music The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists

1.5k votes 180 voters 49k views 234 items Embed
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?"

1
+ - 38 28
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

The Best Rock Bands of All Time The Best Rock Vocalists

2
+ - 29 20
Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Buckethead Noise rock, Dark ambient, Space rock

3
+ - 20 13
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
The Ventures Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

4
+ - 28 21
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Steve Vai Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

5
+ - 19 16
Liquid Tension Experiment is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Liquid Tension Experiment Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

6
+ - 11 8
Explosions in the Sky is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Explosions in the Sky Shoegazing, Rock music, Instrumental rock

7
+ - 9 6
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music - Glaeken Awakens

8
+ - 13 11
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Paul Gilbert Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

9
+ - 18 17
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
John Petrucci Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

10
+ - 11 10
Animals as Leaders is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Animals as Leaders Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

11
+ - 10 9
Focus is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Focus Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock

12
+ - 8 7
Apocalyptica is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Apocalyptica Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Cello rock

13
+ - 8 7
Russian Circles is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Russian Circles Post-metal, Rock music, Instrumental rock

14
+ - 7 6
The Mahavishnu Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
The Mahavishnu Orchestra Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

15
+ - 5 4
Caspian is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Caspian Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Experimental music

Rock Stars Who Died at Age 29 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders

16
+ - 11 11
Ozric Tentacles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Ozric Tentacles Space rock, Electronic music, Instrumental rock

17
+ - 10 10
Godspeed You! Black Emperor is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Dark ambient, Space rock, Experimental rock

18
+ - 10 10
Steve Howe is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Steve Howe Pop music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

19
+ - 9 9
Scale the Summit is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Scale the Summit Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

20
+ - 8 8
Booker T. & the M.G.'s is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Booker T. & the M.G.'s Southern soul, Instrumental rock, Electric blues

21
+ - 8 8
And So I Watch You From Afar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
And So I Watch You From Afar Instrumental rock, Post-rock, Punk rock

22
+ - 7 7
God is an Astronaut is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
God is an Astronaut Space rock, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

23
+ - 10 11
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Dick Dale Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

24
+ - 8 9
Link Wray is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Link Wray Rock music, Rockabilly, Instrumental rock

25
+ - 6 7
Greg Howe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Greg Howe Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Hard rock

26
+ - 5 6
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word - Metal Machine Music Remix

27
+ - 4 5
This Will Destroy You is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
This Will Destroy You Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Drone music

28
+ - 4 5
Beware of Safety is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Beware of Safety Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

29
+ - 4 5
Karma to Burn is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Karma to Burn Desert rock, Instrumental rock, Stoner rock

Rock Stars Who Died at Age 30 Things That Scare You, But Are Worth It

30
+ - 4 5
7for4 is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
7for4 Progressive metal, Fusion, Instrumental rock

31
+ - 3 4
Do Make Say Think is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Do Make Say Think Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

32
+ - 3 4
Grails is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Grails Rock music, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

33
+ - 3 4
Red Sparowes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Red Sparowes Post-metal, Noise rock, Instrumental rock

34
+ - 3 4
From Monument to Masses is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
From Monument to Masses Electronic music, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

35
+ - 3 4
Gordian Knot is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Gordian Knot Progressive metal, Technical death metal, Instrumental rock

36
+ - 3 4
Sleeping People is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Sleeping People Rock music, Instrumental rock, Math rock

37
+ - 3 4
Saxon Shore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Saxon Shore Shoegazing, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

38
+ - 3 4
Don Caballero is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Don Caballero Instrumental rock, Jazz, Progressive rock

39
+ - 2 3
The Mercury Program is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
The Mercury Program Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Post-rock

40
+ - 1 2
OXES is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
OXES Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

41
+ - 1 2
Austin TV is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Austin TV Instrumental rock, Progressive rock, Post-rock

42
+ - 1 2
Dirty Three is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Dirty Three Instrumental rock, Instrumental, Post-rock

43
+ - 9 11
The Shadows is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
The Shadows Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

The Best Boogie Rock Bands/Artists The Best Space Movies Streaming on Hulu

44
+ - 8 10
Steve Morse is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Steve Morse Fusion, Rock music, Instrumental rock

45
+ - 8 10
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Al Di Meola Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

46
+ - 8 10
John 5 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
John 5 Industrial metal, Instrumental rock, Flamenco

47
+ - 7 9
Eric Johnson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Eric Johnson New Age, Rock music, Instrumental rock

48
+ - 7 9
Duane Eddy is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Duane Eddy Instrumental rock, Rock and roll - Rebel Rouser

49
+ - 6 8
Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Robert Fripp New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

50
+ - 6 8
Mono is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Mono Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Post-rock