It is a misconception that guitarists are men and men alone. As a test, I asked a fellow guitarist to name three famous female guitarists, and I was heartbroken to realize he was struggling to name even one.
In a recent interview, a Swedish guitarist commented on us men, and I couldn’t shake off the feeling. The guitarist in question was spot on.
“There’s something about us guys that we tend to be more stupid or something. I mean locking yourself in your room and playing the guitar 16-7 hours straight, that’s not healthy, that’s insane. Girls are smarter than that!”
It is true! We do tend to lock ourselves in a room and practice for hours and hours, and we think that we have done enough. Scientifically speaking, our productivity declines after a few hours. The rest of the hours are just pointless, and they mean nothing.
This also sparked a curiosity in me, and I decided to search around for some great female guitarists to write about, to honor them, and recognize their contributions. Yes, we guitarists need inspirations, and believe it or not, a lot of the time these inspirations come from places where you may least expect them. In this blog about the five female guitarists I will talk about five who are formidable guitarists, ever so inspiring and right up there with the great ones in existence. Therefore, let’s break the norms and pay a special tribute to our top five female guitarists who deserve to be recognized, honored, and followed.
While I could go on to write a lot, I decided it would be wise to start with five of my most favorite and inspiring guitarists. They are:
- Nita Strauss
- Lari Basilio
- Jennifer Batten
- Gabriella Quevedo
Ranked as No. 1 in Guitar World’s list of the 10 Female Guitar Players You Should Know, Nita Strauss has astonished the world with her creativity, and slick guitar skills.
Strauss is currently the touring guitarist for none other than Alice Cooper. She has also had a very successful solo career. If that wasn’t enough, Ibanez, the world-renowned guitar company, chose her as the first female signature artist, and that is an honor that can never be taken away from her.
Strauss initially gained fame as a member of the all-female tribute band called The Iron Maidens. Her fame brought forth opportunities, each of which went on to contribute towards her success as a female guitarist.
She worked for numerous rock ensembles, including:
- Femme Fatale
- Consume the Fire
- Critical-Hit (a video-game supergroup)
She went on to become the in-house guitarist for LA KISS. In 2014, she replaced Alice Cooper’s then-touring guitarist, another female by the name of Orianthi, and continues to play the role today.
Strauss now continues to enjoy success on numerous platforms, including World Wrestling Entertainment. In 2018, Ibanez recognized her as a female signature guitarist and produced the Ibanez JIVA10. DiMarzio also pitched in by producing humbuckers for the same guitar. Her life and her music continue to inspire everyone.
If you want to hear her play, check out her original Mariana Trench. That track alone defines why she is a force to be reckoned with.
While the name may be a little tough to recall, you will certainly remember her melodies and skills once you get to hear how she plays.
For those who may not know, Orianthi P. Panagaris is an Australian musician. She performed for Alice Cooper as a touring guitarist, rehearsed with the king of pop Michael Jackson for This Is It, and has gone on to produce successful numbers, such as:
- According to You
- Highly Strung (featuring Steve Vai)
- Shut Up and Kiss Me
She has won numerous accolades and awards. Elle Magazine named her in the 12 Best Female Guitarist Players while the renowned Guitar International Magazine named her as the Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year (2010).
Her success knows no bounds, and her music supports every inch of success that she has gathered. She is one of my top five female guitarists that I honor, respect, and wanted to mention in this list of mine. A worthy name, and an equally worthy talent.
She is 32 years old, and yet she has already impressed the worldwide audience with her incredible skills, and astonishing creativity.
Basilio is the mind behind Not Alone, Far More, Man In the Mirror, and so many more songs. As a guitarist, I cannot expect my “female favorites” list to be finished without mentioning her, and these songs that I mentioned explain just why she deserves to be honored for her sublime skills.
Her work can be found throughout the world. She began her journey with an Extended Play called Lari Basilio. This was followed by The Sound of My Room. Her work was praised by numerous esteemed magazines and musicians around the globe.
She is also an endorser of Ibanez, and the company continues to promote her skills and talents on its official website. She is one of the only few guitarists in existence, male or female, invited by Joe Satriani to join the G4 Experience 2019, an honor that only a few can claim. That alone is reason enough for me, and you, to honor her and her contribution to the world of music.
She is an American guitarist known for her sessional works and solo tracks as well. Batten was honored with the opportunity to play on all three of Michael Jackson’s world tours between 1987 to 1997. From 1999 to 2001, she then went on to record alongside Jeff Beck.
While Batten’s influence and fame largely remain limited to the United States, she still did manage to strike a chord with other parts of the world, including Japan. Her album Whatever was released in 2007 in Japan and then later throughout the world, providing her more fame and opportunities.
She continues to enjoy a successful run and has had many guest appearances to her name in many hits, including:
- Black Sand - Brand New Start
- Jeff Beck - Japan Live 1999
- Svenson - Rainbow Rocket Ride
She was also honored with the “She Rocks Icon Award” in January 2016 for her incredible work throughout her career.
This Swedish musician is the youngest on my list, and she certainly has a promising career ahead of her. Her work was introduced to the world through her own YouTube channel, which currently stands around 1.3 million strong.
Quevedo has mostly worked on cover songs, but her covers aren’t your typical ones. Some do covers, and then there is Gabriella Quevedo. She breathes new life into the originals. You do not have to take my word for it. Just have a look at any of her videos, and you will see just why she deserves to be mentioned here in this list.
In her short career as a female guitarist, she has appeared at numerous concerts and performed alongside talents such as:
- Hansel Pethig
- Tommy Emmanuel
- Adam Rafferty
- Andy McKee
She has also performed in the iconic Larvik Guitar Festival in Larvik, Norway. Her work continues to be an inspiration, and she has certainly shown the world that age is merely a number. Her creativity continues to astonish the world, leaving artists and guitarists around the world in awe.
In conclusion what makes these female guitarists great?
If have to say one thing, it’s their grit and passion to make their name in what seems like a “patriarchal” industry. But if you ask what got them there? Then, you already know the answer, it is what every great guitarist has always done – whole lot a practicing and hard work, no substitute for that.
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With that said, these were my five female guitarists whom I believe are the best in existence. Give them a listen and let me know what you think!
There's a part 2 to to this post where I have mentioned some more brilliant female guitarists check it out.
Until next time...