1) Don’t misspell any words in your band’s name. Many bands opt to switch the letter ‘I’ for the letter ‘y’. This is cool if you’re into everyone with 1/8 to 1/6 a brain assuming that you are a crappy jock/rap/metal band. For instance, Limp Bizkit, Strait Up, and Korn are all these type of bands. Are any of them good? Check and mate.
2) Avoid using food products in your band’s name. Chances are you’ll misspell it anyways. Also, chances are you’ll pick some crappy food over a tasty one.
3) Don’t wear your band’s own shirts. No exceptions or excuses accepted. Don’t think the “but I’m on tour and we haven’t been able to wash our clothes, it’s the only thing clean I had to wear” story is gonna fly· wear the dirty shirt, you’re a rocker my friend.
4) Don’t play reggae unless you are in Bad Brains.
5) Cowboy hats are for cowboys only. That is why they are called cowboy hats. You aren’t Madonna nor are you trend setting. And unless your main transportation is a horse just don’t wear a cowboy hat, or you’re a total poser cowboy.
6) This one here is a no brainer and it’s mainly, but not solely, directed towards the ska bands. DO NOT insert the name of your genre, or something related to your genre into your band’s name. You don’t see any good bands attempt this. (except Metallica, but they have songs about satan so it’s cool) The best solution to this problem is to not start a ska band in the first place, cos not only are ska bands just itching to break this rule and prove their dorkdom, but nobody’s scoring gash with a ska band anyway.
7) Avoid using the words theory, project, or plan in the title of your band name.
8) Don’t play funk. Don’t even joke about playing funk.
9) Mc Hammer pants aren’t cool anymore, don’t wear them. Yeah, Fred, we’re talking to you.
10) Visors on band members (or anyone for that matter) earn yourself a bitch slap. If you have your visor sideways, upside down, or both your penalty increases to additional groin area pummeling.
11) For shows, props are generally a bad idea. They usually stimulate the audience’s what-the-hell sensors. If you do decide to use one, make sure it’s small and you don’t spend most of your time playing with it. Unless of course you are the Beastie Boys, it’s 1986, you’re opening for Madonna, and you have a giant two story penis on stage.
12) If your band has a cozy fan base of say, five, skip out on the huge rock star banner. It is key to grasp the idea that people don’t operate on the if-they-have-a-banner-they-have-to-be-good mentality.
13) Never ever have all members wear the same shirt. This is a ridiculous concept and should not be explained.
14) If you’re playing your hometown, don’t say, “What’s up (town)”. This phrase is reserved for the out of town and/or touring bands. You might make them mad by stealing their pep speech.
15) If you’re playing outside of your hometown, don’t say, “What’s up (town)”. This phrase screams shoot me in the face.
16) Preaching is for church, shut up and rock.
17) Cordless guitars are only ok if your first name is Eddie, your last name is Van Halen, and you kick ass at playing a guitar with a power drill. If this is not the case, don’t venture there.
18) Playing your guitar up by your neck makes you look like a geek. Period. If you need an example, take a cue from a few of the greats· look at Slash’s guitar height, or maybe take a peek at where Duff let the bass rest, or possibly look at just how low Krist Noviselic rode his rock axe.
19) If you play bass make sure you have only 4 strings. If you play guitar make sure you only have 6 or less. If you play drums know that if your set looks like something Tommy Lee would play while hanging upside down, you are a jackass. You don’t need 12 cymbals fruitcake.
20) Gold hardware and/or wood stained anything is a no-no. Ditto for neon anything.
21) White cordless mics were used by Vanilla Ice, don’t travel the same road.
22) Unless you are an immortal rock god, spitting or throwing water into the crowd instantaneously eliminates any chance you had at getting laid that night. It may ensure you getting your ass kicked though.
23) Covering new wave songs, oldies, or current Top 40 songs means your band sucks mad horse dong. The “hey wouldn’t it be funny to cover that N’sync song and make it punk” idea is about as funny as a knee to the crotch.
24) If all of your songs are about how much you miss your girlfriend, do us all a favor and instead of touring, stay home geek.
25) Kick out the fat guy, he’s the reason you are never gonna be big.
26) If you’re fat, kick yourself out, you’re blowing it for the rest of the band.
26) If you’re a metal band, make sure that you are a metal band before you say you are a metal band. A pretty fool proof test is to ask yourself if you think Rob Halford would be into your band back in the days when Judas Priest was the shit.
27) If you have a DJ make sure he at least has two turntables. We actually recommend no DJ, but if you gotta go there…
28) We take that back. No DJ’s. This DJ in bands shit has to stop now.
29) Shave. Beards = blowing it.
30) Don’t wear backwards baseball caps, unless you’re the Beastie Boys.
31) Use a pick. If you play slap bass you need your fingers broken.
32) Don’t tell the crowd what they can and can’t do. You’re not in Fugazi. If you want to be a cop, get off the stage and go join the police academy champ.
33) Unless you’re the headliner you shouldn’t be playing hour and a half sets, keep it short. The idea that, “Hey these people don’t seem to like us, maybe they just didn’t like those songs, let’s play some more until we play one they like” is never accurate. Get off the stage. We want to go home.
Not in a band, you fuckin poser? Click here for Buddyhead’s Rules for Audiences of Rock.
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