The guitar can be one of the most beautiful instruments but there are some undeniably ugly examples that have to be consigned to the ugliest guitars list.
The team at Guitar Mammoth has put our heads together and found these vomit-inducing offenders. While some might find them pretty, we wouldn’t be seen dead playing them.
Here are 21 guitars that have sparked debates and raised eyebrows for their polarizing aesthetics.
- 1. Gibson Reverse Flying V
- 2. BC Rich Warlock
- 3. The Wandre ‘Tri-Lam’
- 4. Fender Katana
- 5. Teuffel Birdfish
- 6. Yamaha SGV
- 7. ESP F-250
- 8. Steinberger Synapse
- 9. Gibson Zoot Suit
- 10. First Act VW GarageMaster
- 11. Traveler Guitar EG-1
- 12. Gittler Guitar
- 13. Fernandes ZO-3 Pikachu
- 14. Manson MB-1 Matthew Bellamy Signature
- 15. Gibson Corvus
- 16. Bo Diddley’s Square Guitar
- 17. Dean Dimebag
- 18. Peavey Mantis
- 19. Gibson Moderne
- 20. Ibanez Iceman
- 21. Teardrop
- Ugliest guitars – conclusion
1. Gibson Reverse Flying V
An inversion of its iconic sibling, the Reverse Flying V flips tradition upside down—literally.
The altered geometry not only makes it awkward to hold but also gives it a shape that looks somewhat like a pair of misplaced antlers. It’s an oddity that even Gibson enthusiasts struggle to appreciate.
2. BC Rich Warlock
Our ugly guitars number 2, the BC Rich Warlock is as aggressive as guitars come. Its sharp, jagged edges and heavy-metal aesthetic can either pump you up or make you cringe. It’s purpose-built for metal – Kerry King of Slayer fame is a die-hard Warlock player – but its extreme look is not fo us.
3. The Wandre ‘Tri-Lam’
Made from a combination of aluminum and plastic, the Wandre ‘Tri-Lam’ is a guitar from the future—or perhaps a rejected science fiction prop.
Its strange composition and irregular body shape make it a head-turner, but not always for the right reasons.
4. Fender Katana
Inspired by the sleek lines of a Japanese sword, the Fender Katana has a shape that can generously be described as unique. Unfortunately, the aesthetic often falls flat, leaving people wondering if Fender missed the mark when they stepped away from their more iconic designs.
5. Teuffel Birdfish
Ugly guitars number 5, the Teuffel Birdfish defies the norms of guitar design with its avant-garde, customizable structure. While it may be an engineering marvel, many find its appearance to be more of a science experiment than a musical instrument.
6. Yamaha SGV
Known for a shape that draws comparisons to a hockey stick, the Yamaha SGV is definitely unconventional. While it might work for a niche audience, it often leaves traditionalists scratching their heads.
7. ESP F-250
With its spiky, exaggerated curves, the ESP F-250 looks like it’s ready for battle rather than a music gig. It’s a design that can be best appreciated by fans of extreme metal genres—but it’s not for everyone.
8. Steinberger Synapse
Ugly guitars number 8, the Steinberger Synapse is a modern, minimalist guitar that does away with the headstock entirely.
While it has its functional benefits, its sterile, almost surgical appearance has often been criticized as soulless.
9. Gibson Zoot Suit
The Gibson Zoot Suit is a burst of colors, thanks to its multi-layered dyed wood. Some people might consider it artistic; others say it resembles a psychedelic experiment gone wrong. Either way, it’s hard to ignore.
10. First Act VW GarageMaster
Ugly guitars number 10 was created as a promotional item for Volkswagen, this guitar shaped like a car logo is hard to take seriously.
While it’s a functional instrument, it seems more fitting for a marketing stunt than a musician’s arsenal.
11. Traveler Guitar EG-1
The Traveler Guitar EG-1 was designed for portability, but its truncated shape makes it look more like a toy than a serious musical instrument. While convenient, it doesn’t carry the dignity of full-sized counterparts.
12. Gittler Guitar
Stripped down to basically a fretboard and some electronics, the Gittler Guitar is skeletal in design. It’s a minimalist’s dream but could easily be mistaken for an unfinished project or even a piece of modern art.
13. Fernandes ZO-3 Pikachu
Nothing says “serious musician” like a guitar shaped like Pikachu from Pokémon. While it may be a hit at fan conventions, this novelty guitar from Fernandes is rarely played or seen as a serious instrument for professional use.
14. Manson MB-1 Matthew Bellamy Signature
We had a bit of a fight on this one as some of the Guitar Mammoth team love it.
Ugly guitars number 14, custom-built for Matthew Bellamy of Muse, this guitar includes built-in effects and a unique, almost amoeba-like body shape. While it’s technologically impressive, the design can be off-putting for those who prefer traditional guitar aesthetics.
15. Gibson Corvus
The Gibson Corvus has a shape that vaguely resembles a crow’s beak, which is fitting since “Corvus” is Latin for crow. Although some admire its uniqueness, others think it’s a design experiment that should have stayed at home on the drawing board.
16. Bo Diddley’s Square Guitar
A rectangular box with strings—that’s Bo Diddley’s Square Guitar for you. While iconic for Bo Diddley, its linear design seems to eschew the natural, ergonomic shape that guitars have evolved into for years.
17. Dean Dimebag
Made famous by Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, this guitar has a body that looks like it’s been through a funhouse mirror. Its exaggerated curves and points might evoke the wild spirit of rock and metal, but they also make it a subject of ridicule.
18. Peavey Mantis
The Mantis takes a classic shape and stretches it to an extreme. With its elongated horns, this guitar might look menacing on stage, but it can be an acquired taste for many who prefer more traditional designs.
19. Gibson Moderne
Ugly guitars number 19 is rarely seen in the wild. The Gibson Moderne is part of the ‘futuristic’ series that also includes the Flying V and the Explorer. Of the trio, the Moderne is often considered the least attractive, with its bizarre curves and droopy headstock.
20. Ibanez Iceman
Number 20 on the list of ugly guitars is known for its association with Paul Stanley of KISS, the Iceman has a unique, somewhat blobby shape that’s definitely not mainstream. While some might see it as eye-catching, others find it strangely proportioned and unsettling.
The final entry on our list of ugly guitars is the Vox Teardrop. While the design might be an acquired taste, it often leaves musicians and fans divided on the opinion of whether it’s a design masterpiece or a complete misfire.
Ugliest guitars – conclusion
Whether you find these ugly guitars refreshingly unique or just plain ugly, there’s no denying that they make a statement. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and when it comes to guitars, opinions will always be as diverse as the music they make.