June 30, 2016

Book a Premium Rehearsal in Our Showcase Room

Showcase RoomThe Showcase Room at Music Garage is the most premier rehearsal room in Chicago. The custom sound treatments, secluded location, high-quality gear, and renowned staff make it the perfect rehearsal room for touring artists.

The showcase room is the perfect studio for artists who require the ultimate in performance, comfort, security and service. Our beautiful 1,000 sq foot, tuned room with 350 sq foot attached control room is the best rehearsal space to tune up for a show or get ready for your next big tour. We accommodate for anything from 4 hour rehearsals to multi-day lockouts. We can also provide an engineer to dial in your mix and get your rehearsal started right! For more detailed information and photos, click here.

In addition to all usual building amenities, (24/7 access, easy  load in, premium security, freight elevators, close location to downtown) the showcase room provides the following to create a truly beautiful work environment:

-Private security keyed elevator accessibility
-A multitude of backline package options
-Custom-tuned 1,000 square ft live room with wood walls and high ceilings
-Adjoining 350 square ft custom tuned control room also available, at no additional cost
-200 amp 3-phase Camlock service in both the Showcase and control room. For conventional power there are approximately 50 , 20 amp 110 outlets in the Showcase room.
-Experienced and professional staff – We’ll work with you to make sure all your sound and lighting needs are met
-Additional rooms available for production, catering, lounge, tech and storage
-Private off-street bus parking

To inquire about availability and pricing, give us at a call at (312) 997-1972 or email JIM@musicgarage.com.

Book a Tour of Our Monthly Studios

Engineering Suite 506Music Garage monthly studios are the best place for your band, recording studio or business. Each room includes custom sound treatments and can be customized for each tenant, depending on his or her needs.

Each room features “room in room” construction with 16″ triple-drywall layered floating walls engineered to minimize sonic bleed, heavy duty Mul-T-Loc deadbolts, free internet, more than 28 outlets on 8 circuits of clean 120v/100 amp power (no RF interference or power surges), central heat and air conditioning, 24/7 access, 2 full service freight elevators (available 24 hours a day), loading dock and carts available for easy load-in and load-out, and much more!

Monthly tenants also have access to our gear for rental (in- and out of-house) and hourly studios, both at a discounted rate.

To see the quality of these rooms for yourself, click here for a FREE tour.

Breaking into Booking: Music Garage Presents


Music Garage Presents, Chicago

By Liz Peterson

Music Garage, at its core, is a laboratory for artists of all calibers to hone their craft and work closer towards the “10,000 Hour Rule,” that author Malcolm Gladwell speaks about. It’s the small experiments, that if repeated regularly, can lead to greatness.

The staff at Music Garage is acutely aware of the wealth of talent that occupies our rooms, both hourly and monthly clients. Music Garage CEO, Joe Lardieri, being aware of this, expressed that there was a desire to expand on the services provided at 345 N. Loomis even further, by beginning to curate events in some of Chicago’s premiere venues such as Double Door, Township, Bottom Lounge, Subterranean and others.

“The quality of performers in this building is known throughout Chicago. We have both approached, and been approached by venues to put those performers on their stages,” Joe said,

One thing he does stress about our booking services, is the element of curation that occurs. Because the events that are booked through Music Garage Presents do not directly support the livelihood of its business, staff members are given the time and support to build a bill of performers who compliment one another artistically.

Judi Pellegrino, Marketing Coordinator for Music Garage, considers this aspect of the booking service at Music Garage to be the most rewarding, as it has allowed her to organize events such as “Women in Music,” which was recently held at Township and featured Lili K., JG4, and Daryn Alexus.

For artists who are just breaking into the music scene, particularly if you’re going the independent route and are looking to book shows, Judi suggests that bands get their content organized. This includes having a band email address that all of the members have access to and regularly check, having this email listed on their Facebook or Bandcamp page, and ensuring that when they are emailing booking agents or venues that they are providing links to their music and including a short bio or description of their music. “The more professional you seem, the more respect you gain and the more seriously people will take you,” she continues.

While your first few shows will be the most populated with friends and family members coming to see your shows, it’s important to push through the honeymoon phase and continue to access the resources available in Chicago for performing musicians.

“Be kind and genuine to everybody you come across because you never know who might give you an opportunity in the future,” Judi explains. Every employee you encounter at a venue, from the individual working the soundboard to the bartender is somebody to introduce yourself to and network with.

Judi continues, “I think that if you help others and are respectful of their spaces, others with help you too.”

White Mystery Talks Booking and Promotion

White Mystery, Alex White

By Liz Peterson

White Mystery is a brother-­sister rock’n’roll duo made up of Miss Alex White & Francis Scott Key White. The siblings tour worldwide and have earned rave reviews from MTV, VICE , Sound Opinions, and Pitchfork amongst other publications. They recently premiered a feature ­length film, titled White Mystery ‘”THAT WAS AWESOME”, during this year’s Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMFest).

Miss Alex White was featured in Guitar World’s, “Ten Female Guitarists You Should Know” in 2011 and has had sixteen releases since 2003.

White is not only a talented and celebrated musician, but also upholds identities as a record producer, distributor, licensor, booker, promoter, and more. Every element and facet of White Mystery is owned and supported by the White family.

“It’s fun interacting with an event organizer and transforming an idea into a reality,” Miss White said. “Every show requires development and special ingredients for success, whether you book a house party or an outdoor fest.”

The very first show Miss White booked was in 2001 on the second floor of the Chase Park field house in Chicago, performing with the band Psychotic Sensation. After that band split apart in 2008, White Mystery has performed frequently in Chicago, Austin, New York and Paris.

White Mystery’s favorite local venues include Millennium Park, The Metro, The Hideout, The Double Door, Empty Bottle, and Reckless Records.

White said that it would be helpful to have an agent who could, “run at the same speed as White Mystery,” and that they could always use help in maintaining their musical motivations.

Booking 101

booking shows, Music Garage Presents

By Jen Boylen

Promoters at venues are interested in booking shows based upon their history with an artist, availability in their calendar, and ultimately, to make as much money as possible for a certain event.

A talent buyer is often associated with larger venues and they seek out talent agents who have a personal and business relationship with artists. It is always beneficial to assess the level of experience an agent has with venues and buyers as this will boost your opportunities in booking events. Agents with the most experience might not have connections with the venues you want to be booking. It’s best to have an idea about which venues put together which types of shows and how you fit into that mix.

It is always beneficial to set up an electronic press kit or EPK consisting of any or all of the following: short bio, music clips, press photos, logo, video, upcoming show dates, press samples, similar artists, and contact info. This is something an agent might create for you, otherwise it is something you can send independently to the talent buyer or promoter at a venue.

While an EPK is necessary for applications to larger venues or festivals, for most venues, you will want to boil down this information into about 5 sentences. While you can provide links to other sources like your website or Facebook where they can learn more about your band, be sure to keep an email to the venue short, and explain what kind of crowd you can draw and how you will promote it.

Once you’ve arranged an event, make sure to confirm and “advance” the event with the promoter or venues production team. Make sure that you have their contact information sorted out so that you are certain that you have the information for the person that you will be communicating with the day of the event.

Be sure to ask when they expect you for sound check, load in, which doors to use, what the backline is like, and what equipment they expect you to provide.

After a show is finished, “settling,” is the term for when everybody gets paid. Promoters, bands, and venue staff break down expenses and profits, then divide accordingly. Always have someone who is prepared to do this at every show. It usually happens late at night, so make sure you’re aware of what is happening to assure that you get the proper cut.

As a band, you can be paid per head which means that you get a certain amount for each person through the door, or you can be paid a percentage of the total profit. If you’re able to foot the bill, you can pay the fee to play the venue and claim the rest of the profit. Putting on the show is a lot of work, and the band or the promoter takes on this risk in order to ideally, make a profit.

JUST ANNOUNCED: We’ve added an 11th Hourly Room!

We’ve Added A New Rehearsal Room Specific to Hard Rock and Metal Clients


We’ve just completed the construction of a new hourly rehearsal studio. The custom space was designed, configured, and built for artists who specialize in loud and aggressive music.

“Room 210, our new room, is 300 square feet and was created exclusively for bands that crank their music up to 11 and beyond,” says Jim Gifford, (Showcase Room Manager). “It’s a well-tuned and well-equipped space that allows heavy-hitting bands to spend less time trying to get their sound right so they can spend all their time perfecting their songs and arrangements, and preparing for their live performances.”

Room 210’s gear, which was chosen for its quality, popularity, and appeal to metal and hard rock acts, includes:

 dual high gain half stacks (guitars)

 8 x 10 full stack for (bass)

 Yamaha drum kit with Paiste cymbals, a 6 1/2″ deep Tama steel shell snare, and an Axis double bass pedal

 PA system featuring 1000 watt JBL 15″ speakers and a DBX compressor

 acoustic treatments that offer a controlled yet lively sound, providing plenty of high end and lots of bass with good definition.

Artists who would like more information about Room 210 should contact Gifford at 312-656-9558.


Networking 101

By Jen Boylen

Nowadays, having a great contact list or a network within your industry is a major key to success. Granted, building this web of people can seem very daunting, but we have some tips that can help in your quest.

  1. Thank-you emails go a long way. After meeting someone, seeing them speak, or working something – send a thank you email. Nothing says you value that person and their time more than taking the initiative to let them know. Even better, if the circumstances merit it, why not try a handwritten note?

  2. If you have a great conversation with someone, ask if you can continue it and meet again another time. It’s a great way to make sure you stay in touch.

  3. Always think of a connection as a two way street. Someone may add value to your life, but can you help them as well? Make sure you know how to communicate your value as well.

  4. Attend events! There is no better networking than getting out into your industry and meeting people in person. It’s tough to network effectively sitting on the couch!

  5. People love to talk about themselves. If you want to have a relationship with someone, just ask to meet them and learn about who they are and what they do. If you seem as interested in what they do as they are, they will remember it.

  6. Set goals and have direction. Know who you want to connect with and why. Don’t attempt to network with someone just for the sake of doing so – know how they can fit into your network.

  7. Go to them, don’t expect them to come to you. If you want to meet someone, make it happen. Don’t always expect people to seek you out. See #4 above!

  8. Make valuable contacts. Having hundreds of twitter followers is great, but having a few genuine contacts is much more valuable to your network.

  9. Stay connected! Check in with people. See how they are doing. Keep yourself at the front of their mind.

The Best Local Networking Resources

By Zachary Caputo

If you need some help finding local networking resources or groups, fear not! Music Garage has you covered.

If you’re looking for a more open-ended, far-reaching kind of resources, then the Chicago Artists Resource is just what you need. Not exclusive to music, it’s a website that helps all artists across the entire Chicago art scene connect with people to collaborate with or to help push their art further out. It’s quick, it’s easy, and best of all, it’s free!

But, if you’re trying to find something more focused on you and your specific type of musical career, there are many options for you as well!

Chicago Hip Hop Connects is an amazing place where anyone with a love for Hip Hop can connect with others with the same passion. Anyone from MCs to producer, video directors to managers are welcome. The best part? They are the 1st Hip Hop-focused online industry directory, virtually any professional you could possibly need is accessible with a simple search. To top it all off, they host networking conferences where you can meet these same professionals in person, attend educational talks and panels, and even win some gear in competitions. Simply put, Chicago Hip Hop Connects is the best resource for anyone trying to get into the local Hip Hop scene.

What if you’re not an artist or a video director, but an engineer? Are there any resources for you? Of course there are!

Enter EARS, the Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago! As they put it, EARS is “an independent (not-for-profit) group dedicated to the advancement of excellence in audio production.” I couldn’t put it any better myself! It’s a group of engineers and producers getting together to learn from one another, hone their craft, and work together to create the best pieces of audio they possibly can. Not only that, they always have events going on. Anything from networking parties at popular local venues and bars to lectures from famous musicians and engineers are available for members and even sometimes the general public. There is a membership fee to join EARS, but the benefits, such as access to extremely private panels and networking events, make it well worth the money. If you’re an engineer, these are your people.

These are just a few of the amazing resources you have at your disposal here in Chicago, so make sure to keep your nose to the ground, talk to as many people as you can, and always be on the lookout for the next networking opportunity. You never know where it can take you.

Tips for Networking Events

By Jen Boylen

There is no better way to connect with people than doing so in person! That being said, don’t just attend something. Work the crowd – you have to extend yourself. It may seem impossible to work a room if you are a shy individual, but great networking is not just a task for the extroverted. If you are prepared, there is nothing stopping you from making great connections.

  • Practice makes perfect. Practice how you want to introduce yourself and exactly what you want to say. If you know exactly how to start things, you’ll be less nervous.

  • Finish your introduction with a question: get the other person talking! It could be as simple as asking them why they came to the event.

  • Do your research: If you plan out who you are going to talk to, know what they are about. Where they work, what they do, etc. It’s easy to have a conversation if you know what you’re talking about.

  • Keep in mind: Everyone is in the same boat. Every single person is looking for someone to talk to.

When it comes down to it, most people are looking to expand their own networks as well and you could be the perfect addition. Just be strategic, be confident, and know what you have to offer. Once you get the hang of it, your network will be unstoppable.

NAMM 2015


By Jen Boylen

The National Association of Music Merchants, or NAMM is a not-for-profit whose goal is to promote music making through trade shows, professional and market development and NAMM membership opportunities. The mission of NAMM is to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music, both of which are embodied during the NAMM trade shows.

NAMM has two shows throughout the year: One in Nashville during the summer and another to start the year in Anaheim, California, which took place Jan 22-25, 2015. NAMM shows are the world’s largest trade-only event for the music product industry. It has steadily grown in attendance each year with over 100,000 attendees  at each show.

The main attraction at any NAMM show is the product exhibits where buyers can see what’s new in the industry and what they will plan to buy in the coming year. This year, many new and exciting products were unveiled as a part of the event–including mew and limited edition drums and kits, synthesizers, drum machines, microphones, headphones, guitars, accessories and countless others.

Computer programs were also on trend this year. Reason and Native Instruments both released new programs or upgrade packages, but were sadly outdone by competitor ProTools. ProTools | First, a free version of the program, made its debut during the Anaheim event.

maxresdefault (1).jpg

In 2008, ProTools released its first free version of the program, and now, seven years later, they have returned to that business model. Today, free is the trigger word for many consumers. So much so, that a ‘freemium’ business model is frequently adopted by many companies. The freemium idea, where free meets premium, balances on a simple idea: give customers the core product for free in order to sell enhancements and upgrades. Many computer applications, such as Skype or interactive games already follow this practice, and this is exactly what ProTools is trying to achieve with the free version of its software. Artists who haven’t used ProTools previously due to its price, will now have an opportunity  to do so. This is a great way to hook folks on ProTools which is at the root of their marketing strategy, ProTools is allowing people to test  their product with a free, scaled down version. In turn, they gain brand loyal consumers who are willing to invest in the ProTools name in the future.