Tattoos are a completely customizable form of body modification.
While they are mostly carried out for aesthetic purposes, they are also commonly used as a tool by individuals all around the world to express personal interests, such as guitars and music, or a particular set of beliefs (religious, political, spiritual – the list goes on!) Really, what could be a better tribute to something you love than having it permanently etched onto your skin?
And with music remaining a prominent part of so many people’s lives, it may come as no surprise to reveal that guitars remain vastly popular tattoo subjects. However, this may be too much of a good thing!
Though there are many images of stunningly detailed guitar tattoos online, there is an equal amount of badly designed and poorly executed tattoos out there, too. This highlights the need for an artist who is passionate about what they do and, more importantly, has a keen eye for design. That’s where this article comes in very handy!
Our guide showcases 27 of the best and worst guitar tattoos out there so you know exactly what to look for – and what to avoid – when planning your next inking. So, what are you waiting for? Get to browsing!
What You Need To Know
There are several factors you should consider when choosing a guitar-based tattoo design (or any design, really). We have outlined these for you below.
- Color – Black and white? Pastels? Bright colors?
- Style – Find an artist who specializes in what you want, whether that’s Traditional, Realism, or Watercolor.
- Design – The most important element is the design itself. Find a credible tattoo artist who will work with your individual needs to give you the design of your dreams.
- Meaning – You may think this is the most important factor but that’s not the case. Notevery tattoo has to have meaning!
- Placement – Pick somewhere you’d be happy to show off your design. Do you want it to be more visible, or kept hidden? Whatever you decide, we support it!
- The Artist – We’d recommend picking a credible artist who completely understands your vision.
Tree Of Life (Guitar Edition)
A unique yet stunning design that would look great on anyone.
Grim Reaper Playing The Guitar
An explosion of color and a cool design? Count us in.
A Guitar Fretboard With A Twist
Ouch! Learning the guitar really does get under your skin…
An effortless design that exudes rock ‘n’ roll.
This is how not to do it.
Loud colors and a detailed design make this tattoo stand out.
A lovely design, but a little too busy.
Who doesn’t love a Johnny Cash lyric?
A little too basic for our taste.
Portrait Of A Les Paul Headstock
It’s all about the details.
A Work Of Art
This tattoo is simplistic and complex all at once.
Guitar Side Piece
We love the style but all we have to say is OUCH!
Surrealistic Bass Strings
A realistic design that is both appealing and disturbing.
Gibson Skull Or Headstock Combination
This design is flawless.
Horse Shoe And Guitar Strings
We like the concept but the script is hard to read.
We love the simplistic but effective appearance of this tattoo.
Tattoo Of Many Meanings
Minimalistic yet complex at the same time.
Don’t Fret…. Or Do
This tattoo is very one-note.
Skeleton Playing A Flying V (As You Do)
This cartoon is fun and well-designed.
A great concept with a not-so-great execution.
Full Back Piece
Taking the phrase ‘become one with your instrument’ a little too seriously.
Now, this is an epic chord tattoo!
Small Guitar Tattoo
Minimalist yet meaningful.
Epic Guitar Duel
Marceline vs The Grim Reaper? We’re sold.
Over Complicated Design
Lots of phenomenal work, but far too cluttered.
Electrifying design and stunning details.
A Broken Guitar
A Gibson snapped in half? Ouch…
So there you have it! This list features our top picks for the best and worst guitar tattoos currently out there.
Just remember that tattoos are permanent, so definitely think carefully about your design, the style of tattooing you prefer, and where you want it to be placed.
But if you choose to get any of these designs, do it at your own discretion, and don’t let anyone else’s opinion sway you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Guitar Tattoos Good for Coverups?
The simple answer? They can be. However, this depends on the skill of your tattoo artist, and the type and size of the tattoo you are attempting to cover up.
What Do Guitar Tattoos Symbolize?
It all depends on the individual client. To some, guitar designs are all about expressing a love for music.
But to others, a guitar tattoo may symbolize some form of rebellion against – or rejection of – society’s norms.
Do Guitar Tattoos Look Cool?
Again, this is down to the tattoo artist. But yes, a large majority of well-designed guitar tattoos do look good.