music The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists  

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For instrumental rock bands, the key to success lies in the music. While this may seem obvious, unlike other rock bands, instrumental rock bands have few, if any lyrics to express themselves. Thus, the music they create speaks volumes more than any lyrics can. While the instrumental rock was at its peak during the 1950s and 1960s, there hasn't been a shortage of good instrumental bands that have emerged since then. To some, instrumental rock can also be called post-rock. Instrumental rock artists, at least presently, are widely regarded as virtuosos especially those who play guitars.

So, who are the instrumental rock bands and instrumental artists on this list? You'll see familiar names like Stevie Vai, Joe Satriani, Buckethead and Booker T and the MGs. All of these instrumental rock bands played an important role in shaping and pushing rock music beyond the traditional song structure. At the same time, some of these artists' music was so strong that it had to be played on mainstream pop and rock radio.

That said, take a look at this list and you'll see the best instrumental rock bands and top instrumental rock artists. This should serve as a great point of reference if you're a fan of instrumental rock bands. This list answers the questions "who are the best instrumental rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest instrumental rock musician ever?"

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Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

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Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Buckethead Noise rock, Dark ambient, Space rock

3
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The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
The Ventures Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

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Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Paul Gilbert Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

5
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Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music - Glaeken Awakens

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Focus is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Focus Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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Steve Howe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Steve Howe Pop music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

8
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Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Steve Vai Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

9
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Booker T. & the M.G.'s is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Booker T. & the M.G.'s Southern soul, Instrumental rock, Electric blues

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The Mahavishnu Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
The Mahavishnu Orchestra Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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Dweezil Zappa is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Dweezil Zappa Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

12
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Liquid Tension Experiment is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Liquid Tension Experiment Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

13
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Explosions in the Sky is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Explosions in the Sky Shoegazing, Rock music, Instrumental rock

14
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Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Al Di Meola Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

15
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Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Robert Fripp New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

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Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word - Metal Machine Music Remix

17
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Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Dick Dale Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

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Apocalyptica is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Apocalyptica Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Cello rock

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Link Wray is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Link Wray Rock music, Rockabilly, Instrumental rock

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John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
John Petrucci Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

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The Outlaws is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
The Outlaws Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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Steve Morse is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Steve Morse Fusion, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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The Shadows is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
The Shadows Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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Russian Circles is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Russian Circles Post-metal, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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Ozric Tentacles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Ozric Tentacles Space rock, Electronic music, Instrumental rock

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Eric Johnson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Eric Johnson New Age, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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Yngwie Malmsteen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Yngwie Malmsteen Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

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Animals as Leaders is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Animals as Leaders Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

29
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Duane Eddy is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Duane Eddy Instrumental rock, Rock and roll - Rebel Rouser

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The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
The Tornados Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

31
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Steve Stevens is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Steve Stevens Glam metal, New Wave, Rock music

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Andy Timmons is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Andy Timmons Glam metal, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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Caspian is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Caspian Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Experimental music

34
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7for4 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
7for4 Progressive metal, Fusion, Instrumental rock

35
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John 5 is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
John 5 Industrial metal, Instrumental rock, Flamenco

36
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Scale the Summit is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Scale the Summit Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Dark ambient, Space rock, Experimental rock

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Saxon Shore is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Saxon Shore Shoegazing, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

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Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Marty Friedman Glam metal, J-pop, Heavy metal

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And So I Watch You From Afar is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
And So I Watch You From Afar Instrumental rock, Post-rock, Punk rock

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Marco Minnemann is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Marco Minnemann Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

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Greg Howe is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Greg Howe Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Hard rock

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God is an Astronaut is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
God is an Astronaut Space rock, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

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Alex Feather Akimov is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Alex Feather Akimov Pop music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

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Southpacific is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Southpacific Shoegazing, Space rock, Instrumental rock

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Los Straitjackets is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Los Straitjackets Rock music, Garage rock, Instrumental rock

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If These Trees Could Talk is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
If These Trees Could Talk Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

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This Will Destroy You is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
This Will Destroy You Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Drone music

49
+ - 4 8
Maybeshewill is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Maybeshewill Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Electronic dance music

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+ - 4 8
Planet X is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Planet X Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal