Rock n Roll is without doubt the most popular genre of music. Ranging from punk rock to heavy metal, the genre keeps on evolving. The level of diversity in rock and roll is unparalleled when compared to other forms of music.
Music is more pleasant to the ears when played in perfect rhythm. This is only possible when you have a passionate team dedicated to the cause. It is important for you to know what instruments you need for your band. Here is an overview of the essential instruments you need to help form your rock band:
7 Essential Instruments to Form Rock Band
The electric guitar has a completely different construction than a normal acoustic guitar. An electric guitar has a solid body compared to the hollow one of the acoustic guitar. Using amplifiers, electric guitars produce a sound that goes beyond that of an acoustic or bass guitar. You can also connect the guitar to normal pickups.
You cannot play a rock tune without an electric guitar. You need to look for a guitar that is easy to carry and tune, especially if you intend to perform extended sets and shows.
You need to be aware of a few things before you purchase an electric guitar. The first thing to consider is the type of pickups and electronic accessories you require. Adding a pickup will allow your lead guitarist to experiment with different sound effects. Hamburger pickups are a suitable option for bands that play heavy metal and pop rock. These pickups comprise mostly of two single coils arranged in a series combination.
Jimmy Page, a legend in the Rock and Roll universe, also used Hamburger pickups. Another thing to consider in an electric guitar is pickup switching. This factor determines the position of the pickups on your guitar, which can be an essential tool concerning the tone.
Importance of the Bridge
The next thing to evaluate in an electric guitar is the type of bridges. The playability and the sound of the guitar depend mainly on the bridge. You should look for a bridge that provides precise intonation of strings as well as height adjustment options.
Acoustic guitars are part of the rhythm section of a rock band, unless of course you are Dave Matthews. They come in a variety of types and you can select one depending upon the quality of the sound you are looking for. You don’t have to attach the acoustic guitar to any other instrument.
The wood used for the body of the guitar should vibrate, unlike Plywood. You should look for steel strings with a lower neck width, which makes the guitar perfect for rock and roll music. Select an acoustic guitar that projects the sound well, so you can use it when performing in an arena or an auditorium.
Don’t underestimate the power of the bass guitar. The bass guitar will prove the foundation for your band’s sound. Though your bassist’s skill matters, your choice of guitar is also important. The first thing to consider is the body construction and the neck style. A larger body might be a bit of a burden to carry so it is better to go for a medium sized lightweight bass guitar.
The neck style is also an essential factor. The ideal neck size depends on the size of your bassist’s hands. Another thing to consider is the number of strings you want. Beginners usually opt for a 4-string model. There are other options as well, which include six strings and twelve strings models, depending on your skill set.
Keep in mind that your bass guitar and drum set combined provide the beat and rhythm. Hence, your choice of bass guitar can have a direct impact on the sound you produce. Once again, you can learn from the best when it comes to selecting a bass guitar. The top bassists you can derive inspiration from include Flea and Adam Clayton. You can compare their choice of instruments for different songs to understand how to pick the right bass guitar for your music.
A rock band is incomplete without a drummer. You need a drum set for your drummer to produce the beat that the other instruments will play on. The drum set you choose should have all the necessary hardware.
The first thing to evaluate is the type of wood you want. There is a variety of drum kits available on the market. You can select one based on the sound you want to produce. For instance, Birch is a good option for you as it provides a harder tone than most of the other wood types. The next thing to look for is the bass paddles. Double paddles are the best choice for hard rock.
You need to make sure your drum set comes with a drum throne for your drummer to sit on. You should opt for a seat with padding and a height-adjustment feature to allow your drummer to play in comfort. Cymbals make up an essential part of any drum set. Oh, and don’t forget the hi-hat!
You can glance towards the legends when deciding on the number of pieces you want for your drum set. Some drummers, like the incomparable Neil Peart, have a huge drum set, which blocks him in from all sides when playing. On the other hand, your drummer might choose a basic, five-piece set.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Snare Drum
You also need to consider a few factors when selecting the snare drum. You can opt for wooden snare drums or ones made from steel. The choice depends on the sound you want to produce. Getting the perfect snare drums is an important step because they are the components responsible for interlinking the beat and the rhythm produced by the guitars and your drum set.
And, of course, you cannot forget the drumsticks. The size of the sticks also depends, to a certain extent, on the size of your drum set. Naturally, you want to pick a set of drumsticks that your drummer is comfortable using, or else he won’t be able to keep the beat going
Piano or an Electronic Keyboard
A piano or a keyboard is an essential piece of equipment for the rhythm section as well as for melody. Depending on the nature of the music you play, you can select from a wide range of models. For instance, if you are into classic rock, you should go for a piano. Similarly, if you are going for pop rock or metal, you can opt for an electronic keyboard or a synthesizer.
The first thing to consider when buying a suitable piano/keyboard for your rock band is the number of keys. If your piano/keyboard player is a professional, you should look for an instrument with 88 keys. In rock music, there might be a need to create an effect similar to of a real piano.
For this, you need to look for a board with weighted keys that produce a dynamic sound effect. Your band might also require a mix of different sounds, which define the rock and roll genre. Getting a suitable synthesizer is the best choice if you are looking for versatility and creativity.
The quality of your microphone will affect the quality of your band’s sound. You have to invest in the best microphones for your rock band instruments. Keep in mind that not all microphones are made equal.
Rock music doesn’t have a fixed frequency range. The constant change in the beat and the pulse enables frequent frequency changes. To deal with these changes, it is important for you to look for the microphone with a compatible frequency response. A frequency range of 80Hz to 15 KHz is a good option for your lead vocalist. You can easily find microphones compatible with the instrument you are using for the recording.
A drum set will be well suited to a microphone frequency range from 50Hz while a bass guitar will start from a lower frequency value, which can be as low as 30Hz. An important factor to consider in a microphone is the sound sensitivity. You need a microphone that can pick the lowest notes you play. Of course, if you are primarily into hard rock, more or less any microphone will suffice. The music will be ‘noisy’ enough that the microphone will pick it up easily.
A bass attenuation switch is also a useful feature to have in a microphone for your band. This feature can help you adjust the frequency range, reducing it depending upon your preference. A bass attenuation switch adds to the sound clarity and prevents any sound distortion for your performance.
Most rock bands don’t incorporate string instruments, such as a violin. However, if you want to produce an exotic, eccentric sound, adding a violin can be a great idea. The first thing to consider is the type of wood you want for the body. You should choose a type of wood that provides the right amount of strength and durability to make up a solid structure. The solid structure should produce the resonating effect that usually comes from a violin.
Violins come in different sizes and you can select one depending on your level of comfort. A medium-sized violin can be an ideal choice for any rock band. You can choose from the two main types of violins. Acoustic violins and electric violins made for different purposes and equipped with different functions are also available.
An electrical violin is the best choice for a rock band due to the digital options it offers. You can connect it to an amplifier for the maximum effect. The plug and play function makes an electrical violin special for any rock band. This instrument is popular among many rock bands today. A great example of a rock band using violins is Arcade Fire. If you draw your inspiration from them or the Dave Matthews Band, you will surely see the value in having a violinist in your band and selecting the best violin for him to play.
Ready for Your Rock Band Instruments?
Any ideal rock band consists of an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, a rhythm guitar, a bass guitar, a musical keyboard and a set of drums. There are other secondary instruments, such as a violin, a flute or even a cello, commonly used in multiple rock bands. Of course, you should feel free to experiment with different instruments and come up with a unique sound. For instance, The Doors forwent the option of a bass guitarist. Their keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, one of the greatest of all time, handled the bass duties with his left hand on the keyboard, while playing the melody or hook with his right.
Jethro Tull, a rock band, incorporated the flute in their lineup to produce a unique sound. On the other hand, some bands go with a basic three-instrument setup, with an electric guitar, bass guitar, and drums. The number of members you have in your band will also determine the instrumentation you can opt for, and the resulting sound you will produce.
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Metallica are some of the prime examples of rock bands that can serve as an inspiration for you to start your very own professional rock band. The likes of Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain and John Lennon always preferred using the best instruments for their productions making them the top rock personalities ever in the music industry.