Top 10: Best Female Guitarists in the World

A number of women have made unforgettable contributions to the archives of music history.

The contributions produced by female musicians are huge and should be recognized.

These women stand out in a range of musical styles and genres. We’ve decided to put together a list of the coolest and most amazing female guitarists to highlight their talents.

Female guitarists are often underrepresented. This is not because women musicians are inherently less skilled than men.

It can be far more challenging to name a number of prominent female artists than it is to name a number of male musicians. This is not because women musicians are inherently less skilled than men.

Men continue to hold most positions of power in the music industry. A listener can be fooled by the presence of multiple female artists at the top of the charts. However, if you look at the numbers, you’ll notice that women are noticeably underrepresented in the industry.

1. Joni Mitchell

Music Style: Folk | Birthday: 07/09/1943 | Country: Canada | Famous For: “Both sides now”

Bio: Roberta Joan Anderson is a Canadian-American guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and painter. She was an experimental artist whose artistic and guitar playing skills were defined as the Yang to Bob Dylan’s Ying.

Joni Mitchell’s harmonic complexity and powerful voice have made her a leading female artist in the music industry. She got polio when she was nine years old. It led her to pioneer extraordinary improvisations and alternate tunings that broke all the rules.

Her sheer ability to thrive in folk, but also experiment with progressive jazz, modern classical, and even masterfully dabble with pop is highly admirable.

Mitchell’s music can only be called a great transcendental experience that will never fail to captivate millions of fans.

2. Nancy Wilson

Music Style: Rock/Pop Rock | Birthday: 16/03/1954 | Country: USA |  Famous For: “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You.”

Bio: Nancy Lamoureaux Wilson is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. She is known for being a member of the band Heart with her sister Ann Wilson.

Her hits Magic Man and Barracuda have established her as one of the greatest.

Not many guitarists can match Nancy Wilson. Her exceptional creativity and immense compositions have made her one of the best. Her guitar pieces such as “Crazy on You” leave an indelible mark on us all.

No one can deny that she is one of the best female guitarists of all time.

3. Kaki King

Music Style: Alternative/independent | Birthday: 24/08/1979 | Country: USA | Famous For: “Until We Felt Red”

Bio: Katherine Elizabeth King (born August 24, 1979) is an American guitarist and composer.

She was named “Guitar god” by Rolling Stone magazine. She combines fret-tapping with slap bass, as well as loops, which creates a complex percussive sound.

Kaki King delivers a fresh and unparalleled performance. Her signature acoustic sound has become a major reference within her musical style.

King fully exploits the sounds of electric guitars and loops, putting on energetic and unforgettable live shows. 

Kaki King’s distinctive stamp has left an indelible mark that makes her one of the best female guitarists in the whole world.

4. Lita Ford

Music Style: Rock | Birthday: 19/09/1958 | Country: UK | Famous For: “Kiss me Deadly”

Bio: Lita Rossana Ford is an English-born American guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter.

She was the lead guitarist for the all-female rock band Runaways in the late 1970s. 

Lita Ford was the leader of The Runaways at the age of 16.

She also forged a consolidated career as a soloist. Her influence is so immense that she has even become a cult figure.

5. Susan Tedeschi

Music Style: Blues/Soul |  Birthday: 09/09/1970 | Country: USA |  Famous For: “You Got the silver”

Bio: Susan Tedeschi is an American guitarist and singer. Susan Tedeschi’s voice has been described as a blend of the voices of Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin.

Her guitar playing is influenced by musicians such as Buddy Guy, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King, and Doyle Bramhall II.

Susan Tedeschi is a blues and soul master, so powerful that every time she strums her guitar it feels like it’s just another extension of her body.

She is a woman who overcame all barriers and established herself as one of the greatest female guitarists of all time.

6. Joan Jett

Music Style: Rock/Hard Rock |  Birthday: 22/09/1958 | Country: USA |  Famous For: “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”

Bio: Joan Marie Larkin is an American guitarist, songwriter, producer, and actress. She was the guitarist and vocalist of remarkable bands such as “The Runaways” and “Joan Jett & The Blackhearts”, becoming one of the most important figures of female rock.

Joan Jett is one of the most popular female guitarists in the world.

A remarkable singer, producer, and songwriter, who has even made her way into acting. Her rebellious and hard-rocking spirit has left a lasting legacy.  

7. Memphis Minnie

Music Style: Blues |  Birthday: 03/06/1897 | Country: USA |  Famous For: “When the Levee Breaks” 

Bio: Lizzie Douglas was an American guitarist and songwriter. Her guitar talent made her one of the biggest blues sensations from the 1920s-1930s. She served as an inspiration for future blues stars.

Music would not have been the same without Memphis Minnie, who was one of the first female guitarists in history.

She owned every stage she stepped on all across the U.S., even against all the odds she faced. 

Without a doubt, she still is one of the most influential female blues artists in the industry. Future artists such as Donovan and Jefferson Airplane covered some of his songs.

8. Muriel Anderson

Music Style: Classical/ Various genres |  Birthday: 17/06/1960 | Country: USA |  Famous For: “Two Shores” & “Night Lights”

Bio: Muriel Anderson is a Finnish-American guitarist, who performs in a wide variety of musical genres such as classical, folk, flamenco, and even pop.

Her passion for the guitar began at an early age and has not stopped until today, with more than a dozen albums as a soloist and also with collaborative projects with great artists and groups.

The extraordinarily talented guitarist Muriel Anderson is highly regarded for her fingerstyle and harp playing.

Her bewitching melody and technique captivate anyone who listens to her play. Her love for music has led her to explore different genres and styles from around the world.

9. Liona Boyd 

Dance Style: Classical |  Birthday: 11/07/1949 | Country: UK |  Famous For: “Malagueña” & “My Little Seabird”

Bio: Liona Maria Carolynne Boid is an English classical guitarist. Liona took lessons with the “king of classical guitar” Andres Segovia and later obtained a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto. 

One of the pioneers within the classical guitar scene, Liona Boyd simply kills any piece she plays. She has even been famously dubbed “the First Lady of Guitar”, as she made the international guitar a movement.

10. Bonnie Raitt

Music Style: Blues/Rock | Birthday: 08/10/1949 | Country: USA |  Famous For: “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

Bio: Bonnie Lynn Raitt is an American blues and rock guitarist. Bonnie has music in her blood, her father was a Broadway star and her mother was a pianist. She managed to become recognized for her slide technique.

No question that Bonnie Raitt is one of the greatest female guitarists of all time, hence it was inevitable for me not to think of her at the time of making this list. 

Raitt ruled the country, blues, and rock scene with her custom Fender Strat and her Guild F-50 acoustic. She’s a towering guitar legend that I couldn’t leave out of this list.

Rosmery Brito finds great pleasure in researching and writing. She loves to explore a wide range of topics and stories. With two years of experience in content writing, she continues to constantly improve and grow to provide accurate information to readers

References: 

https://societyofrock.com/10-greatest-female-guitarists-of-all-time/

https://hellomusictheory.com/learn/famous-female-guitar-players/

https://www.guitarplayer.com/players/50-sensational-female-guitarists

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