Top 10 Female Guitarists

Top 10 Female Guitarists

 Our list of Top 10 Female Guitarists span decades and come from different genres of music. Most of them also have excellent voices to match their guitar playing skills. Some of them are icons in their respective genre. But each of them have made their contribution in making guitar playing an equal right for females to take the lead and make a name.

Here are our top 10:

1. Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

This woman is a black gospel singer of a bygone era, late 1940's. You can see a (1963) video of her shredding a White Gibson Les Paul SG (1962) while singing Up Above My Head. You'd feel the influence of Chuck Berry in her style of guitar playing.

2. Mother Maybelle Carter.

Mother Maybelle Carter became recognized as a guitar wizard with her inventive plucking style. She was way ahead of her time. Taking in influences from banjo playing, Mother Maybelle Carter could play as if three guitars were playing simultaneously. This style of picking would be known as the Carter Family picking. 

3. Joni Mitchell.

She was a rare talent who had a silken voice and a ponderous mind. Her thoughts are deep and she can sing with broken, open-tuned notes. Joni Mitchell influenced the music of Prince, Tori Amos, and Sarah McLachlan among other well-known names of different genres.

4. Nancy Wilson.

Lead guitarist and back-up vocals of Heart, a band she and her sister Ann Wilson began performing together in 1974, when Nancy was joined the band. Nancy was inducted in the Rock Hall of Fame in 2012, and was given a star (with her sister) on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

5. Lita Ford.

She is a punk rock icon. She played with lead guitarist Joan Jett with the Runaways and later with her own band Kiss Me Deadly. Lita Ford had been using BC Rich guitars since she started in the eighties (1980's) because it had a certain "crunch" she couldn't get from any other guitar. The Double-neck and the Warlock are two of her signature guitars. 

6. Joan Jett.

Lead guitar player of the Runaways. She's a spitfire singer with a powerful pop rock persona. Started playing with the Runaways when she was 15 years old. Early in her music career, Joan Jett toured and played in almost all states in the USA. 

7. Bonnie Raitt.

Bonnie Raitt will mesmerize you with her singing style, you be waiting for every word to fall out of her lips. You see her on tour playing a Fender Stratocaster or a huge Guild F-50 acoustic guitar. She's a multi-awarded musician with 10 Grammies. Bonnie Raitt's name is in the music Hall of Fame.

8. Susan Tedeschi.

Her musical influences include the legendary Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt. Susan Tedeschi can play the blues like a pro on her autographed 1970 Fender Telecaster. You can watch her at Farm Aid Live.

9. Orianthi.

Her lead guitar picks are very impressive. She is a millennial rock star. She auditioned for Michael Jackson playing Beat It, and got the part. She's been present in all MJ's rehearsals for This Is It concerts. She later toured with Alice Cooper and became part of his band. Orianthi was awarded Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year by Guitar International Magazine in 2010.    

10. Kaki King.

She is a young philosopher of sound, who plays the strings of her guitar and taps its body as a percussion instrument, to convey a profound message lodging in her head. Rolling Stone magazine describes her as "a genre to herself". A very unique, intelligent, and innovative musician.


These are our Top 10 Female Guitarists. Who else made it to your list?