[[quoteright:300:[[Music/GreenDay http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/300greenday_2848.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300: [[labelnote:Note]] Technically, they're not a rock trio anymore as they have added a [[SubvertedTrope fourth member]][[/labelnote]].]]

Commonly found in rock and roll lineups, a RockTrio is a band of three members: the lineup is typically one playing guitar, one playing bass and one playing drums. The RockTrio is essentially rock and roll with a bare minimum of musicians, with one member, usually bass and never drums, doubling on vocals and the guitarist doubling the rhythm and lead parts. The RockTrio is thus commonly found in bands that stick to ThreeChordsAndTheTruth, though the format had its roots in bands that were more experimental with their music.

The RockTrio took off in the 1960s thanks to developments in amplifier technology that allowed for the volume of guitars and bass to increase. From there, the format was popularized in the blues-rock and hard rock genres before spreading to prog rock in the 1970s and falling in popularity in the early 1980s. In this first wave, the format was commonly used by bands that engaged in [[EpicRocking long, intrinsic improvised solos and bombastic jam sessions.]] This version of the RockTrio contributed heavily to the development of heavy metal, especially power metal. Some bands at this time took a "3+1" approach , having a core RockTrio with a fourth on vocals. Prog rock also introduced a variation that swapped the guitar for a keyboard, while keeping the same general idea.

After the original wave fell out of favor, the format was later adopted by punk rock and grunge bands in the late 80s and throughout the 90s, finding the stripped-down ensemble to fit perfectly with their [[ThreeChordsAndTheTruth stripped down approach to music.]] Several notable punk bands from this time still exist today. The RockTrio also continued to remain popular in progressive rock, though prog as a whole was in a down period at this time. Today, the RockTrio continues to be used in all varieties, as well as in bands that [[ThreePlusTwo use it as their core while adding supporting instruments and a dedicated vocalist.]]

It should be noted that a RockTrio is more commonly referred to in the music industry as a '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_trio power trio]]''' but that name's [[PowerTrio already taken]]. Not coincidentally, the RockTrio is itself a subtrope of our PowerTrio. Musically, it could be compared to a FreudianTrio in that the drums focus on the beat (Superego), the guitar focuses on the melody (Id) and the bass reconciles the two (Ego), though this says nothing about the personalities of the musicians themselves. Despite the name, the RockTrio is not strictly limited to rock bands: several pop and metal bands have taken the general idea of the format and made it work.

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!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/KOn College'' has the band [=OnNa Gumi=]. Akira Wada is the guitarist, Sachi Hayami is the bassist and Ayame Yoshida is the drummer.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Sex Bob-Omb, The Clash at Demonhead, and Crash and the Boys from the ScottPilgrim series.
* JosieAndThePussycats
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''{{Airheads}}'': The Lone Rangers are comprised of Chazz on guitar and lead vocals, Rex on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Pip on drums.
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[[folder:Music]]
* Alkaline Trio
* Irish band Altar of Plagues used to have two guitarists, but are now this.
* Andromeda (UK, late '60s)
* Ash, Northern Irish rock band. Were a originally a three-peice before being joined by guitarist Charlotte Hatherly, who then left and they are now this again.
* Atomic Rooster, with their first two albums.
* According to [[ThePeteBest Pete Best]], [[JohnLennon John]], [[PaulMcCartney Paul]] and [[GeorgeHarrison George]] ''wanted'' Music/TheBeatles to be this, but were told they couldn't tour without a drummer, hence his inclusion and subsequent replacement with RingoStarr.
* Beck, Bogert and Appice; power trio featuring Jeff Beck and former Vanilla Fudge members Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice.
* Better Than Ezra following the suicide of guitarist Joel Rundell. Jim Payne has yet to be named an official member.
** WordOfGod is that it's been offered to him, but he's politely declined.
* {{Blink182}}
* Music/{{Boris}}
* Blue Cheer, with their first two albums.
* Brownsville Station
* Budgie
* {{Carcass}}'s original line-up was this before they hired a second guitarist.
** And now, as of 2012, they have gone back to this format.
* {{Cream}}, the likely TropeCodifier.
* TheCure, in their early years. Their albums ''Three Imaginary Boys'', ''Faith'', ''Pornography'', ''Japanese Whispers'' and ''The Top'' all fall into this pattern, although with increasing use of keyboards and guest musicians as their career progressed.
* IndustrialMetal band Music/{{Device}} count as this, consisting of singer [[Music/{{Disturbed}} David Draiman]], guitarist Virus (of NuMetal band Dope), and drummer Will Hunt. Being IndustrialMetal they are an aversion of the ThreeChordsAndTheTruth tendencies of this trope.
** They do feature [[{{RageAgainstTheMachine}} Tom Morello]] as a second guitarist on Opinion, and [[Music/{{Black Sabbath}} Geezer Butler]] on Bass for Out Of Line.
** They also technically have a fourth member as [[Music/{{Filter}} Geno Lenardo]] actually founded the group and wrote the music with [[Music/{{Disturbed}} Draiman]].
* DinosaurJr
* Music/{{Die Arzte}}
* Music/DyingFetus, at least since 2007.
* Music/{{Egg}}
* EmersonLakeAndPalmer
* The Music/FooFighters recorded their third album as this (as they had just fired the second guitarist; a new one came for the album's tour).
* TheFratellis
* Music/{{Genesis}} started out as a five-man band but were gradually reduced to this.
* GrandFunkRailroad, from 1969 to 1971.
* GreenDay (pictured), though in 2012 they decided to add touring guitarist Jason White as a fourth member after 13 years with him onstage.
* Music/HuskerDu
* TheJam
* TheJimiHendrixExperience
* KingCrimson for a brief period in the 70s; in the 90s, they billed themselves as a six-man band containing two of these.
* King's X
* Music/{{Klymaxx}} in their 1990 album
* Music/{{Low}}
* ManicStreetPreachers, after the disappearance of fourth member Richey Edwards.
* A very rare example from CountryMusic: [=McBride=] & the Ride. They briefly became a six piece band due to ExecutiveMeddling, but the most familiar lineup fit this trope.
* The Music/{{Melvins}} up until 2006 - currently they have four members, two of whom are drummers.
* Music/TheMinutemen
* Music/{{Motorhead}}
** Averted while Würzel was in the band, from 1984 to 1995 - he shared guitar duties with Phil Campbell, who stayed and is still in the band.
* Murdock
* {{Music/Muse}}
* MxPx
* The Nice, after the departure of guitarist David O'List.
* {{Nirvana}}
* {{Paramore}} is since December 2010 officially TwoGuysAndAGirl... though the only time it was performed by just them was in an EP. Guest drummer and rhythm guitarists and usually brought for studio or tours.
* Brazilian band Os Paralamas do Sucesso.
** Also from Brazil, Legião Urbana became this after the bassist left (the singer took over his instrument on studio).
* The band Pezz, currently known as BillyTalent, started as this before bringing Ian D'Sa in to play guitar so Ben Kowalewicz could stick with vocals.
* {{Music/Pig Destroyer}} used to be an unusual example: just vocals, guitar and drums, forgoing bass altogether. In more recent years they've had a fourth member in charge of noise and samples.
* The post-Roger Waters PinkFloyd could count - though it was not the traditional setup (a guitarist, a keyboardist, and a drummer, and [[VocalTagTeam the first two sung]]) and lead to hired bassists (and extra singers for touring).
* British band Music/{{Placebo}}, although they drag around several additional members while on tour.
* Music/ThePolice
* Music/ThePresidentsOfTheUnitedStatesOfAmerica
* Music/{{Primus}}
* Before all the others, there was {{Elvis Presley}}, guitarist Scotty Moore, and bassist Bill Black. Drummer D.J. Fontana joined later to make the trio a quartet.
* Rage's most iconic lineups have all been rock trios, especially the classic lineup of Peavy Wagner (bass/vocals), Manni Schmidt (guitars), and Chris Efthimiadis (drums).
* Music/{{REM}} after the departure of drummer Bill Berry.
* Music/{{Revocation}}, at least until they hired Dan.
* Music/{{Rush}}
* Music/ShonenKnife
* Sick Puppies
* Music/SleaterKinney, a guitar-guitar-drums trio (no bass).
* Soft Machine, from 1967 to 1969. Their debut was recorded with a trio lineup, and their second record, though featuring Brian Hopper on alto and tenor sax as a fourth player, still only lists the core three as full-time members. Amusingly, by the release of their third album a year later the group for a short while went from formally being a trio to having as much as ''seven'' members, adding four brass players to the lineup at once.
* Stoner metal trio Sleep, started out with four members but were most successful after the departure of one guitarist.
* Stray Cats. The minimalism extended to the drummer who usually only had a bass drum, snare drum, and one crash cymbal.
* {{Switchfoot}} was this for their first three albums. Their fourth member joined just before they hit it big, and the fifth joined just after.
* Sunny Day Real Estate were this on their album ''The Rising Tide''.
* TheTeaParty, the recently reunited 90s Canadian alt-rock-with-ethnic-flavour trio.
* ThinLizzy, during the Eric Bell-era.
* Triumph, aka "the other power trio from Canada".
* J-pop band V6, which did the theme songs for ''{{InuYasha}}'' and ''{{Eyeshield 21}}'', contains two with the band releasing albums and touring both independently and as a combined group. This is evident in ''{{Eyeshield 21}}'', where the ''Coming Century'' trio did the first intro song and the ''21st Century'' trio did the second. The two combined to do the ''InuYasha'' theme song.
* Supergroup U.K. became this for their second album when they decided not to replace their original guitarist after he was fired.
* VanDerGraafGenerator, with their most recent works, ''Trisector'', ''A Grounding In Numbers'' and ''ALT''.
* Music/{{Venom}} NewWaveOfBritishHeavyMetal band and the progenitors of BlackMetal.
* Whiplash, except in the 90's.
* Music/{{Wolfmother}}'s original formation. When the band came back, it was now a four-piece.
* Wolves in the Throne Room's original line-up was this, before they got a bassist in.
* Wreck of the Hesperus
* {{XTC}} became one after the band retreated to the studio and drummer Terry Chambers left. They used studio drummers for their albums from that point on until David Gregory finally left, leaving them a duo.
* Music/ZZTop, a.k.a. "those two bearded guys and the drummer".
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The newly (as of August 2011) reconstituted Deathmøle (if they even choose to keep that name without Natasha around), in ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'', fits the mold with Marten on guitar, Amir on bass and Hannelore on drums. In the short time since they got back together there's been no mention of adding a fourth member again; granted, so far it's just one semi-impromptu jam session, but clearly Marten has bigger plans this time around.
* ''Webcomic/MenageA3'' has Zii and the Troublemakers -- Zii on lead guitar, Sonya on bass, Yuki on drums, with the first two apparrently sharing the vocal duties.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/{{Phaeton}}'' has the Auds, one with a multiform instrument, one with vocal powers and one who can only make noise by hitting one thing with another thing.
* In the [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Strong Bad email]], "concert," Strong Bad sees Strong Sad's favorite band, sloshy, prompting this exchange:
-->'''Strong Bad:''' Were they missing some members? Where was their lead guitarist?
-->'''Strong Sad:''' Uh, that was the whole band.
-->'''Strong Bad:''' What!? You're not allowed to have a band with only three people in it!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* ''Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'' are sometimes this, depending on the adaptation. When they do, it's Alvin on guitar, Simon on keyboard/piano and Theodore on drums. Canonically, all three are multi-talented with instruments and the most recently films have had Simon on bass, fulfilling the traditional definition.
* ''JosieAndThePussycats'' replaces the bass with a tambourine. Like with ''Alvin'', the film swapped the tambourine with a bass guitar, or rather returned to original comics, where Valerie also played bass.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheWitchsGhost'' gave us The Hex Girls, a goth rock trio led by [[JenniferHale Thorn]] (Lead vocals/Lead Guitar), with Dusk (Drums) and Luna (Bass/Keyboard) on backing vocals. The band has evidently proven popular enough to have been brought back in later iterations of the franchise.
* The Sonic triplets in ''SonicUnderground'', with the bass replaced by Sonia's keyboard.
* ''ThePowerpuffGirls'' were one in "Mime for a Change", with Blossom on guitar, Buttercup on bass, and Bubbles on drums and lead vocals, with the other girls providing backing vocals.
* In an episode of ''TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'', the title character forms one called Short Angry Freuds consisting of herself on guitar, her older brother Dennis on bass, and younger brother Ray Ray on drums.
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