Tattoo Ideas: Music + Bands

Updated on August 22, 2011
Bass cleft heart
Bass cleft heart

Music themed tattoos come in several different variations: band logos, music notes, lyrics, and musical instruments. I'm going to tell you something right now. Getting a band's logo (like the Hatebreed logo and AFI symbols seen here) is usually only a good idea if their music inspires you or got you through a rough time in your life, if you're in the actual band yourself, or if you really like the image or logo that represents them. I'm not one to judge, and certainly if your heart is screaming at you to tattoo Che Guevara's face on your chest because you love Rage Against the Machine, then go for it. Just keep in mind that bands break up or sell out, their music starts sucking or they turn corporate, they lose singers and gain new ones. Styles change and people grow--you included. I'm a big proponent of never regretting any tattoo that you decide to get, I'm only advising that you choose carefully and wisely unless, of course, it's a legendary group. According to my sister, "I would never get Maroon 5 tattooed down my arm; but Sublime on my neck? That's a different story."

Lyrics are also another story. Words deliver a universal message that never gets old regardless of if the band breaks up or ends up changing their style. The haunting, inspiring lyrics of John Lennon's "Imagine" will never lose their magic even though The Beatles dissolved and John Lennon was assassinated. Some people choose to get the actual music notes on a scale, complete with treble clef, in lieu of the lyrics. A few trends have emerged in popularity regarding music notes over the past few years, such as combining two bass clefs (one regular, the other inverted) to form a heart or two treble clefs to form a butterfly. Another is tattooing the F-holes found on a violin on the lower back, thereby creating a self-made violin out of the contours of the female body.

Images: bmezine.com

LYRICS TATTOOS

MUSIC NOTES TATTOO

BAND LOGOS TATTOOS

MUSIC SCALES TATTOOS

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Aline 

        5 years ago

        hopefully that tat isn't the real deal most Maori and Samoan people frown on urtosdeis doing real tribal tats because the tats are spiritual and tell a family history. It is really disrespectful to their culture its kind of like a white guy wearing black face. But there are some symbols and designs that can be used without offense.

      • profile image

        Olifiyanna 

        5 years ago

        To be honest and blunt, that's the alobtuse best thing you can do. If this guy does some truly sick work, and tells you to get in the chair and let him have at it, chances are you're in good hands. If this cat has a waiting list, hold out for the work. That's a surefire sign it's worth waiting for. If you bring an idea to this artist and he can whip something out with a sharpie wherever you're wanting it, go for it. I have tattooed over half my life and the pieces that are the best are the ones that people give me an idea and let me go to town on. I have done sleeves like that, and never have had a negative response. By doing this, you accomplish two things. One, you're ensuring you are walking out of the shop with a one of a kind piece, and two, you are showing the artist you trust his judgement to give you what you are wanting. Get in the chair, what are you waiting for?

      • profile image

        aaa 

        6 years ago

        ???????? ??????????.

      • profile image

        beatles1012 

        7 years ago

        caution: if you're going to get a tattoo with birth/death dates, make sure it's correct! john lennon died on december 8th

      • profile image

        kayla 

        8 years ago

        I have a tattoo similar to the unraveling scale. mine starts with a clef heart, one I drew, not the one all over the internet. the treble clef is not only half the heart but the letter P in the word Passion, which is written in my cursive on the inside of the heart, which is on my bck right shoulder. the bass clef half of the heart gives way to the scale, which wraps from my shoulder blade over and around my arm once before unraveling, it intertwines and criss crosses in a couple places down my arm and it too had the sporatic music notes. it ends a few inches past my elbow. My friends like to debate if it should be considered a sleeve or not lol. That's just one way to start it. If you're considering something like this, draw it yourself, think of an original way to have it begin, make it unique to you, i love my tattoo, even though upon seeing this site I know it's not 100% original, it's still 100% me.

      • profile image

        meg 

        8 years ago

        the music scale - where does it go to the left - it looks awesome

      • profile image

        Brandon 

        8 years ago

        John Lennon died on 12/8

      • profile image

        anon 

        9 years ago

        Regarding the tattoo of f-holes on the lower back, that is actually based on a painting that is representing "using women as instruments" (as in of pleasure, etc). And f-holes are not music notes.

      • profile image

        Sebastian 

        9 years ago

        Can someone help me with this. I came up with this idea, but don't know if this has already been done, cant find a picture. I want a treble clef in the form of a violin, can anyone help?

      • profile image

        Nadine 

        9 years ago

        I want to know what Julie thinks aswell! I really want something similar to that tattoo. I already have a treble clef/treble bass heart on the inside of my wrist and would like to carry it on with something like that that shoulder tattoo.

      • profile image

        lala 

        9 years ago

        "

        it looks cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        im eating a sandwich.

        now im bored. -_-" lol

        Yer i want to get a musical note tattoo to but not sure wat to get?

      • profile image

        amez 

        9 years ago

        im gettin a musical note set 2morrow on my shoulder...already got 5 tats n this is the most wanted :) great tats on here n helped me decide on my design : cheerz

      • profile image

        amber 

        9 years ago

        i love the tattoo of the girl with the music notes on her shoulder ...but how does the other end start!?

      • profile image

        Natalie 

        9 years ago

        I ADORE the John Lennon tattoo! It's so amazing!

        I am getting my first tattoo in october but I am not sure what to get yet :P

      • profile image

        aross072508 

        9 years ago

        I have had 3 tattoo's on the inside of my wrist and it does not hurt at all...it is all mind over matter, really don't sike ya self up. But make sure it is something you really want..

      • profile image

        megapoof 

        9 years ago

        hey I want to put a bass clef heart on my inner left wrist and I know it's gonna be painful because of the location, but I wanted to just know if anyone has had one done there before?! I'm 15 and plan on waiting until I'm until I get it. Just want advice.

      • profile image

        brittany 

        9 years ago

        OH HELL YEA I WANT I MUSIC NOTE.............SWEET

      • profile image

        Pooki Lean [B.R. thug] 

        9 years ago

        it looks cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        im eating a sandwich.

        now im bored. -_-

      • profile image

        samm 

        9 years ago

        ok, so the one with the girl and the staff unraveling and the notes going everwhere would be super cool if the majority of the notes on there actually existed. can she read sheet music? there's no such thing as an eighth note with an un-filled in dot.

      • profile image

        samm 

        9 years ago

        ok, so the one with the girl and the staff unraveling and the notes going everwhere would be super cool if the majority of the notes on there actually existed. can she read sheet music? there's no such thing as an eighth note with an un-filled in dot.

      • profile image

        Danielle 

        9 years ago

        I recently got "Morrissey" on my lower stomach with gladiolus. He never ceases to amaze me lyrically and vocally. Couldn't have survived the past 4 years without him.

      • profile image

        Hgd 

        9 years ago

        does anyone know of anywhere (webpage) i can look for ideas for prince lyrics? preferably purple rain? if u have any ideas let me no!!!!

      • profile image

        julie 

        9 years ago

        i love the tattoo of the girl with the music notes on her shoulder ...but how does the other end start!?

      • profile image

        rachael 

        9 years ago

        This Is A cool Webby

        x

      • profile image

        jovifreak 

        10 years ago

        My 1st tattoo was of the Adam & The Ants logo 8 years ago. I loved AATA since I was about 10 and still do, I love my tat.

        My last tat was the Bon Jovi heart & dagger, i've also loved Jovi since 82, their music always cheers me up when things are bad, again, I'll never regret getting it done (trouble is the artist wasn't too good so it needs reworking) hope to get it sorted out soon.

      • profile image

        Sam 

        10 years ago

        That chick with the music scales tattoo that just kind of explodes all over her back has the design I have been looking for for years. My question is how does the other end start? Do you have a pic or a way to contact her? I'm getting the same thing done, but going down my arm from my shoulder instead of my back.

      • profile image

        Adam B 

        10 years ago

        I like this hub, I am in a band and I had a friend who wanted to tattoo our logo on him and after a while I finally convinced him not to. Eventually I left the band and the band now sucks ass. I saved him from a horrible tattoo. I have though about getting Elvis's face tattoed on me because I number one am a huge Elvis fan and secondly, as you said, he inspires me and my music. I don't have to worry about him doing anything to deminish my thoughts of him now anyway...he's been dead a while.

      • profile image

        katie m 

        10 years ago

        hey! can someone send me some pics of people with tattoos of cassettes (tapes!) its my next one in the pipeline and i need ideas!! thanks!

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