10 Ways to Elevate Your Home Studio or Jam Space
By Brad Tolinski
As the title suggests, this blog is about 10 ways to elevate your home guitar studio or jam space. These suggestions range from the aesthetic to practical changes, but the goal here is to make your guitar-playing zone the hippest, happiest and most productive room in your house.
When there is an excess of clutter, whether it is physical or digital, the brain gets distracted. This leaves less bandwidth for the task at hand, let alone creativity. When you are organized and your space looks amazing, there are fewer competing items for your brain to focus on, and that makes you more productive. Other scientific benefits of organization include reduced stress, better eating habits, and...better guitar riffs!
So, let’s gather up those empty beer cans, toss those extra string winders in the trash and dust those hard-to-reach areas of your music room—it’s time to get your home guitar studio in order!
10 Ways to Elevate Your Home Studio or Jam Space
Install Guitar Wall Mounts
One of the quickest ways to clean up your studio is to literally elevate your guitars. Hanging your favorite instruments on wall hooks is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also keeps them out of harm’s way. How many times have you almost accidentally stepped on your PRS, or knocked over that Taylor acoustic when it was precariously sitting on a stand? Having your guitars wall mounted makes them easy to grab...and put away. Plus, a room always looks cooler with a badass guitar on the wall.
Purchase Air Purifiers/Essential Oil Diffusers
It’s not unusual to spend 10 or 12 hours in a studio when working on a project. But sweating the details can take a stinky toll on your vintage Iron Maiden T-shirt...and your home guitar studio. For a great-smelling space, we recommend dropping a few extra bucks on a compact air purifier like the Conway AP-1512HH Mighty. But if $200 isn’t in your budget, most retailers have essential oil diffusers for less than $30. It won’t make that smell disappear, but it’ll help cover it up, which is almost as good.
Add Ambient Lighting
Great lighting is key to setting the proper mood in any jam space. For this, we have two recommendations: dimmer switches and strategically positioned LED lights. Dimming your lights are great when you want to just play and chill, but it’s just as important to be able to brighten your environment when you need to read a manual or tend to technical issues. LED lights are preferred because they produce no heat, come in a wide range of color temperature scales and are energy efficient.
Mount Cable Hangers and Organizers
Cables are sneaky little devils. They lurk in the dark recesses of every studio, waiting to jump out and strangle anything they can wrap their rubbery bodies around. A quick and cheap solution to removing at least half the clutter of any home guitar studio is a wall mountable cable hanger like Gator Frameworks GFW-Cablehanger ($30). Perfect for keeping instrument cables, mic cables and other cables where you need them...and where you can see them.
Pot a Few Plants
Yes, you heard us...plants. You know, those nice looking green things that grow in nature. We know many of you have forsaken the Great Outdoors because you have to get ready for a gig, or you need to finish a mix, but a nice potted Aloe Vera Plant or Reed Palm have been known to help get rid of stale air and contribute to healthy respiration. Contrary to popular belief, breathing is good...even for musicians! Plus, they’ll instantly add a fresh, vibey feeling to your room.
Hang Stylish Soundproofing Panels
Soundproofing is important, but most panels look like something out of a nuclear fallout shelter. The good news is there are a few companies offering some surprisingly attractive alternatives. For example, we like the unique 3D wooden QRD acoustic panel sound diffusers by WoodntYaKnowCo on Etsy. ATS Acoustic Panels also offers a few simple and elegant options that come in a number of classy colors. Both will add to your space, not detract.
Clean Your Guitar Space Once a Week
This is perhaps the most difficult thing to do on the list. We almost said clean it before or after every recording or practice session, but we know you too well. Just pick a day and keep it holy.
Frame Some Art
Who or what gets you inspired? Is it Jimi Hendrix? Is it a ‘59 Burst? Is it a cat dangling from the limb of a tree telling you to “hang in there”? Whatever it is, get a picture of it, make it big and hang it on your guitar home studio. And remember, a nice frame is what separates “dorm room art” from “interior decor.”
If interior design is not your strong suit, feel free to lift some music room ideas from sites like Instagram or Pinterest. Guitarists of all shapes and sizes love showing off their happy place, so you should have no issues finding some examples that fit your vibe.
Velcro Power Bricks to the Back of Your Desk
The thing about home studios is that virtually everything you use requires electricity and must be plugged in, which means you may be using power bricks to plug in multiple devices. A good way to keep them invisible, accessible and off the floor, is by attaching them to the underside of your desk using a simple piece of velcro. We recommend placing them at the rear of the desk to keep everything as neat as possible and to avoid accidentally knocking them with your knees.
Cut Back on Cables
Like we stated earlier, cables are ugly and prime examples of unnecessary clutter. Seamlessly designed for the Spark amp and app and allowing you to harness Spark’s lineup of effects, Spark Control is a true plug-and-play, wireless experience. With an expanding library of innovative features and functions, such as the ability to switch presets and assign custom scenarios, Spark Control goes beyond traditional foot controllers. Plus, it's compatible with our award-winning BIAS FX 2 software. No complicated setups. No cables required. Find out more about Spark Control here.
Brad Tolinski is perhaps best known for his work as the editor-in-chief of Guitar World Magazine for 25 years. He is also the author of Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page (Crown); and Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound and Revolution of the Electric Guitar (Doubleday), which was the basis for a 2019 guitar-focused exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Most recently he edited the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Issue of CREEM magazine, and his latest book Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen (Hachette) will be coming out in October 2021.