10 Legendary Musicians That Play Multiple Instruments

Pulling Double Duty.

Dave Grohl

The basic setup of any standard rock band is fairly simple. You normally have to have guitars, bass, keyboards, and a nice sounding voice to put everything together with. When you're first getting your project off the ground though, getting all of those parts together can be a little hard to come by. If you really want to make it big, some musicians have to end up pulling double duty a lot of the time.

Wanting to expand their musical horizons, each of these musicians took up learning two instruments in the band, which is a lot harder than it looks. It would be almost impossible to master one instrument on your own, now you have to be great at both of them to have anyone actually garner interest in your band. The added instruments weren't just set dressing for these people...they were looking to dominate the competition.

Keep in mind, this isn't just the singers that use a guitar every now and again as an extension. No, we're talking about the kind of people who master instruments to the point where it feels almost superhuman watching them play. No matter how many times you might see the full band, these are the guys you can't take your eyes off of if only for how much they have on their plate. Rock and roll has always been about serving the song, and as far as they were concerned, it was much better to just do it themselves.

10. Brian Jones - The Rolling Stones

As the British Invasion works its way across the rock landscape, The Rolling Stones were the perfect archetype for what your standard rock band should look like. While most of the attention went to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the foundation of the band was always in Brian Jones, who brought everyone together in the first place and even knicked the name of the band from an old blues song. When talking about his talent for instruments, the question should really be what instrument this man couldn't play.

Going through the Stones' '60s catalog, Jones was responsible for every single weird extension they would add into their songs. In their traditional blues era, Brian usually was reserved for lead guitar and a bit of harmonica here and there, but that was only the beginning of the madness. As things started to take a more psychedelic turn, Jones was responsible for putting even weirder instruments into the mix, being one of the first to put a sitar on a rock record with Paint It Black and even giving a chamber pop sound to their songs by adding dulcimer and even clarinet behind some of their traditional pop tracks.

After adding all of that to the Stones' repertoire though, it wasn't enough to get him in the same spotlight as the Glimmer Twins, leading to him drinking heavily and passing away shortly after being fired from the band for being too unreliable. If Brian hadn't tried something different in the Stone's glory period though, the classics that we know them for today would sound a lot different.

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Dave Grohl
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