No other form of body art has ever trumped the popularity of music tattoos, and these ink designs are getting more fashionable by the day.
From bands to instruments, there are no boundaries to the expression that can be enabled by a music tattoo. With millions of albums and concert posters to choose from, you will run out of room before you run out of ideas.
Sheet music and lyrics are fine choices too. A favorite verse can be kept for life, and its sentimental background will be evident to all onlookers. Some fans even get autographs of famous performers tattooed on their skin.
Still, the most commonplace choice is some iteration of an electric guitar. Classical music lovers shouldn’t feel left out though, because every instrument in the orchestra can be brought to life in the flesh.
Guys can use these tattoos to show off musical skill. By inking your favorite instrument, you become a walking advertisement. Girls will approach you salaciously if they think you are in a band!
To get a glimpse of musical austerity, simply glance through the hottest music tattoos that we have compiled. They will blow your mind and your ear drums!
Amazing level of detail to create what looks like a never ending set of sounds. The artist’s concentration to keep the lines separate from one another across a huge space as they climb and drop is prodigious.
This is heaven for inked turntablists. Knobs everywhere. Love the clarity in close up of needle, fader, and dials. The long shot action style works brilliantly hard up against the spinning DJ’s while a crowd goes mental behind him
Beautiful old school mike. The artist’s chrome game gets a sharp gleam into the microphone’s metal work and looks sleek on the arm. The black image filler behind works well with the sharp notes and music lines.
This is wicked. The old school chrome mic looks awesome shown in front of the neck of an acoustic guitar. The realism of the craftwork in metal, wood, and strings in particular is visually stunning. Threading curls of negative space alt fill in helps lighten overall tone.
The use of neg space as focal point works well for this music tattoo. The clean guitar face allows the strings detail to look crisp, while the musical chord hovering over the piano keys to provide them a contrasting light.
The depth created in this piano ink is brilliant. The whole face of the instrument is worked into this piece and alone is a great manipulation of space. It would be interesting to see how it works with the other tattoos on the subject’s arm though to get the full body art.
This is a great range of notes created by engaging negative perfectly in the flow of darker shading. Its makes a great, bold chest piece.
An awesome 3D color sleeve. Love the bright, looping note made to look like pipe writing. The abstract piano key works technically to transform with funky light blue, and meshes well with the two-tone mic.
A nice musical tattoo. There’s technical aspects lacking clarity in dot work and line, but the concept is interesting.
Love the 80’s Saxman style in this musical tattoo. This dude’s feeling it wherever he goes. The almost water color shading works effectively in concert with the straighter black images to maintain the unique style.
This is a hectic tattoo that just screams to go hard. The red swatches make a great, smearing shape against the face of the guitar, whose strings are well into shredding as you travel cleverly along their path.
These mad decks mix trash polka vibe with abstract 3D. The red splashes of brightness are wicked in contrast to the liquid black deck flowing along the needle’s arm.
This is a well realized, technically skilled tattoo. The artist has done well crafting clever angles into the break up of the record pieces as the flow towards the shoulder, made more interesting by linking up cog prints as well. The subtlety in shade work through the spiralling record itself is effectively done.
Abstract ukulele tree combinations aren’t common. This one is enjoyable. There’s interesting wood-grain for the surface moving up into a leafy tree further up the arm. There’s some skillful parts to this and the connection of instrument to nature is well done.
Class. The old school microphone and single rose combine for a glimpse into fancy bars of times past. You can easily conjure images of Ella Fitzgerald or Aretha taking to this mic’s stage. The clarity of chrome color allows for greater individual detail in the structure, mechanics contrasting brilliantly with fine silver rose petals.
Another awesome microphone tattoo with a dead man’s skull waxing lyrical. The black fill technique works brilliantly, giving the macabre image greater clarity to work with in skull shading and the chrome cast of the microphone.
Interesting inner arm position for this well worked old style guitar tattoo. The shading makes a fuzzy gray background which helps draw sharper work into focus. Especially like the detail etched into the guitar’s frets and knobs, and there are well placed amounts of white ink refreshing key curves.
Love the old school mic at the centre of this killer 3D arm tattoo. The modern speakers and bright filling color clash wildly against it’s main focus and almost street art style. The detail put into the pieces smallest spaces (inside the film for example) separates it from others of this kind.
This ink shrine is a shredding Pantheon. It brilliantly links each great of guitar using a wide array of shade techniques and fills. Love the trademarked dye of Dimebag’s beard in particular.
The image creates the perfect example of angles and sight lines giving tattoos different perceptions. By capturing the artwork in this fashion the liquidity of the smooth, black record shows up well against needle on vinyl. You can almost hear a song playing.
Cool. This is a fun minimalist set of finger tattoos. The music scales scrawl across fingers between knuckles with sweeps and points to make a delightfully shabby old school cursive.
This is a trippy abstract inner forearm piece. The shading and skin effect have created a strange, mind bending frame for the neck of the guitar, who subtly shouts out the Gunners.
This is a hectic, almost fish eye lens style arm sleeve, and it’s absolutely bad ass. It displays technical quality everywhere, especially in the realism of shined up and aged gramophone and small drum set. But it the ‘camera’ above the equipment that makes this stand out by providing an alternative angle to view each instrument.
This mic goes new school. It’s a no frills sound, but exciting piece of body art. The artist’s combination of black and gray webbing does an outstanding job replicating the microphone’s surface, while the imitation of plaster straps attaching it to the skin breaks up the black handle with the texture of wear and tear.
Playing that piano would take some getting used to. It’s such a unique leg tattoo that would look different based on changes in the angle of the subject’s leg. The ‘ivory keys’ are clever demonstration of quality negative space, and allows the line work to create the illusion of aged keys well shined.
This is a sharp snare drum tattoo. It’s awkward tattoo using only part of the kit but focusing on different opportunities to show detail the skill shines through. The kit looks polished and playable.
This fat black soundwave is cool. It’s ‘phatness’ gives the impression there’s a metal song or children’s nursery rhyme soundtrack lurking on the subject’s arm.
It would be better to see this inner forearm microphone straight on but even with the angle it looks cool. There’s nice effort framing the instrument between flowers and using fuzzy heavy shade as filler.
The smudged look is epic. The large note with black ink streaking down it plays off the ink spatter of notes and missed line work stretched out to make a skilled mistake.
This could be a skin from Winamp circa 2002. Love the constellation effect of the middle of the sound wave. It shines happily amidst the bright colored horizon.
A professionally realistic guitar neck. Laying the carved Les Paul down is a beautiful demonstration of expert technique matched by real looking strings and metalwork. The dark wooded color of the background mixes with shiny plastic of tuning keys, badge and nut adds skill to an on point comparison.
The musical road is the negative space highlight to this busy black and gray tattoo. The Mario Kart road with flaring feathers and microphone are exceptionally done. The sunglasses also standout because they’re simple and elegant yet dominate the lower part of the tattoo and close it off.
This is great, like catching the moment right before all hell breaks loose on stage. The artist has been able to create that sense of impending action in the cool use of color and shade throughout. The lighting effect makes the image look like it’s being seen through a snow globe.
This is a killer needle close up etched large on the inner forearm. Love how the stylus bites along smooth grooves in the record and the realistic looking head shell. The record itself is a cool variation of neg space streaking and clever shading technique to make it seem spinning.
Love the detail of this guitarist tattoo, especially the decision to augment fingers with white ink highlights for part of the knuckles and hands. The strings look ready to move and vibrate at the slightest touch, while the crisscrossing pattern provides a crisp counterpoint to the heavy, fuzzy shading
Another tribute to Dimebag Darrell showing the Pantera axe man in full flight. Again the smudge of color for goatee beard. The facial detail gives off a mad Rasputin vibe.
This gramophone looks like a restored classic. The texture of wood and brass mesh well and the fuzzy fill shading makes it look set up in a dark room, languidly playing jazz. The subject is building an interesting variety of tattoos together, so a fully realized sleeve will look sweet with additional finished pieces.
This awesome use of gray shade is quite a work to contemplate, weird cat and all. There should be more epic bamboo funky sax men sketches on skin for us all to admire. This is definitely ones of those you save and click back on occasionally for giggles.
This skull musical note head is bad ass. Violently scratching effects make shadow images on the skull. There’s brilliant use of black line pattern to rough up the skull against the beautifully clean black stem of the note.
Another composition that has been made to look smeared. Again, it’s well done. In the lower part of the sleeve the notes flow along the sheet, but up top the ink looks like it’s been smeared down the canvas with children’s fingers. The curving splash nearest the subject’s chest is a fantastic technical flourish to finish off with – this is a quirky, skilled piece of body art.
This guitar tattoo looks like Santana would play it. Love cherry red, the Mexican street art vibe, and spiralling musical note in zero space and sky blue. It’s killer upper arm ink that could grow into boss level sleeve status with smart use of fill and colorfully blending other work together to finish off.
A brilliant tattoo. The notebook composition paper creates an amazing pattern within the seemingly quiet body. The scratchy heart is a cool focal point, gouged out of the busy note paper. Having some note paper lines torn loose and flung bout the page like snapped rope is a well realized technical application.
Thought death would be more of a fiddle player than a plucker. Love the hauntingly realistic skeleton rag dressed and ready to play open mic at the rodeo (there should have been tassels on the elbows of his jacket) it’s such a clean and interesting tattoo, you can look at any part and enjoy a unique detail separating it from the rest.
Doesn’t matter what the sound wave is, they all tend to look good if etched into the right spots, such as this one on the chest. It’s detail is sharper than most but comes across clean and spiky in black line style.
Another record player and stylus stretched out to play. Being able to create various looks with record/turntable tattoos make this musical aspect so much fun. You can create so many different effects by utilizing black color and circle to work off the record, and the player itself is interesting.
There’s some real artistic flair in this piece, however i’m not sure that aqua/sky blue would be the best bright color contrast. Would like to see a bright red, or even rainforest green version of this ink for comparison. It is well done technically, featuring a collection of cool technical tricks such as negative space and color flipping shapes mixing against clear, clever black work.
This is enjoyable neo tribal tattoo work. The hallmark Polynesian shade effects are delivered with precision, forming an intricate design working off the negative space musical notes created fat graffiti style in the rest of the pattern. The sharpie thick outlines are crisp examples of using thicker line work to clearly separate between flows.
Love the realism of this headset. It looks like these ears are hanging up out of the way and are waiting for action. The subtle dot work used to give contrast in the comfort band shows the deft minor touches needed to make this tattoo as do the clear logo work and cord.
“Did you play my drum set?” This is a cool set of skins. The sharply drawn high hat cymbal is the coolest thing to look at in this piece,but it works as always, with a cool snare drum.
This is a bad ass tattoo. Bet you if it was a gig you could hear it anywhere in town blowing that Marshall stack. The guitars are the pretty kind that are either really cheap to buy, or unique and expensive. Bet you that it’s the latter.
This is a mournful tattoo drawn with great skill. Love the black figure trudging across the lackluster road framed by exacting musical notes in the power lines above. The contrasting effect of the different textured grays and black shadow helps create the maudlin, hard bitten vibe of a travelling musician.