Music

The Best Instrumental Rock Bands 

Reference
Updated February 11, 2020 5.3k votes 812 voters 108.7k views 84 items

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
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The Mahavishnu Orchestra... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Booker T. & the M.G.... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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The Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added

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The Shadows is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Link Wray is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Return to Forever is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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The Meters is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
slaft added
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Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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The Outlaws is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Gentle Giant is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Explosions in the Sky is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Dixie Dregs is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
PaulWojciechowski added
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Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Godspeed You! Black Empe... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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God is an Astronaut is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Mogwai is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Clark Benson added
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Animals as Leaders is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Mike Oldfield is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
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Russian Circles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands