In the modern world of music guitar is undeniably the epitome of the whole "rock" genre. But sometimes you can rock even without a guitar.
So we prepared a special list of 33 bands who play rock or metal music without electric/acoustic guitars.
And before the main list - here are honorable mentions - feel free to check them too because all of these bands are really unique:
- Add N To (X) [electronic/rock: 3 analogue synths]
- Alien Knife Fight [experimental rock: bass + drums + moog]
- Almaailman Vasarat [avant-prog: woodwinds + strings + keyboards + drums]
- Anima [krautrock: fox horn + percussion + piano]
- Arphaxat [black metal: drums + bass]
- Attila [1970's band feat. Billy Joel: organ + drums]
- Aux Raus [dance punk/hardcore: 2 drum machines]
- Bangladeafy [math rock: bass + drums]
- Bass Extremes [2 bass guitars]
- BBAATBIFFFS [experimental metal: drums + bass]
- Bestial Mouths [synthpunk/post-punk: 2 synths + drums + vocals]
- Big Business [stoner metal: bass + drums]
- Black Pus [noise rock: drums + samples]
- Black Tar Prophet [sludge metal: bass + drum]
- Blue Motion [sympho prog: piano + organ + drums]
- Bootcut [prog rock: synths + drums]
- Bronze [electronic/post-rock: electronic + drums + vocals]
- Bunkur [drone metal: 2 basses + drums + keys]
- Cadaver Eyes [noisecore/grindcore: electronics + drums]
- Cannabis India [prog rock: organ/vocals + bass + drums]
- Caveman Shoestore [avant-prog: bass + drums + keys]
- Circus [prog rock (except last album): bass + drums + keys + woodwinds]
- Comparative Anatomy [drum'n'bass/grind/noisecore: 2 basses + electronics]
- Cop Shoot Cop [industrial/noise rock (first two albums): bass + drums + keys]
- Coppelius [sympho metal: drums + double bass + cello + clarinet]
- Cowboys From Hell [Swiss jazz rock/jazzcore: sax + bass + drums]
- Cuban Crimewave [garage rock/noise rock: 2 basses + drums + vocals]
- Crash Kings [indie rock: keys + drums + bass]
- Crimony [pop rock/post-punk: keys + bass]
- Crowd Surfers Must Die [noisecore: bass + drums]
- Cystgurgle [grindcore: bass + drums]
- D&V [punk: drums + vocals]
- Daimonji [avant-prog: keys + bass + drums]
- Death Grips [experimental hip-hop: vocals + drums + electronic]
- Death Organ [prog rock: organ + bass + drums + vocals]
- Death Sentence: Panda! [noisecore: flute + clarinet + drums]
- Deathless [industrial metal: 2 basses + electronic]
- Defuntos [depressive black metal: drums + bass]
- Deja-Vu [sympo prog: keys + bass + drums]
- Destroy 2 [noise rock/noisecore: vocals + drums]
- Diebold [noise rock: drums + bass]
- Diga Rhythm Band [psychedelic rock/jam band feat. ethnic instruments]
- Don't Stop or We'll Die [comedy rock: piano + bass + drums]
- Double Dagger [noise rock/post-hardcore: bass + drums + vocals]
- Dr. Z [prog rock: keys + drums + bass]
- Drum Circus [krautrock/jazz fusion: 3 drums + bass + woodwinds + organ + vocals]
- Duotang [indie rock: bass + drums]
- East Wind Pot [jazz/prog rock: woodwinds + keys + bass + drums]
- Egg [prog rock: organ + bass/vocals + drums]
- ElectroChemical [prog rock/electronic: bass + electronic]
- Enemymine [math rock/noise rock/sludge: 2 basses + drums]
- Erode and Disappear [post-punk: bass + drums]
- Eskju Divine [indie rock: piano + bass + drums]
- Esmerine [post-rock: cello + drums]
- Exhaust [post-rock/electronic: bass + drums + tapes]
- Exit International [noise rock: 2 basses + drums]
- Extinction Level Event [prog metal/djent: 3 basses + drums]
- Eyehatelucy [sludge metal: bass + drums + vocals]
- Fitz and The Tantrums [indie pop/neo soul: bass + drums + keys + vocals + sax]
- FCS North [post-rock/jazz rock: bass + drums + keys + electronic]
- Fossils [noise rock: bass + drums]
- Greber [sludge/grind: bass + drums]
- Greenslade [prog rock: 2 keys + bass/double bass + drums]
- Gröûp X [comedy rock/rap rock: bass + drums + keys + vocals]
- Guapo [avant-prog (some albums): bass + drums + keys]
- Hangedup [post-rock: viola + drums]
- Herscher [sludge/drone metal: bass + drums + keys]
- HighKicks [stoner rock: bass + drums]
- Ho99o9 [hip-hop/punk: 2 vocalists + drums + samples]
- Holy Fuck [post-rock/electronic: electronics+ keyboards + bass + drums]
- Island [prog rock: woodwinds + drums + keys]
- KAOS Protokoll [avant-jazz/rock: sax + bass + drums]
- Kroveled (Кровелёд) [black metal/noise rock: bass + drums]
- La Comune [experimental rock: woodwinds + minimoog/sax + bass + drums + vocals]
- Mates of State [indie pop: organ + drums]
- Megachurch [stoner metal: 2 basses + drums]
- Methadrone [drone/sludge metal: bass]
- Molten Lava [experimental metal: drums + bass]
- Mr Marcaille [one man cello punk band: cello + drums]
- My Own Private Alaska [screamo/experimental: piano + drums + vocals]
- Necromantia [black metal (some albums): 2 basses + drums]
- Neoandertals [experimental metal (some albums): drums + bass]
- Nervous Gender [synth punk: synths + drums]
- No Anchor [sludge/drone metal: 2 basses + drums + electronic]
- Oceakyl [prog/jazz rock: 2 basses + drums + electronic]
- One Day as a Lion [rap rock/hip-hop feat Zack de la Rocha: vocals + drums + keys]
- Pochakaite Malko [avant-prog: keys + drums + bass + violin]
- Profanum [black metal: guitars replaced with symphonic instruments]
- Professor Murder [dance-punk: bass + keyboards + drums]
- Puerto Rico Flowers [post-punk/synthpop: bass + drums + synth + vocals]
- Quatermass [prog rock: bass + keys + drums]
- Rasputina [cello rock: cellos + drums]
- Refugee [sympho prog: keys + bass + drums]
- Ride for Revenge [black/death metal (first two albums): bass + drums]
- Rudess Morgenstein Project [prog rock: keys + drums]
- Sabot [math/noise rock: bass + drums]
- Sleaford Mods [electro-punk/post-punk: vocals + electronic]
- Smoosh [indie pop: keys + drums + bass]
- Soil & "Pimp" Sessions ["death jazz": keyboards + woodwinds + double bass + drums]
- Sousvourtre [black metal: bass + drums]
- Space Blood [math rock: bass + drums]
- Street Eaters [punk rock: bass + drums]
- Supersister [prog rock: keys + flute + drums + bass]
- Talbot [sludge metal: bass + drums]
- Tempel [sludge metal: bass + drums]
- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown [psychedelic rock (most of albums): keys + drums + bass]
- The Dresden Dolls [dark cabaret/alt rock: piano + drums]
- The Halls of Music [pop/funk: organ + bass + drums]
- The Inbreds [indie rock: drums + bass]
- The Screamers [synth punk: synths + drums]
- The Thing [avant-jazz/jazzcore: sax + double bass + drums]
- The Tiger Lillies [dark cabaret: accordion/piano + drums + double bass]
- The United States of America [psychedelic rock: keys + organ + violin + bass + drums]
- Thrones [drone doom: bass]
- Tizzy Bac [indie rock: keys + bass + drums]
- Toast Machine [funk rock/metal: bass + drums]
- Trace [sympho prog: keys + bass + drums]
- Trencher [powerviolence/noisecore: bass + drums + keys]
- Trio Pussit [experimental/funk metal: 2 basses + drums]
- Unstoppable Death Machines [stoner/noise rock: drums + bass]
- Vir' (ВИРЬ) [sludge/drone metal: bass + drums]
- Warren Schoenbright [noise rock/experimental: bass + drums + electronics]
- Wartime [experimental thrash metal feat. Henry Rollins: bass + vocals]
- Weather Report [jazz fusion/rock: keys + sax + bass + drums]
- White Noise [psychedelic rock: electronics + drums + double bass + vocals]
- Whitey Houston [indie rock: bass + drums + ukulele + cello/rain stick]
- Wolff and Tuba [drums + tuba]
- Woodhands [electropop/rock: synth + drums]
- Zaum [psychedelic doom metal: bass/synth + drums]
- Zeus! [noise rock/math rock: bass + drums]
- zZz [dark electro rock: organ + drums]
And here's the actual list:
33. Wreck and Reference
Wreck and Reference are a heavy experimental/electronic band from Los Angeles, California, mixing influences from sludge metal and noise rock to doom and drone. The duo consists of drummer and electronic musician, who are both vocalists too.
32. Terminator 2
Sludge metal band from Denton, Texas, Terminator 2 were originally formed as a duo (bass/vocals + drums), but later were joined by the third member, who is responsible for analogue electronics/noise.
Unique Russian band, I-Scream are mixing live drum'n'bass, jazz, trip-hop and more. Originally a duo of bassist/double bassist and drummer, the band also featured several electronic players.
San Francisco-based unique trio consists of violinist/vocalist, cellist, and drummer. And these guys rock really hard: violin signal is split through a wah pedal and distortion, and the cello signal is split with distortion.
Gâtechien are a French bass/drums duo, who play a raw and melodic math rock/noise rock.
Australian duo HALO, consisting of bassist/vocalist and drummer, play really extreme and heavy version of sludge metal, combined with some industrial and noise.
27. The Garden
The Garden, American duo by twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, quickly became known for their fast punk two piece bass and drums songs, however they "consistently defy genre and categorization", creating their own genre called "vada vada" which was described by Wyatt as "an idea that represents pure creative expression, that disregards all previously made genres and ideals."
26. Cause for Effect
Cause for Effect are a Finnish bass/drums duo, who play their own unique blend of grindcore and jazz fusion.
American noise rock/post-hardcore duo godheadSilo are known for their loud "wall of sound" live performances were full of raging drums, screaming and a gigantic heavy bass sound.
24. Child Abuse
Psychedelic noise rock trio from New York City, Child Abuse consist of bassist, drummer and keyboardist.
Italian psychedelic/experimental/math/noise/space rock trio MoRkObOt consist of 2 bassists and one drummer.
Trioscapes is a progressive rock/jazz fusion project formed by Dan Briggs (Between the Buried and Me), Walter Fancourt (Casual Curious, Brand New Life) and Matt Lynch (Eyris), and actually it's an instrumental trio featuring bass, drums and saxophone.
Botanist is originally an experimental one-man black metal project featuring avant-garde instrumentation that utilizes only vocals, drums, and hammered dulcimer (instead of guitars).
20. Menace Ruine
Menace Ruine are an avant-garde/post-black/drone metal duo who reach their unique sound through synthesizers.
Bassinvaders are a heavy/power metal supergroup consisting of 4 famous metal bassists: Markus Grosskopf (Helloween), Peavy Wagner (Rage), Schmier (Destruction) and Tom Angelripper (Sodom).
Ruins are a brutal prog/zeuhl/experimental rock duo from Japan, consisting of drummer and bassist.
Zombi are a unique duo, playing their own blend of progressive rock, space rock and progressive electronic, using only electric bass, drums, and a collection of analog synthesizers.
Painkiller's style can be described as a mix of avant-garde jazz and grindcore; later albums also incorporated elements of ambient and dub. The three primary members of the band are John Zorn on saxophone, Bill Laswell on electric bass and Mick Harris (formerly of Napalm Death and founding member of Scorn) on drums.
15. Silver Apples
Formed in 1967, psychedelic rock duo Silver Apples were one of the first bands who invented electronic into rock music. They originally consisted of Simeon Coxe III (who played a custom home-made synthesizer known as the "Simeon") and Danny Taylor (drums). Many electronic music enthusiasts nowadays consider them influential on acts as diverse as Kraftwerk, Stereolab, Laika, and others.
Keane, an English piano-driven rock band, are comprised of composer, bassist, and pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, lead vocalist Tom Chaplin and drummer Richard Hughes. Since 2011 they also have a fourth member, bassist Jesse Quin.
13. Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt are a noise rock duo which consists of Brian Chippendale (drums, vocals) and Brian Gibson (bass). Brian Chippendale is also known for many other bands, including his solo project Black Pus. Lightning Bolt are known for their guerrilla-style live performances, where they typically play on the ground rather than a stage, with the crowd gathered around them.
12. Author & Punisher
Industrial/drone metal one man project by musician and engineer Tristan Shone, Author & Punisher is utilizing primarily custom fabricated machines/controllers and speakers, created and designed by Tristan himself.
11. Death From Above 1979
Death from Above 1979 are the Toronto-based duo of Jesse F. Keeler (bass, synths) and Sebastien Grainger (vocals, drums). Refusing to employ a lead guitarist, they played loud synth infused dance punk on the drum and bass combination alone.
10. Van Canto
Van Canto are an "a cappella metal" band from Germany formed in 2006. It is comprised of five singers and a drummer.
With their original line-up (since 1997) of drums, bass, and saxophone, Italian trio Zu gradually developed into their current form of experimental, metal/math/no-wave/free/noise/punk/jazz inspired work, creating their own unique sound.
Om originally were formed by the members of cult stoner metal band Sleep: Al Cisneros (bass, vocals) and Chris Hakius (drums). And though Chris has left the band in 2009, now it's a trio, consisting of drums, bass and keyboards.
7. Van Der Graaf Generator
The signature Van der Graaf Generator sound in the 1970s was a combination of Peter Hammill's distinctive and dynamic voice and David Jackson's electronically-treated saxophones, generally playing over thick chordal keyboard parts (such as Hammond organ and/or clavinet). Van der Graaf Generator albums tended to be darker in atmosphere than many of their prog-rock peers, and guitar solos were the rare exception.
Apocalyptica, so-called "cello metal" band from Finland, originally was composed of four classically trained cellists. Now the lineup also include a drummer.
5. Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five are a trio formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States in 1994, who are still a mainstay of piano rock. The members of the band are Ben Folds, the lead singer and pianist, who also wrote most of the songs; Robert Sledge on bass; and Darren Jessee on drums.
Suicide, American electronic proto-punk musical duo, was originally composed of vocalist Alan Vega and Martin Rev on synthesizers and drum machines. Never widely popular amongst the general public, Suicide are highly influential. They also were the first band to use the term punk to describe themselves, which they had adopted from an article by Lester Bangs. Some of their earliest posters use the terms "punk music" and "punk music mass."
3. Royal Blood
Formed at the beginning of 2013, Royal Blood are one of the most known ans successful 2-piece bands today, consisting of Mike Kerr (bass/vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums).
Morphine's unique guitarless sound relied on an unusual combination of baritone/tenor sax, percussion and a two string slide bass. On July 3, 1999, Mark Sandman, the band's leader, bassist and vocalist, collapsed on stage in Palestrina, Italy. He was pronounced dead of a heart attack at the scene.
1. Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer, also known as ELP, are one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands. he band consisted of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass guitar, vocals, guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion). And though they occasionally use guitars, their sound is undeniably dominated by the Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer of the flamboyant Emerson.
Know more rock/metal bands without guitars? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.