Good Instrumental Songs

What are some good instrumental songs. Not necessarily classical, more rock and roll type. Some examples:

Allman Brothers - Jessica
Allman Brothers - Little Martha
REM - New Orleans Instrumental No 1

I know there are a couple that are played on the oldies station, but I can’t remember their names.

I want to burn a good CD with that doesn’t have words but is pretty up beat so i can study without singing all the time.


NIN- just like you imagined…amazing rock n’roll instrumental type dealy.

Smashing Pumpkins–Mellon Collie and the infinite sadness (not the album, track 1 disc 1)


Billy Joel–Root Beer Rag

Ben Folds Five–Theme from Dr. Pyser

I have always been partial to the Eagles’ “Journey of the Sorcerer” from the album One of These Nights.

“Last Date” Floyd Cramer

“Steamer Lane Breakdown” Doobie Brothers

“Long Hard Ride” Marshall Tucker Band

All three of those songs stick out in my musical memory for one reason or another.

Anything from the Dirty Three

More rocky… .Man or Astroman?

“Race Day Rag” by Grant McLennan is nice. So is “Misirlou,” the cover by Dick Dale that opens up the movie “Pulp Fiction.” And let me also add the Pixies’ cover of “Cecilia Ann” that kicks off the “Bossanova” album.

Cliffs of Dover
[sup]ERIC JOHNSON[/sup]

Always With You, Always With Me
[sup]JOE SATRIANI[/sup]

[sup]ERIC JOHNSON[/sup]

The Crush of Love
[sup]JOE SATRIANI[/sup]

[sup]THE BEATLES[/sup]

Hole in the Coal

[sup]LARRY CORYELL[/sup]

[sup]HERB ALPERT[/sup]

Axel F
[sup]H. FALTAMEYER[/sup]

[sup]EDGAR WINTER[/sup]

Take Five

[sup]BELA FLECK and the FLECKTONES[/sup]

Definitely Maybe
[sup]JEFF BECK[/sup]


Green Onions
[sup]BOOKER T. and the MG’s[/sup]

Turkish Rondo

Liberty Bell March

[sup]DAVY GRAHAM[/sup]

Sugarfoot Rag
[sup]JUNIOR BROWN[/sup]


Lady Goes To Church
[sup]JOHN RENBOURN[/sup]

Water Song
[sup]HOT TUNA[/sup]

Embryonic Journey

[sup]JETHRO TULL[/sup]

[sup]JORGEN INGMAN[/sup]

Vaseline Machine Gun
[sup]LEO KOTTKE[/sup]

Phase Dance
[sup]PAT METHENY[/sup]

The Clap

Adam Smasher
[sup]LARRY CORYELL[/sup]

Fanfare for the Common Man

[sup]BERT JANSCH[/sup]

Blue Rondo ala Turk

Bridge Over the River Ash

King Kong
[sup]FRANK ZAPPA[/sup]

In The Mood
[sup]GLENN MILLER[/sup]

The Lonely Bull
[sup]HERB ALPERT[/sup]

Whammer Jammer
[sup]J. GEILS[/sup]

Beck’s Bolero
[sup]JEFF BECK[/sup]

Blackwater Side
[sup]BERT JANSCH[/sup]

Bulgarian Dance
[sup]DAVY GRAHAM[/sup]

[sup]GENTLE GIANT[/sup]

Si Bheag, Si Mohr
Listen to all of these and your life will change. I promise.

These are some of the people who shaped my entire vision of music and it’s meaning.


Might I suggest the following:

Pick Up The Pieces by the Average White Band

Hideaway by Freddie King, or Clapton, or Jeff Healey

Stevie Ray Vaughan has a couple: Riveria Paradise, and one other I cannot think of, and there’s one by The Meters, Cissy Strut.

Steely Dan’s East-Coast Toodle-ooo

All the best guitar players have instrumentals…
If you can study and listen to music at the same time, fair play to you.

I like you!

Like oldscratch says, anything from the Dirty Three. I’d add to that anything from Godspeed you Black Emperor! and anything from Mogwai. Godspeed tend to make long mournful pieces that build to the most amazing crescendos. Maybe that isn’t what you want for studying - I don’t know.

In particular, I recommend:

Mogwai Fear Satan

Christmas Steps

If you like electronic/techno music, how about something from the Aphex Twin or Orbital? Orbital’s official website has some audio samples so you can try before you buy.
Also, Alec Empire’s solo work is a lot less childish than Atari Teenage Riot.

(Aphex Twin)


Desert Storm

The Box

(Alec Empire)

Stahl und Blausaüre
(Alec Empire)

Jazz maybe? Zenster has selected some fine examples, but I’d like to recommend Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers.

Lastly, if you like metal, there’s The Call Of K’tulu by Metallica.

All credit to the mighty Zenster for such a wonderful list!

I’d also like the champion the cause of guitar genius Stanley Jordan. He is usually bracketed as ‘jazz’ but I think that’s a pretty unhelpful label where SJ is concerned - he’s in a genre of his own, and ‘rock’ aficionados will find plenty to enjoy in his repertoire. Check out his versions of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ or ‘Little Wing’ to see what I mean. When you listen to these tracks and realise it’s just ONE guy playing ONE guitar in real time, you realise just how awesome his technique is. (SJ pioneered the style of electric guitar in which both hands play their own, separate melodic lines on the fretboard).

Also, if you enjoy instrumental stuff, you might like to check out the early albums of Mike Oldfied. No, really. Everyone’s heard of ‘Tubular Bells’ but his next few albums, “Hergest Ridge”, “Ommadawn” and “Incantations” all stroll through instrumental ‘rock’ territory in a way you might find very interesting - especially ‘Ommadawn’ which is without doubt his finest achievement.

Another 70s outfit you might like to try are British rock band ‘Camel’, best-known album being ‘The Snow Goose’ which is almost entirely instrumental. Some of their other albums do have some vocals, but most have extended instrumental passages.

You are now officially my favorite poster. :wink:

Someone else mentioned Mike Oldfield and I can highly recommend his piece Amarok, a 60 minute instrumental work. Very demanding of the listener, but well worth the effort.

Walk don’t run - Ventures

Peter Gunne - Duanne Eddy -its your heritage

William Tell overture - Glen Campbell (it’s on the B-side of Southern Nights)

Wipeout - Surfaris

Papa’s got a brand new pigbag - Pigbag

Take 5 - Dave Brubeck

Birdland - Weather report.

Area code 615 -Stone Fox Chase

Oh Yeah ! - Yello

Frankenstein - Edgar Winter Group, possibly the heaviest rock song ever made.

All credit to Zenster for an awesome list.

Might I suggest Roy Buchanan? His Peter Gunn is intense.

“YYZ” by Rush, worth checking out, and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.

Watermelon in Easter Hay (I think) by Frank Zappa.

The Flexible Song by Steve Vai, I defy anyone to study to that.

I gotta go and pick up a guitar now.

Check out the Red Elvises. They have a number of fantastic instrumentals, some originals and some covers. I think their best is “El Nino” which is on the album “I Want to See You Bellydance”.

The Red Elvises did most of the music for the movie “Six String Samurai”, which was mentioned recently in another thread.

Also, Zenster’s list is awesome! I was thrilled to see that he included Junior Brown’s version of “Sugarfoot Rag”. You simply MUST see him do this live!

I would give my right arm to be able to play the guitar like that…

It was East St. Louis Toodle-oo, written by Duke Ellington.


Yah! Allman Bros.! (referring to OP) Just picked up tickets to see them at the Beacon Theater in N.Y.C. this March 2001.

With kudos to everything already mentioned (thanks for reminding me of The Crush Of Love, Zenster)

I’m gonna mention an album that some may turn their noses up at but I think has great jams on EVERY track EXCEPT the one that became a hit. Breezin by George Benson

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Lenny is the other one.

I highly recommend the soundtrack to

The Truman Show

which has some awesome instrumental music by Philip Glass. Truly moving.