Top 10 Most Important Instruments to a Band

The Top Ten
1 Drums

Most of the people that vote for instruments like the electric guitar and bass, in my opinion, with no offense intended, are heavy metal and rock listeners, who probably have never cared to actually listen to a wind ensemble or marching band, or even rock itself. This vote isn't about the nicest sounding instrument, there's another poll for that, metal and rock listeners. I read a comment saying "Take away a guitar and it doesn't have a genre." Guitars didn't even EXIST for a long time. Drums however, are seen in almost every single song with more than two or three different types of instruments. Take away drums? You no longer have a steady beat, you no longer have a solid cadence to listen to, and the bass of your songs are removed. Drums are, by far the most important instrument in a band, and they can sound pretty amazing in solos too.

2 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... read more

People says drums are most important. Try a song without the guitar and it fits no genre. Take out the drums and at least you will know what your listening to. I listen to metal, Thrash to be exact, and those who say an acoustic fits all genres, listen to Slayer, Destruction, Exodus, or Dark Angel and tell me you could replace an electric guitar with an acoustic!

In music the most recognizable part of the song is the Melody. Drums are vital to having a song sound like its supposed to but since it doesn't play the main part/recognizable but people wont understand what the song would be as many songs can share similar drum parts. HOWEVER I personally enjoy classic rock and some rock/jazz and I can say that it does depend on what type of band. In any rock band both bass,guitar and drums and very important but the part that stands out is generally played by the electric guitar. In jazz though drums sometimes provides part of the main song not just the beat of it.

3 Bass Guitar

All instruments are important, a band's not a band without a combination of instruments, but Bass is the one instrument that every good band needs. Bass lays down rhythm and establishes the chord progressions that the whole song is built on. The bass is the foundation the band is built on, and although you can't have a house without walls and a roof, you can't have walls and a roof without a solid foundation.

A great bass player can then expand from the two main roles of rhythm and chord progression and become counter melody (to the singer, lead guitar, piano, or whatever instrument has the melody at the time). Without a bass player, the melody is not part of a "band" it's just a solo with some accompaniment. If the bass line changes, even without changing the chord progression, the whole song can change in tonality rhythm and feeling.

The bass is no doubt a supporting instrument, but it's the support that makes the band a band, and not just a soloist. Electric guitar is not the most important instrument because you can have a great band with no guitar player. Drums are not the most important instrument because the drums can drop out during a breakdown and the bass can take over the rhythmic role of the drums, and if you talk to great rhythm sections you'll find that the drummer follows the rhythm of the bass player just as often as the bass follows the rhythm of the drummer.

Bands without bass players are few and far between and always have something filling in the bass part to make a foundation.

Note: Bass is also the most under appreciated instrument in the band because it is not a solo instrument.

4 Keyboard

I think that keyboard sets the mood for most band's performance

Absolutely amazing instrument! It's much more portable than a piano and mostly always has the melody of a song! :D

5 Double Bass
6 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.

I play piano, and I must say to be honest all instruments of the band are equally important! After all, you can't have a band without all the instruments! The reason I voted piano though is because most songs can be played solely by a piano, and you see piano covers of songs all the time, however I still believe all instruments are equally important! It's the musical accents, not just the vocals and melody, that can make all the difference in a song.

I think piano is the best because you can play any song you like on the piano. The only thing is that it's a bit too big... Being a pianist has also taught me to have more control over my fingers, moving fast or slow and hitting the correct key at the correct time. I'm surprise piano didn't come out as the top instrument. And I think violin in also good. Maybe second in the list.

7 Clarinet

My son's band instructor is developing a jazz band with interested students. My son plays the clarinet and is interested in participating in jazz. My son's band instructor told him that the clarinet is not part of a jazz ensemble. Thoughts? I told my boy to share some facts regarding the clarinet and a couple of articles like this one. In my honest opinion, back in his day, his band instructor did more tokin' than playing'.

Clarinets should be part of the jazz band always and forever. Schools are excluded the clarinets from the jazz band ensembles because they are considered a non original jazz band instrument. It's okay if clarinets don't have have written music about them clarinets can just play the trumpet parts like they do now. They are many famous clarinet players that were in jazz band who became very successful in their time. We are good at playing the nice harmonys and we have very beautiful solos that we can take on. We also have a very high scale level so we can hit the high notes better than the other instruments.
~By The Petition Masters~

8 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.

The trumpet usually always has the main and most important part of the song. If you listen to famous songs, such as the main theme of Star Wars, the trumpet stands out over all instruments (while it's playing). The trumpet is a good instrument for almost any song, and it's easy to carry around, so you don't have to worry about things like that. The notes are relatively easy to play, especially compared to other instruments, once you get the hang of it. Although drums can keep the beat, any instrument can do that as well. It may not be as efficient as a drum, but it's still does the job. Overall, trumpet it the most important instrument in a band.

9 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.

Much more important than many of these other instruments and especially the drums!

The violins are the main! Without them the music is going to sound motionless

The best bands have at least one violin player.

10 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.

Although all instruments are important, the saxophone is the most important woodwind. The clarinets can be hard faintly, but the flutes are not heard at all! (No offense flautists) The saxophone can play many types of music, and it comes in many different sizes. Depending on what size, it can play the melody, harmony, and bass all at once! Once again, every instrument is important, but the saxophone is the best!

The saxaphone is the melody and personality of the band! It's basically the only woodwind you can hear and it has a personality of its own. It's better than all brass instruments because it can be high and low, so it could be woodwind parts and also brass, so why even need brass? It's much better than percussion also. It adds a melody and pizazz to the song when all you need to know to play a snare, timbani, bass drum, cow bell, triangle, etc is to know how to count to at least four and roll.

The Contenders
11 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.

The flute is important to concert band, definitely. Why else would it be the flautists that sit in the front? We play the melody often, which is a whole half of the song. Flutes can be soft and melodic, almost like a clarinet, or they can be loud, staccato, and high. There's a pretty large range the flute can play. Also, it's quite difficult. Other instrument players don't realize how much air it takes a person to blow into their flute. Only half of the air you'd blow would go into it the other half would go right over the top of it. Good posture is another hard thing with flute. With oboe or clarinet, you just hold your instrument and play. With saxophone, you almost get permission to be a little slouchy they are pretty heavy instruments. With flute, however, you have to sit up straight, not rest your elbow on the back of your chair, and hold your flute straight up the whole time you play. Your left wrist will constantly be sore. Finally, you may be whacked by other flutes nearby.

12 Trombone

In our band, the Trombones make up most of the Low Brass section and if the band lost most of the low brass most of the songs wouldn't really sound very good.

Low brass is very important, probably the most important part of a band. And which low brass instrument is the best, trombone, thus making it the most important

It keeps the bass line and makes sure that the melody has something to go along with it.

13 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.

Even though most people think electric guitar is better, in my opinion acoustic guitar is more relaxing, quiet, and natural. Overall, I definitely think acoustic guitar is very important to bands of any kind.

14 Tuba

Every band needs a tuba player, I mean seriously, it's practically the beat of the music! Also, the tuba goes lower than most or all instruments, so if you need to hit the low note, just point to tuba! It also is the most fun instrument to play. You get to do that awesome lip thing you did all the time when you were five. plus, not many people can get a sound out of tuba, so if you can, you should try it. Not many people do tuba, so you'd get a lot of attention from peers.


As a tuba player, I feel unappreciated a lot. We don't really get the good parts, and we mainly get a bunch of drum lines, if we're lucky. Or else it's just a bunch of whole notes, depending on the song. So seeing these comments have really made me happy. Also, I like hearing the band with no tuba then when you bring the tubas in and then you can really hear those low notes.

15 French Horn

The french horn is a confusing instrument that very little people play. My friend plays the saxophone so What I think is personally harder is the french horn because you just have to get the notes right or you teacher gonn' be like "Girl, if you don't get that note right I reckon you do it again! " To me the French Horn is what I like to play.

The French horn is a hard instrument. You need to have good ears and tell if you're hitting the right note. The French horn is a beautiful looking instrument. Also while having to tell if you're hitting the right note you have to be good with melody and be able to hit all you're notes. It has a very nice sound

16 Euphonium

Literally if you don't play in low brass, your first words are going to be "what is a Euphonium? " and make the section angered at you. All instruments are important, but this one should certainly be higher on the list. It has an expansive range (Cb1 which is lower than most tubas go, all the way up to a F5, four and a half octaves, which is why it is flexible) and it plays anywhere from contrabass to alto voicing, but normally staying within it's tenor voice. Due to it's 2/3 conical bore, it makes a dark and mellow sound, compared to the inverted Baritone Horn, which is much brighter. It rarely carries the melody because most composers simply have no knowledge of the instrument. It's misidentified as a Baritone because it is rarely taught about, not even at the professional level. Its tone is very colorful, and when played correctly, you can make it out and will be satisfied with its performance.

17 Cowbell

Listen to Don't fear the reaper, needs more cowbell!

18 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.

The oboe IS a very hard instrument to play. I've tried it before and I'll admit, it's hard. You need a kind of personality where you persevere if you have a tough time, the kind of person who will only go for an A A A. Although being a tough instrument it creates a powerful band.

Oboe is one of the hardest ever instruments to play some people take the oboe for granted when I have noticed it is a grand instrument.

The oboe is the instrument that you can pick out from the crowd in the band. It's the one that gives the band its humanity

19 Harmonica The harmonica, also known as a French harp or mouth organ, is a free reed brass instrument used worldwide in many musical genres, notably in blues.

The Harmonica adds sound effects to specific songs.

20 Synthesizer

The synth allows you to get a very nice futuristic, and pop timbre. It suits a lot of bands.

Synth riffs can add a great deal of vibe and depth to a band and their songs.

Every band has used it at least once, the most revolutionary instrument besides the guitar.

21 Triangle

Exactly, but it is easy to play it too loud. I think it is by far the most important instrument to any band, I mean who cares about the drums or the guitar, or even *cringes* the singing. *shivers in pure fright*

Obviously the most important and hardest instrument to play in any decent rock band.

22 Organ
23 Bassoon

The bassoon is a hard but nice instrument. It has a low sound needed for a good band

24 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.

It's like a minnie guitar and has a slightly higher pitch. Very beautiful sound.

25 Percussions

We all agree that the percussion instruments keep the tempo flowing.

The percussion keeps the tempo together.

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