Hands down, it’s getting harder and harder to come up with an exciting band name these days. All the great names seem to be already taken by someone else.
Nevertheless, with some patience and a creative approach, there’s still hope to pick a cool name for your music project. In this article, I’m gonna give you some useful piece of advice how to find a band name and promptly check its usability.
The Importance Of A Good Band Name
Before we dive into specific strategies on how to find a band name, I want to talk about the importance of a bloody good name.
Right in the process about finding a band name for a music project most recently, I thought about this question quite a long time. My answer to it was: The name -looking at it objectively- is not important at all.
If you make awesome music, people will love it and buy it, even if you are called “Shady load of crap”. Don’t overestimate the importance of a name and remain nameless for months instead.
However, the moment you choose a name for your band, you start branding. Everything that follows -songs, albums, website, social media presence- will be summarized to one thing – the name of your band.
First and foremost, you are the one, who should be comfortable with the name and proudly present it to everyone. “The Pimpled Douchebags”will most probably not generate the kind of reactions, you would like to.
The band name is the badge, most visible to other people and one of the first promotion tools.
The Ideal Band Name
If there is anything like an ideal band name, it should cover those requirements:
3. Easy to pronounce
4. Easy to remember
5. Available dot com domain
6 Strategies To Find An Amazing Name
1. Free Band Name Generators
If you can’t come up with any ideas or just to lazy for thorough brainstorming, you can try out some automatic band name generator tools. I have found three, that seem quite useful.
Unlike most other name generators, this one works with a little upfront information, you have to provide to the tool. Altogether, you have to enter 12 different terms (e.g. “lead members’ first name”, “location”, “color”), which will be used by the software to generate the name.
Band Name Maker
The Band Name Maker works with only one optional word you have to enter at first. You are given 5 name suggestions spun around this word. If you don’t like the names, you can re-generate as often as you want.
Fantasy Name Generators
These name suggestions are completely made up by the tool. So, if you’re open to any name, you might want to go for this software.
Blank sheet approach
– Take a blank piece of paper and a pen.
– Write down everything that comes to your mind, without judging, if it would be a good name.
– Go on and on, until something really strikes you.
– What does band members have in common?
– What does other people say to you?
– Any special event, when you founded the band?
– Any nickname
Also think of the graphical aspects of a certain name. Can you instantly imagine an unique website outlook and a great logo with this name?
Is there something characteristic with the band name that you can use for band branding, e.g. color, animal, …?
Popular name structures
– X & Y: Also a good idea is to find combinations. There are some bands, who combine their names like Simon & Garfunkel, but rarely you see a combination of verbs or nouns. I bet, there is a lot of room for new names.
3. Use Your Name
One of the most obvious considerations is to simply build a band name around your name(s).
– Full Name: Most appropriate for solo artists, e.g. Michael Jackson,Keith Urban, Jimi Hendrix
– Band Name centered around band leader: e.g. Bon Jovi, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
– Band member names acronym: e.g. ABBA
– Nick Name: e.g. Sting
4. Fantasy Name
That’s great for having a unique name. Invent a new word that sounds well, but actually have no meaning yet.
5. Copy It From Somewhere Else
There are more artists than you might think, who literally copied the name from a film, a book, a character or a song.
6. Use A Dictionary
Too simply to be true, but some bands really just opened up the dictionary to pick a name.
Domain Check and Social Media Availability
One aspect, that must not be neglected these days, is the online presence of your band. I’ve learned that dot com domains are still the ones, you should look for as Google favors them before any others.
Avoid using “-” or suffixes like “music” or “band”. Even, if it’s harder to accomplish, you should come up with a band name, where you can buy a .com domain with the exact name.
You can easily check availability for any domain on name.com
With regard to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it can even be harder to get an account exactly named like your band. For instance Facebook has around 2 billions active users. Chances are, somebody uses your name as his account name already.
However, it’s easy to tweak your name a bit to find a free account slot.
Before you finally settle for your band name, I would suggest, you make sure, that you don’t interfere with anybody else’s trademark rights.
I’m no patent attorney, but I have learned, that the whole trademark discussion is only an issue, if someone with the same or similar branding name acts within your business field – which is music.
Most of the time, if the .com domain is available, you can be sure, there is no big brand with the same name out there. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to perform a search with a global trademark database.
I use the WIPO (world intellectual property organization) database for demonstration. So if I type in “30 seconds to mars” in text field and “music” for goods/services I get following results.
There you can see, that 30 seconds to mars has been registered, and Jared Leto is the owner.
Now, I click on “Thirty seconds to mars” in the first row. On the next page, I can see what goods/services are included.
Picking a band name can sometimes be a plodding search. Not only should your name be awesome and unique, you also have to build an online presence around it.
In order to successfully find a good name, you can use different techniques like automated name generators, brainstorming, using your own name, acronyms, fantasy names, copy or using the dictionary.
You always have to take into consideration an available .com domain as well accounts on various social media platforms. Last, but not least, check, if this trademark hasn’t been registered so far.
I hope, you enjoyed reading this post and getting some helpful advice out of it.
Let me hear what you think. Anything missing here? What are your favorite band names and why?