Stickers on acoustic guitar: safety and places to apply them

Putting guitar stickers on the guitar is a quite well-known action, which many people do, especially famous guitarists. It can be very beautiful and very personal at the same time: the purpose that guitarists are following by applying stickers on the guitar can be very vague or very distinguishable.

But it doesn’t matter – in any case, it is very personal and means for every person who does this something very different from another. 

But what unites people in this matter is a question, which everyone can ask: “Is it safe to put stickers on the guitar? Does it ruin the guitar and the sound?”.

If you want to know the answers to the questions, then read this article.

stickers on acoustic guitar

Applying stickers on the acoustic guitar: can you do it?

Many people wonder whether they can put stickers on their guitars, whether this is right or wrong to do.

You definitely can put the guitar stickers on your guitar and be afraid of nothing. It is understandable, why you want to do this. Everyone wants to express themselves, to make the guitar their own, to make the acoustic guitar special. If it belongs to you then you can do whatever you want with the guitar.

You should pick the guitar stickers you like the most and apply them on the guitar body very carefully: it would not be very easy to get rid of the stickers once you put all of them on the acoustic guitar. Be creative and make a unique design. 

Don’t be afraid, do not think that this is very strange.

A lot of famous guitarists did this, too, for instance, Kurt Cobain, and many others.

But you should choose the place where you apply them wisely. 

Where you should place stickers on the guitar

There are a lot of places on the guitar body where you may apply your stickers, like the fretboard and guitar finish. You can be creative here.

It is important to note beforehand that choosing the spot of guitar to put the guitar stickers is a very personal matter and it depends on the taste. However, as it said, you should not forget that some places can be easily damaged, or putting stickers in another place may certainly affect the sound and the tone.

So, there are several recommendations on where you should place them – and what can be your best choice in this case.

Fretboard: should you place stickers there?

You definitely may apply the stickers on the fretboard of your guitar: it doesn’t matter if they are electric guitars or acoustic guitars, even if you have a bass guitar. 

You will not ruin the tone if you put them on your fretboard. 

A lot of guitar players prefer to put stickers on the fretboard because it helps them to counteract the emergence of monotonous frets. The stickers on your fretboard will be saved there for quite a lot time if you put your stickers on your acoustic guitar.

So, if want them to be put on your guitar for a long time then this spot is recommended for getting stickers there.

Do not forget to loosen up your guitar strings, do not forget to put them off – be very careful with the strings, and then all will be fine. 

Putting stickers on a guitar fretboard: cautions

Although you know now that you are able to put stickers on the fretboard, you need to know several cautions if you do not want to harm your guitar and the wood of the guitar.

You have to use specific guitar fretboard stickers that are made of a certain material. And you should avoid those ones that can ruin your fretboard.

If your fretboard is lacquered, then you absolutely should use fretboard stickers that are non-residue and temporary.  

You also should not use vinyl stickers, plastic-based stickers, paper stickers, and also duct tape stickers. You are at risk to decolorize and harm the fretboard.

It is so because they are permanent and when you try to remove them, you may have to put tremendous effort to do this carefully, without damaging the fretboard’s wood. Vinyl stickers also may harm the guitar and quite a lot.

It is recommended to print diagrams. It will also help you to play your instrument if you are a beginner. 

Also, you are in the ability to apply seal guitar decals there. It will be like a tattoo after all because it will be absorbed by the wood of the instrument. So, if the sticker can be not tight enough and some part of the sticker can be removed itself and can slow down your movements and affect the strings, you can’t say the same about decals. 

Front of a guitar body

Putting stickers there is absolutely safe and will not harm the sound or the surface of your instrument. By the way, this spot is very popular, a lot of guitar players put stickers there.

The top corner or the bottom corner on the front of the guitar body can be your best aesthetic choice. 

If you have an acoustic guitar, then you definitely should put stickers at the bottom corner. 

And it is also recommended to keep the number of your stickers there low. Too many stickers may affect the tone of the guitar after all.

Guitar back and guitar finish

Well, this is the part of the guitar where you can be creative. And you may not limit the number of guitar stickers there. It is surely not dangerous to put stickers on this spot. And will affect nothing. Also, it will not damage the wood.

And a guitar’s finish or a guitar back with stickers can be even more personal because not many groups of people can see anything on the guitar back unless you let them do it.

A headstock

A headstock is another very good part of the guitar to put stickers on. It is not damaging, it will not worsen your sound. And it simply will look more beautiful. You put a sticker and, by the way, you may put a decal there – everything will look perfect there. 

Using the decal is even better because there is no obstacle for you in case you want to seal it. 

So, now you know where you can put your stickers on the guitar without affecting the tone. You should choose the best place to put stickers yourself and use them to your satisfaction.

Stickers on the guitar: do they affect the sound?

So, the vital question about putting stickers on the guitar is if stickers affect the tone and the sound of the instrument and whether you may ruin guitars. Now it is time to figure it all out and find the answer to the question. 

The main answer that many people prefer to give you is that it is safe and it will harm nothing. They may tell you that you can use a lot of stickers, the amount that you want.

Well, the truth is that the stickers themselves are not dangerous to your guitars and the sound. It is so. And if something goes wrong, your stickers also can not be guilty of that. It will depend on other things. And you will know about them. 

Location of the stickers

The part of the guitar where you may put your stickers matters in the case of the safety of the stickers. It is not recommended to put a sticker on several parts of the guitars due to several reasons. Then stickers affect the guitar sound. So, correctly placing stickers is what you have to know.

Acoustic guitars and placing stickers

Stickers can dampen down the sound even a little bit when you are playing acoustic guitar or when you are playing classical guitar. The back of the guitar and the top of the guitar is important since they are naturally vibrating membranes. It is vital for acoustic guitar sound. 

Heavy stickers in a very inappropriate place will damage the vibration system, and the sound of your guitar will not live up to your expectations for sure. Why is that so?

Because the vibration of the soundboard which is what the guitar strings cause creates a specific vibration of the air. This vibration is inside the guitar’s body.

So, it needs to go through the guitar soundhole. 

So, if you put a big sticker or several stickers on the soundhole without knowing the reason why it is even there and how it works, your guitar won’t give you pure sounds. It will be an obstacle since that is impossible for the air to get through. The guitar covered in such a place is bad for playing.

Electric guitars and placing stickers

If you have an electric guitar, you need to know the information that the guitar has several parts where it is forbidden for putting stickers. You absolutely must not apply the stickers in these places since exactly in this case the tone will be affected and changed. 

So, if you use electric guitars, you should avoid putting your sticker on the bridge of the electric guitar, the scale length, and the electric guitar pickups. If you want the guitar to sound the way it should, then you definitely should avoid these spots of the guitar.

Amount of stickers: do not put too many stickers

You will have no problem with your acoustic guitars or an electric guitar if you do not put many stickers and when you put them on the correct parts of the guitar. Sometimes just one sticker is enough. Adding stickers a lot can be not wise.

You definitely should not use a lot of stickers on your guitar body, the tone will be affected very much in this case. It may be dull then. It will be exactly this way. 

The properties of the stickers

This is another important thing that you should keep in mind when you buy a sticker pack and when you are going to put the stickers on your guitar. 

You absolutely should not buy thick stickers and heavy stickers. Especially when you put them at the inappropriate parts of the guitar body when there are too much of stickers, you will hear that the sound and the tone have been changed.

There will be now a big difference between the time when you played your guitar before you put the sticker on them and after that. 

Removing guitar stickers

Someday you can take a look at the guitar and realize that the stickers on the guitar are not something you want anymore. Or you suddenly realize that the sticker is in an inappropriate place and it ruins the tone. It is alright, it is not bad, you can easily solve this kind of problem.

Removing guitar stickers is what you should do in this case. And now you will learn how to do it carefully. Removing stickers can be quite easy.

So, follow the instructions and prepare all the needed materials for removing stickers.

You need a special sticker removal liquid. It is the safest option for removing stickers. Some people use acetone, alcohol, and water, but we recommend using a liquid. Then you will need paper, but it is better to take a microfiber tower. Do not forget to take a guitar polish. It is recommended to use gloves and eye protection during the whole process of removing stickers.

The instructions

Firstly, you need to try to remove a sticker on the back of your guitar or on the guitar’s finish to be sure that the liquid is correct and appropriate for your guitar. 

You need to pour a small amount of the liquid on the sticker that you want to remove. You need to carefully peel it. Then you should scrape it carefully using the pick.

The pick and the color of your guitar must be the same because the pick and the liquid inevitably will discolor your guitar.

Then you need to put some more liquid on the sticker to guitar finish the removal process and then you should remove the residue of stickers on the guitar. 

After all these actions you need to clean up the area where your sticker was. To do that, you should use a microfiber towel, a damp cloth, a slightly damp towel, or a paper towel. Then you need to polish your guitar where the sticker was. 

What should you use? Liquid to remove the stickers

As it said, it is always better to use a special sticker removal liquid than just some water or alcohol. And several adhesive removers will help you will your stickers.

  • Goo Gone Original Liquid. This is a good product that easily removes sticker residue. This product is citrus-based. It is safe for poly finishes and nitro guitar’s finish.
  • WD-40. This is another effective liquid that will easily help you to remove stickers from the guitar surface. 
  • Naphtha. It is an effective liquid that is safe for all guitars. It is a very efficient help with sticky and heavy residue, with sticker glue. It is something that you definitely should use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people like stickers on their guitars?

The answer can not be absolutely clear and speak for everyone. Putting stickers on the guitar is always a personal choice and a personal design. Stickers on a guitar are something very special. People can do it because they want to express themselves through stickers, or they do it because they simply want to make their guitar more beautiful.

Where do you put guitar stickers?

You can put the stickers in several different places on your guitar. You can put them on the back of the guitar, on the fretboard, on the corners of the top of your guitar, or on the headstock. It depends on what you want and on your tastes.

Can you put stickers on a classical guitar?

Yes, you can put stickers on a classical guitar, and, fortunately, there are a lot of places for you to put stickers there, on the guitar. Just do not put them in a place where they can affect the tone and the guitar’s sound, and everything will be fin

In conclusion: choose your best place for stickers

Many people like putting stickers on a guitar, and they can easily make their guitars beautiful and expressive. What is important is to remember, where you should and where you shouldn’t put your stickers. Keep your guitar safe and choose the place and the stickers wisely.

Also Read About Classical VS. Acoustic VS. Electric: The Best Guitar For A Beginner

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James/ author of the article

If you got to my page, it means that you are fond of music and are trying to record songs on your own. In my blog, you will find out exactly which options for sound equipment will be appropriate, depending on the specific case.

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