5 All-Time Great Female Guitarists

The female rocker has always drawn a mixed bag of responses. People have always seen a female rock-star and reacted with either quizzical contempt or with awe and respect. Here are the top 5 female guitarists who are legends in the word of rock.

Nancy Wilson

As far as women rockers go, few of them can claim to rock harder than the Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy. ‘Heart’ is well known as one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time and Nancy Wilson has always front lined as the band’s lead guitarist. An amazing guitarist through and through, Nancy Wilson has the ability to drop a face-melting solo whenever it may please her. Listen to the riffs in Barracuda and you will realize that Nancy Wilson is not just any girl with an electric guitar; she is talented and she means business every time she picks up the axe.

Joan Jett

For many music lovers, Joan Jett represents the ultimate female rocker. After tasting success with the short-lived but highly influential all-girl band, The Runaways, Joan Jett embarked on a solo career that would forever change the image of women in rock. As Joan Jett and the Blackhearts kept drawing fans from around the world, people lost track of the fact that Joan Jett is more than just a competent guitarist. With a guitar in her hand, she can hold her own against the best in the business while still hammering out excellent licks. Not bad for a girl who doesn’t care much for her bad reputation.

Carrie Brownstein

Carrie Brownstein can definitely be categorized as one of the most underappreciated rockers and female artists of our times. While she did not disappear off the radar, like many of her 90s contemporaries, Brownstein hasn’t exactly gotten the fanfare or recognition that a person with her level of talent deserves. One only has to listen to her work, as part of Sleater-Kinney, to realize that she is one of the most underrated guitarists ever, irrespective of gender. However, Carrie continues to have a very solid fan-base and wields the guitar with enough authority to make her a bona fide rock goddess.


She may be the youngest female on this list, but by no means is she any less of a guitar goddess. To say Orianthi has some serious skills with the electric guitar is to say that Robert DeNero is a great actor; everyone knows it, everyone sees it, and you’re just stating the obvious. Any person picked by Alice Cooper to be in his own live band has to be seriously talented and as a guitarist on tour with Alice Cooper, Orianthi certainly has the bragging rights under her belt. She has achieved great success in her solo and collaborative career and we can look forward to years and years of some excellent riffs by the Australian guitarist.

Lita Ford

Besides Joan Jett, The Runaways introduced the world to one of the greatest female electric guitarists of all time, Lita Ford. After playing lead guitar for The Runaway, Lita Ford has gone onto have a successful solo career and is always rated as one of the best performers to watch live in concert. With the distinct B.C. Rich Warlock slung across her shoulders, Lita Ford could riff up a storm and it is not surprising that fans and critics alike adore her.

All the 5 rockers mentioned here are not just great guitarists, but act as inspirational figures to young girls around the world who want to pursue their love for the guitar and rock music.

Jim Thomas wrote this article on behalf of spytunes.com who provide guitar lessons and instructional material for people learning to play guitar

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You forgot the best of 'em

You forgot the best of 'em all: Jennifer Batten.

Jennifer Batten Feature

We have a feature on Jennifer Batten here.

What about Bonnie Raitt?

What about Bonnie Raitt?

She plays a pretty good

She plays a pretty good slide guitar

.......and she totally

.......and she totally rocks. I saw her in concert and I could not keep still!

The farce that is Nancy Wilson

Don't get the whole elevation of Nancy Wilson as a guitar legend. She did not play lead on Barracuda nor on most of their other classic "guitar solo" songs. Take a gander at various old and new concerts, and most often she has an acoustic strapped to herself and you cannot hear her. I am not saying she cannot play or is not a wonderful guitar player but I think people are attributing too much to her playing at the expense of other talents such as Howard Leese who actually played lead. Heck, take a look at the recent Kennedy Center Honors video of their rendition of Stairway To Heaven for which they are lauded as having "killed it" and brought Robert Plant to tears. Who played the lead solo? It was not Nancy. She was an important cog in Heart but she is not a guitar icon by any means.

To the author, please do your research before writing. Its not hard to find out that Nancy is not playing much in the way of "face melting solos".

you are an idiot that only

You are an idiot that only thinks lead playing is deserving of praise, go back yo your skid row cd's

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