Music Note Tattoos

Musical staff

Express your love of music with music note tattoos.

Combining a Love of Music and Ink

Passionate people love to express their passions for the things that inspire them. A love of music and ink naturally translates to music note tattoos. You might think that such body art is only worn and appreciated by rockers, but people from all musical walks of life are memorializing their love of music in permanent body art.

Musical designs vary widely, from simple to elegant to hard core. It's time to explore some options.

Ideas for Music Note Tattoos

The following examples will give you a good idea of just how many different designs you can make using musical notation.

  • Notes: Notes by themselves can look quite fabulous if they are done in a stylish manner.
  • G or trebel clef: The trebel clef is a beautiful series of swirls anchored on a single staff with a curlicue at the bottom.
  • Bass clef: The bass clef looks a lot like an apostrophe followed by a colon on the right.
  • Staff: This is the structure of five lines that anchors the notes and clefs.
  • Time signatures: This is the set of numbers that follows the clef on a staff.

Now that a few basic notations have been identified, it's time to see what you can do with them.


You can easily create a heart by placing two bass clefs together in a mirror image design. Together, they make a lovely heart that clearly conveys a love of music. You can choose to have just a single medium to large heart design, or you might choose to link a series of smaller hearts to create a wrist or ankle bracelet tattoo.

Trebel clef


You can also create whimsical butterfly tattoos with either type of clefs. To use the trebel clef, flip a pair of clefs upside down. Next, flip one clef in the opposite direction so both clefs are now mirror images with the curls formerly at the bottom of each clef at the top of the design facing away from each other. To use the bass clef, face each clef away from its partner with the dots in between.

Sheet Music

If you prefer to stay more literal than whimsical with your design, you could go with a traditional staff filled with musical notes. Remember, you can still take some license with the design and give your staff some movement. Let it flow up and down in waves or curl around on itself. You can even let the lines and notes drift off into musical chaos to symbolize music yet to be written.

Expanding the Musical Theme

Perhaps you'd like to start small and leave room to embellish your body art once you're sure you're heading in the right direction. On the other hand, maybe you're the type of person who likes to take things full speed ahead. Either way, the following ideas can help you expand music note tattoos into fully realized works of art.

Lyric Tattoos

Instead of random notes, why not choose a few lines and lyrics from a song that has special meaning to you.

Some examples might include:

  • The last five bars of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and the words "Any way the wind blows..." trailing off
  • A verse or the chorus from John Lennon's classic, Imagine
  • The opening bars of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata set against a full moon backdrop

F Hole Tattoos

F hole tattoo

Although they're not actually music notes, F holes are the stylish cut outs found on violins and other stringed instruments, including some guitars. A set of F holes can be used to accentuate the curve of a woman's waist, or be placed like wing substitutes on the upper back.

Guitar Tattoos and More

Combine music with guitars or your instrument of choice for a unique musical tattoo design.


  • An electric guitar with the opening notes and classic line about it being "better to burn out..." from Def Leppard's Rock of Ages
  • Jazz notes swirling around an upright bass
  • A flowing staff of notes pouring out of a grand piano
  • Some recognizable music underscoring Kenny G's famous soprano saxophone

Band Logos

While not strictly music notes, you can expand the entire musical tattoo theme to include your favorite band logo. One of the most recognizable is the famous big red lips and protruding tongue logo belonging to veteran rockers the Rolling Stones. How about the prism and refracted rainbow long associated with Pink Floyd? Just let the logo of your favorite band fill you with tattoo inspiration.

As you can see, music notes can be just the beginning of a beautiful tattoo. Go where the music takes you.

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