Most Needed Instruments for a Rock Band

In a rock band, there can be many instruments. The list can go on, but here is what is recommended. I based it on the band Queen. Enjoy deciding!

The Top Ten

1 Electric Guitar The electric guitar is a type of guitar that unlike an acoustic guitar, is solid body instead of hollow. They use pickups and amps to produce sound that's audible from more than a few feet. They are mainly used in rock and metal music and in those genres are commonly the main instruments. A few notable more.

Brian May delivers many amazing parts to the song which isn't NEEDED but is GREAT to have. He is above the vocalist mostly because a band can survive without a vocalist, but can't really be a ROCK band without your main man, the guitarist.

Why you guys always need to talk about queen members on instruments they are not only one who play that instruments - Ljubo1950

Any good rock band must have an electric guitar, especially one connected to an amp. The electric guitar turns an ordinary band into a rock band, and it adds an amazing detail to any song. If you are going to get a beginner guitar, I suggest the Stratocaster. If you are a pro, get something similar to the Epiphone les Paul Custom.

I like this instrument because it sounds cool.

The electric guitar is an instrument that is so amazing it is capable to give a grown man an erection

2 Drums

If drums are needed to keep the beat of the song, there's something drastically wrong.

In Queen, Roger Taylor is the drummer and adds that extra flavor that is needed or you have no band! Drummers are also essential because they keep the beat to the song, and they also can make sounds unlike any instrument. It may be one of the easier instruments to learn, but hard to master. They play a very important role, and don't you forget it!

Drums no band is a band with out them if they don't have one you will need one!

You need to keep in time...Durr

3 Bass

All you need to do is look up a song without the bass and listen

Bass and drums are the most important ones. they are necessary for the rhythm

Like John Deacon, every band needs the bassist. He is usually quiet but plays the most important roll ever: Keeping the rhythm. He is the back up and is basically essential.

Yup. Queen would sound totally different without John Deacon. - Userguy44

Only hot people can play bass and every band needs a hot bassist

4 Piano/Keyboard

The piano is NOT the most instrument needed in a band. Definitely NOT essential.

This is by far the coolest instrument you come across in a band. Not only can an electric keyboard play the standard Piano sounds, but also many many other sounds including orchestral instruments, organs, powerful synth lead sounds, and even sound effects. Its versatility makes it extremely useful for bands because it adds so much sound, much more than any other instrument can. It is arguable that the piano is the easiest instrument to play FAST and upbeat music on because of its relatively simple sound mechanism. Keyboardist such as the great Jordan Rudess of the band Dream Theater frequently shows off virtuosic solos and licks that would give any guitarist a run for his money. The Piano sound itself is the instrument of choice for blues and boogie-woogie music. If you are considering forming a band, make sure you heavily consider having a keyboardist!

Not essential, but this adds an awesome power to a song when you use it. Early Queen songs may not have used much piano but they still sounded great. Some with pianos sounded better, though! Cool effect.

A keyboard/piano is probably the most important instrument in a band because it can become a one man band if you notice the greatest songs of all time use a piano as their entrance and an entry to a Sony is the most important part. You need a keyboard or a piano in a rock band.

5 Acoustic Guitar An acoustic guitar is a guitar that produces sound acoustically - by transmitting the vibration of the strings to the air - as opposed to relying on electronic amplification.

In '39 this gives it a much softer feel. Makes the song lighter.

I know its called country guitar but I'm use to saying it acoustic guitar its good for like calmer portions of the song if you have calmer portions.

For Rock Songs with an Acoustic Vibe in the quiet verses and the Electric Guitar in the chorus. Great contrast!

Go suck an apple

6 The Vocals

Vocals reveal and give the meaning of the song. I don't think a song is boring without vocals, because there are really good rock/metal instrumentals. - Userguy44

Yeah there are all top 1000 best rock songs of all time use vocals but my opinion is that all people should listen to rock & heavy metal bands like me I listen to rock & heavy metal bands

They don't call the lead vocalist "The Frontman" for nothing. Essential!

All of the top 1000 best rock songs of all time use vocals.

7 Saxophone The saxophone is a family of woodwind instruments. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet.

The best instrument in rock as it gets the feeling of a massive amount of power with control in songs like Baker Street by Gerry rafferty and born to run by Bruce Springsteen. It can also play softly and emotionally like in songs like careless whisper by George Michael. Such an amazing instrument

As a sax player I know this is an instrument of true power of a huge quantity it can puncture silence with an loud rock solo or can softly change the song into an emotionally beautiful masterpiece

The saxophone has a high range of sound a produces a awesome sound if played correctly

Sax is the only woodwind or brass instrument that can fit in a rock band.

8 Synthesizer

Listen to Who tracks like Baba O' Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again and the synthesizer makes those tracks awesome

Synthesizer Sounds Very Good though

9 Double Bass

Oh yes, I love it. My fave part of the drum set. - Metal_Treasure

Double Bass needs to be up near the top. If Bass is up there, so should double bass. In the beginnings of rock, Double bass was really common. It was like bare bones of a rock 'n' roll band.
Wow, 0.2% is pathetic...
Do your research before you vote and say stupid things about cowbells and flutes and recorders. >:(

10 Violin The violin is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use.

Ever heard of Jinxx? He plays violin away from black veil brides but I believe that he has played it in a few of their songs.

Ever heard of The Electric Light Orchestra? They used violin and cello in their music.

The very best bands have at least one violin.

Its Only Teenage Wasteland

The Contenders

11 Cowbell


I've got a fever. And the only prescription, is more cowbell.

In My Chemical Romance's "Teenagers" the cowbell is my favorite part. It adds the angst and rhythm... Definitely a necessity.

After hearing this in bohemian rhapsody yeah

12 Electric Violin

Actually there is many uses of violin in rock and even metal music, especially in folk-rock. Because it sounds better than synthesizer!

I personally love playing rock on the violin it makes some of the best sounds in rock and is brilliant at bringing some stranger instruments and sounds into the music.

Can do similar sounds to a guitar and some cool effects

Sounds good in a band

13 Snare Drum

According to me the snare drums should be further up the list

Yes, definitely needed. - Metal_Treasure

A drum kit is a must have for most rock bands

14 Microphone

It's not the most needed, but it's gotta be in the top 5. The human voice can make a great song by itself.

Every band needs a singer because a band without a song is just wrong wrong wrong

The bands use this to sing with.

I don't think I every saw a band without a singer before

15 Triangle

Every band needs an illuminati

All rock bands have to be illuminati confirmed

More triangles is always the right decision

I'm with the every band needs an illuminati

16 Harmonica

Pretty essential... In most bands

Its gotta be there it better be

Harmonicas are music to my ears it is so amazing.

Can make a rock song lighter and more unique

17 Keytar

THE KEYTAR IS THE GOD OF ALL INSTRUMENTS I MEAN HALF GUITAR HALF KEYBOARD ALL AWESOME! Although only a few bands use them, they are still a must have for ANY band! And they sound amazing in all genres of music (I prefer playing my keytar to rock/metal music) but they can sound kinda boring without a guitar amp or a distorter if u get one of those then the keytar unlocks it's true awesome potential! -Avery

The keytar is a legend, don’t question, it just is. Ohh Yehhh
-A random Keytar Lover, I play keytar in mah rock band >

A keytar is easier to carry around than a piano or keyboard. It's my favorite instrument!

The keytar is my favorite instrument

18 Clarinet

The clarinet is great all of you that are saying it's bad are idiots

I play clarinet but do NOT NOT NOT picture myself in a rock band. Not under ANY circumstances.

For good or mysterious sounds!

Nice but not good

19 Organ

Why isn't this on the list yet. - MilkmanBoi

Powerwolf makes it work so well

20 Tambourine

Tambourines should be in all bands of all type of music genres and it's a good instrument

I don't think that tambourine should be first, but it should b higher than it is. Just take a look at The Who song Teenage Wasteland, Tambourine is a big part. :)
It should at least be higher than a cowbell, or recorder. I mean, really people?!

Tambourines are cool it won't be one without it

Yeah, like in 'Hey Mr Tambourine Man' by the Byrds...

21 Cello The cello or violoncello is a bowed or plucked string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths.

A lot of aspiring rock bands are beginning to use the cello as a bass line. Who wouldn't? I, personally, play it and love playing the rock music.

Not common but some metal bands use it - Metal_Treasure

22 Guitar

Guitar is love, Guitar is lyfe.

23 Piano The piano is a musical instrument played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands.

This is an amazing instrument but in a rock band you should use a keyboard instead.

The soft music that is just right in some songs like if it is a fun song or a slow song

Its that part that needs to be there to bring it all together

Used in progressive rock/metal - Metal_Treasure

24 Bass Drum

Nice work yo bum hole

Kyle Escuata is awesome at this

25 Talk Box
26 Accordion Accordions are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone type, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox.

It's used in folk metal (ex., TrollFest) - Metal_Treasure

Old french rock? hard musette? check " l'amour c'est comme un bilboquet "

Who bcares?

27 Flute The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening.

I played flute with a rock band for many years. Easily harmonizes with electric guitar lead lines. And great for soloing

You actually have to have a flute! I play covers of new songs and it sounds epic

Jethro Tull + symphonic metal (and some power metal songs) - Metal_Treasure

I love the flute you can almost play every song with it.

28 French Horn

Was it ever used in rock/metal? - Metal_Treasure

I like to kick it French stile hell yeha

We thinknit rocks

29 Recorder

Ruby tuesday... Stairway to heaven... If the song is right it really adds something

If you don't think Recorders rock, you need to get right with the Lord. - VisionsOfSight

30 Ukulele The ukulele is a member of the lute family of instruments; it generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings.

Twenty one pilots

Ukes for life

31 Kazoo

I like to sing, dance, pretend, AND, KAAAZZZOO!

kazzo kid


32 Trombone

Trombone For Life Man Those Low Notes Like B Flat And C Natural

For those low sounds that a sax just can't get. You'd be surprised how handy it comes in!

Trombone all the way

Trombone 4 LIFE

33 Banjo
34 Trumpet A trumpet is a blown musical instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family.

Can add many positive effects to any rock band, and provide plenty of volume.

It's a great instrument, and it can give you a better feel to the song.

Any examples of how it was used in rock/metal? Was it ever used? - Metal_Treasure

Some good songs use trumpets

35 Timpani Drums

These are essential making the music gangsta style!

I like that instrument

Bam sexy

36 Grand Piano

A grand piano is nice.

37 Euphonium

What is this!? A sound thing?

38 Launchpad

You need a launch pad

39 Mandolin

What even is this

A guitar with a lot more strings.

40 Oboe Oboes belong to the classification of double reed woodwind instruments. Oboes are usually made of wood, but there are also oboes made of synthetic materials.

You need one as fat as Kyle. E

41 Shaker

They sound like rattlesnakes and can sound ominous in the right song or to heighten the perceived pace of a music score.

Shake those ass girl

42 Alto Saxophone
43 Acoustic Bass Guitar
44 Tuba
45 Slap Snare
46 Bagpipes Bagpipes are a wind instrument using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag.

Dropkick Murphys. - 445956

It's A Long Way To The Top!
If You Wanna Rock and Roll!


Just like the ones in AC/DC

47 Tenor Saxophone The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s.

Like the Alto Saxophone, the Tenor Sax can also make a awesome noise if you actually know how to use it. The only difference between the Tenor Sax and the alto Sax is that the Tenor is a bit deeper.

The alto sax is better. - MilkmanBoi

your bum

48 Washboard

Washboard is absolutely needed

49 Bassoon

I know, it does seem weird to have in a rock band, especially when performing. However, bassoons are an alternative to bass and can provide that important small feature to fill the gaps.

50 Sitar
8Load More
PSearch List