If you’re searching for tattoos of guitars to help inspire your next piece of ink, you’re in the right place. Below you will find over 100 incredible guitar tattoo ideas!
Acoustic and electric guitar, bass, picks, small and simple, color, black and grey, forearm, full sleeves, fine line – you name it, it’s in here.
While I’m not a tattoo artist myself, I am a graphic designer, I have several tattoos, plus I work in a guitar store and run a guitar website. So I like to think I am at least somewhat in a decent position to be suggesting some good guitar tattoo designs. Although, feel free to disagree, haha!
Guitar Tattoo Ideas
Personally I feel that a guitar is a very tricky subject to capture pleasingly as a tattoo, thanks mainly to the many small parts of a guitar and fine, intricate details. For example, in certain tattoos of guitars, a great design can be completely ruined because it is so hard to ink super-straight strings on such a small scale. While researching this list I found a ton of guitar tattoos which could have been amazing, but were ruined by wonky string lines. In others, the artist has completely left out the strings altogether!
For this reason, I feel that many of the best guitar tattoo ideas in this list don’t feature a full and accurate guitar. Many of the designs in this gallery have been chosen because they manage to portray the idea of a guitar without spoiling it by going into too much detail.
Other designs in here might not be quite the best executed, but I included them because I loved the concept. Perhaps a more talented artist could really nail these ones!
I have tried my best to include the Instagram account names for each of the talented artists in case you want to check out more of their work. If I have made a mistake with any of the names please get in touch and I will correct them.
Acoustic Guitar Tattoos
While researching this list, acoustic guitar tattoos definitely seemed to be the most common choice. You acoustic guitarists are a devoted lot!
Acoustic guitars tend to work a little bit better as tattoos because they feature less intricate parts than their electric cousins. In addition they tend to have softer, better flowing lines and curves.
Personally, I think number 27 is my favorite – how about you?
Guitar Pick Tattoos
Guitar pick tattoos were also a very popular design idea during my research, but I struggled to find many that I really liked. As it turns out, a guitar pick can be quite an awkward shape to constrain your art to!
For me, the winner is the design which places the wave inside of the pick. What do you think?
Bass Guitar Tattoos
Okay slappers and poppers, now it’s your turn! There are plenty of amazing bass guitar tattoo designs out there, many of which seem to focus on the headstock.
The thicker and lower number strings on a bass guitar makes for a slightly easier job for the artist to recreate in a pleasing way.
I noticed a lot of ‘skin-rip’ style tattoos here, and these seem to work better with a bass fretboard rather than a 6-string electric. They do look awesome!
Guitar Tattoo Forearm Ideas
Your forearms are a great place for a tattoo as you can easily admire your artwork every day, or also cover it up with a shirt if you need to. In addition, your forearms tend to stay more or less the same size if you gain or lose weight, so your ink should stay looking fresh for a long time!
If you think that pain is an issue for you, here is something you might like to know. It is generally considered that the outer forearm is much less painful to ink than the inner!
Here is a selection of the best guitar tattoo forearm ideas that I was able to find.
Guitar Tattoo Arm Ideas
Your arm is an excellent spot for a tattoo as the size and space available means that they can be really big and detailed. Plus your arm spends half of the year (maybe not here in rainy Scotland!) uncovered, so it’s easy to show off!
Although it’s easy to go ultra-detailed in such a good space, minimal designs are very popular at the moment and also look great here in a larger size.
Here are some of the best guitar tattoo arm ideas I could find…
Here’s a quick video that explains some of the pros and cons of a forearm tattoo that is definitely worth a few minutes of your time!
Guitar Tattoo Sleeve Ideas
For those who prefer to go big or go home, a guitar tattoo sleeve could be the way to go!
These designs are not for the faint of heart and will take a longer time to complete, but will definitely make the biggest visual impact.
A full, or half-sleeve allows the guitar to be mixed in with other design elements for a more cohesive aesthetic. While a guitar tattoo on its own can look a little like a sticker on occasion, you won’t have this issue with a sleeve!
Small & Simple Guitar Tattoos
If you’re getting your first tattoo, or are unsure about how much pain you can tolerate, then why not try one of these simple and small guitar tattoos?
These are also great if you like a minimalist style, or if you aren’t allowed big tattoos at work. These designs also tend to mesh well with most fashion styles.
For small tattoos, clear and simple is usually better…
Guitar Tattoo Designs to Avoid
Why not check out my other article which shows off some of the worst guitar tattoo designs that I could find?
At the very least it might give you a good idea of which types of designs you might like to avoid. You may also get a good giggle out of it…
Share These Tattoos of Guitars!
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Hope you found inspiration from this list of the best guitar tattoos I could find!
If this is going to be your first tattoo, why not check out this awesome tattoo guide for beginners from Beardbrand.