Rock Songs With the Best Instrumentals

A lot of great songs have great lyrics, but some songs have some pretty great instrumental parts as well. These are the best of those songs, whether they're completely instrumental or not. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Orion (Metallica)
I think Orion is the most powerful peace of music ever. RIP Cliff Burton!
Just when everyone thought Metallica was history they released "Death Magnetic", and that stuff is a little redundant on the riffs but still shows they can jam harder and longer than any band so far.
Orion>Ktulu>To Live is to Die>Suicide and Redemption


I listened to this live so I can die in peace.
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2YYZ (Rush)
Amazing song by an amazing band. I do think there is a better instrumental by the same band... LA Villa Strangiato is far more complex and diverse. By he way some of the songs on this list aren't instrumentals.. just saying!


Orion? No way brothers. Orion has so little instrumentality compared to YYZ. YYZ boasts everything in a rock instrumental. Great drum solos, great guitar licks and solos and perfect 'Geddy' basslines. Where is Eruption? Black Star by Yngwie? For The Love Of God? Cliffs Of Dover? MAGGOT BRAIN? WHERE ARE THOSE? I thought all of us know ROCK MUSIC very well.
The best band of their era with the best instrumental as well. By the way an instrumental has no lyrics... just saying.
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3Soothsayer (Buckethead)
How in the name of god isn't soothsayer on the top 10?! It saddens me to see how underrated buckethead is and this song is easily better than most of the ones in the first 10.
Let's say Soothsayer is here to represent Buckethead as there is far more great song from him. This one has both feeling and technicity, I can't think of any other guitarist that reaches such a high level both technicaly and on the writing
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4Eruption (Van Halen)
Smart of him to hide that trick for a while. just shows how ahead of his time he was.
One of the only true "instrumentals"on the list. And one of the best ever made.
Van Halen was one of the greatest bands of the 1980s, and of all time in my opinion.
You can never go wrong with this song.
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5The Call of Ktulu (Metallica)
AMAZING SONG! Shows the incredible range that Metallica has. And half the songs on this list aren't even instrumentals
This song is incredible, I love Metallica and all their work but I don't know how someone can say Orion is better than call of ktulu!
Every now and then I like to put on this song and taste every single bit of it.
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6Speeding (Steve Vai)

7Sleepwalk (The Ventures) Listen to sample

8Jessica (The Allman Brothers)
Greatest Rock and Roll instrumental song of all time by a long way. Greatest guitar riff of all time - easy.
I lived in "Beirut, Lebanon for nearly four years during the Israeli - Syrian-Lebanese war in the early 80's. The "Allman Brothers" were a saving grace during all the madness. I lived there for nearly four years. It's a beautiful country caught in the fury of war. If it weren't for the people and the music the world would be nearly unbearable. "Tim Elfstrom" from Connecticut.
Yeah MAN! Roll your car windows down... And Jessica is your highway soundtrack!


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9Suicide & Redemption (Metallica)
I haven't sensed as much emotion in an instumental since To Live Is To Die. Suicide And Redemtion not only makes me feel like a badass with its heavy riffs, but can also help calm you down with the clean and soft center.

This song is also a perfect example of how not all good solos are fast. It really shows you how smart James Hetfield is, working the first solo.
I can listen it over and over again.


One of the best instrumental sonngs, it has a killing guitar graet bass and drums thhat join together on a grat melody. Any one should listen to this magnific song you wont loose your time. Good job Metallica
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10Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)
This isn't an instrumental.
This song is not an instrumental, but it is brilliant.
This is NOT, and NEVER WILL BE, an instrumental.
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The Contenders

11Son of Alerik (Deep Purple)
10 min. Of pure ausomeness richie is badass
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12Black Widow of La Porte (John5)

13Maggot Brain (Funkadelic)
The best guitar instrument ever..
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14Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)
This Song is so good, its like a poem with a great solo.
Iii Have Become

Comfortably Numb

Oh, I love this song so much. It deserves to be higher for sure because it really means something if you know what I mean.
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15Crimson Tide and Deep Blue Sea (Nightwish)
Best instrumental song ever, no question.
The best instrumental by the best rock group, no doubt. One of the best cover songs ever. It takes one's soul to the deeps of the oceans.

16To Live Is to Die (Metallica)
NO, No no... To live is to die is the best instrumental song dedicated to best bassist by the best band... It's more than a song, it's a Masterpiece! Sometimes words are not enough to make you cry! This is my favorite instrumental song of all times!
This song feels deep
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17Misirlou (Dick Dale) Listen to sample

18Baba O'Riley (The Who)
This song has one of the greatest riffs ever, in all of its simplicity.
Oh, and it also has a violin solo.
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19Little Martha (Duane Allman)
What a great acoustic masterpiece!
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20La Villa Strangiato (Rush)
Best song by Rush, one of the best of all time and No 20, behind Stairway to heaven which ISN'T AN INSTRUMENTAL
Awesome song from Hemispheres (1978).


If you know music and talent there is no way you can say this is not the most intovative and complicating instrumental song ever true that! ยก!
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21Woodpecker From Mars (Faith No More) Listen to sample

22Stream of Consciousness (Dream Theater)
This and DoE are probably the best instrumentals I've ever listened to. Dream Theater is certainly a ground-breaking band when it comes to pure musicianship... Just can't beat em. Can't believe this is below New Divide by Linkin Park of all things (which, like the posters above me pointed out, isn't even an instrumental), let alone not on the top ten. But anyways whatever, DT will never get the recognition they deserve it seems, and I'm just glad that me and some others can comprehend the master musicianship they have to offer. Amazing Song.
Many of you failed to understand the term "instrumental". Instrumental=no vocals!
Welcome to the internet.
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23Frankenstein (Edgar Winter) Listen to sample

24Free Bird (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
The first 5 minutes build up to the famous five minute guitar solo
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25For the Love of God (Steve Vai)
I love this all time greatest melodies rocking instrumental rock and blues. It is the finest work of steve vai till the date. I recommend this song for all listeners at least one time to listen and enjoy it!
Total Masterpiece from Vai. Epic depiction of effortlessness and the feel one can bring out from an electric guitar.
Reminds me of something you'd hear from David Gilmour, so in other words, this song is a masterpiece.
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26Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana) Listen to sample

27This Is How I Disappear (My Chemical Romance)
My Chemical Romance has best songs one of his song This Is How I Disappear has great instrumental rock music. so my request is to checkout this! I'm sure you'll add this legend song!
Not really an instrumental but its still very good! The guitars are very good on record and even better live. Drums are just as good.
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28Beck's Bolero (Jeff Beck) Listen to sample

29Moby Dick (Led Zeppelin) Listen to sample

30The Kill (30 Seconds To Mars) Listen to sample

31Cliffs of Dover (Eric Johnson)
Cliffs of dover is in top20 in greatest guitar solos of all time by rolling stone magazine... This is the most unfair thing ever...
Listen to this song and you'll know why its the best instrumental ever created. Ever. Awesome solo
How does this come in at #33? Beautiful. Also, Moby Dick needs to be higher. Orion deserves 1st place really.


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32Impulse (An Endless Sporadic)
Awesome song kinda suprised to see it on here actually
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33Toxicity (System of a Down)
With the lyrical genius/intensity added to Toxicity, much like all other System of a Down songs, fused with the instrumental work, it's one of the best metal/rock songs you can hope to find out there.
It's one of the best instrumental rock songs and best lyrics and a kind of song showing some rasons, the reason that's real for what we're facing now. No one can't say will never be again. But it's a kind perfect by the nature, we are to say at the end.
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34In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (The Allman Brothers Band)
jazz-rock at it's best particularly on the Filmore east version amazing a million times better than anything on this list!


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35Layla (Derek and the Dominos) Listen to sample

36Nightmare (Avenged Sevenfold)
A7X's best song to date, up there with the best songs ever written for mainstream metal


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37Any Colour You Like (Pink Floyd) Listen to sample

38Losfer Words (Big 'Orra) (Iron Maiden) Listen to sample

39The Great Gig in the Sky (Pink Floyd) Listen to sample

40Silent Knight (Versailles) Listen to sample

41Radar Love (Golden Earring) Listen to sample

42Spanish Fly (Van Halen)
By far the fastest acoustic guitar song ever,
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43Jungleland (Bruce Springsteen) Listen to sample

44Killer (Alice Cooper) Listen to sample

45The Road of Lords (Tak Matsumoto)

46The Dance of Eternity (Dream Theater) Listen to sample

47Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen) Listen to sample

48Louie Louie (The Kingsmen) Listen to sample

49Of a Lifetime (Journey) Listen to sample

50Working Man (Rush) Listen to sample

51I Robot (The Alan Parsons Project) Listen to sample

52Tender Surrender (Steve Vai) Listen to sample

53Little Wing (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
Hands down the best instrumental I've ever heard or played on guitar. You can really feel your soul. Thanks Stevie for giving me this beautiful gift of blues.
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54When the Water Breaks (Liquid Tension Experiment)
an underrated band but filled with talents such as mike portnoy
top song played on my ipod


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55Marooned (Pink Floyd) Listen to sample

56Edge Of The Earth (30 Seconds To Mars) Listen to sample

57Always With You, Always With Me (Joe Satriani) Listen to sample

58Glasgow Kiss (John Petrucci)
Its all about instrumental..

59Coast to Coast (Scorpions)
Why is the song so far behind of the ranking?!
There is emotion packed in here.
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60Clubbed to Death (Rob Dougan) Listen to sample

61B.Y.O.B. (System of a Down) Listen to sample

62Touching Tongues (Steve Vai) Listen to sample

63Riders On the Storm (The Doors) Listen to sample

64Light My Fire (The Doors) Listen to sample

65Behind My Camel (The Police) Listen to sample

66Question! (System of a Down) Listen to sample

67Holy Mountains (System of a Down)
this song is the greatest instrumental song by the greatest instrumental band
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68Buck's Boogie (Blue Oyster Cult) Listen to sample

69Melissa's Garden (Steve Vai)

70Welcome Home (Coheed and Cambria)
Simply the most epic song ever written


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71Pulse of the Maggots (Slipknot)
Perhaps Slipknots most under rated song to date.


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72Atom Heart Mother (Pink Floyd) Listen to sample

73From Yesterday (30 Seconds To Mars)

74NoGod (Aozora)

75Transylvania (Iron Maiden) Listen to sample

76Hibernation (Ted Nugent) Listen to sample

77What I've Done (Linkin Park) Listen to sample

78Ain't No Rest for the Wicked (Cage the Elephant) Listen to sample

79Frozen Sky (Norther)

80Touch Me (The Doors)
The Doors actually have talent and they have things to say. And the things they say aren't always about anger, depression, sadness, or heartbreak. They go way beyond topical song writing and I hold them in the highest esteem along with Bob Dylan.
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81Snowbound (Arch Enemy)
Great instrumental make me remembering this past <3 I love this melodies
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82Bye Bye Beautiful (Nightwish) Listen to sample

83Brighton Rock (Queen) Listen to sample

84Technical Difficulties (Racer X)

85Song of the Wind (Santana) Listen to sample

86Hocus Pocus (Focus)
Classic riff, excellent solos. One of the best early progressive rock bands ever.
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87Watch This (Slash) Listen to sample

88Fractured Mirror (Ace Frehley) Listen to sample

89Into the Lungs of Hell (Megadeth) Listen to sample

90Two Weeks (All That Remains)
Epic instrumental, strong and energetic, plus meaningful lyrics that mesh perfectly with the beat


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91The Kingmaker (Diamond Head)

92Lenny (Stevie Ray Vaughan) Listen to sample

93Feedin the Box (Blues Saraceno) Listen to sample

94Apache (The Shadows) Listen to sample

95Surfing With the Alien (Joe Satriani) Listen to sample

96Roundabout (Yes) Listen to sample

97The Rock (The Who)

98Hamburger Train (Primus) Listen to sample

99Black Magic (Reb Beach)

100Pali Gap (Jimi Hendrix) Listen to sample

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List Info

This list was created 6 years, 331 days ago and has been voted on over 2,000 times. This top ten list contains 124 items, has been remixed 2 times.

Updated Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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