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A rock band or pop band is a small musical ensemble which performs rock music, pop music 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 guitarists (a lead guitarist and a rhythm guitarist, with one of them singing lead vocals), a bassist, and a drummer (e.g. the Beatles, KISS, 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 Monkees, Led Zeppelin, Queen, and U2). Instrumentally, these bands can be considered as trios. Sometimes, in addition to electric guitars, electric bass, and drums, there was also a keyboardist (especially a pianist).
The smallest ensemble that is commonly used in rock music is the trio format. Two-member rock and pop bands (such as The White Stripes, Tenacious D and The Black Keys) are relatively rare, because of the difficulty in providing all of the musical elements which are part of the rock or pop sound (vocals, chords, bass lines, and percussion or drumming). In a hard rock or blues-rock band, or heavy metal rock group, a "power trio" 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 will sing, e.g. 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, the Jam, ZZ Top, and Green Day, while power trios with the bass guitarist on lead vocals include Cream, Rush, The Police and Motörhead.
Two-member rock and pop bands 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, bass lines, and percussion or drumming). Two-member rock and pop bands typically omit one of these musical elements. In many cases, two-member bands will omit a drummer, since guitars, bass guitars, and keyboards can all be used to provide a rhythmic pulse.
Examples of two-member bands are The White Stripes, Pet Shop Boys, Hella, Flight of the Conchords, the Ting Tings, Hall & Oates, Twenty One Pilots and T. Rex (until shortly after scoring their UK breakthrough hit, at which point they expanded to a four piece).
When electronic sequencers became widely available in the 1980s, this made it easier for two-member bands to add in musical elements that the two band members were not able to perform. Sequencers allowed bands to pre-program some elements of their performance, such as an electronic drum part and a synth bass line. Two-member pop music bands such as Soft Cell, Blancmange and Yazoo used pre-programmed sequencers. Other pop bands from the 1980s which were ostensibly fronted by two performers, such as Wham!, Eurythmics and Tears for Fears, 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 and Death Grips.
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 utilized a guitar-and-drums scheme. Death from Above 1979 featured a drummer and bass guitarist. Tenacious D is a two-guitar band; One Day as a Lion and the Dresden Dolls both feature a keyboardist and a drummer. Ratatat are a two-guitar band that utilize a drum machine for beats. W.A.S.P. guitarist Doug Blair is also known for his work in the two-piece progressive rock band Signal2Noise, where he acts as the lead guitarist and bassist at the same time, thanks 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 plays drums, keyboards, and sings simultaneously. Royal Blood is a two-piece band that uses bass and drums along with electronic effects.
The smallest ensemble that is 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" 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 will sing, e.g. 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.
A handful of others with the bassist on vocals include Thin Lizzy (from 1970 to 1974), Primus, Rush, Motörhead, the Police and Cream.
Some power trios feature two lead vocalists. For example, in the band Blink-182 vocals are split between bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Matt Skiba, or in the band Dinosaur Jr., guitarist J. Mascis is the primary songwriter and vocalist, but bassist Lou Barlow writes some songs and sings as well.
An alternative to the power trio are organ trios 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, there are also organ trios in rock-oriented styles, such as jazz-rock fusion and Grateful Dead-influenced jam bands, for instance Medeski Martin & Wood. In organ trios, the keyboard player typically plays a Hammond organ or similar instrument, which permits the keyboard player to perform bass lines, chords, and lead lines. A variant of the organ trio are trios formed with an electric bassist, a drummer and an electronic keyboardist (playing synthesizers) such as the progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
A power trio with the guitarist on lead vocals is a popular record company lineup, as the guitarist and singer will usually be the songwriter. Therefore, the label only has to present one "face" to the public. The backing band may or may not be featured in publicity. If the backup band is not marketed as an integral part of the group, this gives the record company 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) will have to sing and play guitar at the same time.
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, Rise Against, the Clash and the Smashing Pumpkins).
Another common formation is a vocalist, electric guitarist, bass guitarist, and a drummer (e.g. Van Halen, the Who, Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin and Blur). Instrumentally, these bands can be considered as trios.
In some rock bands, keyboardists are used in place of bass, performing with a guitarist, singer and drummer, for instance the Doors. Some bands will have a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboard player, for example the Talking Heads, the Small Faces and Pink Floyd.
Some bands will have the bassist on lead vocals, such as Thin Lizzy (a four piece from 1974 onwards), Pink Floyd, Motörhead (as a four piece 1984-1995), or even the lead guitarist, such as Dire Straits, Megadeth, Weezer, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. 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-piece bands have existed in rock music since the development of the genre.The Beach Boys, Aerosmith, AC/DC and Oasis 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, Dream Theater, Marilyn Manson, and Deep Purple). Another alternative replaces the rhythm guitarist with a turntablist, such as in the Deftones, Incubus or Limp Bizkit.
Further alternatives include a keyboardist, guitarist, drummer, bassist, and saxophonist, such as the Sonics, the Dave Clark 5, and Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. Three guitarists may be present with a bassist and a drummer, such as in the bands Radiohead and the Byrds. 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 and Styx). The four piece arrangement can be augmented to five with a second drummer playing a separate full drumkit, such as Adam and The Ants from 1980 onwards although other formations can also be expanded using two drummers such as Pink Fairies 1970–1971, The Glitter Band, Wizzard, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Add N to (X) and Rialto.
Other times, the vocalist will bring another musical "voice" to the table, most commonly a harmonica or percussion; Mick Jagger, for example, plays harmonica and percussion instruments like 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 and Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues.
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 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 with a lead vocalist, guitarist, bassist, two keyboard players, and drummer. Other examples include Australian band INXS and American Blondie; both consist in a lead vocalist, two guitarists, a keyboard player, a bassist and a drummer. The American heavy metal band Slipknot is composed of nine members, with a vocalist, two guitarists, a drummer, a bassist, two custom percussionists, a 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 will be 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 ten to hundred (Branca) and even four hundred guitars.Some groups have a large number of members that all play the same instrument, such as guitar, keyboard, horns or strings.
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. "[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." In popular music, there has been a gendered "distinction between public (male) and private (female) participation" in music. "[S]everal scholars have argued that men exclude women from bands or from the bands'rehearsals, recordings, performances, and other social activities." "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 there are rarely mixed gender bands 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 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". 2–3 In relation to the gender composition of 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". :2 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". :3:
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 the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.
A power trio is a rock and roll band format having a lineup of electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit, leaving out the second rhythm guitar or keyboard instrument that are used in other rock music bands that are quartets and quintets. Larger rock bands use one or more additional rhythm section to fill out the sound with chords and harmony parts.
Ancient is a Norwegian black metal band from Bergen, formed in 1992. The band released six full-length albums released by Metal Blade Records to date and a variety of mini-albums, EPs and special releases. Ancient used to have the classic raw black metal sound, similar to Darkthrone's works. Beginning with The Cainian Chronicle, they moved towards a more Nordic/atmospheric black metal sound, akin to Emperor and a cleaner production. After a period of turmoil concerning their line-up, they went on to add gothic-style instruments such as violins, a female vocalist, and synthesizers to their music.
Accompaniment is the musical part which provides the rhythmic and/or harmonic support for the melody or main themes of a song or instrumental piece. There are many different styles and types of accompaniment in different genres and styles of music. In homophonic music, the main accompaniment approach used in popular music, a clear vocal melody is supported by subordinate chords. In popular music and traditional music, the accompaniment parts typically provide the "beat" for the music and outline the chord progression of the song or instrumental piece.
Axe was an American hard rock band from Gainesville, Florida, United States, formed in 1979 and disbanded in 2012.
Angel is an American rock band from Washington, D.C., United States, formed in the mid-1970s by Punky Meadows and Mickie Jones. They were primarily known for their flamboyant glam stage presence and white satin outfits.
A sextet is a formation containing exactly six members. The former term is commonly associated with vocal ensembles or musical instrument groups, but can be applied to any situation where six similar or related objects are considered a single unit.
A rhythm section is a group of musicians within a music ensemble or band that provides the underlying rhythm, harmony and pulse of the accompaniment, providing a rhythmic and harmonic reference and "beat" for the rest of the band. The rhythm section is often contrasted with the roles of other musicians in the band, such as the lead guitarist or lead vocals whose primary job is to carry the melody.
Krokus are a hard rock and heavy metal band from Switzerland. They enjoyed great success in North America during the 1980s.
Robert David "Lu" Edmonds is an English rock and folk musician. He is currently, as of 2018, a vocalist and saz and cümbüş player in the Mekons and the lead guitarist for Public Image Limited. Edmonds reportedly plays electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, bouzouki, saz, cümbüs, oud, and drums, among other instruments.
The Babys are a British rock group best known for their songs "Isn't It Time" and "Every Time I Think of You". Both songs were composed by Jack Conrad and Ray Kennedy, and each reached No. 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No. 8 on the Cashbox chart in the late 1970s. The original Babys line-up consisted of founding member keyboardist/guitarist Michael Corby, and, in order of joining the group, vocalist/bassist John Waite, drummer Tony Brock, and guitarist Wally Stocker.
Lucifer's Friend is a German hard rock band, formed in Hamburg in 1970 by guitarist Peter Hesslein, singer John Lawton, bassist Dieter Horns, keyboardist Peter Hecht, and drummer Joachim Reitenbach. The group was an early practitioner of heavy metal and progressive rock; they also incorporated elements of jazz and fusion into their music, especially in their fourth album Banquet of 1974. Beyond heavy metal, the band has been cited, too, as one of the pioneers of doom metal, helping to define both genres due to their heavy sound and dark oriented lyrics of their debut Lucifer's Friend of 1970, and returning to their roots in 1981 with Mean Machine, although more influenced by speed metal.
Rough Cutt is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, United States, who released two studio albums on Warner Bros. Records in the mid-1980s. Rough Cutt never achieved the commercial success enjoyed by many other Los Angeles bands of that time but various members went on to success in other groups, including Jake E. Lee with Ozzy Osbourne, Amir Derakh with Orgy, Paul Shortino with Quiet Riot, and Craig Goldy and Claude Schnell with Dio.
Ark is a Bangladeshi rock band formed in 1991 in Dhaka City by keyboardist Ashiquzzaman Tulu. The original founder members are Ashiquzzaman Tulu, Ridwan nabi pancham and Shamim. As of 2017, the band line-up re-consists of lead vocalist Syed Hasanur Rahman guitarist Shourin, bassist Shimul, keyboardist Tinku Azizur Rahman and drummer Rumi Rahman. Since their debut album "মুক্তিযুদ্ধ (Muktijuddho)" in 1991, the band has released five studio albums and some contributed albums. These have included songs like "আমি পাহাড়ের চূরায় ", "ভুলে গেছি ", "সুইটি (Sweety)", "যারে যা ", "দূরে বহু দূরে ", "সেই মেয়েটি " which have all been top hits in Bangladeshi rock music.
Braindance is a NYC-based progressive darkwave musical group. Formed in 1992 by electric guitarist - record producer, Vora Vor, and drummer Rob Notoris as a progressive rock band, the group added vocalist Sebastian Elliott later that year. Bassist Eiki Matsumoto and keyboardist Robyn Naylor filled out the lineup (1993–1996). Matsumoto left the project to be replaced by former Ion Vein bassist, Andrew Bunk (1996). Notoris, Naylor, and Bunk departed the band to pursue other projects (1997–1999), although Bunk later returned to record on Master Of Disguise. In 2014, Braindance released Master Of Disguise, its fourth official full-length recording project.
Heavy metal bass is the use of the bass guitar in the rock music genres of heavy metal and hard rock. The bassist is part of the rhythm section in a heavy metal band, along with the drummer, rhythm guitarist and, in some bands, a keyboard player. The prominent role of the bass is key to the metal sound, and the interplay of bass and distorted electric guitar is a central element of metal. The bass guitar provides the low-end sound crucial to making the music "heavy". The bass plays a "... more important role in heavy metal than in any other genre of rock."
Heavy metal guitar is the use of highly-amplified electric guitar in heavy metal. Heavy metal guitar playing is rooted in the guitar playing styles developed in 1960s-era blues rock and psychedelic rock, and it uses a massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos and overall loudness. The electric guitar and the sonic power that it projects through amplification has historically been the key element in heavy metal. The heavy metal guitar sound comes from a combined use of high volumes and heavy distortion.
Offstage musicians and singers are performers who play instruments and/or sing backstage, out of sight of the audience, during a live popular music concert at which the main band is visible playing and singing onstage. The sound from the offstage musicians or singers is captured by a microphone or from the output of their instrument, and this signal is mixed in with the singing and playing of the onstage performers using an audio console and a sound reinforcement system. Offstage backup singers are also used in some Broadway musicals, as have offstage instrumentalists, in cases where an onstage actor needs to appear to play an instrument.