Naming your band is the first step to success for your musical project. This should be used as an opportunity to market your music and provide a snippet of your band identity. Misnaming your band would be a real pity for the hard work and effort you and your band members are investing in the project. That’s why it’s also good to know what to look out for to not make any mistakes.
You should first make sure that there is no band using the same name that you have in mind. Anything over the four-word mark is too long. Reconsider your name when it’s just too difficult to read or express. When the name is written down, check the spelling and don’t leave out the vowels. Don’t name your band across genres.
This might sound easy and logical, but there are many people that make these mistakes. Let’s have a look at these tips in a little more individual detail.
Make Sure That There’s No Band With the Same Name
There are a couple of reasons for this.
The first obvious one is that people will find it hard to find you when they search for you or your music. They might hit the other band up and then give up the search completely, which kills your audience building, especially at the beginning.
The second reason is that you don’t want to be seen as a copy band, wannabe band, or the band without originality. Focus on doing something that has never been done before.
A simple solution is to search Spotify, YouTube and Google and see if the name you have in mind has been taken by anyone else. If you find some similar names or variations, listen to their music and decide for yourself.
If you are inspired by a certain band and would like a name that relates to them, then consider going through their lyrics and see if that doesn’t place you in a good direction.
A third reason has to do with the business end of music. You will have a tough time to trade-mark your music and your band as a brand if another band already had the same name before you. Keep that in mind.
Anything More Than Four-words is Too Long
It is a tough job marketing a band with a name that’s too long. This provides such a challenge for marketers to promote a name that is too long to present itself as big and visible to the public. Promoting a band with a sentence name would hardly ever enjoy the top spot of the main headliner list of a concert. I am struggling to think of one that made it.
The public has a short memory. A name that’s just too much gets looked over because it might look like a description of one of the other acts to an unknown audience.
Use the longer sentence inspiration names for the album release 🙂
When It’s Too Difficult to Read or Express
If a name is too hard to read or to express, it will probably get overlooked.
Ask random people to pronounce the name to make sure that the normal market can integrate it into their vocabulary.
Being a fan of metal, I find it really hard to make the bands’ names out on the line-up lists. These over-exaggerated evil-looking names don’t make me curious to pop in and listen. Once I hear their music spontaneously, I feel like that could have been something I would have liked a lot.
Isn’t that just such a shame for the metal market? I know the metal market is not commercialized, nor should I expect it to be. I just believe that it could be even bigger than what it is.
All the famous metalcore bands have an open and inviting, name and logo, that is suitable for the market and new fans. Always keep building bridges for people to be curious and offer a chance to listen to your music with a suitable, respectful and understandable name.
Don’t Leave out the Vowels
Write out the name and experiment a little bit with the possibility of abbreviating and the use of acronyms, but please don’t finalize a name that has no vowels in it. People have difficulty expressing and remembering it. It’s suicide for your band from early on.
For example, you like the name Dancing Rabbits, but you choose to write it DNC1NG R4BB17S. I would start the band with being Dancing Rabbits, and as soon as you are a household name, you can rename or rebrand the band to the DNC1NG R4BB17S version.
Stay In Your Genre Lane
I think this speaks for itself. It would be strange being called the Tellytubbies if you would be a metalcore band. There is certainly some flexibility within each genre and each name and it’s important to keep doors open as you progress on your musical journey as a musician.
Let’s use a general genre name as an example. I would consider names like Jimmy Eat World, Muse, Pennywise and December Streets to be very genre versatile and are good examples of musical groups that kept a door open for the imagination to what they might be performing.
So to sum this category up, don’t restrict your versatility and also don’t go across the general expectations of your name.
To summarise, there’s not much you can do wrong with choosing your name if you stick to these five basic no-go’s. Try to think logically and originally. If your only goal is to fill up a venue, then Free Beer could also be a good name, as long as live up to your promise. 😉
I would totally recommend that you read the post I wrote on Choosing a Good Band Name if you need further guidelines. This is just such a crucial decision in a world where psychology meets marketing that all required factors and info need to be considered.
Good luck and carry on!