We see quite a few Star Trek characters play orchestral instruments - Riker plays the trombone (although jazz rather than classical is his thing), Data plays the violin, Kim plays the clarinet and later takes up the saxophone. Are there any characters who play "rock" instruments - electric guitar, bass guitar etc.?

  • 17
    Picard plays the electric guitar; images.app.goo.gl/6VwbJ7vzSMEBazo49
    – Hans Olo
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 11:20
  • 3
    Michael Dorn plays the bass guitar IRL
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 11:38
  • 10
    Saxophones were often used in rock and roll music back in the 1950s.
    – JRE
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 16:08
  • 1
    The violin has certainly been used as an electric rock instrument (see Kansas).
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 21:40
  • 7
    Define "rock". I consider ska a type of rock music, and the trombone is often featured heavily in ska music. If you mean to limit the instruments to the original "rock" instrumentation, that's pretty much just electric guitar, the instrument that defined rock music as different from its predecessors. Yet, even at the birth of rock & roll, other traditional instruments were in use: upright bass, piano, drums, sax. In the right hands, just about any instrument is technically a "rock" instrument, even the flute (Ian Anderson) and the violin (aka fiddle, Charlie Daniels), etc. Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 22:15

4 Answers 4


Unnamed holographic musician

Electric Guitar

Depending on your definition of 'Star Trek character' - we do see a presumably holographic member of Vic Fontaine's band playing an electric guitar in the DS9 episode "His Way".

There is also a 'modern' (period) drum kit in the band.

enter image description here

LQ "Sonny" Clemmonds

Acoustic Guitar

Recently unfrozen Earth musician L.Q. 'Sonny' Clemmonds held an acoustic guitar on the Enterprise-D in the TNG S1 episode "The Neutral Zone". We can presume he is more of a country music player, rather than 'rock' but the genres are often mixed and share similiarities (certainly compared to jazz / classical)

enter image description here

Unnamed wedding band member

Electric guitar

At the Riker wedding in the TNG film Star Trek: Nemesis, an electric guitar and "space" drum kit are seen

enter image description here

  • 1
    An excellent find. It stretches the idea of a "character" to breaking point since the guitarist is basically just hologrammatic wallpaper, but it's seen on screen which gets a tick from me.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 14:59
  • @Valorum - well that's why I said "presumably" ;) - in the same clip we see Odo playing the piano. The guitarist could be a Starfleet engineer on his break (I kid - it's almost certainly a hologram)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 15:02
  • Also, the Vic Fontaine performance is clearly jazz, not rock, so maybe not what the OP was looking for? Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 2:05
  • an electric guitar would fall under the question as asked, which was about instrument itself, not the source music played in the episode @DarrelHoffman :)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 2:11
  • @DarrelHoffman If you exclude instruments used in Jazz then what are you left with? According to the 'Typical instruments' section on wikipedia (Jazz, Rock), nothing. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 15:40

Within the main canon of films and TV shows, we don't, as far as I'm aware, see any "rock" instruments being played by a named character.

Probably the closest we get is Adam (TOS: The Way to Eden) which is a sort of modified mentally-controlled acoustic guitar. Commander Daren plays an electric piano in TNG: Lessons, but we only see it used as a classical piano so it's not clear if it can also be used as a generic sounds keyboard.

Moving down the canon scale, Wesley Crusher plays an electric Telecaster guitar in TNG: The Sky's the Limit

In a store off a side street on Telegraph Hill, Wes bought a battered reproduction of an old electric guitar and found something that could, for a little while at least, take his mind off things. The Telecaster was at least a hundred years old, modeled on an original instrument from the middle of the twentieth century. He picked up the ability to read music as easily as a plant drew in sunlight, and in the residential block where he lived, Crusher would sit on the balcony in warmer days and write music in his head, composing strings that bled out all the angry and the sad inside him. He played in coffee shops; he made, if you could call it that, something of a minor name on San Francisco’s scene. People who came to see him left with their emotions stirred; the slight, moody teenager played with muted brilliance. He made the Telecaster sing. There were some girls and some good times, but mostly he was drifting, drifting with the music.

  • Jono the human (but raised by aliens) plays alien rock music in Picard's quarters
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 14:19
  • 2
    @NKCampbell - Indeed. And Tom Paris has it on his jukebox
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 14:26
  • 1
    I found an electric guiatar on DS9 @Valorum :D
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 14:52
  • you wouldn't count Sonny as a named character playing a rock instrument (granted it's an acoustic guitar) - especially considering he's a professional performer? Tough to say since we don't know his exact musical style but he is named. He seems cut from a Johhny Cash / Buck Owens type cloth. Maybe the edit could be 'named crew-member'? I think it's worth keeping as a note for your answer
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 21:22
  • 1
    @NKCampbell - As you've said, he got an acoustic guitar and appears to be some sort of country star. Since he could have had any guitar, it stands to reason that he's most comfortable with a non-electric variety
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 22:04

Lt Cmdr Nella Darren plays an electric keyboard in TNG S06E19: Lessons.

enter image description here

  • this is already addressed in Valorum's answer 9 hours ago :)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 21:01
  • 1
    It's also worthy of note that it's (as far as we know) an electric piano, not a keyboard synthesiser
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 21:03
  • 2
    @NKCampbell Ah, I didn't notice that. Thanks. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 15:00

Spock's Vulcan harp is probably the closest you get. It does have knobs on it, like an electric guitar, and he plays a jam with space hippies that, while you can't exactly call it good rock music, is certainly not jazz, classical, or country either.

  • His harp is clearly a stringed (acoustic) instrument.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 23:46
  • 6
    Spock n Roll perhaps ..... but not rock
    – Jon P
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 4:35
  • At least they weren't playing "The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins" :-)
    – Wallnut
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 9:20
  • 3
    @Valorum It has knobs that he clearly fiddles with while playing, and a horizontal piece near the base of the strings that might be a "pickup". Just because it's wireless doesn't mean it's not electric. (And who says you can't play rock on an acoustic instrument anyway?)
    – workerjoe
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 12:41
  • ..and it is called 'unplugged'.
    – TaW
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 19:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.