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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.

1.      Don’t ever stop practicing your instrument.
2.      Don’t be an asshole.
3.      Don’t WANT WANT WANT WANT. Learn to give back first.
4.      Don’t get defensive. Learn to take constructive criticism.
5.      Don’t forget to learn how to take destructive criticism, too. You’ll get a lot more of it than you think.
6.      Don’t forget that everyone’s an asshole.
7.      Don’t stop learning.
8.      Don’t lose your ambition.
9.      Don’t lose touch of where you came from and who helped you out.
10.    Don’t stop reading. Read more. Read a LOT more.
11.    Don’t ever stop trying to meet new people and fans.
12.    Don’t stop practicing. I fucking meant it.
13.    Don’t make excuses.
14.    Don’t make commitments you can’t keep.
15.    Don’t say what you can’t back up.
16.    Don’t exaggerate, everyone will see right through it.
17.    Don’t be afraid to get into it.
18.    Don’t owe anyone money. Pay it off as soon as you can.
19.    Don’t think that they won’t fuck you over just because they’re a friend.
20.    Don’t shit on the few friends that you do have.
21.    Don’t be the guy who just floats along. Actively help your band out as much as you can.
22.    Don’t rely on everyone else, make it happen yourself or lend a hand in getting it     accomplished.
23.    Don’t forget that you can’t change certain things, and bitching about it won’t help either.
24.    Don’t forget how fucking stupid you are.
25.    Don’t be afraid to listen to those who are smarter and more experienced than you.
26.    Don’t forget that sometimes you’re wrong. In fact, more often than not, you’re wrong.
27.    Don’t pretend you’re innocent.
28.    Don’t pretend to be above something. Get your hands dirty. Hurt your back. Get scraped up and some real work.
29.    Don’t live in the past or the future. Learn to love the moment and what you’re doing.
30.   You’re in a band. Love that fact.
31.    Don’t lose sight of what you started your band for to begin with.
32.    Don’t lose faith in yourself or your friends. They’ll help you out more than you think when you need it.
33.    Don’t be naive. Believe it when you see it.
34.    Don’t forget what it’s like to just be starting out in the industry. Explain things to people.

35.    Take someone under your wing; teach someone something good.
36.    Don’t blame the label. As a fan, you have no idea what the circumstances were. As an artist on that label, there’s always something you did that was probably shitty, too.
37.    Don’t blame the manager, either. Same goes for them.
38.    Don’t think bands are these innocent angels. They rarely are as good as they make themselves out to be. They’re people just like everyone else, and that means they can be just as shitty as anyone else.
39.    Don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand.
40.    Don’t get into arguments with people on social media. Stay away from it. It’s pointless.
41.    Don’t judge a situation before you’ve heard both sides. This means you should basically never judge a situation or someone.
42.    Don’t forget that everything is a joke and that you shouldn’t ever be too serious. No one gets out of life alive.

[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. Thanks, Doug!]

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