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Guide to Creating a Band Name

Updated on November 21, 2009

A great band name captures a persons attention

A great band name can make or break a band. You should create a band name that represents your band, is easy to remember, easy to say, invokes intrigue and of course it should be original. Not a small task but this guide will help you work through the process.

Finding a band name - The Steps

Here is one way I have come up with to find a great band name or a name for any group for that matter.

  • Write down what it is that you as a band want to say to the world. Try to keep it to a sentence or two. It could be what you as a band believe in, what your music is about, what your sound is about, and/or what emotions you would like to inflict.
  • Find the keywords. These are the words that are powerful and that have the most meaning.
  • Take your words to a thesaurus site like and see what you get. Play around and try different combination's of words similar to the words on your list. Say them out loud, look for words that are powerful and inflict the image you want. Mix the words up, drop some, there are no rules. Maybe you will find that perfect one word name...but be careful, many names are taken.
  • Check for originality. If you find a name you like, Check out Myspace for band names first, as well as google it. If there are a lot of results for something else you can add the tag music or band to get to more relevant results.
  • You should also check to see if the domain is available. Even if you don't plan on a full website now it would be nice to set up your bands name dot com to direct at your myspace or other page.
  • Remember that not much is original anymore. We came up with Monster Squad for a new band name using our keywords we and big. Soon we found there were over twenty on Myspace. So...
  • Get creative and Be Flexible. Add a small word to create a unique band name if that is what it takes. Just keep it easy to remember. We decided we would sound bigger yet if we called ourselves Monster Squad Inc and it allowed us to be unique.

A good band name can get people interested before the band even leaves the basement.
A good band name can get people interested before the band even leaves the basement.

More hints at finding the right band name.

Hopefully after doing all of the above you will have two or three band names that are original, tell something about the band, and compliment your bands genre.

  • One word band names can be hard to find unused, and the one word band names available are hard to remember. Not that there are no good ones left, they just take a lot of hunting to find.
  • Creating a band name with two words will open up availability. Try adding a noun, verb or adjective that sounds good with the primary word you want. If the band name Electric isn't available maybe Eccentric Electric or Electric Therapy is.
  • Three word names can be catchy and original. Some that come to mind are Nine Inch Nails, Far From Falling, and Sick of Sarah. If you are going to create a band name with three words they should all be easy to remember and should flow easily together.
  • Be careful, your name is a first impression. Avoid names that will offend large segments of you audience.
  • If your name is too long, too bland, or hard to say no one will remember it.
  • Try the name out with your friends and family. Mention it to them and watch their reaction. Did they start laughing? Did they ask you to repeat it? Did they remember it five minutes later? Did it get the reaction you were looking for?

Create a band name that represents your band

To create a band name that doesn't fit is going to hurt your fan growth down the line. No one that likes heavy metal would want to go see a band named Sunny Meadows nor would a fan of bluegrass take the time to listen to a Smashed Skulls song.

A band name can invoke an image within someone that hears it. What image do you want to send?

Sometimes a band may want to separate themselves from others within a genre by creating a band name that is different from the norm. I would strongly suggest not going the opposite of your genre, even if you feel you are different. Different is a big step from opposite.

Instead create a band name by pointing out how you are different, this can provoke an image of how you are different.

  • A bluegrass band that likes to break into electric guitar solos could be The Squealing Swamp Boys
  • A punk band that breaks off into pulsing dance rhythms could name their band Dance Anarchists.

Creating a band name can cause disention in a band, it's best for everyone to keep their egos in check and their eye on the prize.
Creating a band name can cause disention in a band, it's best for everyone to keep their egos in check and their eye on the prize.

You found a new band name, now it's time to tell the band

So now you have a new and unique band name so it's time to print the t-shirts, right? Wrong. Now it's time to let the group give you a million reasons why the new band name you came up with is the stupidest thing they ever heard, and unfortunately they probably will.

Some of their arguments may be legitimate. Some of them may have more to do with them wanting to control the direction of the band. Listen carefully and be open to what they say. Even if you have to trash your new band name it is better to do it now then after those t-shirts are ordered.

How to suggest your new band name

  • Pick the right time. Everyone should be in a good mood. If you skipped the last four practices they don't want to hear your stupid ideas.
  • Know why the name is the best. You have done your homework, you have an original, easy to remember name that stands for what your band stands for. Have your notes with.
  • Keep your cool. It is a big decision, if your band mates don't want to commit to the name they may grow into it as you slyly throw it down over and over until they love it.
  • Don't 'give up' in frustration. Easy to do, but you did your research and you know why you have the better name.
  • If you can't pick one or the other try changing them slightly, often very minor changes can affect the perception someone has toward a new band name.
  • Be open minded and seek outside opinions.  Ask friends and relatives which new band name they like better.  Be prepared for them to like another band member's idea better.
  • If the new band name that your friend created is unoriginal or non relevant tell them that is why you are against it.  Many people don't think about some of those things and may back off their idea.

You only get one band name

If all goes well you will have a creative new band name by break time of next practice. Other times it takes a lot longer. You may think you have it and someone will come forward and crush it with some compelling reason that it won't work. Just be patient and keep working out ideas and that perfect new band name that the whole band will love will happen.

You could potentially name a dozen albums and hundreds of songs but you only get one band name, I hope you choose it wisely!


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      i liiike it! hello from Ukraine !

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I want my band to be called Godess, but seeing that Monster Squad was taken by 20 others makes the chances of us gettting this name very slim lol

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      thanks!! this is very helpful!

    • Clark Grizvold profile imageAUTHOR

      Clark Grizvold 

      8 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Thank You lovebuglena! I really appreciate it, this was the second thing I wrote publicly since high school and all the comments are really encouraging!

    • lovebuglena profile image

      Lena Kovadlo 

      8 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      Great article. Nice ideas in there.

    • Clark Grizvold profile imageAUTHOR

      Clark Grizvold 

      8 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      That is great propeshka, horses do have the greatest names! Great suggestion!

      Thanks Adam B, I am glad you enjoyed it! My next band is going to be a dictatorship with me in charge for sure, lol. I did check your hubs out, great work and very funny too.

    • profile image

      Adam B 

      8 years ago

      Hey, as I was reading this hub I was thinking to myself "No matter how goog a name you come up with...the rest of the band will be against it," and then there it was, the exact thing I was thinking.

      I have been involved with original and cover bands forever and NEVER do you have all the members agreeing. That is why I run a dictatorship in my bands....I am the head honcho and they are just lucky I allow them to be in my band. No not really, I kid, I kid.

      Good hub, I'll check out your other ones shortly. Feel free to check out mine.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I often suggest looking at names of horses. You can find all kinds of fun, interesting stuff there.

    • Clark Grizvold profile imageAUTHOR

      Clark Grizvold 

      8 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      I am way behind on my comments! Sorry!

      Thanks Cza, I hope you stop back and let us know what you come up with.

      Jon Green - I always have enjoyed the playing the most myself! Everything else just gets in the way.

      GoodbyeAtmosphere - You are right on with those ideas! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the subject.

      carolina muscle - They have one of the greatest names ever, I should research where it came from...another hub?

      Thanks Everyone!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I always wondered about the process.. this is very enlightening.

      (but still doesn't explain "Death Cab for Cutie". LOL)

      Great post!

    • GoodbyeAtmosphere profile image


      8 years ago

      When I create something and I need to name it I think of a few ways to brainstorm.

      ~List different things that represent your band and what you stand for.

      ~Think of events in the past that have shaped you and your band members.

      ~Listen to conversations, read books, and twist out some strange meaning or phrase, etc. from the resource.

      In short, use your inspirations and personal history to form a name that symbolizes the band.

      Some bands have just sat around and thought of stupid stuff and combined their ideas together.

    • Jon Green profile image

      Jon Green 

      8 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      How about The Silver Beetles - no, it's been done.I always found that rehearsing and writing music was the easy part! And, let's not forget that drugs have been widely used in this creative process.

    • profile image

      auntie joyce 

      8 years ago

      DJ..that is a wonderful article..not just your suggestions but also how you put them into words..great writing..I am proud xxoo joyce

      As for band names how about "Auntie's Arthritis" or "Aches And Pains" or "Missing My Nephew"???????

    • Cza profile image

      Brandon T Johnson Sr 

      8 years ago from C harm City, Maryland

      that's just the info I was looking for thanx a million

    • Clark Grizvold profile imageAUTHOR

      Clark Grizvold 

      8 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      I love all the comments! Thanks to all who have stopped to read this article, and especially those that have commented! I would love to hear some more good band names that people come up with...

    • Digihead profile image


      8 years ago from San Diego, Ca

      always wanted to start a band named The Unforced Errors.

    • profile image

      ross meriwwether 

      8 years ago

      My personal all time favorite remains: Bomb Sniffin Dawgs!

    • Maggie Butler profile image

      Maggie Butler 

      8 years ago from Little Ole' Iowa

      Great ideas.... Going to pass this on to some friends starting a band..... ;)

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      This is an interesting Hub full of sound advice. Excellent work. I had a band for 20 years and we kept the same name most all that time, though many members came and went. 15 years after I quit playing full time, a friend called to say that two bands were using our name on YouTube—one from Canada and one from Australia. And they both suck. It'd be different if they were great. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks! I'm trying to come up with a name for my band, but I didn't seem to come with ideas! I'll see if by following what you say I do...

      Thanks once again!

    • martycraigs profile image


      8 years ago

      The three name advice I like a lot. I'll have to keep that in mind as I look for opportunities.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Finding names from your favorite books or movies works too.

      I'm in a band, and we played off of Charlotte's Web with Some Goslings.

    • profile image

      Bam Bam 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the advice, I didn't realize that I already followed what you said 2 1/2 years ago,This was before I read the article. But it reassured me that I'm on the right track.


      Bam Bam

      Outlaw Social Club

    • Clark Grizvold profile imageAUTHOR

      Clark Grizvold 

      8 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Catheye - Thank you for the kind words!

      Indigestion - I hope you find one, come back and let us all know!

    • Indigestion profile image

      Jose Salvatierra 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks! I'm trying to come up with a name for my band, but I didn't seem to come with ideas! I'll see if by following what you say I do...

      Thanks once again!

    • profile image

      Catheye Willis 

      8 years ago

      This is a wonderful article--thanks for sharing!!

    • Clark Grizvold profile imageAUTHOR

      Clark Grizvold 

      8 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Thanks Kookie, glad to hear that! Share some of the names you came up with sometime!

      I appreciate it resin8love!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      thanx 4 the info

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      nice article.....its really helpful!


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