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5 Amazing Tips on How to Come Up With a Cool Band Name

Renuka Savant May 12, 2019
Not to place undue pressure on you, but as a bunch of budding musicians, choosing the right band name is as crucial as the quality of music you play. Look no further for effective tips to help you pick the perfect name for your band.

Bow down to the Prince before you proceed.

We all know how musician/singer/songwriter Prince is certified royalty in the world of music. But fans will vouch for his eccentricity when it comes to choosing and changing names, as he has been known as Jaime Starr, Alexander Nevermind, Joey Coco; used an unpronounceable symbol as a name; and even called 'The artist formerly known as Prince'.
Chances are that as musicians, you'd find it way easier to pen songs or set tunes to them, rather than come up with an innovative name for your troupe.
All said and done, you need to come up with a name that rolls off the tongue easily, resonates with the audience you're targeting, and matches up to the music you're playing.
A good band name ensures initial attention―following which, you only have to let your music do the talking. It is agonizing and so we bring some important boxes you need to tick off before deciding the right name.

How to Come Up With A Band Name

Short is the way to go

'Short and sweet' is how it's said, isn't it? It won't be prudent to rely on people's attention span in this day and age. The last thing you want is for people to mix up your band name, or even misspell it and end up googling another―and worse, liking their music and end up forgetting you. Therefore, try to keep the name short, simple, and easy to spell.

Look towards your genre for inspiration

Your band name should reflect the genre of your music. Words alluding to destruction―'death', 'smashers', 'slayers',  won't seem right for a peppy pop band. Anything remotely happy, like 'unicorns', 'rainbows', or 'summer' can't be part of a band name that's into emo. Unless you want to go dramatic with a cool ironic name―as that would work really well.

Pick one that stands the test of time

Unless of course, you plan to be a part of an organized, put-together setup like the Spice Girls―who had a music company carefully script their success. Most bands take some time, 3 to 4 years or even beyond to achieve a glimmer of a breakthrough, which is why your band name ought to be tamper proof from the weathering effects of time.

Be careful with abbreviations and acronyms

Notice what happens when you name your band 'Shock The Demon' or 'Anglican Snow Surfers'? Long names do get abbreviated, and you'd not want to be called an STD or even ASS. In case your band name itself is an acronym, let it make sense of some sort, and let it be pronounceable―think Eminem or ABBA as stellar examples of the point we're trying to make.

And finally, ensure that your name isn't stolen

Inadvertent copying can happen to the best of us. Even if you manage to bypass using band name generators on Internet, or choose an exclusive name as a band, someone may have already registered it. It's sure to cause some legal tangles and a lot of heartbreak too, so make good use of the Internet to ensure that your name is as unique as your music is.
Still searching for inspiration? Here are a few instances of some amazing bands, and how their names came into being.
Backstreet Boys were named after a flea market―the Backstreet Market in Orlando, Florida.

Daft Punk originally called themselves Darlin'―inspired by a single by The Beach Boys. However, an unflattering review in a British magazine used the words "a daft punky trash" to describe their work. The duo was sad reading it, but fashioned a new name from it.
Dire Straits were indeed in dire straits financially before the band hit the big league, and the name just stuck around.

● Queen were actually called 'Smile' in their initial days, until lead singer Freddie Mercury came up with 'Queen'. His motive was to have a name that sounded regal and was universal, and yes, even have a gay ring to it.
Air Supply was a name that came to Graham Russell in a dream, years before the band was actually signed on.
So you see how getting the perfect name for your band can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be? You never know when inspiration will strike, so keep your eyes and ears open at all times.