Call the Plumber. I Need My Guitar Fixed.

I’m not entirely certain what draws me in about steampunk art. Perhaps it was my upbringing in a family of engineers. Maybe it was the abstract nature of my mind is just plain inclined to welcome things that I think visually reflect how my brain probably works. Or maybe it’s all the MacGyver I’ve watched that established an interest in things built out of anything that could be found in the walls of a bathroom.

Hell, maybe it’s an amalgam of all of the above. Regardless of the source, contraptions built out of copper and brass pipes, gears that couldn’t possibly be organized complexly enough, and anything else you could clutter the device up with are awesome. Guitars decorated with such accessories even more so.

So grab your goggles and monkey wrenches. This is the steampunk guitar gallery.

Eccentric Engineering

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Wrought from the minds of the maddest of engineers we have pipes, cogs, wires, springs, coils, and anything else you can put on there that gives the idea that there’s some greater purpose to be served despite how discernible the function is.

A Piecemeal of Parts

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Then there’s the style of making a sort of a Franken-guitar. These are the guitars stitched and bolted together from any spare piece of something laying around. Throw some vacuum tubes on there or some cables and you’ve got a guitar, of course.

Gizmos and Gadgets

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What’s this? A cog? Put it on there. That? Who knows. Just find a place for it. The cluttered nature that helps define the steampunk style is one of the more recognizable aspects that can be traced all throughout the history of science fiction from HG Wells to Doctor Who. It is the art of clutter at its finest.

Water Damage

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A handy way to add to the steampunk style is the aesthetic of water damage. Rusting metal, calcium and lime buildup, peeling paint from years and years of unpurified water gushing through the many pipes that no doubt channel throughout the body of the guitars add to the idea of a guitar that’s built out of anything other than conventional materials remarkably. While not a defining trait on its own, it’s a nice addition to the style.

Steampunk Art

For those lacking in familiarity, the steampunk style can probably be best described as what people back in the 18th century would have considered to be futuristic. When it comes to distinguishing the style it’s a pretty face value thing to say it uses valves, pipes, pressure gauges, and cogs, but when you look at the history that went into the influence you can see similarities going as far back as the historic and ambitious sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci’s various would-be inventions.

Of course it goes without saying that the age of steam that was the industrial period is when the style really took form. Centuries later people took those concepts and applied then in abstract ways and thus we had steampunk.

Kyle Smitchens (448 Articles)

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.