How To Find A Band Name – A Guide To Creation

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:

1. Uniqueness
2. Short
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.

Name Generator
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.

2. Brainstorming

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.

Brainstorming band name

Useful questions
– 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

– One word names: e.g. Creed, Kiss, Journey. As all the good ones have already been taken in the last 3 decades, it’s really hard to find fancy one word band names today.

– Multi word names. e.g. 3 Doors Down, Bullet For My Valentine, 30 Seconds To Mars. As of lack of available one word names, multi word band names are getting more and more popular.

– 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).

https://www.pinterest.at/pin/864057878487592283#

– 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.

Coldplay
Aerosmith

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.

Black Sabbath (movie)
Depeche Mode (french magazine)
DuranDuran (character in Barbarella)
Deep Purple (song from Mitchell Parish)

6. Use A Dictionary

Too simply to be true, but some bands really just opened up the dictionary to pick a name.

Evanescence, Grateful Dead

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.

Trademark Check

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.

WIPO text search

There you can see, that 30 seconds to mars has been registered, and Jared Leto is the owner.

WIPO search results

Now, I click on “Thirty seconds to mars” in the first row. On the next page, I can see what goods/services are included.

WIPO search results goods services

Conclusion

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?

Rock on
Felix

Please follow and like us:

Felix

14 comments to “How To Find A Band Name – A Guide To Creation”

You can leave a reply or Trackback this post.
  1. Liz - October 26, 2018 Reply

    Great post! I had no idea about the Global Brand Database. What a useful tool! It is interesting how back before the internet people were not thinking about the additional need to have the name available as a .com and how this changes what your band name might be based on pure availability. But in todays world your cannot afford to not have an online presence, and congruent branding is so important! You have some really good tips here for branding over all here whether that be a band name or a name of a business. Well done!

    • Felix - November 1, 2018 Reply

      Thanks Liz. Appreciating your comment! Branding is one of the most important things, whether for a music band or a business.

  2. Renton - October 26, 2018 Reply

    Great Post! I think that this is an interesting topic because it is so subjective. It is like you could find a name that all your band members love but that does not resonate with fans so it is effectively a not so good name. I think that people do see past names and appreciate music and then your name could be anything.

    There are tons of jokes out here like “the last thing you ate + the color of your socks – your band name”. That may seem crazy but like you said the most important part of the band is the team and the music. Your tips on a short easy to remember name with an available domain is spot on and very logical.

    There are man sources like you have stated (dictionary, brainstorming . name generator etc) I think that these are all brilliant suggestions!

    • Felix - November 1, 2018 Reply

      Thanks for commenting Renton! Love the joke. First thing that pops up in my mind is: Red Hot Chili Peppers 🙂

  3. Paola - October 26, 2018 Reply

    I’ve been through this, not specifically for a band but for a project where we joined with friends to create a band, it was very difficult to come up with a name precisely for all those who are already taken. After thinking a lot we came to a great name, putting together some letters of our names. Of course, for a real band it is much more difficult, and that having a domain with the same name is really very important. Good that there are programs that help generate a name, it can be a good idea if they can not get one among all.

    • Felix - November 1, 2018 Reply

      Thanks Paola. Everyone, who have been through a name searching process understands, it can be quite challenging.

  4. Wei - October 26, 2018 Reply

    I’m terrible with naming things. Especially if it involves other people. Never thought there are ways to improve that. Very interesting reading your post on the topic.

    And wow, I didn’t know there are software for generating names. Technology changes life, eh. I love fantasy names though. Aerosmith, how did they came up with that? Amazing! 

    I’m now super excited and inspired. Also, thanks a lot for the useful tools you mentioned. 

    • Felix - November 1, 2018 Reply

      Actually, fantasy names, that sound well, are a winner. You are completely without competition and will always be on top of Google, if someone types in that name.

  5. LearnToEarn Admin - October 26, 2018 Reply

    A very thoughtful and thorough post on how to choose a band name.

    I was drawn to the fact that you included something that was in the back of my mind when I started reading your post, and am glad to report you’ve covered it too – the point on making sure the name is not registered with someone else already.

    My situation was not with a band name, but with a website that I created that would’ve become very lucrative.  I just asked a simple question:  “What Is XYZ?”  that was the website name too.  To my dismay I had a letter from their legal department to cease and stop using the XYZ word I’d used as it was only to be used by the people who created it!

    Wow!  That was a kick in the teeth!  I had to cancel my domain subscription and lose that money.

    Lesson learnt:  make sure you don’t pick someone’s name which is already registered.  If you choose to ignore this vital fact, you will go down the same road I did.  Now I wasn’t ignoring, it was in my opinion a word anyone could use at anytime, but it had been registered and was owned by someone.  So make sure you get in quickly and register your chosen name once you’ve found one that doesn’t belong to anyone, now it will become yours and you can make a name and brand it for your band!

    Edu

    • Felix - November 1, 2018 Reply

      Thanks for sharing this example. It shows, that it’s not all hypothetical stuff, but does really matter. Although not all brand names are being registered, you should always include a check-up before deciding upon a name.

  6. Sylvia - October 26, 2018 Reply

    This was a great read and I enjoyed every bit of it. I personally didn’t know of “Band name Generators” which of course is totally useful and makes sense.

    I just played a bit with these generators just to check out what can be achieved. AMAZING!

    To find a good band name i never thought of it that you have to put so much into it but now, after reading your article it does makes sense that you take it step by step to come up with a great name, which not only will last but also brings total success.

    Brainstorming is always my favorite tool to get stuff figured out.

    • Felix - November 1, 2018 Reply

      I love brainstorming, too. It even works better, if you don’t do it alone. The moment you realize, you found a golden nugget is always the best part.

  7. Cris - October 26, 2018 Reply

    Wow, this was a very informative article. I have tried to come up with band names in the past, but never considered a lot of the things you mention here, like domain name availability, and I didn’t know about WIPO at all. Definitely something to think about, as I do plan on starting a band with someone in the near future. Thank you so much!

    • Felix - November 1, 2018 Reply

      Thanks for commenting Chris. It’s true, today there’s much more to this than just coming up with a creative name.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.