5 Rock Cello Songs – all strings are awesome!

rock cello

One Better – Les Claypool (live)

Alright: not everyone uses the cello to do cover songs. I chose this live version of One Better because Les Claypool is a very eccentric and talented musician. The addition of a cello gives an interesting edge to a song driven by Les’ crazy slap bass line. In such a groovy song, you wouldn’t expect to find a classical string instrument… and yet, you do! Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?


Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys

Well, enough with the hard rock and metal. How about this groundbreaking song by the Beach Boys? The beautiful instrumentation and experimental use of Electro-Theremin is accentuated by a one-note cello, played by Jesse Ehrlich. The punctuant cello adds sustain and drama to the bass walking line, subtly blending in – but impacting and changing the mellow and dreamy tone of the song. Brian Wilson’s magnificent musicality takes each individual instrument and makes it into something special.

 I’m Gone – Josh Flowers & The Wild


To wrap things up, here’s Josh Flowers & the Wild. They are (or were?) a rock band that adds a cello to its formation. It’s interesting to see how well a cello can blend in, just like an acoustic guitar or a keyboard would. This is not the first time that a rock band adds a classical instrument to its lineup – however, it seems to fit rather well with the list.

So there you have it: the cello can appear in rock and pop songs. Some bands solely have cellos in their lineup; others use it as an additional instrument (just like any other modern one). What do you think of the list? What would you add or change? Comment below!


This post was inspired by the Rock Cello thread on the Alternative Strings forum.

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