100 Best Female Guitar Players

Updated on June 1, 2019
Ansel Pereira profile image

I have been an online writer for over two years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.

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While most famous rock guitarists are men, there is no denying that there are many incredible female guitarists in the rock world. Over the years, a number of female guitarists have developed distinctive playing styles that have floored both listeners and critics. Some female guitarists use flawless and creative techniques that are truly astounding. While female players have been around since the creation of the instrument, not many have been given enough credit for their skill. A number of talented female guitarists have been overshadowed by their male counterparts; however, a lot has changed since the internet came into being.

It takes grit and determination to make a name and place in the guitar world. The guitarists mentioned in the space below were chosen based on tonal quality, expression, phrasing, feel, and technique. This list is not an attempt to say that one guitarist is better than another. Instead, it is a celebration of these ladies' incredible talent. The list below showcases female guitarists from different music genres. If you feel strongly about female guitarists and would like one added to the article, feel free to speak your mind in the comments section to help the list grow.

Top 10 Female Guitar Players

  1. Jennifer Batten (Rock/Experimental)
  2. Orianthi (Rock)
  3. Emily Remler (Jazz)
  4. Badi Assad (Jazz/Worldbeat)
  5. Liona Boyd (Classical)
  6. Nili Brosh (Rock )
  7. Malina Moye (Rock/Blues Rock)
  8. Charo (Flamenco)
  9. Maybelle Carter (Country)
  10. Nori Bucci (Experimental/Rock)

The New Wave of Female Guitar Players

While many talented female players have been unable to find commercial success, they've still managed to attract a cult following globally. Social media has played an important role in helping female musicians come to light. The impact that female guitar players have had on listeners in recent years is phenomenal. Video sharing websites, YouTube in particular, have helped a number of talented female guitarists exhibit their skills and reach a wide audience. A number of young women have shot to fame with their exceptional fret work and creative phrasing. A new wave of female players have made a big splash in genres such as jazz, blues, rock, jazz-fusion, heavy metal, and progressive rock.

Best Female Guitar Players #11-20

11. Elizabeth Cotten (Blues/Folk)

12. Muriel Anderson- (Classical/Flamenco/Folk/Bluegrass)

13. Deborah Coleman (Blues)

14. Leni Stern (Jazz/Jazz Fusion)

15. Ani DeFranco (Folk)

16. Vicki Genfan (Jazz/Folk/Funk)

17. Debbie Davies (Blues)

18. Sue Foley (Blues)

19. Kaki King (Percussive/Jazz)

20. (Annie Erin Clark) St. Vincent (Rock/Art Rock)

The Contribution of Female Guitarists to Different Genres

While only a few female guitarists have managed to strike record deals with major labels, a significant number of them have released their music independently. The majority have made a name for themselves with their respective bands; however, some female guitarists have had successful solo careers. Unfortunately, only a few female players have been granted the distinction of being sought after session musicians in the music industry. Today's female guitarists are known for their technical prowess and compositional skills. One thing’s for sure, in the near future, we are going to witness a large number of women gain prominence in the world of professional guitar.

Best Female Guitarists #21-40

21. Marnie Stern (Experimental/Rock)

22. Sarah Longfield (Rock/Metal/Experimental)

23. Kat Dyson (Rock/Pop)

24. Ana Popovic (Blues)

25. Donna Grantis (Blues/Rock)

26. Courtney Cox (Rock)

27. Ruyter Suys (Heavy Metal/Rock)

28. Sharon Isbin (Classical)

29. Felecia Collins (Blues/Rock/Pop)

30. Lita Ford (Rock)

31. Joanna Connor (Blues)

32. Mimi Fox (Jazz)

33. Poison Ivy (Rock)

34. Joni Mitchell (Folk)

35. Bibi McGill (Funk/R&B/Rock)

36. Arianna Powell (Rock/Jazz Fusion/Funk)

37. (Noveller) Sarah Lipstate (Experimental)

38. Gretchen Menn (Rock)

39. Yvette Young (Rock/Experimental/Math Rock)

40. Laura Chavez (Blues)

Best Female Guitar Players #41-60

41. Joanne Shaw Taylor (Blues Rock)

42. Desiree Bassett (Rock)

43. Mary Osbourne (Jazz)

44. Gabriela Quintero (Classical/Percussive)

45. Joyce Cooling (Jazz)

46. The Great Kat (Rock/Neo Classical)

47. Allison Robertson (Rock)

48. Memphis Minnie (Blues)

49. Susan Tedeschi (Blues/Rock)

50. Xuefei Yang (Classical)

51. Carmen Vandenberg (Rock/Blues)

52. Bonnie Raitt (Country/Blues)

53. Nita Strauss (Rock)

54. Peggy Jones (Rock/Blues/Rock N Roll)

55. Tina S (Rock)

56. Wendy Melvoin (Rock/Blues)

57. Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Gospel/Blues/Rock N’Roll)

58. Jan Kuehnemund (Rock)

59. Carrie Brownstein (Rock)

60. Monnette Sudler (Jazz)

Best Female Guitarists #61-80

61. Amanda Monaco (Jazz)

62. Jenn Wasner (Indie Rock)

63. Anna Calvi (Art Rock/Alternative Rock)

64. Maria Anderson (Rock)

65. June Millington (Rock)

66. Cordell Jackson (Rockabilly/Country/Rock and Roll)

67. Sheryl Bailey (Jazz)

68. Ida Presti (Classical)

69. Katrina Johansson (Rock)

70. Samantha Fish (Rock/Blues)

71. Lori Linstruth (Rock/Neo Classical)

72. Susan Weinert (Jazz/Jazz Fusion)

73. Nancy Wilson (Rock)

74. Michelle Meldrum (Rock)

75. Joan Jett (Rock)

76. Marissa Paternoster (Punk/Rock)

77. Lily Afshar (Classical)

78. Vicki Peterson (Rock)

79. Mary Ford (Jazz)

80. Rosie Flores (Rockabilly/Country)

Best Female Guitar Players #81-100

81. Karin Schaupp (Classical)

82. Shredmistress Rynata (Heavy Metal/Rock)

83. Laura Pleasants (Rock/Heavy Metal)

84. Filomena Moretti (Classical)

85. Melissa Etheridge (Rock)

86. Rosinha de Valenca (Bossa Nova/Classical)

87. Alexandra Zerner (Rock/Metal)

88. Barbara Lynn (R&B/Rock)

89. Kelly Johnson (Rock)

90. Sylvia Juncosa (Punk/Heavy Metal/Rock)

91. Carina Alfie (Rock)

92. Renata Tarrago (Classical)

93. Kelley Deal (Rock/Alternative)

94. Cris Bonacci (Rock/Heavy Metal)

95. Shannon Crufman (Blues Rock)

96. April Lawton (Rock/Jazz/Blues)

97. Barbara Jungfer (Jazz)

98. Leah Woodward (Rock/ Progressive)

99. Becky Barksdale (Blues)

100. Carolyn Wonderland (Blues)

Other Notable Female Guitar Players

  • Corin Tucker (Rock)
  • Dot Wiggin (Rock)
  • Heather Gillis (Blues Rock)
  • Chelsea Wolfe (Folk/Gothic Rock/Doom Metal)
  • Tash Sultana (Psychedelic Rock/Alternative/Experimental)
  • (Jen Leigh) Dirty Jenny (Rock)
  • Donita Sparks (Punk/Alternative /Grunge)
  • Aleks Sever (Rock)
  • Belinda Butcher (Alternative Rock)
  • Kristin Hersh (Rock)
  • Rebecca Lovell (Roots Rock/Blues Rock)
  • Briana Alexis (Rock)
  • Anouck Andre (Rock/Jazz Fusion)
  • Maria Kammerling (Classical)
  • Jacqueline Mannering (Rock)
  • Jaye Foucher (Rock/Progressive Rock)
  • Sophie Hunger (Experimental)
  • Andreia Gomez (Progressive Rock/Rock)
  • Margaret Stowe (Jazz)
  • Rory Block (Country)
  • Anastasia Bardina (Classical)
  • Laurie Morvan (Blues)

  • Deirdre Cartwright (Jazz)
  • Erja Lyytinen (Blues)
  • Tara McLeod (Rock)
  • Juliette Valduriez (Rock)
  • Ellen Mcllwaine (Blues)
  • Kristen Capolino (Rock)
  • Anna Vidovic (Classical)
  • Mili Davies (Classical)
  • PJ Harvey (Alternative Rock)
  • Beth Marlis (Jazz)
  • Molly Manarchy (Classical)
  • Annie Grunwald (Rock/Metal)
  • Kaori Moraji (Classical)
  • Laura Young (Classical)
  • Alejandra Mesliuk (Rock/Progressive Rock/Experimental)
  • Ruthie Foster (Blues)
  • Beverly Watkins (Blues)
  • Suzy Gardner (Punk/Alternative/Grunge)
  • La Verne Christie (Jazz)
  • Galina Vale (Classical/Flamenco)
  • Kim Gordon (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  • Margarita Escarpa (Classical)

Who Is the Best Female Guitarist?

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    © 2019 Ansel Pereira

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