How to pick a band name (for sadly uncreative musicians):


Band names have always been fascinating to me.  They’re rather important for many reasons.  They need to be memorable.  They represent the band on flyers, album covers, in reviews, on T-shirts (& other merch), and anywhere else they can be printed or spoken.

This is why I’m continually surprised by local & national level bands choosing some inconceivably stupid monikers.  (Especially local level bands.)

I realize that it’s a difficult thing to do.  You’re sort of stuck with it once it happens.  (Although, I’ve seen a few bands morph & rename themselves several times.)  A lot of the good ones are already taken.  Metallica is probably the best band name ever as it’s catchy, it’s not something else, and it describes the music.  When you Google Metallica, there’s no mistake as to what you’re going to get.

Some friends & I like to think up band names.  Sometimes we hear a phrase or sentence or word & think (or remark) “…that would be a cool band name.”  It’s important to brainstorm.  Throw all of your goofy ideas at a wall.  See what sticks.

With the internet age upon us, I urge you to use all of the tools at your disposal when naming your band.  Primarily, Google.  Once you have thought of a band name or two, go to Google and type it in the search bar.  Hit search.  Have the idea?

If something comes up & a band is already named that, don’t name your band that.  Seriously.  It takes 3½ seconds to Google something.  You can even use Bing or Yahoo.  If you’re signing up for a website like Reverb Nation or Band Camp or Facebook or even Twitter… and there’s another band there already named what you wanna call your band, change the name of your band rather than having a goofy unmemorable and not even remotely cool url like one of the following:

  • reverbnation.com/[bandname]rocks
  • reverbnation.com/[bandname]1
  • reverbnation.com/[bandname]music
  • reverbnation.com/[bandname]_Pgh

I don’t care if you want to be a hit recording artist, or if you have resigned to just rocking out cover tunes in bars from not until the end of time.  This has been happening since the days of the old MP3.com, MySpace and PureVolume …and it must stop.

Avoiding these things makes your band easily searchable online.  People will give up if they don’t find you right away.  We’re lazy as a species, apparently.  Or we just have short attention spans.

Your band name has to be easily remembered, and your band should be easy to find.  I was in a band called Gasoline Dion.  Google that and nothing comes up except stuff about the band.  Like the name or not (& “get” it or not), it’s easily remembered & easily searchable.  That’s what you need to shoot for.

Maybe later I’ll blog about band name categories & give some examples.

For additional reference:

Have any lists or comments to share?

12 responses to “How to pick a band name (for sadly uncreative musicians):

  1. Officially changing the name of Ernie and the Berts to MiLK_pGh/roks.2pointZero

    Like

  2. My nephew wants to start a band called “the fall of the ferris wheel”.

    It could work. The hipsters can shorten it to the fall or the wheel. Big merch potential.

    Merry Christmas!

    Like

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  5. ALL is the most diffcult band to search for on the internet.

    Like

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  8. Hilarious: https://www.facebook.com/eyanyo/posts/409213642497512

    “Yes, there is a band called ██████.

    ██████ – Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives
    http://www.metal-archives.com

    Also check http://wedonthaveaname.bandcamp.com/

    Like

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