Getting a tattoo can be quite a big deal, depending on your personality. If you’ve never gotten one before, you probably want to get a tattoo of something meaningful.
Many people have chosen to get a tattoo to commemorate their love for playing the guitar. If you find yourself with this inclination, you’ve come to the right place.
The following are some examples of guitar tattoo ideas that you can use as inspiration for your own.
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Best Acoustic Guitar Tattoos
This acoustic guitar tattoo mixes simplicity with some action lines for accentuation. The result is an acoustic guitar tattoo that comes alive.
With this tattoo, the design remains fairly simple, though extra detail has been given to the strings. What sets this tattoo off are the body binding and sparkle lines.
Tattoos have long been used to honor the memory of somebody or something special. This instance utilizes an acoustic guitar as an item of remembrance.
The simplicity and uncolored nature of the acoustic guitar in this tattoo are accentuated by colorized floral designs. This is simple, yet elegant.
If you play both acoustic and electric, a tattoo like this is especially tasteful. It combines both in an artistic manner.
This dreadnought acoustic tattoo is accompanied by a floating scroll of musical notation. The shading provides excellent depth to the tattoo.
If you play acoustic, chances are likely that you might have a beloved Taylor guitar at home. Something like this shows your love for the brand.
This is a classic design of nature that forms the hidden shape of an acoustic guitar. It will likely always remain a timeless choice.
Here’s another acoustic guitar tattoo that utilizes a floating notational scroll in its design. This makes it seem as if the guitar is breathing music.
Floral designs and acoustic guitars go together quite well in a tattoo. Something like this captures the folk history that the acoustic guitar has had.
This tattoo of a resonator guitar is quite appealing to the eye, specifically because of its use of color.
If you’re tired of the tried and true, seek out a design like this. It blends simplicity into the design of a comic strip square.
Here’s another acoustic guitar commemorating the memory of someone special, in this case, a parent.
Electric Guitar Tattoos
Electric guitars and floral designs also go together quite well. The colors of the flower make this Ibanez Artcore pop.
Headstocks are a popular thing to feature with electric guitars. Take this one for instance, which combines floral elements with a lit cigarette stuck in the headstock.
If you’re a Telecaster fan, you’ll be happy to know that the guitar looks just as good in tattoo form. This one takes a simplistic approach for great effect.
Here’s another electric guitar tattoo that makes good use of a headstock. In this instance, the artist included the entire neck, as if the guitar was sitting on a stand.
This tattoo of a Les Paul features exquisite coloring against a sort of pastel backdrop. The cable plugged into the guitar is an excellent addition to the tattoo.
Some people like to get electric guitar tattoos in honor of one of their guitar heroes. This Fender Jaguar tattoo gives a nod of appreciation to John Frusciante.
Gretsch guitars look just as iconic on a tattoo as they do in real life. In a way, it seems as if these guitars were designed to be featured on a tattoo.
Learning the guitar is a journey, and this tattoo captures that well. The guitar sits atop a mountain, emanating music on a floating notation scroll.
If you’re looking for something simply elegant, take a look at this electric guitar tattoo. It has a hidden treble clef in its overarching design.
The look of a Custom Shop Gibson guitar will forever be ingrained in music history. With the right tattoo, you can make it look like one is embedded in your arm.
The attention given to the guitar’s wood grain in this tattoo is out of this world. It definitely provides a sense of depth and realism.
Top Bass Guitar Tattoos
Bass guitars are certainly not exempt from being artfully placed in a tattoo. This tattoo features a name and a specific date so the owner will always remember that particular day.
Bass guitar tattoos can look exceptionally classy. Take this example for instance, which has tasteful lines, as if someone is playing the bass itself.
This bass guitar tattoo has elements that are very similar to the previously mentioned tattoo. However, this guitar focuses primarily on the headstock for the main image of the tattoo.
You’ll note that this particular tattoo incorporates a bass clef, which is definitely a nice touch. Simple additions like this can really complete the look of a tattoo.
Perhaps it's the cleanliness of the tattoo itself, but this bass guitar tattoo is extremely pleasing to the eyes. The proper amount of shading has been used throughout to provide depth to the tattoo.
Again, here’s another instance of floral design working so well with an instrument.
Are you a cat lover that also plays the bass guitar? You might consider a tattoo like this, allowing you to incorporate both into a tasteful image.
While your cat might not show appreciation, it’s the perfect public display of affection for your companion.
Here’s another bass guitar tattoo that opts on the side of realism for its artful display. This particular tattoo features a Fender headstock, with a hand on the neck as if it is being played.
The shading around this particular tattoo allows the entire image to come alive in a unique way.
If you’re considering a tattoo with color, something like this would look great anywhere on your body. The colorful backdrop alone is a work of art, providing a great background.
This bass tattoo is simple and yet, it still manages to convey its meaning.
Guitar Pick Tattoos
The turtle on Dunlop Tortex picks is a true icon of the guitar community. A tattoo like this is extremely tasteful, especially if you’re loyal to a specific pick.
This tattoo uses the shape of a guitar pick but displays a natural scene of mountains along a lake. Tattoos like these are great, as it utilizes a familiar shape in a way that isn’t necessarily instantly recognizable.
Not everybody is willing to put something relating to a brand on their body as a tattoo. This gradient guitar pick tattoo is a unique take on a simple tattoo idea.
However, if you are loyal to a brand, chances are, you’ve used a pick until it’s chipped at the edges. This Fender pick tattoo manages to capture the jagged look of a pick that has likely seen better days.
Here is another tattoo that utilizes a guitar pick shape, without being a blatant guitar tattoo. Rather, nature is featured here, which helps to convey the free-spirited nature of playing the guitar.
This particular guitar pick tattoo is extremely simple, consisting of a tasteful wave pattern. It’s placed at the top of the hand in a spot that is visible when playing the guitar.
As you’ve seen, nature is often associated with the guitar pick tattoo. This tattoo incorporates the scene of a beach with a sun on the horizon.
You don’t have to be a massive Eddie Van Halen fan to appreciate this tattoo. In fact, you can use this design as inspiration for a dedicated tattoo of your own personal guitar hero.
Here’s another take on the popular Dunlop Tortex pick. However, this one’s clearly been played with quite a bit, as you can see by the rounded point.
Plus, the tattoo’s shading definitely helps add dimension to something this simple.
Best Guitar Tattoos Forearm
Forearms are one of the most popular areas for a tattoo. This acoustic guitar with floral details is the perfect forearm tattoo and is decorative enough for all of life’s scenarios.
Here’s another example of how a floating scroll of notation can add another dimension to a tattoo. Excellent shading has been used in this tattoo to provide a sense of depth.
If you play piano and guitar, a tattoo like this is extremely tasteful. The piano roll is a great choice for a backdrop and is reminiscent of the Pavement album, Slanted And Enchanted.
A tattoo like this is especially ideal for a forearm tattoo, particularly around the elbow. Something as simple as this is actually quite an effective tattoo and catches the eye.
Here’s another example of the tasteful combination of an acoustic guitar with a floral art design. This guitar features standard notation on its fretboard for a unique take on a classic idea.
Stratocasters will forever be one of the most iconic guitars to have ever been created. If you’re a fan of this guitar, a tattoo like this is a perfect idea.
Modern music just wouldn’t have been the same if certain people hadn’t discovered Robert Johnson’s music. This tattoo is absolutely stunning, featuring an anthropomorphic catfish to represent Johnson.
It goes without saying that if you’re a blues guitarist, something like this would be quite fitting for your arm.
If you have a favorite guitar, a tattoo of the headstock at the forearm can be a nice touch. This particular instance showcases a Squier Stratocaster headstock, with realistic artwork and superb shading.
Even if you don’t have a particular favorite, a simple guitar design like this can really get the job done. It’s wholly unique without looking like any sort of specific guitar.
Guitar Tattoo Arm
If you’re looking to utilize your arm, you might consider a tattoo of an acoustic guitar soundhole. Something like this is extremely appealing and conveys its meaning without being over the top.
This particular tattoo utilizes the length of the arm in a deceiving fashion. At first glance, it truly does look as if the strings are coming out of the arm.
Here’s yet another instance of an iconic headstock being given special treatment in tattoo form. The Telecaster in this tattoo is adorned with roses and a scroll of music for a cohesive look.
There’s something to be said about guitar tattoos that have a sort of deconstructed imagery. This particular tattoo has an acoustic guitar with segments unaligned with other segments for a unique look.
You’ve seen quite a few guitar tattoos with floral patterns, but you haven’t seen one like this. The flowers in this tattoo are more subdued, allowing the image of the guitar to take center stage.
Here’s a guitar tattoo that has a classic design that looks as if it took inspiration from classic sources. The heavens appear to shine brightly as the doves in this tattoo fly around the guitar.
If you’re into realistic tattoos, you’ll appreciate this tattoo of a Gibson ES-335 with a pocket watch. All of the colors are done well here, with the guitar being the main focus of the tattoo.
This Les Paul tattoo adds in elements of a grid for a very artistic homage to the classic guitar. Something like this is tasteful without being over the top.
Here’s another extremely tasteful tattoo, which takes place within a defined diamond shape. The guitar has an exquisite Fibonacci-inspired rosette that makes the guitar really pop out of the tattoo.
Top Guitar Tattoo Sleeve
Guitar tattoos make for a perfect idea for a guitar sleeve. This Willie Nelson tattoo is exceptional, with his guitar, Trigger, and a large cloud of smoke to complete the picture.
Sleeves often incorporate multiple things for a much fuller picture. This sleeve incorporates a microphone, piano, and drums with its guitar, set against a wavy background.
Here’s another tattoo sleeve that incorporates different musical instruments. It uses more of the instruments without too much need for a specific background style.
Something like this is a bit extreme and isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste. However, nobody can deny that this sleeve idea makes great use of the space found on an arm.
This sleeve makes use of an electric guitar amidst some floral elements and some fairy tale imagery. While this might be at an incomplete stage, it does give you an idea of the direction it could take.
If you’re a singer and a guitar player, a sleeve idea like this could be the very thing you’re looking for. The large ornamental rose and the old piano keys add a very distinct character to the tattoo.
If you were ever to be stranded on an island, what would you take with you? For many, it would be their guitar, and an attractive tattoo like this helps to encapsulate that.
Do you have pleasant memories of playing on the stage under the big lights in front of massive audiences? A tattoo like this can certainly help you honor the glory days of the past.
This tattoo features a bright pop of color that is really aligned with the 1950s era of rock and roll. The dotted background work really helps pull the entire imagery of the sleeve together.
Simple Guitar Tattoos
Simple guitar tattoos are especially ideal if you want something effective, yet remaining understated and affordable. This acoustic guitar seemingly composed of one single line is quite appealing.
Portions of sleeves can also incorporate simple guitar tattoos in a great way. Take this one, for instance, which features an acoustic guitar with a floral banner.
Even if you did want a simple guitar tattoo, it certainly doesn’t mean that the design can’t be complex. Something like this takes inspiration from a guitar painted by a stiff paintbrush.
This simple guitar tattoo has a sort of cartoonish design of a classic idea of a hand playing the guitar. In this way, the tattoo-wearer is also showing devotion to their favorite acoustic guitar brand.
Here’s another simplistic acoustic guitar design, featuring minimal lines. This tattoo utilizes subtle coloring for a more appealing presentation.
It’s not uncommon to want to blend elements such as a guitar and a musical clef into a tattoo. An example like this shows it can be done while still being minimalistic.
This simple guitar tattoo features an extremely minimalistic approach, as only certain areas of the guitar are highlighted. Nevertheless, this is quite an artistic take on a standard guitar tattoo.
Do you have a fondness for the possibilities associated with outer space? A simple tattoo like this combines the guitar with cosmic elements.
While this tattoo might be fairly simple, it has quite a bit going on within its imagery. Adding the touches of moving music, as well as a message at the neck, are great choices with this tattoo.
Best Guitar Tattoo Ideas, Final Thoughts
As you can see, there is no shortage of ideas available when it comes to guitar tattoos. The reality is that many of them are, in fact, just variations on ideas that already existed.
Whether you opt for something classic or totally unique, a guitar tattoo is a great way to show your personality. In some ways, getting a guitar tattoo is outwardly showing personal devotion to the craft of your passion.