for band A. – pensive_brute Jul 17 at 20:10
  • Welcome to IPS! As it currently stands your question is pretty broad. We try to limit our questions to one single question and you're pretty much asking four. Questions 1 and 2 are primarily opinion based, as in, the answers will not be great and in all reality only you can answer them since we don't know the full story. Questions 3 and 4 are better fits for this site though. – Lux Claridge Jul 17 at 20:14
  • Thanks! To clarify a bit further: you pay a portion of the rent, not all of it, and would be doing so even without being a member of band B, correct? Does band B have access to a free rehearsal space other than your house? Is your house a convenient rehearsal space for reasons outside of convenience for you personally? And finally, have the other members of band A presented any particular reasons for wanting the restrictions on band B's access to the space? – Upper_Case-Stop Harming Monica Jul 17 at 20:20
  • @Upper_Case There are three tenants in the house and I pay 36% of the rent because my room is larger than the others. Band B does not have access to a free rehearsal space. Members of band B were very excited about having a permanent rehearsal space at my house. Members of band A said they don't want to share the space/equipment because band B did nothing to contribute to paying for the equipment or house. Although as a member of both bands, I'd say that's debatable. I'll update my question to reflect their reasoning. – pensive_brute Jul 17 at 20:27
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You need to accept you might not convince them.

As a musician myself, I empathize with both sides of your dilemma. I won't comment on whether it's a good idea to join Band B or not, that's absolutely your own opinion.

Regarding space and equipment, you could:

  • Offer to pay for damage and loss
  • Offer to have Band B also pay rent for your space and PA

However, there does seem to be a lack of trust of members of Band B from Band A. Personally, I don't know if I'd trust a bunch of strangers around my expensive equipment I've spend years saving and accruing. Perhaps you could have Band B meet Band A, and have everyone hangout outside of the context of music, just so at the very least Band A knows who would be using their practice space. But remember, you can't buy back the trust of Band A.

You say:

Practicing at my house is free.

But in reality, it isn't. You and the rest of Band A pay rent to live and practice in your house. Sure, you'd have to pay extra for Band B's practice space, but that doesn't mean Band A's practice space is free.

But I also pay rent at our house.

And so does the rest of Band A. I understand that they would feel cheated if they have to pay monthly rent for the space and Band B gets to practice for free. If you all pay an agreed-upon rent, then their input regarding use of the rental space is worth just as much as yours. Also, it was your choice to join Band B, not theirs. They should not have to shoulder that responsibility.

If I told my roommates "I want to have friends over to watch a movie while you're out of town", it seems absolutely absurd that my roommates wouldn't be okay with it. But by changing the activity and the location/room of the activity, it falls into a moral gray area.

It may seem like a moral gray area, but you had mentioned that you and Band A rent the house primarily for use as a band. Band A not allowing Band B to use the space they rent as a band seems pretty straightforward to me.

I'm not saying I side with Band A, but if you truly want to convince them you have to accept that they have a lot more to lose than Band B in this scenario.

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