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37 Best Female Guitarists Of All Time

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The guitar can be used to create all sorts of different sounds, from soft and mellow tunes to hard-rocking anthems. And over the years, there have been a ton of different guitarists who have made their mark on the music world with their unique style and incredible skill. There’s no denying that the majority of them have been men. However, there are plenty of female guitarists out there who are just as talented as their male counterparts.

So without further ado, here are the 37 best female guitarists of all time.

1. Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson is an award-winning American guitarist and singer. In her almost 50-year career, she has been busy making a name for herself. She is the co-founder of the rock band Heart, which has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Wilson has been praised for her guitar playing, which has been described as “fluid and lyrical.” She is also known for her powerful vocals, which have been described as “belting.” She had hits such as “Barracuda,” “Crazy On You,” and “Magic Man,” and released the popular album “What About Love?”

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2. Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She has been active in the music industry for over 50 years and is known for her slide guitar playing and soulful vocal style. She has released 18 studio albums and has won 14 awards for her various achievements in the music industry.

Her most popular songs include “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” “Something to Talk About,” and “Nick Of Time.” Raitt is also heavily involved in charity work and founded the Bonnie Raitt Foundation in 2000 to help support arts education programs.

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3. Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She is the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band The Pretenders. She has been active in the music industry since the 1970s and is known for her distinctive vocal style and her guitar playing.

Her most popular songs include “I’ll Stand By You,” “Brass In Pocket,” “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” and “Back On The Chain Gang.” Hynde was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

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4. Joan Jett

Joan Jett is an American rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She is best known for her work with the rock band The Runaways, and for her solo hits “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” and “Bad Reputation.”

Jett has been active in the music industry since the 1970s and is considered to be one of the pioneers of punk rock. She has released numerous albums throughout her career, and tours extensively as a solo artist. In her personal life, Jett is an outspoken advocate for animal rights and has been a vegetarian since the 1980s.

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5. Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She is best known for her work with the rock band Fleetwood Mac, and for her solo hits “Edge Of Seventeen” and “Leather And Lace.” She has been active in the music industry since the 1970s and has released numerous albums throughout her career. She is also known for her distinctive vocal style and her ethereal stage presence.

She is one of the first women to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame twice. Once for being a part of the band Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and the second time as a solo artist in 2019.

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6. Lita Ford

Lita Ford is an American rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She is best known for her work with the rock band The Runaways, and for her solo hits “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Close My Eyes Forever.” These two songs are often cited as being among the best metal songs of all time. Now, Ford has a successful solo career.

She has been active in the music industry since the 1970s and is considered to be one of the pioneers of women in heavy metal. She has released numerous albums throughout her career and has toured extensively as a solo artist. In recent years, she has become an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and has been working with the Lita Ford Foundation to help raise awareness about the issue.

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7. Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow is best known for her hits “All I Wanna Do,” “Strong Enough,” and “My Favorite Mistake.” She has been active in the music industry since the late 1980s and has released 11 studio albums throughout her career.

Crow is also known for her political activism and has been involved in various charitable causes throughout her career. She has worked with the United Nations Food Program to raise money for hunger relief and has also been an advocate for breast cancer awareness.

8. Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin was an American singer-songwriter who rose to prominence in the 1960s counterculture movement. She is best known as a cover artist and is renowned for her interpretations of the pieces “Piece Of My Heart,” “Cry Baby,” and “Me And Bobby McGee.” She was active in the music industry from 1967 until her death in 1970 and released only two studio albums during her brief career.

Joplin was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and was ranked number 16 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Her influence on subsequent rock music has been immense, and she is considered to be one of the most influential singers of all time.

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9. Tina Weymouth

Tina Weymouth is an American musician best known as a founding member of the band Talking Heads and their passion project, Tom Tom Club. She is a multi-instrumentalist and is primarily known for her work on bass guitar and keyboards.

Weymouth has been active in the music industry since the 1970s and has released numerous albums with Talking Heads and other bands throughout her career. She is considered to be one of the most influential bass players of all time, and her work with the band has been cited as an influence by numerous other musicians.

10. Kim Deal

Kim Deal is an American musician best known as the bassist and vocalist for the alternative rock band Pixies. She is also a founding member of the group The Breeders. Over the course of her career, she has been a part of the development of 15 studio albums.

Deal has been active in the music industry since the 1980s and is considered to be one of the most influential bassists of all time. She has been cited as an influence by many other musicians, and her work with Pixies and The Breeders has been highly acclaimed by critics.

11. Donna Grantis

Donna Grantis is a Canadian musician who is best known for her performances with Prince’s band, 3rdeyegirl. She is a highly skilled guitarist and has appeared on numerous Prince albums, including Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum.

Grantis has been active in the music industry since the early 2000s and has performed with a number of different artists throughout her career. She is considered to be one of the most talented guitarists of her generation, and her work with Prince has been highly acclaimed by critics.

12. Emily Kokal

Emily Kokal is an American musician who is best known as the lead singer and guitarist for the indie rock band Warpaint. She is a highly skilled guitarist, and her unique style of playing has been praised by critics.

Kokal has been active in the music industry since the early 2000s and has released three studio albums with Warpaint. She is also known for her previous romantic involvement with the lead guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Frusciante.

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13. St. Vincent

St. Vincent is the stage name of Annie Clark, an American musician who is best known for her solo work. She has been active in the music industry since the early 2000s and has toured extensively throughout her career. She is a highly skilled guitarist and singer and has released six studio albums to date. She is best known for her indie rock style and her unique wardrobe.

14. Maureen Tucker

Maureen Tucker is a drummer and guitarist who first gained notoriety as a member of The Velvet Underground. She is considered one of the pioneers of the punk rock genre and has been cited as an inspiration by many notable musicians, including Patti Smith and David Byrne.

She is known for her unique style and her innovative use of percussion in conjunction with the guitar. She has released several solo albums throughout her career. Some of her top hits include “I’m Sticking With You” and “All Tomorrow’s Parties.”

15. PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey is an English musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. She has been active in the music industry since the late 1980s and has released nine studio albums to date. Harvey is a highly acclaimed artist and has won numerous awards. She is known for her powerful and evocative songwriting, as well as her unique and individualistic approach to music.

Some of Harvey’s best-known songs include “Down By The Water,” “50ft Queenie,” and “Man Size.” She has also been praised for her work as a composer, with several of her pieces being performed by orchestras around the world. In 2017, she was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. She is also a visual artist and has exhibited her work in various galleries. She has been described as one of the most talented and innovative musicians of her generation.

16. Sarah Longfield

Sarah Longfield is an American guitarist and composer. She is best known for her work in the progressive metal genre and has been praised by critics for her skill as a guitarist and her ability to fuse different musical styles. She has released three studio albums, and her music has been featured in video games and film trailers. She is also a highly skilled violinist and has recorded several solo albums.

Longfield began playing guitar at the age of 9 and started composing her own music at the age of 16. She is a self-taught musician and has cited classical composers such as Bach and Beethoven as influences, as well as more modern artists such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.

17. Alison Mosshart

Alison Mosshart is an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer. She is best known as the lead vocalist for the indie rock band The Kills. She is also a member of the supergroup The Dead Weather, alongside Jack White and Dean Fertita. She has released three solo albums.

She first gained prominence in the mid-1990s with The Kills. The band’s music is known for its raw and gritty sound, and Mosshart’s vocals have been praised by critics. The band has released six studio albums, with their album, Ash & Ice, debuting at number five on the UK charts. In addition to her work with The Kills and The Dead Weather, Mosshart has also collaborated with other artists such as Queens Of The Arctic Monkeys and Primal Scream. She is an accomplished artist and has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

18. Liona Boyd

Liona Boyd is an English classical guitarist. She is considered one of the world’s foremost guitarists and has been praised for her virtuosity and musicality. She has released 30 albums and has been awarded five Juno Awards. She has gone on to perform with some of the world’s leading orchestras, including the English Chamber Orchestra.

19. Victoria Williams

Victoria Williams is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She is known for her unique singing voice and her ability to play a wide range of musical styles. She has released eight studio albums and has been praised by critics for her songwriting.

In the 1990s, Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Despite her health issues, she has continued to write and perform music. She became the catalyst for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which provides financial assistance to musicians who are struggling with illness or disability.

20. Susanna Hoffs

Susanna Hoffs is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She is best known as a member of the 1980s pop rock band The Bangles. She began her career with them, and the band’s music was influenced by 1960s pop and rock. They had several hits including “Walk Like An Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame.” The band has released six studio albums, with their album, Different Light, becoming platinum.

In addition to her work with The Bangles, she has also released three solo albums and has appeared in several films and television shows. Hoffs has even appeared in films such as The Allnighter (1987) and Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997). She has been nominated for several Grammy Awards.

21. Bibi McGill

Bibi McGill is an American guitarist, songwriter, and producer. She is best known for her work as the lead guitarist for Beyoncé during the 2013 half-time show. McGill has also worked with other artists such as P!nk and Paulina Rubio.

McGill began playing guitar at the age of 9 and started touring professionally at the age of 16. She has cited Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan as influences and has been praised for her versatility and technical skill. She is also a philanthropist and has started her own vegan kale chips company.

22. Lzzy Hale

Lzzy Hale is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She is best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the hard rock band Halestorm. She has also released one solo album and has appeared in several films and television shows.

Hale first gained prominence in the early 2000s with the band. Their music has been described as a mix of hard rock and heavy metal, and Hale’s powerful vocals have been praised by critics. The band has released five studio albums.

23. Lisa Germano

Lisa Germano is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. She has released ten studio albums and has been praised by critics for her songwriting. She has worked with a variety of artists including John Mellencamp, David Bowie, and Simple Minds.

Germano began her career as a violinist, then later began working as a session musician. Her solo career began in the early 1990s with the release of her album, On The Way Down From The Moon Palace. Since then, she has released a variety of albums that have explored different genres including folk, rock, and electronica.

24. Carrie Brownstein

Carrie Brownstein is an American musician, writer, and actress. She is best known as a member of the indie rock band Sleater-Kinney. She began her career in the early 1990s with the band. Their music is a mix of punk and indie rock, and their lyrics often deal with feminist themes. Sleater-Kinney has released seven studio albums.

In addition to her work with the band, Brownstein has also been involved in a variety of other projects. She has a strong writing and acting career. She has interviewed several celebrities and has appeared in films such as “Mrs. Fletcher” and “Shrill.”

25. Tanya Donelly

Tanya Donelly is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her work as a member of the alt-rock bands Throwing Muses and Belly. She began her career in the early 1980s with Throwing Muses. Their music was often dark and melancholic, and their lyrics dealt with a variety of topics including mental illness, relationships, and religion. They released six studio albums before disbanding in the early 1990s.

Donelly co-founded the band Belly with her brother Tom. Their music was more upbeat than Throwing Muses, and their debut album Star was a commercial success. They released two more albums before disbanding in the late 1990s. Donelly has continued to release music as a solo artist, releasing four solo albums. Her most recent album, Swan Song Series, was released in 2014.

26. Kristin Hersh

Kristin Hersh is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her work as a member of the alternative rock band Throwing Muses. She began her career with them in the early 1980s.

She also worked with 50FootWave, before releasing her first solo album. She has released eleven solo albums, which are often more personal and intimate than her work with Throwing Muses, and her lyrics often deal with topics such as motherhood and parenthood. Hersh has been praised for her songwriting and guitar playing.

27. Bridget St John

Bridget St John is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her work in the late 1960s and early 1970s when she released three albums of folk-influenced pop music. She began her career in 1967 with the release of her debut album, Songs For The Gentle Man. The album was met with critical acclaim, and she was praised for her songwriting and guitar playing.

Her subsequent albums, Ask Me No Questions (1968) and Thank You For… (1969), were also well-received by critics. However, commercial success eluded her, and she retired from the music business in the early 1970s. Then in 1996, over 20 years later, she released a comeback album called Take The Fifth.

28. Martha Wainwright

Martha Wainwright is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is the daughter of folk singers Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, and the sister of Rufus Wainwright. She has released seven solo albums, and her music is a mix of folk, rock, and pop. Her lyrics often deal with personal themes such as love, loss, and relationships. Wainwright’s debut album, Come Home To Mama, was released in 2012 to critical acclaim.

Since then, Wainwright has continued to release well-received albums. She has also appeared on numerous television shows and movies and has collaborated with a number of other artists. In recent years, she has become increasingly involved in activism and has spoken out on a variety of social and political issues.

29. Kathryn Calder

Kathryn Calder is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her work with the indie rock band The New Pornographers. She has also released three solo albums.

Calder’s music blends elements of pop, rock, and electronic music. Her lyrics often deal with personal themes such as love, loss, and relationships. Her debut solo album, Are You My Mother?, was released in 2010 to critical acclaim.

30. Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her work in the country music genre. She has released over 25 albums and has won numerous awards, including 13 Grammy Awards.

She began her career in the early 1970s, singing backing vocals on Gram Parsons’ album GP. She subsequently released her own debut album, Pieces Of The Sky, in 1975. The album was a critical and commercial success and launched Harris’ career in country music. She has since released a number of highly successful albums and collaborated with a number of other artists, including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Mark Knopfler. In recent years, she has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

31. Meg Baird

Meg Baird is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her work with the indie rock band Espers. She has also released three solo albums.

Baird’s music blends elements of folk, rock, and country. Her lyrics often deal with personal themes such as love, loss, and relationships. Her debut solo album, Don’t Weigh Down The Light, was released in 2015 to critical acclaim.

32. Maybelle Carter

Maybelle Carter was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She was best known for her work with the country music group The Carter Family. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970 and is considered one of the most influential guitarists in country music history.

She began her career in the 1920s, performing with The Carter Family, which was highly successful and helped to popularize country music. Her distinctive style of guitar playing was a major influence on subsequent generations of guitarists. After the group disbanded in the 1940s, Carter continued to perform as a solo artist. However, she also made occasional appearances with The Carter Family reunion group. She passed away in 1978, but her musical legacy continues to live on.

33. Laura Chavez

Laura Chavez is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her solo work as an inventive soul and blues guitarist. She has released six albums, and her music has been featured in a number of films and television shows. She began her career in the early 2000s, performing as a solo artist and with various bands. She soon developed a reputation for her unique guitar playing style, which blends elements of soul, blues, and rock.

Her debut album, Blues Caravan: Guitars & Feathers, was released in 2006 to critical acclaim. Since then, Chavez has continued to release critically acclaimed albums and tour internationally.

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34. Deborah Coleman

Deborah Coleman is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her work in the blues genre. She has released nine albums and has won numerous awards, including the W.C. Handy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

She began her career in the early 1990s, performing with a number of different bands. She released her debut album, I Can’t Lose, in 1997. The album was a critical and commercial success and helped to launch Coleman’s career in the blues genre. She passed away in 2018 at the age of 61.

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35. Felicia Collins

Felicia Collins is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her work on the David Letterman Show as part of the CBS Orchestra. She began her career in the early 1980s, performing with various bands such as Madonna and P-Funk. She eventually joined the CBS Orchestra in 1993 and became a regular fixture on the David Letterman Show. Collins’ guitar playing style is a unique blend of jazz, rock, and blues.

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36. Courtney Love

Courtney Love is an American singer, guitarist, and actress. She first rose to fame as the lead singer of the grunge band Hole. After they disbanded in 2002, she embarked on a solo career and has released four studio albums to date. She is also known for her tumultuous personal life and her extensive work as an actress. She has appeared in a number of films and television shows, including The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man On The Moon, and Sons Of Anarchy.

Love is considered to be one of the most controversial rock singers of all time, and her personal life has often been tabloid fodder. However, she is also considered to be a highly talented musician and songwriter.

37. Liz Phair

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. She began her career in the early 1990s with the release of her debut album, Exile In Guyville. She has seven studio albums and has been praised by critics for her songwriting.

Her music is often confessional and deals with themes of sex, relationships, and adolescence. She has been credited as a pioneer of the “confessional singer-songwriter” genre and her work has influenced a variety of artists including Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow. She has been nominated for several Grammy Awards.