rock The Best Instrumental Rock Bands  

3.5k votes 540 voters 97k views 95 items Follow Embed

List Rules Must lean more in the rock direction than jazz or electronica, and music must be at least 90% instrumental

When you're thinking of instrumental rock bands, you should know that there are few if little vocals involved. Instrumental rock showcases the talents of the musicians creating it, and often times, these instrumental artists are widely regarded as virtuosos. The best instrumental rock music, also known as post-rock, was popular at the onset of the surf rock movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Over time, as in the 1980s, the best instrumental rock artists began to include many guitarists. You'll see the likes of Stevie Vai, Joe Satriani, Animals as Leaders, Eric Johnson and John 5 on this list. These instrumental rock bands emerged in the past 30 years and continue to be widely popular with fans of instrumental rock.

Best instrumental rock music artists and bands list, voted on by music lovers worldwide, with photos, hometowns, and other data. This list of Instrumental music bands includes the best musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. Instrumental music groups and artists are listed alphabetically. Whether you consider this list to be proper rock music or just a list of the best instrumental bands is hard to perfectly define.

Titans of instrumental rock like Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, Dick Dale, and Booker T and the MGs are included on this list, which overlaps a bit with instrumental soul, post-rock and sometimes is close to jazz. Click the artist name on this instrumental artists list to see full discography and other data. You can make your own list of your favorite instrumental artists on Ranker too. 

That said, it's up to you to determine who are the best instrumental bands. If you think someone is missing, feel free to add them to the list of instrumental rock bands.
list ordered by

1
+ - 69 14
The Mahavishnu Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Mahavishnu Orchestra Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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2
+ - 70 15
The Mothers of Invention is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Mothers of Invention Rock music, Protopunk, Jazz fusion

3
+ - 11 0
Stanley Clarke is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Stanley Clarke Pop music, Rock music, Jazz fusion

4
+ - 11 0
Joe Meek is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Joe Meek Pop music, Rock music

5
+ - 11 0
Santo & Johnny is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Santo & Johnny Rock music

6
+ - 11 0
Jorgen Ingmann is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands

7
+ - 10 0
The Moontrekkers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands

8
+ - 10 0
Airto Moreira is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Airto Moreira Jazz fusion, Jazz

9
+ - 46 10
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music - Glaeken Awakens

10
+ - 95 55
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

11
+ - 64 32
Gentle Giant is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Gentle Giant Experimental rock, Folk rock, Jazz fusion

12
+ - 66 43
The Shadows is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Shadows Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

13
+ - 30 12
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

14
+ - 62 41
Booker T. & the M.G.'s is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Booker T. & the M.G.'s Southern soul, Instrumental rock, Electric blues

15
+ - 12 1
The Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Surfaris Rock music, Surf music

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16
+ - 12 1
Duane Eddy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Duane Eddy Instrumental rock, Rock and roll

17
+ - 25 10
Hugo Montenegro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Hugo Montenegro Film score - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

18
+ - 70 54
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Ventures Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

19
+ - 49 34
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Dick Dale Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

20
+ - 78 70
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

21
+ - 77 69
Explosions in the Sky is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Explosions in the Sky Shoegazing, Rock music, Instrumental rock

22
+ - 18 9
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Tornados Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

23
+ - 10 1
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands

24
+ - 21 13
Link Wray is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Link Wray Rock music, Rockabilly, Instrumental rock

25
+ - 38 31
Dixie Dregs is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Dixie Dregs Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

26
+ - 13 5
Return to Forever is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Return to Forever Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Jazz

27
+ - 12 4
The Chantays is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Chantays Rock music

28
+ - 11 4
The Viscounts is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Viscounts Harlem Nocturne

29
+ - 46 42
Animals as Leaders is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Animals as Leaders Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

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30
+ - 17 11
The Meters is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Meters New Orleans rhythm and blues, Rhythm and blues, Funk

31
+ - 47 45
Mogwai is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mogwai Shoegazing, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
+ - 21 17
The Outlaws is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Outlaws Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

33
+ - 41 42
Godspeed You! Black Emperor is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Dark ambient, Space rock, Experimental rock

34
+ - 46 48
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Steve Vai Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

35
+ - 36 38
Russian Circles is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Russian Circles Post-metal, Rock music, Instrumental rock

36
+ - 46 50
God is an Astronaut is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
God is an Astronaut Space rock, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

37
+ - 30 35
Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Buckethead Noise rock, Dark ambient, Space rock

38
+ - 30 35
Pelican is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Pelican Post-metal, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

39
+ - 24 30
Liquid Tension Experiment is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Liquid Tension Experiment Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

40
+ - 15 21
Maybeshewill is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Maybeshewill Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Electronic dance music

41
+ - 15 22
Mono is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mono Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

42
+ - 11 17
65daysofstatic is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
65daysofstatic Electronic music, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

43
+ - 21 30
Mike Oldfield is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mike Oldfield Synthpop, Rock music, World music

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44
+ - 14 21
Ratatat is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Ratatat Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Dance-punk

45
+ - 17 25
STS9 is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
STS9 Rock music, Electronic music, Instrumental rock

46
+ - 10 16
Scale the Summit is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Scale the Summit Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

47
+ - 10 16
This Will Destroy You is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
This Will Destroy You Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Drone music

48
+ - 3 7
Ranker Video v
Karma to Burn Desert rock, Instrumental rock, Stoner rock

49
+ - 3 7
If These Trees Could Talk is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
If These Trees Could Talk Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

50
+ - 19 28
Eric Johnson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Eric Johnson New Age, Rock music, Instrumental rock