Let’s face it, finding ways to practice music in Toronto is tough. In most apartments it’s hard enough to fit an acoustic guitar, much less a drum set and amplifiers. If trekking out to the suburbs to rehearse in your friend’s basement isn’t your jam, here are a few easy and affordable avenues to get together with musicians and play downtown.
At home, you probably can’t strum a chord without running the risk of a noise complaint from your downstairs neighbours. For those looking to get loud, the Rehearsal Factory has several locations across the city where you and your potential band mates can book a jam space fully loaded with drums, amps, and microphones for affordable hourly rates. Each studio is even equipped with stage lights to make you shine like the star-to-be you are.
Choir! Choir! Choir!
Toronto’s leading open choir sees veterans and newcomers come together every Tuesday and Wednesday to learn and perform choir arrangements of the best pop songs of the last 60 years. From Justin Bieber to Foo Fighters, no artist is off the table. And if you’re the type that likes to show off your accomplishments, Choir!Choir!Choir! posts their performances on YouTube and SoundCloud for a worldwide audience to enjoy.
Musicians Playground Toronto
Musicians Playground Toronto is an online group that connects musicians of all skill levels by providing opportunities to jam at non-judgemental venues all year round. “Whether you beat box, sing, play the guitar, the drums or the triangle everyone is welcome to make noise,” reads the group description. Musicians Playground constantly posts upcoming events, including a weekly “Open Mic Night and Jam” at The Cavern, so newcomers are always welcome to bring an instrument and hop in.
Newchoir is the flashiest singing experience in town, often incorporating instruments like guitars, drums, and brass horns to their performances in order to create something more akin to a rock show than a choir recital. Anyone can join, although there is an audition process to go through before showing up to rehearsal. While auditions can be nerve-wracking, it’s worth it to sing with these show stoppers.
Old Fashioned Open Mic Nights
At the end of the day, Toronto is still home to oodles of bars hosting open mic music nights on any given day of the week. Sign up the day of, play one or two tunes of your choosing, and then spend the evening chatting with and listening to other local musicians.
Not sure where to start? Try Free Times Cafe on College (Monday), The Old Nick Pub on The Danforth (Tuesday), Einstein Cafe & Pub near U of T (Wednesday), Pauper’s Pub on Bloor Street West (Thursday), Smock Cafe in Roncesvalles (Friday), Full of Beans on Dundas (Saturday), Supermarket in Kensington Market (Sunday), or any other bar you’ll no doubt find hosting one in your neighbourhood.