Getting a new guitar is an exciting time. Every guitar, like its player, has a personality. You can respect that personality by giving it something special: a name. It needs a name, but how do you come up with a name for your guitar?
You can find great names for your guitar all around you, from celebrity influence or the guitar’s physical appearance. Others may pick a sentimentally based name, such as a person they love or a place. The best name will be one that connects with you.
Looking for more guitar naming inspiration? Check out our article for eight ways to name your guitar and some famous guitar names you might consider.
Why Would I Want To Name My Guitar?
For whatever reason, we have an obsession with naming things. Our boats, cars, and children are just a few examples. But why should we bother naming our guitar?
With our cars and boats, we spend every day with them, and not naming our kids would just be cruel. While we might spend less time with a guitar, it’s a matter of establishing that emotional connection.
Human beings crave symbolism, relationships, and connections. By naming a guitar, we personify it and give it a deeper appreciation. It represents something deep in us that we appreciate.
But not everyone has that same feeling about inanimate objects. There’s no “right answer” regarding why or why not guitar naming is important. It just is, and it depends on the person.
Before naming your guitar, you should ask yourself why you want to do it. Any reason is good, but having motivation will help you settle on the perfect name. Give it some time if a name doesn’t surface well for you. The perfect name might appear for your instrument a year after you’ve had it.
8 Inspiring Ways To Name Your Guitar
Guitarists name their guitars- it’s almost impossible to come across a famous musician who hasn’t picked a moniker for their instrument. It helps you feel connected with the music.
Giving your guitar a good name also gives it character and personality. Yes, it is still just an inanimate object- but it’s also a tool for making meaningful songs that connect you with others.
No rules exist for naming your guitar; the only limit is your imagination. Your guitar deserves the best name that connects with you and makes you happy. There are many places to look for inspiration while naming your guitar.
1. Looking at Your Guitar’s Appearance
People can name their guitars based on the instrument’s appearance. Take a good look at your guitar. There may be something unique about your guitar or something you love about its appearance. Is there anything about how it looks that makes you think of something else?
You could name it after its color. For example, if it is a deep cherry, it could be Scarlet, Ruby, or Cherry. A blue guitar could be named Sky, Bluebird, or Lapis Lazuli.
Your guitar may be a little on the older, rougher side. Take its age and scratches into consideration while choosing the best moniker for it. Does it need a name that shows its antique-like style? Or is it more rough and tough?
Some guitars have a nice shine to them or a little glitter. If that’s an aspect you love about your guitar, you can take a page from glam rock’s book and point it out with names like Shimmer, Glitter, Glitz, or Glam.
2. Using People and Musicians as Your Inspiration
Good musicians inspire more good musicians. It’s part of the trade. You can call attention to a musician you like or who influenced you by naming your guitar after them.
Perhaps there was a guitarist who made you want to pick up the ax. You can honor that by naming your guitar after them. It will also help you remember the reason why you started loving it.
If you name your guitar after anyone famous, be careful. If you tell people you are about to play Ed Sheeran, you might get some wide eyes and confusion. Instead, try to pick a nickname for that name that doesn’t full-name the person, or things might get weird.
If the person isn’t famous, just someone you know, check with the person before naming your guitar. Finding out later that you named your guitar after someone else might feel odd without explanation. If it’s a new girlfriend, you might want to wait before naming your guitar after her. If and when you break up, you don’t want to resent your musical instrument.
You can also honor relatives who passed that inspired you to play music. This is a great way to honor and dedicate some of your musical craft to their memory.
3. Naming Your Guitar After a Place
Some people name their guitars after places they love, such as a city, town, park, etc. If you want to call your guitar after a location, here are some examples to draw inspiration from:
- The site you got the guitar
- Where you had your first kiss
- Your Hometown
- The name of your school
- Somewhere that you always feel calm at
- A place you go on vacations
- Water World
Whatever you name the guitar, be sure the place has meaning to you. It doesn’t need to have meaning to anyone else.
If you choose our last suggestion, get ready to explain your reasoning. Some people like to watch the world burn (by choosing ridiculous naming conventions). But, you might have a good memory justifying the name.
Also, Water World will appreciate the free advertising if you get famous.
4. Naming Your Guitar After Fictional Works
Are there fictional characters you love that you feel your guitar embodies? Maybe something from classic literature or modern television? Whatever the case, naming your guitar after them is a great approach.
You can take inspiration from movies, television shows, or literature. This could be anything from H. P. Lovecraft to Breaking Bad. But again, you’ll have to explain why your guitar is named “Cthulu” or “Walter White.”
5. Choosing a Name from a Song You Like
While it might feel weird to name your guitar after someone else’s music, it’s all about what inspires you. If you have a song that inspired you to become a musician, nothing stops you from naming it after them.
You can also find inspiration from famous songs with names in them, like “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. So, you could name it Caroline.
Or maybe there’s a famous guitar riff you have always adored. For example, “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple features a very famous guitar riff. A nickname for your guitar could be “Smoky.”
Our one suggestion: don’t pick the exact song name. Find a creative twist that tweaks the song name a little bit.
Also, you might avoid naming it after exceptionally long song titles. One of the longest song titles is “The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You’re Going to Have to Leave Now, or, ‘I Have Fought the Big Knives and Will Continue to Fight Them Until They Are Off Our Lands!” by Sufjan Stevens.
6. Naming your Guitar by its Model
An easy way out is to name your guitar based on its model. There are several great makes and models of guitars that, include Telecaster, Stratocaster, and Les Paul. There are also a few guitar models that aren’t Fender-owned.
Again, you should shift the original name slightly, like naming your guitar after a person. Get creative with your naming and make it almost human-like in how you shift it.
7. Choosing an Important Moment in your Life
Playing your guitar for the first time in front of people is emotional. Everything you’ve done up to this point led to this. So, picking one of those moments that built the awesomeness that is you is a great way to approach it.
Moments like your first kiss, losing a loved one, and your first live show are all qualifying elements. Pick something formative you remember and feel deeply, so you can appreciate your connection to the name.
8. Whatever Feels Right
There are no rules when it comes to naming. Do you feel like you should name your slap bass Slappy? Absolutely. Want to name your PRS Custom after your cat: Mr. Whiskers? Do it.
The sky is the limit; you shouldn’t limit your creativity when naming your guitar. Just be sure it’s a name you can live with. You don’t need to justify it to your friends. They’ll just say your name is uniquely you.
Famous Names Celebrities Have Given Their Guitars
Most famous guitarists name their instruments. If you want more inspiration for naming yours, finding out what the greats have called theirs can help!
B.B. King, the king of blues, named one of his first instruments Lucille and later used the name again for most of his guitars. He did not pick the name at random. A fire caused by two men fighting over a woman named Lucille broke out at one of his performances. A burning barrel used for heating was knocked over during the fight, starting the fire.
Willie Nelson named his guitar Trigger. Roy Rogers’ horse, Trigger, inspired the name. Nelson said that his guitar was like his horse. This guitar has been with Nelson since 1969 and continues to stay by his side.
Eddie Van Halen had a guitar named FrankenStrat, sometimes called Frankenstein. Van Halen created this guitar by combining parts of others, like Frankenstein’s monster.
For a more recent example, Ed Sheeran stated in an interview that all his guitars have names. People from his work crew inspired many of their monikers.
Ultimately, choosing your guitar and what to name it is up to you. The best name will make you feel great about your new instrument. You can start by looking at the guitar’s appearance or checking out what the greats named theirs. Remember: have fun with it, and happy jamming!