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Post written by Dylan Lott of BandHacks; you can follow Dylan on Twitter @DylanLott

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file:

All too often, we get wrapped up in new tactics, new ideas, new plans and new ways of getting bigger and better as musicians. With social media and the internet, there’s so much information that it’s almost become immeasurable.

• This is great and all, but maybe we sometimes lose sight of what we shouldn’t be doing.
• There’s lots of stupid shit you shouldn’t be doing.
• Here’s a quick guide to what you shouldn’t be doing.


43.    Don’t assume anyone will care about your band. They won’t.
44.    Shit talking doesn’t get anyone anywhere.
45.    Don’t be that band that starts to do it for the money. It’s not that money’s bad, it’s that we can all tell you’re forcing it and no one appreciates a forced art form.
46.    Don’t ask too much for your merch. It’s just a damn t shirt.
47.    Don’t order too many CDs. It’s not worth having tons of them laying around. [COMBO recommends you order 300. When you have sold those, order more. You may be paying more in the beginning but, over all, you’ll lose less. And that way you can tell if your CD will sell. If it doesn’t, you’re not out a bunch more.] 48.    The same goes for merch. Don’t order more merch than you reasonably think you can sell on a tour or in a small time-frame such as a month or two.
49.    Don’t spend your money on stupid stuff. Spend it where it counts.
50.    Don’t buy likes on Facebook [See our Scam column] 51.    Don’t try to buy your way to the top.
52.    Don’t skimp on gear, either.
53.    Don’t forget to practice with a click. Drummers and guitarists, this goes for both of you.
54.    Don’t ever stop interfacing with the people that buy your music. No matter how big or small you are.
55.    Don’t forget to do cool little things for fans while you’re on tour. a small note or a signed drumstick will go a lot farther than you think.
56.    Don’t expect respect.
57.    Don’t forget that you have to do your time.
58.    Don’t assume. Make everything as clear as you can, and get it in writing at every chance you can get.
59.    Don’t stop creating. Not just music, either. Create in every format you can. You are a creator, after all. Photos, blog posts, new music, share music, share ideas, just put out content.
60.    Don’t forget just how many ways there are to reach out to your fans.
61.    Don’t forget to post on every social media network every single day.
62.    Don’t forget to engage with your fans. If you master this, you’ve mastered the music industry.
63.    Don’t stop trying to improve your sound and tone, both live and recorded.
64.    Any publicity is good publicity.
65.    And, additionally, people will hate you for anything and everything. Don’t worry about it.

[We’ll continue with this very interesting essay in the coming weeks. Some really good advice here. Pay attention to it!] [Contributed by COMBO Board Member Doug Garvey.]

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