How To Chose a Great Name for Your Band

Choosing a name can be an unenviable task

OK, so I'm going to be upfront from the very beginning. I absolute hate this subject. I've wasted many hours with many people trying to decide on a name for a band. In fact, in one band, we spent more time arguing about a good name that anything else. Needless to say we didn't get very far.

The problem with names is that they are (often) very difficult to chose. We all have names for people that we either like or dislike and the same goes for bands. Equally, we all have names which evoke certain emotions, feelings or thoughts.

When my wife and I were expecting our first baby my father-in-law gave me one piece of advice which stuck with me and which I've passed on to other prospected fathers since:

"Decide on a name and don't ask ANYONE for their opinion. If you tell someone the babies name before it's born you'll have loads of people giving you their opinion. But if you wait until the baby is born, almost no one will say anything negative to you."

Well within reason I suggest you (or your band) take exactly the same attitude. Shortlist a few names and then decide on one. Once you've decided on it, stick to it. But before you decide on a name take some of my advice and hints below into consideration.

Make sure that no one else is already using it

Sounds obvious, doesn't it? But you wouldn't believe the number of bands who go out and have t-shirts printed, business cards created and design websites only to discover that there is another band somewhere else using the exact same name. If you're lucky it might be some little know band living on the other side of the world. But if you're unlucky it could be a band with a huge following just 100 miles down the road. Not only will that make you look incredibly stupid and be a waste of money, but it may also leave you in a huge pile of legal manure against an international music corperation.

I can't make this point enough. Check, check and check again!

Create the right impression

Whilst you might think that 'Charlie and the Fudge Packers' or 'Debbie does Dallas' are funny, they're not really funny when it comes to an image. In fact, some people might find them down right offensive. Now if you want be an offensive, hard-rocking, couldn't give a sh*t band then that's fine. Good luck. But if you're a covers band it's pretty unlikely that a promoter or quality music venue will give you a second look and if you're a Bon Jovi tribute a name such as those does absolutely nothing to tell people who you are or what you do.

For example, I'm the lead singer in a Blues Brothers theatre band currently touring the UK. People buy tickets to experience the Blues Brothers, and hence we chose the name 'The Blues Brothers Experience'. It does what is says on the tin!

Make it memorable

As much as you might be tempted to try to cram all the information about your band into the name it's generally advisable to avoid this and for a number of reasons.

Long names, especially when seen at a glance, are hard for people to remember. 'The most greatest and best rock covers that also plays a bit of blues band in the county of Suffolk' might say something about your band but it's not exactly easy to remember.

Another issue with this is advertising. Try fitting all those words on a flyer and you're going to struggle to get anything else on it.

If you're planning to incorporate the name in your logo you're going to struggle with more than 3 or 4 words.

Keep it short & snappy and don't try to dupe search engines

Keeping your band name short and snappy will help you in a number of ways, including:

  • designing a logo
  • space on flyers and adverts
  • ease of customers recording to memory
  • looks clearer on merchandise

One negative point of keeping the name short is finding the right domain name. Most of the short .co.uk and .com website addresses went years ago. However, you could encorpate another word in the domain name such as 'bandname-online' or 'thebandname'. You could also consider adding hyphens. There are also many other domain names available such as .biz and .tv to consider.

While we're discussing domain names, don't been fooled into thinking that buying a domain name such as 'covers-band-essex' is going to help you trick search engines into ranking your website higher for those search terms. That's an old trick and search engines give much more weight to branding then keywords.Chose a domain name that represents your band.

Finally, don't buy loads of domains names and point them all to one website. Google is on to this and has been for some time. Search engines will only list the most relevant results and you might even find that your site gets banned from Google for duplicate content issues. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be complication and is best left for another Hub (which I may write if people want it).

Consider how the name might look as a logo

While it's not vital that your logo incorporates your band's name, you might like to consider it. The most memorable logos do both. That said, it's not repetitive.

Including your name in your local can kill two birds with one stone. It allows you to claim your style and push your name.

Don't waste too much time!

I've been in bands in the past where so much time has been spent discussing a name that it's completely overpowered the more important aspects of starting a band.

Whilst a name is important, it isn't that important. Ultimately if your band is good people will remember the name regardless.

Still stuck for ideas? Try a band name generator

If you're still stuck for ideas there are a number of band name generators online that can help you pick one.

bandnamemaker.com allows you to put and optional word into the name. I put my name in (Ritchie) and it came up with the following:

  1. Appendix Of Ritchie
  2. Ritchie Of The Pharmacy
  3. Like Ritchie
  4. Ritchie Reactor
  5. Brazen Ritchie
  6. Stinking Ritchie
  7. Styro Ritchie
  8. Ritchie Suspension
  9. Ritchie Crust
  10. Ritchie Thorn

My favourite, however, is the band name generator at 1728.org. It gave some better name options to me such as 'Severe Canal Villains' and 'Forgotten Scoundrels' (which I quite like).

Thank you for reading this Hub. I hope you found it helpful and learned something new today. I would love it if you would share it on your favourite social media account such as Facebook or Twitter. Ritchie Hicks is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. Buy supporting this Hub and following the links to Amazon and Ebay you encourage me to bring new, refreshing content to Hubpages and help people out with new ideas, hints and tips; without it costing you a penny.

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