Photo by Corinne Rutherford / Pixel Faerie

Creating A Band Name

Written by Lisa Jones.

Need some inspiration for how to come up with a new band name? Check out the following suggestions:

Brainstorm a list of names
Write down as many as you can.

Keep it short or have a name you can abbreviate easily
This will make your name memorable, and it can also help for merchandising purposes (i.e. it’s easier to include a shorter name on a t-shirt or CD cover).
You may also want people to be able to read, spell and pronounce your name.

Make your name easy to search on the internet
Names that are too common will become lost because of all the other entries that relate to that same thing. As such, your name should not be a common word or phrase.

Weird spelling can also trick people into searching for the wrong thing, so don’t get too creative with the spelling.
Avoid special symbols or other coding, as it can confuse search engines and some people won’t know how to use them.

Using more than one word will increase the chances of your name being easily searchable. If you choose a single word, it needs to be something unique.

You should also avoid a name which is similar to another band’s name – you may end up facing legal trouble if it’s too similar.

Avoid anything with negative connotations, as this may mean you’ll have trouble getting gigs
The meaning shouldn’t condone awful behaviour.
Avoid capitalising on tragedies or human suffering.
If you have a swear word in your band name, some radio stations may not be able to say it.

Try to choose a name that matches the genre you play
You don’t want people to be disappointed because your band name promises something you don’t deliver.

Ideas for band names
– Something that has sentimental meaning
– Something that appeals to your target audience (an interest they may all like etc.)
– The name of a place of significance to you (town, city, park, school etc.)
– Make a list of all your favourite places and things, you may find a good band name in that list, especially if you combine a few of the words.
– Consider making reference to a TV show, book, movie etc.
– Inspiration can also come from common products; flowers, trees, cars, food, animals, colours, anything around the home.
– Flick through a dictionary.
– Put two random words together to create one word.
– Use the initials of band members’ names to create a word (however keep in mind that if any band members change, it may be difficult to continue with this name).
– Make up a new word, or misspell a common word.

Make sure someone else doesn’t have your name
Google it! You can also search for names on the Artist Pages

If you are planning on creating a website for your band, make sure the domain name is available
Having a domain name gives you more credibility, and the name will follow you should you change internet providers. Also, purchasing your own domain name will prevent other people from using your band’s name as a domain name.

I'm Lisa,'s founder and manager. I also manage the Aotearoa Music Industry Collective and Gig Space Facebook groups.