10 Rock Songs With Weird Instruments

Stretching the rock and roll sound.

Warner Bros.

Rock music tends to be a genre with no real bells or whistles. The unspoken rule of rock instrumentation is to get the job done with only guitar, drums, bass, and maybe a piano if you're feeling feisty. Then again, rock music also means rules are meant to be broken.

As you keep pounding away on the same melodic hunk of metal, there comes a time when you want to hear something more than just the same effects going into the same guitar. Across the many subgenres of rock music, songs have emerged that have featured instrumentation that was a bit more unusual than your standard six-string. Rather than pull from the blues tradition, these instruments brought elements of classical, jazz, and even avant garde music and fashioned them into the rock style. Sometimes the instruments weren't even meant to be used as instruments, with some of the sounds coming from items found in non-musical spheres.

Instead of trying to tear the song apart with a rock and roll assault, the subtle sonic spice added by these instruments give each song a unique character that isn't found in the band's other material. The sound may be unexpected, but they are intense musical leaps nonetheless.


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