Inspiring Female Guitarists You Need to Know About

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

From iconic rockers to virtuosic shredders, these women have proven time and again that gender is no barrier to mastering the instrument. In recent years, the conversation around inclusivity in music gear has also gained traction, leading to discussions about the best guitar for women. As more female musicians step into the spotlight, the importance of instruments that cater to their specific needs and preferences has become increasingly apparent.

Pioneering Female Guitarists

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe stands as a foundational figure in the realms of both rock and roll and gospel music. Long before these genres gained widespread recognition, Tharpe was pioneering a unique fusion of bluesy guitar riffs and fervent gospel vocals. Her early influence on the trajectory of rock and roll cannot be overstated, as she laid the groundwork for countless artists who would follow in her footsteps. Tharpe’s virtuosity on the guitar was unparalleled in her time, showcasing a level of skill and innovation that transcended gender norms. With her electric guitar slung over her shoulder and a voice that could move mountains, she captivated audiences with her soul-stirring performances and set the stage for generations of female musicians to come.

Joan Jett

In the realm of punk rock and female empowerment, few names carry as much weight as Joan Jett. As the frontwoman of The Runaways and later as a solo artist with The Blackhearts, Jett carved out a space for herself in a male-dominated industry with unapologetic attitude and raw energy. Her impact on the punk rock scene reverberates to this day, inspiring countless women to pick up guitars and make their voices heard. Jett’s signature guitar style, characterized by gritty power chords and catchy riffs, became emblematic of the rebellious spirit of punk. With iconic performances and anthemic songs like “Bad Reputation” and “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Joan Jett cemented her legacy as a trailblazer for female musicians everywhere, proving that rock and roll knows no gender.

Contemporary Female Guitarists

St. Vincent (Annie Clark)

Annie Clark, better known by her stage name St. Vincent, has emerged as one of the most innovative and compelling figures in contemporary music. With a distinctive blend of art rock, electronic experimentation, and avant-garde sensibilities, St. Vincent’s approach to guitar playing and performance defies categorization. Her mastery of the instrument is evident in every note, as she effortlessly traverses complex chord progressions and blistering solos with precision and grace. Beyond her technical prowess, St. Vincent’s stage presence is electrifying, drawing audiences into her otherworldly sonic universe with mesmerizing visuals and theatrical flair. Her boundary-pushing sound has earned her widespread critical acclaim and solidified her influence on the indie rock scene, inspiring a new generation of musicians to push the limits of their craft.

St. Vincent (Annie Clark)

Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes)

Brittany Howard, the powerhouse vocalist and guitarist behind Alabama Shakes, has captivated audiences around the world with her soulful sound and raw authenticity. Howard’s guitar playing is a revelation, combining bluesy grit with a soulful sensibility that cuts straight to the heart. Whether she’s unleashing blistering solos or laying down infectious grooves, Howard’s musicality shines through in every moment, showcasing her unparalleled versatility as an artist. Her songwriting prowess further elevates her status, as she crafts poignant lyrics and unforgettable melodies that resonate with audiences on a deeply personal level. With recognition for her talent pouring in from all corners of the industry, Brittany Howard continues to defy expectations and inspire listeners with her unparalleled passion and creativity.