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CONNECTING MUSICIANS

How To Name Your New Band

by | Master Your Craft

Naming a band can be difficult, especially as most will stick with that name for the entirety of the band’s survival. There are so many bands that look back and wish they’d chosen something cooler, less cringey, and that could stand the test of time.

So once you’ve found your band members on BandMix and formed a new group, you’ll be starting to think of names. To make the task easier, here’s a guide to naming your new brand:

No idea is a bad idea

Write down every brand name idea you can think of, and don’t disclude the bad ones! Get the whole band to brainstorm and keep going until you’ve got at least 20 ideas to start with. Keep hold of the list and refer back to it over time. Your first few ideas might be the best because they came naturally to you.

Long name versus short name

One word or a long-phrase? A simple one-word name could be straightforward and impactful. A complex phrase could be a little more challenging for fans to remember. However, longer names are now becoming quite popular.

Change it up

If you have a couple of decent name ideas, try combining them. Take two short words and incorporate them into one name, just as Coldplay, Radiohead, and Goldfinger did. You could also swap the formation of the words, add some numbers, or change one of your words’ spelling.

Meaning

What does the name mean? Not all band names particularly have to mean anything, but if you can channel your band sound or intentions into a name, you’ll be ahead of the game. Keep in mind your musical genre and consider some names that sound like they fit your style and mood.

Avoid using your frontman’s name

Even if it seems like a good idea at the time, be wary of using your frontman’s name as the bulk of your band name. Over time, your thoughts might shift, or your frontman could leave the band, meaning more name changes in the future.

Rival names

Does your name idea already exist as a brand name, or is it similar to another group? Google it and see if there are any other bands or brands/companies that have already taken your name. Also, investigate if that band is active or not (they may have disbanded or might not have uploaded anything since 2010). If your name is unique, check whether your preferred website domain name and social media tags are available.

Think as an outsider

Do other people even like your band name? Will they be able to spell it and pronounce it correctly? When you say your name over the mic at a loud gig, will they be able to hear it? Also, think about whether it could mean something bad or whether others could potentially negatively misconstrue your name.

Fine-tuning

Is there anything else you could do to make your brand name stand out more? Some artists have their name in all lower-case or all upper-case letters, add hyphens in the middle, or have other accents/punctuation to make it unique.

Sit on it

If you’re still not sure of a name, leave it for a day or a week and go back to the drawing board. You might find that one of your original ideas was the best, after all, with a fresh perspective.

Standing the test of time

Don’t rush to decide on a band name. Most bands that hate their name probably made a rash decision before a gig or on the spur of the moment. If you still like your name after a few weeks or a few months, it’s a good sign that your name will last. Please don’t get stuck with a name that you’ll dislike in 5 years, as you’ll have to put up with it for the remainder of your musical career (plus, it will be harder to change your name further down the line).

Here are some quick, creative ideas to get the ball rolling:

  • Where do you come from?
  • Where do you rehearse?
  • How did you all meet?
  • Is there something that connects you all somehow?
  • What are your common interests?
  • Is there a lyric in one of your songs that you all like?
  • Think of the imagery your music and lyrics create
  • Do any of you have pets with interesting names?
  • Take inspiration from your favorite book, poem, or literary quote
  • What happens when you reverse one of your word ideas?
  • Take your favorite color and your favorite animal – put them together!
  • Invent a new word, or spin an existing one in a creative way
  • Choose a name that is a play on words
  • Is there a TV or film character or quote that you particularly like?
  • Take a look at some bands that you dig and examine how they formed their name.
  • Is there something comical you could include? (For example, Ben Folds was in a trio and thought it would be funny to call the band ‘Ben Folds Five’ – it confused the press for a while, and they had to explain it in interviews!)
  • Do you have any sayings or inside jokes as a band?
  • Imagine what band merch you would make and see if a design can give you some ideas.
  • If you’re stuck, try out an online name generator to give you a few initial ideas (a few prominent artists have used names formed by random name generators so that it can be successful!)

After all, remember that everyone in the band needs to be happy with the name, and make sure it encapsulates you as an artist. Decide on a name you’re proud of, as you’ll have to live with it for a long time (hopefully).

However, a band name is only helpful if you have a band in the first place, right? If you’re looking to join an existing band, try to form a new group from scratch, or search for musos to fill a slot, head over to BandMix.com. It’s the largest musicians classifieds site, so join today to connect with hundreds of other talented musicians in your area.

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