Bands/Musicians 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?"
list ordered by

1
85 40
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

2
100 57
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

3
39 18
Booker T. & the M.G.'s is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Southern soul, Instrumental rock, Electric blues

4
66 43
Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Dark ambient, Space rock

5
30 14
The Mahavishnu Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

6
31 16
The Shadows is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

7
35 20
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

8
29 15
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

9
30 19
Focus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock

10
21 12
Dweezil Zappa is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

11
25 16
Link Wray is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Rockabilly, Instrumental rock

12
52 42
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

13
23 15
Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

14
18 11
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

15
39 32
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

16
22 16
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

17
24 18
Eric Johnson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
New Age, Rock music, Instrumental rock

18
30 25
Steve Howe is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

19
26 21
Explosions in the Sky is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Rock music, Instrumental rock

20
11 6
Eloy Fritsch is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Lauren Veronese added New Age music, Electronic music, Progressive rock

21
12 9
The Outlaws is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

22
8 6
Jason Becker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

23
4 2
Plini is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Zooropa_Station added Progressive Rock, Instrumental

24
31 31
Liquid Tension Experiment is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

25
16 15
Russian Circles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Instrumental Rock Bands/Artists
Post-metal, Rock music, Instrumental rock