Guide to Creating a Band Name
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 thesaurus.com 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.
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.
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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