rock The Best Instrumental Rock Bands  

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3.6k votes 554 voters 98.4k views 95 items 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
71 14
The Mahavishnu Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
slaft added The Mahavishnu Orchestra Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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2
72 15
The Mothers of Invention is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added The Mothers of Invention Rock music, Protopunk, Jazz fusion

3
48 10
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music - Glaeken Awakens

4
15 1
Duane Eddy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Duane Eddy Instrumental rock, Rock and roll

5
15 1
The Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added The Surfaris Rock music, Surf music

6
96 57
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Clark Benson added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

7
64 35
Gentle Giant is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
slaft added Gentle Giant Experimental rock, Folk rock, Jazz fusion

8
69 43
The Shadows is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Shadows Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

9
13 1
Joe Meek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Joe Meek Pop music, Rock music

10
13 1
Stanley Clarke is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Stanley Clarke Pop music, Rock music, Jazz fusion

11
13 1
Jorgen Ingmann is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Jorgen Ingmann

12
64 41
Booker T. & the M.G.'s is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Booker T. & the M.G.'s Southern soul, Instrumental rock, Electric blues

13
31 13
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
slaft added Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

14
27 10
Hugo Montenegro is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Hugo Montenegro Film score - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

15
52 34
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Dick Dale Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

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16
12 1
Airto Moreira is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Airto Moreira Jazz fusion, Jazz

17
12 1
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added King Crimson

18
12 1
The Moontrekkers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added The Moontrekkers

19
73 54
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Ventures Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

20
20 9
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Tornados Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

21
23 13
Link Wray is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Clark Benson added Link Wray Rock music, Rockabilly, Instrumental rock

22
14 4
The Chantays is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added The Chantays Rock music

23
13 3
Santo & Johnny is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Santo & Johnny Rock music

24
13 4
The Viscounts is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added The Viscounts Harlem Nocturne

25
78 71
Explosions in the Sky is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Explosions in the Sky Shoegazing, Rock music, Instrumental rock

26
78 72
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

27
19 11
The Meters is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Clark Benson added The Meters New Orleans rhythm and blues, Rhythm and blues, Funk

28
14 6
Return to Forever is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
slaft added Return to Forever Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Jazz

29
24 18
The Outlaws is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Outlaws Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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30
38 33
Dixie Dregs is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
PaulWojciechowski added Dixie Dregs Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

31
46 44
Animals as Leaders is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Animals as Leaders Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

32
47 48
Mogwai is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Clark Benson added Mogwai Shoegazing, Rock music, Experimental rock

33
47 50
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Steve Vai Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

34
41 44
Godspeed You! Black Emperor is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Dark ambient, Space rock, Experimental rock

35
37 40
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 51
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
31 36
Pelican is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Pelican Post-metal, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

38
30 36
Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Buckethead Noise rock, Dark ambient, Space rock

39
25 32
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
22 30
Mike Oldfield is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mike Oldfield Synthpop, Rock music, World 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
15 22
Maybeshewill is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
muzziac added Maybeshewill Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Electronic dance music

43
11 17
65daysofstatic is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
65daysofstatic Electronic music, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

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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
This Will Destroy You is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
This Will Destroy You Experimental rock, Instrumental rock, Drone music

47
10 16
Scale the Summit is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Scale the Summit Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

48
3 7
Ranker Video
kingbee63 added 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
Whoiscode added If These Trees Could Talk Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

50
9 15
And So I Watch You From Afar is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
And So I Watch You From Afar Instrumental rock, Post-rock, Punk rock