How To Choose A Band Name

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

Hold up. Don't choose a band name quite yet! There is more to this than asking a few friends if they think a name is cute. You may be living with this name for years, maybe even into old age as an old-timer, so don't make choosing a band's name a hurried decision. Take some time to read the book promoted in this article and really think about names.

Step 2

Simply searching a band name generator alone is inadequate. You may be compelled to join a band for the art, but operating a band is a business and the first business decision you can make will be to take care in choosing a band name after a week or more of research and discussion.

Step 3

Band Name Book: First and foremost, order The Band Name Book by Noel Hudson - $21.86 from Amazon right away. A must-read for any serious musician who respects business decisions. With 336 pages filled with wisdom from previous band members who were in your shoes at one time, this book offers a massive amount of wisdom you can capitalize on. Reviews from readers highly-rate the book for both its amusing and entertaining value as well as understanding the process bands go through to generate a name for their new musical enterprise.

Step 4

Phonetic Evaluation: Don't just make it a visual decision. Test the "sound" of your name in quiet and loud settings. Can people easily understand what you are saying by what they hear? It is highly likely that you will be verbally telling someone your band's name in a loud setting, maybe even waiting for the port-a-john outside a big show. Don't make it hard for people to remember. Test how your band's name sounds to other people!

Step 5

Additionally, there are different ways to spell the same words in the English language. For example, one word that 'sounds" the same but is spelled three different ways is: "there" "their" They're." This same problem can arise for other English words. Will people be able to go from hearing your band's name to typing the letters correctly in an internet browser?

Step 6

Visual Evaluation: Look for visual cues. What is the reaction from people when they "see" your band's name in big, bold letters? Not small type from an email message. Print out a potential band name in at least 2-inch tall letters. Then ask people to say the first thing that comes to mind when they "see" the words. (You should not say anything. Just show them the words.)

Step 7

If they ask clarifying questions or are not sure what the words mean, you are in trouble. If someone asks you what you want them to say or think, your choice of a band name is poor. Move on.

Step 8

Two or Three Word Names: Unfortunately, the days of selecting a one word band name have long gone. It is highly unlikely that any one-word name is still legally available. While you may ram-rod your way into a name, saying f-ck that defunct band in Idaho who had the same name, you may regret your carelessness years down the road when you must throw away tens of thousands of dollars worth of t-shirts and band paraphernalia because the Idaho band came back to haunt you. You see, successful projects become a target. And while that Idaho band may not be playing anywhere, it is highly likely they will want some money as soon as you become successful. Greed is real. Think about the future and don't adopt bravado. Avoid a name that has even been used.

Step 9

Trade-Mark: We cannot give you legal advice, but we can be adamant that you must purchase a trade-mark application through a service like Legalzoom as soon as you choose a band name. You'll need to conduct a search of existing trade-marks before you file. Don't worry about domain names and Google searches, make a trade-mark search be your absolute determinant of whether a name will be available for your band. The cost of the application service is different form the "fee" you pay the government.

Step 10

Given these trade-mark fees, it is important not to be careless when choosing a band name. You don't want to hurriedly choose a band name after a recording session, spend money on a trade-mark and then have the other members decide they do not like the name three weeks later. Whomever owns the trade-mark owns the band. Period. So, decide whose name or business name should be on the trade-mark filing.

Step 11

So, get to your evaluation stage and register your selected name as a trade-mark. Remember, the time you spend delaying your choice of a name and carefully evaluating all the factors can pay off in the long-run with reducing legal fees, avoided court costs, less hassle of repeating the name to confused fans and less lost customers and business opportunities because your band's name is difficult to understand or remember.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

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Suggested Further Reading

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