rock The Best Instrumental Rock Bands  

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4.5k votes 630 voters 101.2k views 98 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
46 1
Joe Meek is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Joe Meek Pop music, Rock music

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2
42 1
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added King Crimson

3
51 2
The Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added The Surfaris Rock music, Surf music

4
48 2
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
43 2
Jorgen Ingmann is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Jorgen Ingmann

6
42 2
Stanley Clarke is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Stanley Clarke Pop music, Rock music, Jazz fusion

7
41 2
The Moontrekkers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added The Moontrekkers

8
41 2
Airto Moreira is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Airto Moreira Jazz fusion, Jazz

9
80 10
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music - Glaeken Awakens

10
42 3
Santo & Johnny is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Santo & Johnny Rock music

11
100 18
The Mahavishnu Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
slaft added The Mahavishnu Orchestra Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

12
102 19
The Mothers of Invention is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added The Mothers of Invention Rock music, Protopunk, Jazz fusion

13
44 4
The Chantays is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added The Chantays Rock music

14
43 4
The Viscounts is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added The Viscounts Harlem Nocturne

15
11 0
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

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16
57 10
Hugo Montenegro is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Hugo Montenegro Film score - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

17
49 9
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Tornados Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

18
10 0
Focus is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mark Lanzarotta added Focus Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock

19
53 13
Link Wray is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Clark Benson added Link Wray Rock music, Rockabilly, Instrumental rock

20
94 41
Booker T. & the M.G.'s is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Booker T. & the M.G.'s Southern soul, Instrumental rock, Electric blues

21
81 34
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Dick Dale Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

22
105 54
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Ventures Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

23
43 14
The Meters is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Clark Benson added The Meters New Orleans rhythm and blues, Rhythm and blues, Funk

24
49 22
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
slaft added Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

25
35 12
Return to Forever is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
slaft added Return to Forever Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Jazz

26
43 21
The Outlaws is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Outlaws Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

27
85 57
The Shadows is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
The Shadows Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

28
98 83
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Clark Benson added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

29
64 60
Gentle Giant is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
slaft added Gentle Giant Experimental rock, Folk rock, Jazz fusion

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30
80 85
Explosions in the Sky is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Explosions in the Sky Shoegazing, Rock music, Instrumental rock

31
38 39
Dixie Dregs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
PaulWojciechowski added Dixie Dregs Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

32
46 48
Animals as Leaders is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Animals as Leaders Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

33
80 86
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

34
48 51
Mogwai is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Clark Benson added Mogwai Shoegazing, Rock music, Experimental rock

35
48 53
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Steve Vai Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

36
41 45
Godspeed You! Black Emperor is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Dark ambient, Space rock, Experimental rock

37
47 52
God is an Astronaut is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
God is an Astronaut Space rock, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

38
37 41
Russian Circles is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Russian Circles Post-metal, Rock music, Instrumental rock

39
32 36
Pelican is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Pelican Post-metal, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

40
30 36
Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Buckethead Noise rock, Dark ambient, Space rock

41
25 32
Liquid Tension Experiment is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Liquid Tension Experiment Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

42
0 2
Eloy Fritsch is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Lauren Veronese added Eloy Fritsch New Age music, Electronic music, Progressive rock

43
4 7
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kingbee63 added Karma to Burn Desert rock, Instrumental rock, Stoner rock

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44
12 17
65daysofstatic is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
65daysofstatic Electronic music, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

45
16 22
Mono is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mono Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Post-rock

46
18 25
STS9 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
STS9 Rock music, Electronic music, Instrumental rock

47
22 30
Mike Oldfield is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Mike Oldfield Synthpop, Rock music, World music

48
13 19
Tortoise is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Tortoise Rock music, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

49
15 22
Maybeshewill is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
muzziac added Maybeshewill Post-metal, Instrumental rock, Electronic dance music

50
7 12
Don Caballero is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands
Don Caballero Instrumental rock, Jazz, Progressive rock