Best Female Guitarist In The World

Orianthi hair complements her golden electic guitar
Orianthi hair complements her golden electic guitar( Source : facebook )

Some of the Best Female Guitarist In The World include 1. Nancy Wilson 2. Joan Jett 3. Bonnie Rait and more.

From soft and mellow tunes to hard-hitting riffs, a guitar can create a wide variety of sounds, making it one of the leading instruments while creating music.

Throughout the years there have been numerous guitarists who have made an indelible mark on the music industry which their distinctive style and artistic skills, amongst which the majority of them are men.

However, there are plenty of creative and alluring female guitarists who have defied the stereotypical barrier and are just as talented as their male counterparts.

Best Female Guitarist In The World

Artist NameYears Active
Nancy Wilson1973 - Present
Joan Jett1975 - Present
Bonnie Rait1971 - Present
Elizabeth Cotton1920 - 1980
Memphis Minnie1908 - 1958
Liona Boyd1962 - Present
Kaki King2001 - Present
Maybell Carter1927 - 1978
Orianthi2000 - Present
Joni Mitchell1964 - Present

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10. Joni Mitchell

Joni Michell is a Canadian-American musician and producer. Born Roberta Joan Mitchell, she is one of the most influential singers from the 60s.

Joni was the daughter of Myrthe Marguerite and William Andrew Anderson. She was diagnosed with polio at an early age and against all odds she has risen to the top of her game.

Her discography includes 19 studio albums, 5 live albums, 14 compilation albums, 8 video albums, 33 singles, and more. Her sixth studio album, Court and Spark, is her best charting as well as best-selling album, reaching No.1 and No. 2 in Canada and the US respectively.

Throughout her prolific career, Joni was honored with several accolades including 10 Grammy Awards and 3 Juno Awards, and more. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

9. Orianthi

Orianthi is one of the Female Rock Guitarists who had her breakthrough serving as a lead guitarist for Carrie Underwood at the 51st Grammy Award.

Mesmerized by her performance in the event, Micheal Jackson's team reached out to her for an audition for This Is It concerts, eventually becoming Jackson's primary guitarist until his death.

Her sophomore album, Believe, issued via Geffen Records reached number 4 in Japan's Album chart and also produced the worldwide hit" According to You" which is her only single to achieve Platinum status in the US and Australia.

Furthermore, Orinathi received universal acclaim from critics following her astounding performance in the second album. Elle's magazine listed her as one of the "12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists" while Guitar International magazine awarded her "2010 Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year".

8. Maybelle Carter

Mother Maybelle Carter earns her place amongst the best female guitar players thanks to her innovative style of playing. She is a pioneer of country guitar.

Carter was one of the first musicians to incorporate the Carter scratch which is a technique where the thumb is used to pick a tune on the bass strings while the index finger keeps the beat. This technique helped the guitar shift from a rhythm to a primary instrument.

As a member of the classic American folk music, Carter Family, Maybelle brought success to the group alongside her brother-in-law A.P Carter, and cousin Sara Carter until she parted ways to pursue her solo career in the early 1940s.

Eventually, she was later inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside the Original Carter Family in 1970, becoming the first female performer to be elected into the institution.

7. Kaki King

Kaki King is an American guitarist widely known for her percussive and jazz melodies. She is included in the list of Rolling Stone's "The New Guitar Gods".

Introduced to guitar at the age of four, King started playing the instrument for several years after which she ended up as a drummer. Fortunately, she later switched to guitars during her college years and revisited her intriguing finger-style techniques.

Debuting her first studio album, Everybody Loves You, in 2003, this prolific guitarist and composer had an impressive run of albums, releasing one every two years.

Furthermore, to add to an already outstanding resume, she garnered nominations for Golden Globes Award for Best Original Score, and she even has her own custom-made guitar to suit her unique playing style.

6. Liona Boyd

Liona Boyd is one of the most famous female guitarists from the 20th century well known for her classical music. She has been dubbed "First Lady of the Guitar".

After graduating with a music degree from the University of Toronto in 1972, she went on the release her first-ever studio album, The Guitar, in 1975 issued via Boot Records, and dropped 25 more studio albums throughout he career.

Though highly regarded for her classical recordings, she gradually transitioned into New Age music focusing more on the vocal aspect after being diagnosed with a neurological condition, focal dystonia, which prevented her from playing demanding guitar arrangements.

5. Memphis Minnie

Lizzie Douglas (aka Memphis Minnie) is one of the early pioneers of pickers whose recording career spanned over three decades. She is a blues guitarist.

Raised in Walls, Mississippi, she spent her teenage years playing guitars and singing on the street, supplementing her income as a night worker. Eventually, she was discovered by a talent scout for Columbia Records alongside her husband Joe McCoy in the late 1920s.

The couple recorded several records together until they parted ways in 1935. She continued producing records alongside extensive touring and spawned one of her biggest hits "Me and My Chauffeurs Blues" in 2003.

Regarded as "the most popular female country blues singer of all time", Minnie was later inducted into the Blue's Foundation Hall of Fame in 1980.

4. Elizabeth Cotton

Carrboro-born Elizabeth Cotten is one of the earliest women guitar players, widely known for her distinctive style of playing by holding the guitar upside down.

Born in a poverty-stricken family, Elizabeth was forced to quit school and work as a domestic worker as a child. During her teenage years, she started composing her own songs, including "Freight Train" which became one of her biggest hits.

As for her accolades, she won the Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording for her album, Elizabeth Cotten Live, and was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022.

3. Bonnie Rait

Bonnie Raitt is one of the most prominent American blues singers and guitarists of all time. She is a thirteen times Grammy Award winner.

Releasing her eponymous debut album in 1971, she continued to produce several critically acclaimed root-influenced albums in the subsequent years.

However, it wasn't until 2010, that she found commercial success with her tenth studio album, Nick of Time, which topped the US Billboard 200 chart and earned the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Apart from her incredible vocal abilities, her musical skills have also received universal acclaim with Rolling Stone ranking her at 89th spot on the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

2. Joan Jett

Joan Jett is the frontwoman for the rock band Blackhearts. Her fierce and electric performance has earned her the title "The Queen of Rock n' Roll".

Jaon's discography includes 13 studio albums, 8 compilation albums, 7 EPs, and 46 singles. Out of which second studio album I Love Rock 'n Roll was a huge commercial success, reaching number 2 in the US as well as selling over a million copies domestically.

With a career spanning almost half a century, she has been honored with several accolades including the AP Icon Award, Golden God Award, and also induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Furthermore, she was ranked No. 87 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

1. Nancy Wilson

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Nancy Wilson, is the first female guitarist to lead a chart-topping rock band Heart alongside her sister Ann.

The sister act took the music world by storm, with strings of popular tunes and albums throughout the late 1970s and 1980s including their biggest hit "These Dreams" which topped the Billboard Hot 100. Currently, they've already sold 35 million records worldwide.

Wilson's guitar playing ability has been widely praised by critics primarily for infusing musical elements of flamenco and classical guitar with hard rock style.

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