Five Female Guitarists Who Just ROCK!

It’s a known fact that there are many amazing and extraordinary guitar players out there, but coming across well known female guitarists is hard to come by. I generally don’t like judging guitar players by gender,  so coming up with a list of strictly female guitarists is like coming up with a list of the greatest white athletes. It’s a bit unfair in the guitar world because the ratio of  male to female is insanely huge! But, to inspire any young female artist out there it’s nice to have someone you can look up to and relate to. Not in any particular order, I have composed a list of several very competent and talented guitarists who happen to be female. I hope that this article will help to inspire our young and aspiring female readers about a few women who really rock on the guitar! And for you guys out there, if you are not familiar with these great guitarist, I highly recommend you checking them out. These are 5 female guitarists that everyone should know about!

Bonnie_Raitt1

Photo by theogeo

JENNIFER BATTEN is one of the most amazing guitarists I’ve heard. I got the privilege of seeing her do a clinic a few months ago, and she is absolutely brilliant. Besides the fact that she toured with Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck as, her tapping licks are unbelievable. The progressions she writes and the licks she comes up with are something that every guitar player male or female should be listening to. Be sure to check out Jennifer’s version of “Flight Of The Bumble Bee” it is absolutely amazing!

CHARO is (as crazy as it sounds) an unbelievably gifted guitarist. You want to talk about hard, this girl does not kid around with playing guitar. She has won “Best Flamenco Guitarist” in Guitar Player Magazine’s readers’ poll twice. This is one of the hardest styles of guitar to play and she does it with such ease and grace. I truly give her credit for working so hard at becoming the guitarist she is today. Be sure to check out Charo’s performance of “Caliente in Laughlin”

NANCY WILSON of HEART is another of the all time greats! Now I don’t know about you, but when I listen to heart, I can instantly tell that those riffs are no picnic. With songs like “Barracuda” you can instantly feel the passion behind this woman’s playing. She tears it up on the axe with so many of their hits it’s not even funny! One thing I really love about her playing is her usage of harmonics. She blends them into the songs so well and really adds something to them. Be sure to check out Heart’s song “If Looks Could Kill” to hear some great guitar playin by this little lady.

BONNIE RAITT is an amazing slide guitar player. She has been playing and performing for so many years and I never get tired of listening to her play. Bonnie won four Grammy’s in 1990 and has toured with artists such as Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen. Be sure to check out of clip of her hit “Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About” and get an idea of this girl’s skills!

MURIEL ANDERSON is the first woman to win the National Finger picking Guitar Championship. Finger picking is a very hard technique to master and the fact that she has won an award for it is very inspiring. Muriel Anderson’s style ranges anywhere from folk to bluegrass to jazz. Check out Muriel’s video of “Bluegrass Medley” for some great finger pickin!

Check out next week’s article for a continuation of The Top Ten Female Guitarists!

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  • Joann

    Hey Abby-

    I just started a blog about women and guitars. I wanted to come up with a top ten list but I could only find 5 who, in my opinion, were stronger on guitar than on vocals or songwriting. We have 2 in common, Batten and Rait. I chose to focus on rock guitarists, so I guess that, all together, we could find at least 10 (And if we add bass players, like Tal Wilkenfeld and Carol Kaye, there are a few more.)but it was disappointing to find so few who had really made it. We need to encourage young girls to give Tallen some competition so the next generation won’t be so lop-sided! (Though I think that Tallen is awesome.)

    Have you ever featured Felicia Collins, from the Late Show on CBS?

    Joanne

  • Hey Joanne,

    Thanks for your feedback and comment! I was actually trying to compose a list of ten females who were specifically just guitarists as well. I wanted the list to be of girls who just played guitar and weren’t really known for vocals or anything else. I was getting so aggravated, all I wanted was to find some chicks who seriously kill on guitar and sadly there just weren’t that many. I don’t want to take away any credit from the women I listed who play rhythm and sing though because I know how hard that is to do. I’m just glad that females are finally starting to break through in the industry! There will be a continuation of the first article listing the second group of ten female guitarists, check it out and let me know what you think!:-p I haven’t featured Falicia Collins, but that is a great idea! Hopefully we can find out about some more rad girls! Talk to you soon

    Abby

  • Susan Tedeschi is amazing on blues guitar. I heard Emily Remmler was one of the top ten best jazz guitarists in America (it was a list including men too I believe.)

  • Hi, I’m a female guitarist, check out my website @ http://www.jacquitaylor.co.uk or like me on facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jacqui-Taylor/167711123280082

    Love and best wishes,
    Jacqui xx

  • Taralyn

    Dear Abby,
    Joanne knows what she is talking about and is trying to hip you to Felicia Collins, who is an extraordinary guitar player. For most of her career, she was strictly guitar on many records and with such artist as Al Jarreau and Cyndi Lauper. We’ve seen her bands, 360(a power trio no less), Bitchslapp, a 4piece funk rok unit that was just NASTY!! …and Felicia Collins and The Life.
    If u want to know if she “just ROCKS”, ask the people who saw her open for King’s X in New York!
    I love that you are featuring all of these talented women. Keep up the good work.
    Peace,
    Taralyn

  • Randy Causey

    I see the post below (Susan Tedeschi ref) and yes I admire her immensely. Have seen her with D Trucks and B Guy. When I first heard her I ran out an bought her CD Just Won’t Burn. I thought she was the best thing since sliced bread, but another young lady by the name of N Jones got that Grammy that year. But what I wanted to say, I see Bonnie Raitt as the headliner here.  Consider this, the Fender Stratocaster, Bonnie Raitt custom is the only guitar Fender has issued as a custom in honor of a female.  That alone speaks volumes!

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