Weird and Wonderful Instruments

When you think of any standard band, you think of a singer, a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer. Of course there are always variations on that; you might have keys, strings or maybe even a triangle player, but there are some bands that go to the extreme with their instrument choices and opt for some pretty odd musical devices.

Terje Isungset

This brilliant Norwegian musician took things to a whole new level when he started making his own musical instruments out of ice. Sure, we’ve seen bars and hotels made of ice before, but these are real, working musical instruments that create a pretty wonderful and haunting sound. His instruments made purely of ice are pretty impressive and sound amazing, but don’t just take our word for it, check out the video below for a taste of Terje’s brilliant work.

Above and Beyond

This UK trance trio have a habit of doing the unconventional, not allowing themselves to be pigeon-holed into one niche. In 2014, they played a series of acoustic gigs, stripping down their library of songs and adding something a little different to the sound. Although harps and violins aren’t the strangest instruments out there, you don’t really expect to hear them alongside a progressive trance group. But if you’re looking for a really weird instrument, you can watch a broom being used to create a unique sound in the video below!


Rock bands such as Soundgarden tend to be known for being heavy on the guitars, heavy on the bass and heavy on the drums. What they are not often known for is being heavy on the spoons. Soundgarden turned that around in 1994 when they released the song Spoonman which was written about and featured the talents of Artis the Spoonman.

The Black Keys

This American rock band are heavily influenced by the blues, and you can hear this in their songs. What we never expected to hear was their use of a harpsichord which, in case you were wondering, is a baroque era instrument that looks a lot like a piano but sounds absolutely nothing like it. If you’ve ever listened to Johann Sebastian Bach, you’ll probably know what we’re talking about. It sounds pretty odd to include the harpsichord in a rock song, but it actually works incredibly well and gives the song a completely unique feel.


Now this is commitment. Pianosaurus were a 80s rock band who played all of their songs on toy instruments designed for children. The whole setup gives them a sweet sound that is truly unique and a little bizarre. The band named themselves after a popular American musical toy which was a small piano mounted in a plastic dinosaur.


It seems as though the 80s was a prime time for experimenting with weird and wonderful instruments, as expertly demonstrated in American rock band Jackyl’s song, The Lumberjack. Front man Jesse James Dupree replaces his guitar solo for a chainsaw solo during the song and, apparently, during live shows would end the song by sawing a stool into pieces and throwing the chunks into the crowd, who were surprisingly pretty made up with their little souvenirs.

It just goes to show that if you have the mind for it, and maybe a little splash of insanity, you can create music with just about anything. As sound engineers in London, here at Soho Sonic we specialise in capturing that music, and would love to see some inventive bands opting for weird and wonderful instruments – although we might not be too keen on the chainsaw (health and safety and all that). If you would like to know more about our services, get in contact with us today on 020 7193 4467 to speak to a member of our team.