Greatest Female Guitarists of all time! via VenusZine Magazine

This article is a little old but I just stumbled upon it and figured it would be worth spreading the good news. As you know, usually when any magazine makes a “greatest of” list, unless it has the word “female” or “women” in it, you won’t see any women on that list. So, I applaud Venus Zine for doing this, showing that there are plenty of amazing female guitarists out there and that they often get left out of those “great” lists. Even today, many people don’t think girls can play the guitar (this usually means they can’t electric rock guitar, if it’s acoustic sappy stuff, that’s ok), and if they do, they are “all right for a girl.” They can’t do solos, or play as fast…blah….blah…blah. As if playing “fast” is the height of musically and creativity. Please. Whatever. I have heard this enough myself and it gets old. There have been many a female electric guitarists from the days of Mary Ford, to Carol MacDonald, to Nancy Wilson, Joan Jett, Courtney Love to Allison Robertson to Oranthi. It wasn’t until the electric guitar became associated with masculinity, technology, and basically your own phallus on stage, (don’t know what that means? see Prince at the Superbowl HalfTime Show 2007 for example) did women get kicked out. Also, the size of the guitar has changed over history, and those who don’t have giant sasquash hands (even guys too!) have a harder time building their technique, hell, or even just being able to fret the darn thing. That’s why there are now a few guitar companies out there that tailor their products to smaller hands.

Anyways, enjoy the list and comment on who was left out! I would add: Charo, Allison Robertson (The Donnas), Lori Linstruth, Mary Ford, Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Gos), Vicki Peterson (The Bangles), Jean Millington (Fanny), Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Kelly Johnson (Girlschool), Jewel, Tracy Chapman,  and Paula Pierce (The Pandoras).

The Greatest Female Guitarists of All Time Issue #35

Venus Zine applauds 46 of the world’s best

By Venus Zine Staff

Published: March 1st, 2008 | 12:25pm


    • Jennifer Batten
    • Christina Billotte
    • Kat Bjelland
    • Rory Block
    • Carrie Brownstein
    • Elizabeth Cotten
    • Brody Dalle
    • Kim Deal
    • Ani DiFranco
    • Tanya Donelly
    • Rosie Flores
    • Lita Ford
    • Suzi Gardner
    • Sue Ann Harkey
    • Polly Jean Harvey
    • Jessie Mae Hemphill
    • Kristin Hersh
    • Chrissie Hynde
    • Sharon Isbin
    • Cordell Jackson
    • Joan Jett
    • Peggy “Lady Bo” Jones
    • Carol Kaye
    • Tara Key
    • Kaki King
    • Courtney Love
    • Lydia Lunch
    • Barbara Lynn
    • Christina Marrs
    • Satomi Matsumoto
    • Memphis Minnie
    • Joni Mitchell
    • Odetta
    • Pat Place
    • Liz Phair
    • Bonnie Raitt
    • Toshi Reagon
    • Michelle Shocked
    • Donita Sparks
    • Marnie Stern
    • Ruyter Suys
    • Sister Rosetta Tharpe
    • Mary Timony
    • Sarah Utter
    • Tal Wilkenfeld
    • Nancy Wilson

And for those who don’t think girls can play “fast” eat this:


Posted on January 19, 2010, in Quick Riffs - News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Incredibly awesome read! Truely..

  2. hmmm. Not sure if I’d put Dolly Parton on the list. She’s more of a singer than a guitarist.

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