HOME

TheInfoList



A rock band or pop band is a small
musical ensemble A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as ...
that performs
rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and later, particularly in the United States and ...
,
pop music Pop is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form during the mid-1950s in the United States and the United Kingdom. The terms ''popular music'' and ''pop music'' are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all m ...
, or a related genre. A four-piece band is the most common configuration in rock and pop music. In the early years, the configuration was typically two
guitarist A guitarist (or a guitar player) is a person who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of guitar family musical instrument, instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists acco ...

guitarist
s (a lead guitarist and a rhythm guitarist, with one of them singing lead vocals), a bassist, and a drummer (e.g.
the Beatles The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The group, whose best-known line-up comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most ...

the Beatles
,
KISS A kiss is the touch or pressing of one's lips against another person or an object. Cultural connotations of kissing vary widely. Depending on the culture and context, a kiss can express sentiments of love Love encompasses a range of stron ...
, and
Metallica Metallica is an American Heavy metal music, heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and has been based in San Francisco for most of its career. The band's fast t ...

Metallica
). Another common formation is a vocalist who does not play an instrument, electric guitarist, bass guitarist, and a drummer (e.g.
the Who The Who are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are ...
,
the Monkees The Monkees are an American rock and pop band originally active between 1966 and 1971, with reunion albums and tours in the decades that followed. Their original line-up consisted of the American actor/musicians Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith ...

the Monkees
,
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin were an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones (musician), John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a ...
,
Queen Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant, a female monarch of a Kingdom ** List of queens regnant * Queen consort, the wife of a reigning king * Queen dowager, the widow of a king * Queen mother, a queen dowager who is the mother of a reigni ...
, and
U2
U2
). Instrumentally, these bands can be considered as trios. Sometimes, in addition to electric guitars, electric bass, and drums, also a keyboardist (especially a pianist) plays.


Etymology

The usage of band as "group of musicians" originated from 1660 to describe musicians attached to a regiment of the army and playing instruments which may be used while marching. This word also used in 1931 to describe "one man band" for people who plays several musical instruments simultaneously.


Two members

Two-member rock and pop bands (such as
The White Stripes The White Stripes were an American rock duo from Detroit (strait) , nicknames = The Motor City, Motown, Renaissance City, City of the Straits, The D, D-Town, Hockeytown, The Automotive Capital of the World, Rock City ...

The White Stripes
,
Tenacious D Tenacious D is an American comedy rock duo formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1994. It was founded by actors Jack Black and Kyle Gass, who were members of The Actors' Gang theater company at the time. The duo's name is derived from "tenacious ...

Tenacious D
, and
The Black Keys The Black Keys are an American rock band formed in Akron, Ohio Akron () is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Summit County, Ohio, Summit County. It is located on the western edge of the Glaciated Alle ...
) Ween are relatively rare, because of the difficulty in providing all of the musical elements which are part of the rock or pop sound (vocals, chordal
accompaniment 250px, " Walking basslines", so-named because they rise and fall in a regular pattern, are a widely used style of accompaniment bassline in jazz, blues and rockabilly. Accompaniment is the part (music), musical part which provides the rhythmi ...
,
bass line A bassline (also known as a bass line or bass part) is the term used in many styles of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of ...
s, and percussion or drumming). Two-member rock and pop bands typically omit one of these musical elements. In many cases, two-member bands omit a drummer, since guitars, bass guitars, and keyboards can all be used to provide a rhythmic pulse. Other examples of two-member bands are
MGMT MGMT () is an American pop and rock band formed in 2002 in Middletown, Connecticut. It was founded by multi-instrumentalists Andrew VanWyngarden and Benjamin Goldwasser, Ben Goldwasser. Alongside VanWyngarden and Goldwasser, MGMT's live line ...

MGMT
, WZRD,
Pet Shop Boys Pet Shop Boys are an English synth-pop duo, formed in London in 1981 and consisting of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and were listed as the most successful duo in UK music histor ...

Pet Shop Boys
,
Hella ''Hella'' is an American slang term that originated in Oakland, California but has since spread to become native slang to all of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is used as an adverb such as in "hella bad" or "hella good" and was eventually added ...
,
Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords is a New Zealand comedy duo composed of musicians Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. Beginning as a popular New Zealand live comedy act in the early 2000s, the duo's comedy and music became the basis of the self-title ...
,
the Ting Tings The Ting Tings are an English indie pop Indie pop (also typeset as indie-pop or indiepop) is a music genre and subculture that combines guitar pop with DIY ethic in opposition to the style and tone of mainstream pop music. It originated from ...

the Ting Tings
,
Hall & Oates Hall & Oates are an American pop rock duo formed in 1970 in Philadelphia. Daryl Hall is generally the lead vocalist; John Oates primarily plays electric guitar and provides backing vocals. The two write most of the songs they perform, separately ...

Hall & Oates
,
Twenty One Pilots Twenty One Pilots (stylized in all lowercase or as twenty øne piløts) is an American musical duo from Columbus, Ohio Columbus is the List of U.S. state capitals, state capital and the List of cities in Ohio, most populous city in the U.S. ...

Twenty One Pilots
,
They Might Be Giants They Might Be Giants (often abbreviated as TMBG) is an American alternative rock Alternative rock (also called alternative music, alt-rock, or simply alternative) is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music undergr ...
(from 1982 to 1992) and
T. Rex ''Tyrannosaurus'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also r ...
(until shortly after scoring their UK breakthrough hit, at which point they expanded to a four-piece and more). When electronic sequencers became widely available in the 1980s, they made adding in musical elements easier for two-member bands to perform. Sequencers allowed bands to program some elements of their performance, such as an
electronic drum An electronic drum is a modern electronic musical instrument An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound using electronics, electronic circuitry. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an electrical, electronic o ...
part and a
synth bass A synthesizer (also spelled synthesiser) is an electronic musical instrument An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound using electronics, electronic circuitry. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an el ...
line. Two-member pop music bands such as
Soft Cell Soft Cell are an English synthpop duo who came to prominence in the early 1980s. The duo consisted of vocalist Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball (electronic musician), David Ball. The band are primarily known for their 1981 hit versio ...
,
Blancmange Blancmange (, from french: blanc-manger ) is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammals that produces mi ...

Blancmange
, and Yazoo used programmed sequencers. Other pop bands from the 1980s, who were ostensibly fronted by two performers, such as
Wham! Wham! (briefly known in the US as Wham! U.K.) were an English pop duo consisting of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, formed in Bushey Bushey is a town in the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire in the East of England. It has a popula ...
,
Eurythmics Eurythmics were a British Pop music, pop duo consisting of members Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart (musician and producer), Dave Stewart. Stewart and Lennox were both previously in The Tourists, a band which broke up in 1980; Eurythmics were fo ...
, and
Tears for Fears Tears for Fears are an English pop rock band formed in Bath, Somerset, Bath, England, in 1981 by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. Founded after the dissolution of their first band, the Mod (subculture), mod-influenced Graduate (band), Graduate, T ...
, were not actually two-piece ensembles, because other instrumental musicians were used "behind the scenes" to fill out the sound. Modern bands that use this format include
Ninja Sex Party Ninja Sex Party (often abbreviated as NSP) is an American Comedy music, musical comedy Double act, duo consisting of singer Dan Avidan and keyboardist Brian Wecht. They formed in 2009 in New York City and are currently based in Los Angeles. They a ...
and
Death Grips Death Grips is an American experimental hip hop band formed in 2010 in Sacramento, California ) , image_map = Sacramento County California Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Sacramento Highlighted.svg , mapsize ...
. Two-piece bands in rock music are quite rare. However, starting in the 2000s, blues-influenced rock bands such as the White Stripes and
the Black Keys The Black Keys are an American rock band formed in Akron, Ohio Akron () is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Summit County, Ohio, Summit County. It is located on the western edge of the Glaciated Alle ...
used a guitar-and-drums scheme.
Death from Above 1979Death from Above 1979 (also known as Death from Above) is a Canadian rock duo consisting of bassist Jesse F. Keeler and drummer and vocalist Sebastien Grainger from Toronto, Ontario Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territori ...
featured a drummer and bass guitarist. Tenacious D is a two-guitar band;
One Day as a Lion One Day as a Lion was a power duo supergroup that was started in 2008 by Zack de la Rocha, the vocalist of Rage Against the Machine, and Jon Theodore, former drummer of The Mars Volta and current drummer of Queens of the Stone Age Queens o ...
and
the Dresden Dolls The Dresden Dolls are an American musical duo from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 2000, the group consists of Amanda Palmer (lead vocals and piano; additional: keyboards, harmonica, ukulele) and Brian Viglione (drums and backing vocals; additi ...

the Dresden Dolls
both feature a keyboardist and a drummer.
Ratatat Ratatat ( ) is a Brooklyn-based electronic rock duo consisting of Mike Stroud (Electric guitar, guitar, melodica, synthesizers, Percussion instrument, percussion) and Record producer, producer E*vax, Evan Mast (bass guitar, bass, synthesizers, per ...
comprises a two-guitar band that uses a drum machine for beats. W.A.S.P. guitarist
Doug Blair Douglas Blair Lucek, better known as Doug Blair (born February 11, 1963) is a heavy metal guitarist and member of W.A.S.P. Blair's early development as a musician took place in his home state of Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmo ...
is also known for his work in the two-piece
progressive rock Progressive rock (shortened as prog; also known as classical rock or symphonic rock; sometimes conflated with art rock) is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid-to late 1960s, peaki ...
band Signal2Noise, where he acts as the lead guitarist and bassist at the same time, due to a special custom instrument he invented (an electric guitar with five regular guitar strings paired with three bass guitar strings). Heisenflei of Los Angeles duo
the Pity Party The Pity Party is a two-piece band from Los Angeles composed of Julie Edwards, aka Heisenflei (simultaneous drums, keyboards Keyboard may refer to: Text input * Keyboard, part of a typewriter A typewriter is a machine, mechanical or electrome ...
plays drums, keyboards, and sings simultaneously. Royal Blood is a two-piece band that uses bass and drums along with
electronic effect An electronic effect influences the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to ...
s.


Three members

The smallest ensemble commonly used in rock music is the trio format. In a hard-rock or blues-rock band, or heavy-metal rock group, a "
power trio A power trio is a rock and roll band format having a lineup of electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit (drums and cymbals), leaving out the second rhythm guitar or Musical keyboard, keyboard instrument that are used in other rock music bands tha ...
" format is often used, which consists of an electric guitar player, an electric bass guitar player, and a drummer, and typically one or more of these musicians also sing (sometimes all three members sing, e.g. the
Bee Gees The Bee Gees were a music group formed in 1958, featuring brothers Barry Gibb, Barry, Robin Gibb, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were especially successful as a popular music act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and later as prominent pe ...

Bee Gees
or Alkaline Trio). Some well-known power trios with the guitarist on lead vocals are the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Nirvana, and
Muse In ancient Greek religion Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs, rituals, and Greek mythology, mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and Cult (religious practice), cult practi ...
. A handful of others with the bassist on vocals include
Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy are a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey (drummer), Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group thro ...
(from 1970 to 1974),
Primus Primus may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Fictional entities * Primus (DC Comics), a member of the fictional superhero team The Omega Men * Primus (Dungeons & Dragons), the leader of the Modron race in the ''Dungeons & Dragons'' universe ...
,
Rush Rush(es) may refer to: Places United States * Rush, Colorado * Rush, Kentucky * Rush, New York * Rush City, Minnesota * Rush Creek (Kishwaukee River tributary), Illinois * Rush Creek (Marin County, California), a stream * Rush Creek (Mono County, ...
, Motörhead,
the Police The Police were an English rock band formed in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-eas ...
, and
Cream Cream is a dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ' ...
. Some power trios feature two lead vocalists. For example, in the band
Blink-182 Blink-182 (sometimes written as Blink 182; often stylized in all lowercase as blink-182) is an American rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloi ...
, vocals are split between bassist
Mark Hoppus Mark Allan Hoppus (born March 15, 1972) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and former television personality best known as the bassist and co-lead vocalist of the rock band Blink-182, as well as part of pop rock duo ...
and guitarist
Matt Skiba Matthew Thomas Skiba (born February 24, 1976) is an American musician, singer and songwriter, known for his role as the founding lead vocalist and guitarist for Alkaline Trio, and the co-lead vocalist and guitarist of the band Blink-182. Ski ...
, or in the band
Dinosaur Jr. Dinosaur Jr. is an American rock band formed in Amherst, Massachusetts Amherst () is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Connecticut River valley. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,819, making it the hi ...
, guitarist J. Mascis is the primary songwriter and vocalist, but bassist
Lou Barlow Louis Knox Barlow (born July 17, 1966) is an American alternative rock Alternative rock (also called alternative music, alt-rock, or simply alternative) is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of th ...

Lou Barlow
writes some songs and sings, as well. An alternative to the power trio is an
organ trio An organ trio is a form of jazz ensemble consisting of three musicians; a Hammond organ player, a drummer, and either a jazz guitarist or a saxophone The saxophone (referred to colloquially as the sax) is a family of woodwind instruments usua ...
s formed with an electric guitarist, a drummer, and a keyboardist. Although organ trios are most commonly associated with 1950s and 1960s jazz organ trio groups such as those led by organist
Jimmy Smith Jimmy may refer to: Arts and entertainment Film and television * Jimmy (2008 film), ''Jimmy'' (2008 film), 2008 Hindi thriller directed by Raj N. Sippy * Jimmy (1979 film), ''Jimmy'' (1979 film), 1979 Indian Malayalam film directed by Melattoor ...
, organ trios also exist in rock-oriented styles, such as
jazz-rock fusion Jazz fusion (also known as fusion and progressive jazz) is a music genre that developed in the late 1960s when musicians combined jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, Unite ...
and
Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead was an American rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical comp ...
–influenced
jam bands A jam band is a musical group whose live albums and concerts relate to a fan culture that began in the 1960s with the Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead was an American rock music, rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band i ...
, for instance
Medeski Martin & Wood Medeski Martin & Wood (or MMW) is an American avant-jazz, avant-jazz-funk band formed in 1991, consisting of John Medeski on keyboards, Billy Martin (percussionist), Billy Martin on drums, and Chris Wood (jazz musician), Chris Wood on bass. The ba ...

Medeski Martin & Wood
. In organ trios, the keyboard player typically plays a
Hammond organ The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond and John M. Hanert and first manufactured in 1935. Multiple models have been produced, most of which use sliding drawbars to vary sounds. Until 1975, Hammond organs generated ...
or similar instrument, which permits the keyboard player to perform bass lines, chords, and lead lines. A variant of the organ trio is a trio formed with an electric bassist, a drummer, and an electronic keyboardist (playing synthesizers) such as the
progressive rock Progressive rock (shortened as prog; also known as classical rock or symphonic rock; sometimes conflated with art rock) is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid-to late 1960s, peaki ...
band
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were an English progressive rock Supergroup (music), supergroup formed in London in April 1970. The band consisted of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (vocals, bass, guitar and producer) and Carl Palmer (drums a ...
. A power trio with the guitarist on lead vocals is a popular record-company lineup, as the guitarist and singer usually are songwriters. Therefore, the label only has to present one "face" to the public. The
backing band A backup band or backing band is a musical ensemble A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform Instrumental music, instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a dis ...
may or may not be featured in publicity. If the backup band is not marketed as an integral part of the group, then the record company has more flexibility to replace band members or use substitute musicians. This lineup often leads to songs that are fairly simple and accessible, as the frontman (or frontwoman) has to sing and play guitar at the same time.


Four members

The four-piece band is the most common configuration in rock and pop music. Before the development of the electronic keyboard, the configuration was typically two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer (e.g. the Beatles, KISS,
Metallica Metallica is an American Heavy metal music, heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and has been based in San Francisco for most of its career. The band's fast t ...

Metallica
,
Rise Against Rise Against is an American punk rock Punk rock (or simply punk) is a music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s. Rooted in 1960s garage rock, punk bands rejected the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, f ...
,
the Clash The Clash were an English rock music, rock band formed in London in 1976 who were a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. They also contributed to the and new wave music, new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and ...
, and
the Smashing Pumpkins The Smashing Pumpkins (or Smashing Pumpkins) are an American alternative rock band from Chicago. Formed in 1988 by frontman Billy Corgan (lead vocals, guitar), D'arcy Wretzky (bass), James Iha (guitar), and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums), the band has ...
). Another common formation is a vocalist, electric guitarist, bass guitarist, and a drummer (e.g.
Van Halen Van Halen ( ) was an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California Pasadena () is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or ...

Van Halen
,
the Who The Who are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are ...
,
Queen Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant, a female monarch of a Kingdom ** List of queens regnant * Queen consort, the wife of a reigning king * Queen dowager, the widow of a king * Queen mother, a queen dowager who is the mother of a reigni ...
,
Red Hot Chili Peppers The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American Rock music, rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. Their music incorporates elements of alternative rock, funk, punk rock and psychedelic rock. The band consists of vocalist Anthony Kiedis, bassist ...

Red Hot Chili Peppers
,
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin were an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones (musician), John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a ...
, and ). Instrumentally, these bands can be considered as trios. In some bands, the guitarist could also be an occasional keyboardist, like
The Smiths The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester Manchester () is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. The city has the country’s List of English districts by population, fifth-largest population at 54 ...
,
The Who The Who are a British Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are c ...
,
Joy Division Joy Division were an English rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compoun ...

Joy Division
, and
The Beatles The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960, whose best-known line-up comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most infl ...

The Beatles
In some rock bands, bassists could be occasional keyboardists like
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin were an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones (musician), John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a ...
and
R.E.M. R.E.M. was an American Rock music, rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe, who were students at the University of Georgia. Liner notes from ...
. keyboardists are used in place of bass, performing with a guitarist, singer, and drummer, for instance
the Doors The Doors were an American Rock music, rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential roc ...
. Some bands have a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboard player, for example the
Talking Heads The Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estimate ...
, the
Small Faces Small Faces were an English rock band from London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of ...
, and
Pink Floyd Pink Floyd were an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic music, psychedelic groups, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experime ...
. Some bands have the bassist on lead vocals, such as
Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy are a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey (drummer), Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group thro ...
(a four-piece from 1974 onwards), Pink Floyd, Motörhead (as a four-piece 1984-1995), or even the lead guitarist, such as
Dire Straits Dire Straits were a British Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Pick Withers (drums ...
,
Megadeth Megadeth is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1983 by guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson. Along with Metallica Metallica is an American Heavy metal music, heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in ...
,
Weezer Weezer is an American Rock music, rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1992. Since 2001, the band has consisted of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards), Patrick Wilson (musician), Patrick Wilson (drums, percussion, backi ...

Weezer
, and
Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival, also referred to as Creedence and CCR, were an American rock band which recorded and performed from 1967 to 1972. The band initially consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty; ...
. Some bands, such as the Beatles, have a lead guitarist, a rhythm guitarist, and a bassist that all sing lead and backing vocals, that also play keyboards regularly, as well as a drummer. Others, such as the Four Seasons, have a lead vocalist, a lead guitarist, a keyboard player, and a bassist, with the drummer not being a member of the band.


Five members

Five-piece bands have existed in rock music since the development of the genre.
The Beach Boys The Beach Boys are an American Rock music, rock band that formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian Wilson, Brian, Dennis Wilson, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and frien ...

The Beach Boys
,
Aerosmith Aerosmith is an American rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compound, ch ...
,
AC/DC AC/DC are an Australian rock music, rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm Young, Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal music, heavy metal, but ...
, and
Oasis In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...
are examples of the common lineup of vocalist, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, and drums. An alternative lineup replaces the rhythm guitarist with a keyboard–synthesizer player (examples being the bands
Yes Yes or YES may refer to: * An affirmative particle in the English language; see yes and no Education * YES Prep Public Schools, Houston, Texas, US * YES (Your Extraordinary Saturday), a learning program from the Minnesota Institute for Talented ...
,
Dream Theater Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their ...
,
Marilyn Manson Brian Hugh Warner (born January 5, 1969), known professionally as Marilyn Manson, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, painter, and writer. He is known for his controversial stage personality and image as the lead singer ...
, and
Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of Heavy metal music, heavy metal and modern hard rock, but their musical approach has changed over the years. Originally fo ...

Deep Purple
). Another alternative replaces the rhythm guitarist with a
turntablist Turntablism is the art of manipulating sounds and creating new music, sound effects Voice saying "Ja", followed by the same recording with a massive digital reverb A sound effect (or audio effect) is an artificially created or enhanced s ...

turntablist
, such as in the
Deftones Deftones is an American alternative metal band formed in Sacramento, California in 1988. It was formed by Chino Moreno (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Stephen Carpenter (lead guitar), Abe Cunningham (drums), and Dominic Garcia (bass). During thei ...

Deftones
,
Incubus An incubus is a demon in male form who, according to mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleeping women in order to engage in sexual activity with them. Its female counterpart is a succubus. Salacious tales of incubi and succubi ...
, or
Limp Bizkit Limp Bizkit is an American rap rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. Its lineup consists of Fred Durst (lead vocals), Sam Rivers (bassist), Sam Rivers (bass, backing vocals), John Otto (drummer), John Otto (drums, percussion), DJ Lethal (turntab ...

Limp Bizkit
. Further alternatives include a keyboardist, guitarist, drummer, bassist, and saxophonist, such as
the Sonics The Sonics are an American garage rock band from Tacoma, Washington that formed in 1960. Their aggressive, hard-edged sound has been a major influence on punk and garage music worldwide, and they have been named inspirations to the White Stri ...
, the Dave Clark 5, and
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs Sam, SAM or variants may refer to: Places * SAM, IATA airport code for Salamo Airport in Papua, New Guinea * SAM, IOC and FIFA country code for American Samoa * Sam, Benin * Sam, Boulkiemdé, Burkina Faso * Sam, Bourzanga, Burkina Faso * Sam, Kong ...
. Three guitarists may be present with a bassist and a drummer, such as in the bands
Radiohead Radiohead are an English Rock music, rock band formed in Abingdon-on-Thames, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), brothers Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments) ...

Radiohead
and
the Byrds The Byrds () were an American rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compoun ...
. Some five-person bands feature two guitarists, a keyboardist, a bassist, and a drummer, with one or more of these musicians (typically one of the guitarists) handling lead vocals on top of their instrument (examples being
Children of Bodom Children of Bodom was a Finnish melodic death metal band from Espoo, Finland. Formed in 1993 as Inearthed, the final line-up of the group upon their split in 2019 consisted of Alexi Laiho (lead guitar, Lead vocalist, lead vocals), Jaska Raatikain ...

Children of Bodom
and
Styx In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of t ...
). The four-piece arrangement can be augmented to five with a second drummer playing a separate full drumkit, such as
Adam and The Ants Adam and the Ants were an English rock band formed in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south ...
from 1980 onwards, although other formations can also be expanded using two drummers such as
Pink Fairies Pink Fairies are an English rock band initially active in the London (Ladbroke Grove) underground and psychedelic scene of the early 1970s. They promoted free music, drug use, and anarchy, and often performed impromptu gigs and other agitpr ...
1970–1971,
The Glitter Band The Glitter Band are a glam rock band from England, who initially worked as Gary Glitter's backing band under that name from 1973, when they then began releasing gramophone record, records of their own. They were unofficially known as the Glitte ...
,
Wizzard Wizzard were an English glam rock band formed by Roy Wood, former member of the Move and co-founder of the Electric Light Orchestra. ''The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits'' states, "Wizzard was Roy Wood just as much as Wings (band), Win ...

Wizzard
,
Sigue Sigue Sputnik Sigue Sigue Sputnik were a British New wave music, new wave band formed in 1982 by former Generation X (band), Generation X bassist Tony James (musician), Tony James. The band had three UK top 40 hit singles, including the songs "Love Missile F1-1 ...
,
Add N to (X) Add N to (X) was an English electronic music Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments, or electronics, circuitry-based music technology in its creation. It includes both music made using el ...
, and
Rialto Image:Rialto Bridge at night2.jpg, The Rialto Bridge The Rialto is a central area of Venice, Italy, in the ''sestiere'' of San Polo. It is, and has been for many centuries, the financial and commercial heart of the city. Rialto is known for its pro ...
. Other times, the vocalist brings another musical "voice" to the table, most commonly a harmonica or percussion; Mick Jagger, for example, plays harmonica and percussion instruments such as maracas and tambourine in the Rolling Stones. Ozzy Osbourne played the harmonica on some occasions with Black Sabbath. Flutes may also be used by vocalists, most notably Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull (band), Jethro Tull and Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues.


Larger rock ensembles

Larger bands have long been a part of rock and pop music, in part due to the influence of the "singer accompanied with orchestra" model inherited from popular big-band jazz and Swing music, swing and popularized by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. To create larger ensembles, rock bands often add an additional guitarist, an additional keyboardist, additional percussionists or second drummer, an entire horn section, and even a flautist. An example of a six-member rock band is Toto (band), Toto with a lead vocalist, guitarist, bassist, two keyboard players, and drummer. Other examples include Australian band INXS and American Blondie (band), Blondie; both consist of a lead vocalist, two guitarists, a keyboard player, a bassist, and a drummer. The American heavy-metal band Slipknot (band), Slipknot is composed of nine members, with a vocalist, two guitarists, a drummer, a bassist, two custom percussionists, a
turntablist Turntablism is the art of manipulating sounds and creating new music, sound effects Voice saying "Ja", followed by the same recording with a massive digital reverb A sound effect (or audio effect) is an artificially created or enhanced s ...

turntablist
, and a sampler. Brazilian band Titãs, currently a three-man band, had as many as eight members in the late 1980s, with three lead singers, two guitarists, bassist, keyboard player, and drummer. In larger groups (such as the Band), instrumentalists could play multiple instruments, which enabled the ensemble to create a wider variety of instrument combinations. More modern examples of such a band are Arcade Fire and the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. More rarely, rock or pop groups are accompanied in concerts by a full or partial symphony orchestra, where lush string-orchestra arrangements are used to flesh out the sound of slow ballads. Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca started doing performances in the late 1970s with orchestras consisting of 10 to 100 (Branca) and even 400 guitars. Some groups have a large number of members who all play the same instrument, such as guitar, keyboard, horns, or strings.


Role of women

Women have a high prominence in many popular music styles as singers. However, professional women instrumentalists are uncommon in popular music, especially in rock genres such as heavy metal music, heavy metal. "[P]laying in a band is largely a male homosocial activity, that is, learning to play in a band is largely a peer-based... experience, shaped by existing sex-segregated friendship networks. As well, rock music "...is often defined as a form of male rebellion vis-à-vis female bedroom culture."Julian Schaap and Pauwke Berkers. "Grunting Alone? Online Gender Inequality in Extreme Metal Music" in ''Journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music''. Vol.4, no.1 (2014) p. 102 In popular music, a gendered "distinction between public (male) and private (female) participation" in music has existed. "[S]everal scholars have argued that men exclude women from bands or from the bands' rehearsals, recordings, performances, and other social activities."Julian Schaap and Pauwke Berkers. "Grunting Alone? Online Gender Inequality in Extreme Metal Music" in ''Journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music''. Vol.4, no.1 (2014) p. 104 "Women are mainly regarded as passive and private consumers of allegedly slick, prefabricated – hence, inferior – pop music..., excluding them from participating as high-status rock musicians." One of the reasons that mixed-gender bands rarely exist is that "bands operate as tight-knit units in which homosocial solidarity – social bonds between people of the same sex... – plays a crucial role." In the 1960s, pop music scene, "[s]inging was sometimes an acceptable pastime for a girl, but playing an instrument...simply wasn't done." "The rebellion of rock music was largely a male rebellion; the women—often, in the 1950s and '60s, girls in their teens—in rock usually sang songs as personæ utterly dependent on their macho boyfriends...". Philip Auslander says that "Although there were many women in rock by the late 1960s, most performed only as singers, a traditionally feminine position in popular music". Though some women played instruments in American all-female bands, all-female garage rock bands, none of these bands achieved more than regional success. So they "did not provide viable templates for women's on-going participation in rock". In relation to the gender composition of Heavy metal music, heavy-metal bands, it has been said that "[h]eavy metal performers are almost exclusively male" "...[a]t least until the mid-1980s" apart from "...exceptions such as Girlschool." However, "...now [in the 2010s] maybe more than ever–strong metal women have put up their dukes and got down to it", "carv[ing] out a considerable place for [them]selves." When Suzi Quatro emerged in 1973, "no other prominent female musician worked in rock simultaneously as a singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader". According to Auslander, she was "kicking down the male door in rock and roll and proving that a female ''musician'' ... and this is a point I am extremely concerned about ... could play as well if not better than the boys".


Variable Lineups

Many bands maintain different but consistent lineups for studio recording vs. live performances. Toxic Holocaust, for instance, consisted entirely of a single member within the recording studio for the first 10 years of their existence but still toured as a band with supplementary members on stage. For decades Genesis_(band), Genesis maintained two consistent lineups: Tony_Banks_(musician), Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins in the studio with Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer always additionally appearing as band members in live performances.


See also

*Side project, a band containing a person or persons already in another band


References

{{Authority control Types of musical groups Accompaniment Popular music Rock music