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Suggestions for instrumental classic rock?


Power User
Greetings to all!

My old band died off, but three of us want to get together (virtually or otherwise) to start jamming again. But none of us can sing so we're hoping to find some good, catchy, rocking tunes. The guys are kind of hung up on cuts that work well on the dance floor. Our instrumentation is the old simple trio of drums, bass, guitar.

We're now searching for ideas, but my first thought was to check with this forum since so many of you have loads of experience.

So here we go: good instrumental classic rock songs, please?

Thanks and stay safe and healthy.


Lots of cool surf music. There is a local surf/tiki band that has a lot of people dancing at their gigs, but it's pretty much all originals.

Apache, Tequila

I haven't seen anyone dance to YYZ, but it would be cool.


Fractal Fanatic
Another cool one but not sure how easy to pull off: Theme from Sanford and Son.

Ahhh yea...while not classic rock I'd suspect you could do a medley of TV show instrumental themes to fill out a few minutes of a set...for an older/classic rock crowd you could do stuff like "Batman", "The Munsters", "Streets Of San Francisco", etc....a mash up of a bunch of groovy TV themes might be worth thinking about to fill some time.


Fractal Fanatic
Freeway Jam - Jeff Beck

If you had keys, horns, or another guitar there's more you could do but as a 3 piece you're pretty limited even within the fact that most classic rock instrumentals aren't really danceable...

I'd also think you'd have to expand beyond just classic rock to be able to fill a night up with dance-able instrumentals...or somehow make some cool, funky classic rock tunes work instrumentally....like The Venture did, etc.

I get people up and dancing with the Ventures and Dick Dale.

I can see stuff like the Ventures, Shadows, Dick Dale, and all sorts of funky, groovy surf music working in a club, and for both young and old alike...thank Tarantino for all of that heh.
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Fractal Fanatic
I think that instrumental music is very much niche. Yeah, there were some bands that enjoyed great success, but so far all the instrumental hits named can be counted on the fingers of one hand. There's a reason why singers get 99% of the attention during concerts. There's something about the human voice that resonates with us more then any other instrument. And the ability to tell a story that resonates in a 3 to 4 minute format with vocals and music, that's the power of popular music. The right kind of lyrics, delivered in the right way by a good singer with cool music, that combination can change people's lives for the better. Make them feel things they thought they had forgotten, or inspire them to reach beyond themselves. Instrumental songs will never achieve that resonance. It's music for the mind, not for the soul.

If you want to do an all instrumental classic rock set that gets audiences coming and moving, it can probably be done. But song selection will be extremely hard and don't expect to be a success. The kind of success will probably take 10 years of hard work and lots of failure in between to become an overnight sensation. My suggestion would be if none of you can sing, find a singer!


Frankenstein and Onions ain’t gonna work without keys.

Guitar bass and drums only really limits the repertoire.

All I can really think of other than surf is maybe some obscure instrumentals off the first 3 Police records. But good luck getting anyone to dance to it for long.
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