The Most Insane Custom Guitars You'll Ever See

Guitar gods have been shredding out on all kinds of axes since the dawn of rock, but some of these custom guitars are above and beyond the pale of reason

Malmsteen Custom

You would expect a guitar freak like Yngvie Malmsteen to play a pretty impressive custom axe, but this beast is on a whole 'nother level. Two necks is just the tip of the iceberg here - the insane wooden scrollwork makes this look like something Legolas would shred out on.
Emerald Bahamut

Ireland's emerald Guitars are rapidly becoming known for their insane custom bodies, and this Bahamut dragon will help you understand why. With unbelievable craftsmanship wedded to a one-of-a-kind design, this may be one of the most epic guitars ever made.
Koopa Troopa

Video game themed guitars are pretty owning, and one of the best we've seen is a sweet rendition of the Koopa Troopas from Super Mario Bros. Couple this with a shell-shaped stompbox and an amp with a big question mark on it and you've got some awesome 8-bit gear for the roadies to haul.

There's an awful lot of copyright infringement going on in this axe, but I have to say that the low-fi carving steez is pretty slick. It's like Marvel Vs. DC: The Guitar. I think this belongs to Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.
Devil Girl

If you want to express your allegiance to the Great Satan but also want to confirm your heterosexuality, what better way to do so than with an ESP Devil Girl? The Japanese manufacturer is going to show up on this list a lot, as they make some of the most insanely shaped axes in the business.
Quad Guitar

Chicago-born guitarist Michael Angelo Batio is widely regarded as the greatest shredder in the world, so it's unsurprising that he's had to invent his own instruments to keep up with his fleet fingers. Probably the most epic is the Quad Guitar, a staggering creation of four axes fused together to create an X-shaped juggernaut of hot licks.

Starting life as a factory-standard Jackson Randy Rhoads V, the awesome Villainizer shows exactly how creative you can get when you customize a guitar. Decked out with a variety of steampunk accountrements, this is a retro-futuristic axe that truly rocks.

The real question here is who would play this guitar? Either you're in a Metallica tribute band or you're trying to make some kind of ironic hipster statement. It could go either way.
Rich Bich

The "Rich Bich" is the house name for B.C. Rich's line of winged guitars, but this bizarre custom from the company is going a little over the line. Who exactly would play this ludicrous-looking bulbous thing with lingerie painted on is unknown, but they probably have balls of steel.

Another sweet video game inspired design, the only drawback to this Pac-Man axe is the constant fear that he's going to bite down on your fingers as you shred. Oh, and also it's no good against ghosts.
Machine Gun Bass

If you're looking to mow down the audience with some low frequencies, this machine gun bass guitar customization might do the trick. I'm sure you'd get in trouble if you tried to take it on a plane though.
Damien Death Cross

The Damien Death Cross, built by notorious guitar experimenter Ed Roman, has been responsible for at least three on-stage injuries as a result of the razor-sharp spike that protrudes from its base. I suppose if you need to fend off zombies, this is a good guitar to have.
Goat's Head Pentagram

A lot of these customs are commissioned by metalheads who are worried that a normal Flying V just isn't scary enough anymore. With four year olds watching all the Saw movies, we need to step up our game if we want that sweet, sweet publicity. So enter the goat pentagram axe. If only it dripped blood.
Kramer Enterprize

The Kramer Enterprize was actually a production model, but such a tiny number of them were produced that I have to put it on the list. It basically looks like something that Klingons would use to decapitate each other before playing a sick solo, which owns.

Guitar maker Lou Reimuller has crafted what may be the most troubling guitar I've ever seen. Meet "Teenar," the guitar that looks like a teenage girl. There's something extremely disquieting about the way he looks while he plays her.
Aluminum Battleaxe

What this garage-built guitar lacks in polish, it more than makes up in ability to smash somebody's head in. I'd expect this baby to show up in Brutal Legend or something. I'm not sure how good it sounds, but does it matter?
Fat Lady

And from the sublime to the ridiculous - I can't imagine showing up at a concert, waiting for th eband to come out on stage, and then one of the dudes is playing... this. It's so bizarre it wraps around the other end back to awesome.

Unlike the weird hand-carved superhero guitar we saw earlier, this awesome Batman axe is modeled after the slick styling of the Batmobile from the kitschy '60s TV show. Best Batmobile ever? I'd like to think so.
Jackson Zoraxe

All right, this may be the ultimate video game tribute guitar. The seven-string Zoraxe is modeled after the guitar from The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask - when you change forms into an aquatic Zora in that game, your trademark ocarina gets replaced by this fishbone axe. Now you're playing with power!
ESP Machine Gun

Another bizarre Japanese ESP custom job, this machine gun guitar is the perfect choice for your Rambo soundtrack cover band. I said that as a joke but it's actually kind of an awesome idea for a band if you think about it.

A lot of these guitars look like they're designed to do double duty as murder weapons. I doubt the blade on this minimalist scythe is actually sharp enough to behead someone, but that wouldn't stop me from trying.
Triple Heart

This very romantic three-necked axe was famously played by Steve Vai, who had a thing for bizarre customs. I can't imagine it being terribly comfortable to hold, but then love hurts.
Bender Distortocaster

The Bender Distortocaster, constructed by master luthier Brian Eastwood, looks like an absolute mess - a surreal squiggle of a Salvador Dali approximation of a Fender Stratocaster. But the amazing thing about this bizarre axe is that it actually plays pretty smoothly and sounds great.
Alfee Sword

Lead guitarist Tamikazawa of Japanese rock band Alfee has an amazing collection of totally insane guitars - so amazing that he actually sold this totally nutty custom ESP sword guitar. If I had this baby, I would never part with it on the off chance that lightning might strike it and give me superpowers.

Something's fishy here. I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist the pun. Looking at this dude curled around his intense sea-woman guitar is making me deeply uncomfortable. I can't even imagine the kind of music he plays.
Jeweled Jesus

I would think that you would have to be really careful about what kind of music you play on this guitar. Launching into anything even remotely sexual while your Savior stares up at you from the pickguard would be awkward to say the least.
Piranha Bass

This translucent piranha bass is quite the statement - I'm trying to figure out the aesthetic of a band that would employ one. Synthpop Fishbone cover band, maybe? Let me know if you find out.
Emerald Alien

Another insane custom job from the geniuses at Emerald, the Alien is well-named - it looks like a musical instrument that is not of this Earth. I love the weird little insinuation of a potential anal probe writhing towards the headstock

No, this isn't an actual Famicom (the Japanese model of the original Nintendo Entertainment System). It's a cunningly-carved block of wood that exactly replicates the shape and color scheme of a Famicom. Pretty geeky, pretty awesome.
Scissor Neck

It would be too, too easy to make a Scissor Sisters joke here, so I won't. Unfortunately, I don't have anything else to say about an insane guitar that looks like a pair of barber's shears. Was this used to trim the giant Flock of Seagulls guy?

This carving job is really kind of disquieting - it looks like the remains of somebody who came to a less than savory end. Now their spirit is trapped in this guitar, forced to pump out evil licks from now until Doomsday. How can you put a price on that?
Cigarette Mouth

Yes, I know that rock & roll is supposed to glamorize dangerous behavior, but what Phillip Morris executive thought that this demented axe was a good idea? This thing is so un-PC that it boggles the mind.

Yet another deadly weapon guitar, this one goes above and beyond by even having a tiny missile attached to it. Seriously, shredders: kill with licks, not with bullets. That is the true way of metal.

This bigfoot guitar is a thing of bizarre beauty. Like many of the axes on this list, I can't imagine the band that would need this on stage. Maybe Animal Collective? I'd be worried about getting a fungus on my hand from picking this thing.
Grim Reaper

The Kramer Grim Reaper was made for the controversial 80s band of the same name in extremely small quantities. The blade segment disengages from the body for easier carrying. And slaying, I'd guess.
Shark Bite

Sure, the shark-shaped body of this guitar is awesome and all, but it really takes it to the next level when you notice that the neck is a human leg and the headstock is a foot. That's attention to detail!
Colt 45

No, not the malt liquor. This may be the best of the gun-shaped axes we've featured so far, because instead of going for relative realism it's chosen instead to bump the whole arrangement up to cartoonishly huge scale.
Samurai Kyomoto Special

Back to ESP-land once more for another totally insane customization. The Samurai Kyomoto Special was made for Japanese actos Masaki Kyomoto, who is best known for starring in a number of sword-swinging action films. His hallmark guitar is not only totally insane looking, but the neck conceals a full-length razor-sharp sword!
Pot Leaf

Unlike a lot of the guitars on this list, I can think of approximately six million bands who would use this thing. None of them are good bands, but whatevs. If marijuana advocates want pot to be legal, maybe they should stop acting so ridiculous when they're on it.
Snake Bass

"Don't mind me, just cranking out some sick bass lines while hoping this insanely realistic rattlesnake doesn't come to life and bite me!" I know you want to keep your bassist on his toes, but this is ridiculous.

This guitar is pretty badass - it's one thing to shape your axe like a weapon of murder, it's something else entirely to depict a murder about to happen right on the front of it. I really hope the person who plays this is badass enough to not look stupid.
Coffee And Cigarettes

Every guitar tells a story, or so they say. I guess this one tells a more literal story than most. Special points for the crumpled up money making up the headstock.

Another bass guitar shaped like a venomous animal. It's almost like somebody's trying to tell us something.
Angelic Swords

One last ESP masterpiece to close the list off, this insanely baroque combination of angels and blades is basically like crack for Japan's bizarrely-outfitted drama rock bands.

The only custom acoustic on this list, the insane Pikasso was crafted by Linda Manzer for jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny. It boasts a staggering 42 strings arrayed across the face, and watching Metheny play it is an experience.

Awesomely bizarre silhouette + I Ching symbols + leaping tiger = pure win on every concievable level. I am trying to picture the dude who plays this axe and all I can see is an Asian guy with the best sunglasses ever invented.

Okay, there's "guitar as phallic symbol" the regular way, like you play in Skid Row and hump the air during your solo or whatever. And then there's the Wangcaster, a guitar so majestic that it defies the ability of the human mind to comprehend.
Bela Lugosi

This totally out of control guitar bearing the likeness of horror legend Bela Lugosi was created by McSwan for former Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody. The face even glows in the dark for ultimate spookiness.
Tarantula Bass

Yet another bass with an animal that can kill you with a touch. This time it's a glistening tarantula spider. Why can't people make guitars that look like friendly animals, like manatees or walruses?
Naked Lady

This astounding hand-carved nude lady axe showed up on eBay and the world erupted with glee. Of all the bizarre artisanship we've seen on this list, I have to give the most props to this. It's not the technical excellence, it's the dedication to the craft.