The Best Female Guitarists: An Essential Top 25 Countdown

The best female guitarists of all time prove that the guitar isn’t just for phallic fretwork and cock-rock grandstanding.

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Poison Ivy - The Cramps - Photo: Gie Knaeps/Getty Images
Poison Ivy - The Cramps - Photo: Gie Knaeps/Getty Images

The good news about the best female guitarists is that there are too many to fit on a list of 25 – the tradition goes back to the formative days of gospel, country, folk, and rock. Your favorite female guitarist may not be on this list, but we’ve tried to include the ones who blazed the brightest; who either created an unmistakable style, played a key role in a great band or laid down tracks for others to follow. This list of the best female guitarists includes some of the most influential players who ever recorded, and a few that the male guitar heroes copped their licks from.

If you’re bored of phallic fretwork and cock-rock grandstanding, this list of the 25 best female guitarists of all time is for you.

While you’re reading, listen to our Girl Pwr playlist here.

25: Sarah Lipstate (Noveller)

Lipstate is all about soundscapes, using her looping devices to create grand textural atmospheres, in the tradition of Rhys Chatham (with whom she’s performed) and Robert Fripp. She also maintains an indie rocker’s sense of songcraft; the melodic logic in her pieces may be hidden under layers of feedback, but it’s there. No wonder some of the braver rock types, including St Vincent and even Iggy Pop, have booked her on their tours.

24: Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney)

Carrie Brownstein gets most of the glory since she played the solos, but the real wonder of Sleater-Kinney as a guitar band was the way the two guitarists played off each other. There was no bass guitar but there were basslines, which Tucker played through a harmonizer when she wasn’t playing the trademark choppy rhythms. The guitar interplay is a model of both mathematical precision and controlled fury. Tucker also got to show off her chops on a number of Eddie Vedder solo albums.

23: Felicia Collins

Most US folks will remember Felicia Collins as the lead guitarist in the house band for Late Night With David Letterman. Though a funk specialist, she mastered the TV orchestra’s trick of plugging into every guest’s wavelength. Before joining that group, she was part of the extended Nile Rodgers axis, playing with many of his clients, including Madonna, and making a few P-Funk guest appearances as well. If Thompson Twins sounded funky at Live Aid, Collins was the reason.

22. Vicki Peterson (The Bangles)

Unlike their crosstown rivals The Go-Go’s, who drew from the vocal-oriented “girl group” tradition, The Bangles were rooted in mid-60s garage rock. Their earliest shows sported covers of The Yardbirds’ “I’m Not Talkin’” and The Seeds’ “Pushin’ Too Hard,” both of which were carried into the group’s hit-era shows. Peterson’s lead playing was their oft-overlooked secret weapon and, as the band evolved, she got more versed in power-pop jangle, power chords, George Harrison-esque leads, and whatever the songs called for, more than earning her place among the best female guitarists. She was no slouch as a writer either.

21: Wendy Melvoin (The Revolution, Wendy & Lisa)

You can’t overstate the importance of Wendy Melvoin and her keyboardist partner Lisa Coleman had when they came into Prince’s orbit. They were the ones who got Prince listening to psychedelic music, and the movie Purple Rain forever cemented her as one of the best female guitarists to pick up the instrument, underlining her importance in creating the title song. On later Wendy & Lisa albums, Melvoin proved Prince wasn’t the only funky riffmaster – or hot soloist – in The Revolution. She’s turned up in some interesting places since then, like Madonna albums and Neil Finn’s first solo band.

20: Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell’s lyrical acoustic playing on the early albums was enough to earn her a mention among the best female guitarists, and as she gradually went electric, heavy-hitters the likes of James Burton and Larry Carlton were added to the mix. But as Mitchell’s music got more sophisticated, outside players had more trouble getting around the complexities of what she was writing. She wound up playing about half the leads on Hejira (including the great jazz riffs in “Coyote”), all but one on Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter, and all the leads on Mingus, while holding her own among the finest jazz players alive, including Wayne Shorter and Jaco Pastorius. Enough said.

19: Dot Wiggin (The Shaggs)

So you think it didn’t take a real musician to play The Shaggs’ guitar parts? Great, now you go ahead and try to play them. At this point, it hardly matters whether The Shaggs – a late-60s sisters’ garage band that defied all musical logic – were raw prodigies or simply a lucky accident. As female guitarists, they proved more influential than hundreds of more conventional bands, and the way Dot sang and played in entirely different rhythms (while the drummer was off on a third one) took some serious concentration. And the longstanding tradition of female indie-rock trios with a second guitar instead of a bass? They started that too.

18: Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge is probably the modern guitarist who most embodies the Pete Townshend tradition of throttling an acoustic guitar like it’s a fully-amped electric (or your worst enemy). Credit that to her years playing coffeehouses, but that closely-miked acoustic guitar provides the instrumental hook on most of her hits. And though her band always has a (male) lead guitarist, he tends to take a backseat when she’s feeling the spirit.

17: Anne Clark (St Vincent)

On her tour in support of Masseduction, St Vincent was undoubtedly the first lead guitarist to use a different DayGlo pastel-colored guitar on every number (all variations on the custom signature guitar that Ernie Ball designed for her). And her playing was as vivid as the guitars themselves. She’s a free-flowing soloist in the Fripp/Zappa tradition, where the solos hinge on intricate melody lines. But she’s also a master dance-pop songwriter, using her tasty rhythm riffs to bring you to the “Slow Disco.”

16: Joan Jett (Joan Jett And The Blackhearts)

Joan Jett has never claimed to be a lead guitarist, and never had a band without one. But the very essence of punk guitar – rhythm chords pounded out with urgency and precision – is embedded in her DNA. While she’s not credited as such often, it’s arguable that her guitar work is as just as influential as co-Runaway Lita Ford. But, as always, Jett is too busy rocking to worry about accolades surrounding the best female guitarists.

15: Orianthi

Though she first raised eyebrows playing with Carrie Underwood (and would likely have done the same on Michael Jackson’s final tour), this Australian guitarist’s main achievement is breaking down the walls of classic rock. She’s tough enough to play lead with Alice Cooper, trade licks with Steve Vai, and then form the duo RSO alongside Richie Sambora. And her take on “Hellbound Train” is the best Savoy Brown cover done by anyone, male or female. Word broke recently that she and Sambora had parted ways, but Orianthi is a one-woman force on her own.

14: Bonnie Raitt

You’d have to do a lot of combing through the heroes of 70s rock to find a slide guitarist with a more identifiable sound than Bonnie Raitt. One of her main competitors, Little Feat’s Lowell George, was both a collaborator and a big fan. Though Raitt always keeps a foot in the singer-songwriter world, her guitar is the connection with her blues roots. While her band usually has a guitarist to take care of the lyrical passages, the scorching moments are invariably her own.

13: Nancy Wilson (Heart)

The first female guitarist to lead a chart-topping rock band, Nancy Wilson, along with her sister Ann, are the only consistent members of Heart. And while the band has seen other lead players, the first (and arguably most) iconic guitar moment in their catalogue went to Nancy – namely, that acoustic transition from “Dreamboat Annie” into “Crazy On You.” It’s thanks to Nancy that Heart’s artful acoustic side has always coexisted with their loud electric side, even in their 80s arena phase. She also had a hand composing nearly every famous track they ever recorded.

12: Poison Ivy (The Cramps)

Poison Ivy was arguably the most recognizable guitarist in all of US punk. You can tell it’s a Cramps song long before lead singer Lux Interior starts singing. Poison Ivy reconnected punk with its primal roots in trash and twang, and helped the likes of Link Wray and The Ventures’ Nokie Edwards get rediscovered. She earns her place among the best female guitarists thanks to those sleazy riffs that Cramps songs were built on, and became a skilled soloist as the albums went on. And nobody ever did more with reverb than her. Ivy’s been underground since the loss of her partner Lux, and she’s been missed.

11: Marnie Stern

With a shredder’s fast fingers and an indie rocker’s sensibility, Marnie Stern is the modern definition of a guitar hero. You don’t even have to love guitar playing to appreciate her concept album, The Chronicles Of Marnia, which is full of cleverly-turned pop hooks. But if you do love guitar playing, you’ll marvel at the imagination in her fast runs and her sense of economy. After five albums, she’s yet to cut a song longer than four and a half minutes. If Eddie Van Halen had been a member of Sleater-Kinney… well, it probably still wouldn’t have been this good.

10: Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses)

A perpetually underrated figure, Kristin Hersh ranks with the likes of Bob Mould and J Mascis as a pioneering indie-rock guitarist, with a sound that’s recognizable from a mile away. Easily one of the best female guitarists of the 80s and 90s, she can play furious leads and melt your mind with distorted power chords, then pick up an acoustic and play some of the most elegant stuff you’ve heard. She came into her own around the time that Throwing Muses stripped down to a three-piece (that band’s later albums are textbooks in revitalizing the power-trio format), though her more recent solo albums, in which she also plays bass, show the range of sounds at her disposal.

9: Susan Tedeschi (Tedeschi Trucks Band)

Any jam-band enthusiast will tell you that the Tedeschi Trucks Band isn’t a band featuring female and male guitarists or a married duo, it’s a band with two great guitarists, period. What’s notable is how much they’ve both grown as players since finding each other. Tedeschi has picked up her partner’s jazz leanings while Derek Trucks has tuned into her R&B sensibilities. For a good slice of Tedeschi at her best, look up the clip where she plays “Crossroads” alongside Eric Clapton at his festival, and note the wide grin that Clapton breaks into after her solo.

8: Kaki King

Unique among the best female guitarists of all time, King is more properly a modern composer who happens to be a guitar virtuoso. Her pieces run deep with touches of modern classical, progressive jazz, and occasional, satisfying trips into pop. Whether working with classical or rock players, she takes acoustic guitar to a new level, with a percussive technique that’s part flamenco and part Van Halen. She could have easily built a career on cheap thrills, but her latest work – including the recent concept piece The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body – shows she’s got higher ideals in mind.

7: Peggy Jones

Better known as Lady Bo, Peggy Jones was the first female guitarist in a major rock’n’roll band, joining Bo Diddley’s group at age 16 and playing on most of his classic singles, including “Mona,” “Crackin’ Up” and “Bo Diddley’s A Gunslinger.” She later played on a number of singles prized by record collectors, including Les Cooper’s “Oowee Baby” and The Soul Rockers’ “Wiggle Wobble,” and even did a stint in James Brown’s band for a time. She was still performing as Lady Bo up till her death in 2015.

6: Liona Boyd

The London-born and Toronto-raised classical guitarist was both a musical sensation and a TV celebrity in the 70s. Promoted as the “first lady of the guitar,” she was an early protégé of Andres Segovia and played Carnegie Hall in 1975. Boyd later became a familiar face on Canadian TV (and, though it wasn’t widely known at the time, the romantic partner of Prime Minister Trudeau). Many will prefer her classical recordings, the best of which appear on her 20th Century Masters volume, but she gradually moved into New Age music, turning more to vocals after a neurological condition affected her playing.

5: Emily Remler

Like most guitarists from New Jersey, Remler grew up playing rock, but her world opened up after she studied at Berklee College Of Music and discovered the music of Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery. Soon, she became one of the great modern guitarists in the bop tradition, approaching standards with a fluid tone and boundless imagination. Remler recorded prolifically during her brief career, collaborating with the likes of Larry Coryell and Astrud Gilberto. She also played with a couple of funk and R&B bands during her brief stay in New Orleans, though no recordings survived. Like Montgomery, she left us too soon, and we can only wonder what she could have done if addiction hadn’t taken her at 32.

4: Memphis Minnie

One of the earliest pioneers of pickers, Lizzie Douglas (better known as Memphis Minnie, taught herself how to play guitar and banjo, and cut her teeth in the legendary Beale Street blues scene in Memphis. Columbia, Checker, Decca, and Okeh – she cut records for them all and was instrumental in the urbanization of the blues. Easily one of the best female guitarists in history, the fearless blueswoman even went toe-to-toe with Blues greats Big Bill Broonzy and Muddy Waters in many a cutting contest – and won.

3: Elizabeth Cotten

The trailblazing folk and blues musician originated her distinctive style by accident. Elizabeth Cotten was left-handed but initially learned to play by turning her right-handed brother’s banjo upside down. When she switched to guitar, she still had the instincts of a banjo player, and since the instrument was still upside down, she fingerpicked the bass strings while using her thumb for the melodies. This style of “Cotten picking” is especially tough to master, which may be why no two versions of her signature tune, “Freight Train,” sound quite the same.

2: Mother Maybelle Carter

A significant influence on country guitar, Mother Maybelle earns her place among the best female guitarists thanks to her invention of the style known variously as thumb brush, the church lick, and, most famously, as Carter Family picking. Possibly inspired by banjo techniques, Maybelle used her thumb to pick a tune on the bass strings while strumming rhythms on the higher strings; the result made the trio sound like they had a few guitars backing them. Greats the likes of Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, and her eventual son-in-law Johnny Cash all took notice.

1: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

No, the devil didn’t have all the good songs, or even all the great guitarists. Heading this list of the best female guitarists in history, this early gospel artist really did invent a lot of the distorted tones that blues and rock players would later adopt – but before she did, Sister Rosetta Tharpe recorded some of the most fluid acoustic leads on record. On the 1945 hit “Strange Things Happening Every Day” she blurs the lines between country, jazz, and gospel, all in the service of some sanctified testimony. You want to be astounded, go find the live video of her performing “Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air).” There’s no solo on the original 1948 single, but on this live take, circa 1963, she absolutely proto-shreds while a full choir claps along. There’s a bit of Muddy, a bit of Chuck, and a whole lot of jubilation before she calls out “Let’s do that again!” Yes, Sister, please do.

Discover more about the female musicians who changed the world.



  1. David Mente

    October 5, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I do not have any gripes about who you included. I just think a list like this has to find room for Mary Halvorson. Also nice to see Emily Remler get some recognition. Thanks.

    • grant marcus

      May 10, 2019 at 9:34 pm

      All good choices, but what about Pat Benatar? I’m surprised she wasn’t mentioned.

      • Christopher Nowak

        September 29, 2019 at 6:56 pm

        Pat Benatar: Singer, songwriter and actress BUT NOT ONE OF THE BEST FEMALE ROCK GUITARISTS.
        I do remember playing HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT in a band when I was younger and felt that an improvised guitar solo would be better.

    • Elaine

      August 12, 2019 at 11:49 pm

      What about June Millington who played with the first all female band signed to a major record company, Fanny? Listen to her playing “Badge.” I think she does it better than Clapton.

      • Christopher Nowak

        September 29, 2019 at 2:40 pm

        It was too bad about FANNY.
        I think that they were one of the most underrated female groups of the 1970s.
        I hate to say it but both June and her sister Jean did NOT age well.
        June was definitely great in her day but now she would only considered to be average.

        • Christopher Nowak

          September 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

          Alice de Buhr (drummer for Fanny) and Jean Millington were two HOT chicks in the 1970s.

    • Plastikfan

      March 16, 2021 at 5:28 pm

      “phallic fretwork and cock-rock grandstanding” is just rude. You can’t define a best of all time guitarist list and exclude the single genre whose raison ‘d’etre is the guitar. Sure, there’s too much ego and grandstanding in rock and metal but that should not detract from the skill level and the song writing ability. Shame on you. Some of best guitarists in the world have big egos, so what, who cares. Its all about entertainment. This is a shoddy list in my opionion, that would be greatly enhanced with the addition of at least 3 female artists from heavy metal (thats not to denigrate the artists you have listed, rather more the list that you have composed with that rather rude initial statement previously quoted).

    • Rich

      March 17, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      +1 on Mary Halvorson and kudos for recognizing Emily Remler. Most egregious omission is Mary Osborne, who unfortunately has few recordings readily available.

  2. Alan O'Kelly

    October 5, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Best female guitarist by a country mile was Susan Tinline of Foxey Lady in the 1970s. She was an amazing rock guitarist who ventured into punk in the late 70s and for a while played with The Alex Harvey Band. She now lives in America.

  3. Stephen Counsel

    October 6, 2018 at 1:50 am

    How does Joan Armatrading NOT make this list? She’s the first British woman to debut a blues album at #1, has a 40-plus year career and has been nominated for multiple Emmy awards? Listen to Into the Blues, which she does ALL string work on and produces to learn what a true virtuoso this woman is!

  4. Steve Guppy

    October 6, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Interesting list, but what happened to Samantha Fish and Debbie Davies? Also seems odd to include Joan Jett and not Lita Ford.Any list with Poison Ivy on it is a good list, though.

    • Southpaw_2020

      September 10, 2019 at 2:36 am

      I googled best female guitarists after just hearing Samantha Fish, because I have never heard any female play the guitar like that. She blows everyone on this list out of the water!

      • Christopher Nowak

        September 29, 2019 at 6:29 pm

        Yes. Samantha is good BUT I do not think that she can compete with TINA S from FRANCE.
        I do not think that anyone can!!!

    • Les.

      March 16, 2021 at 10:06 am

      If anybody is or was lucky enough to see Bonnie Raitt live would concur that she would be pretty well near the
      top of this list.

  5. Bob Merry

    October 7, 2018 at 1:49 am

    You missed Malina Moye who knows Rosetta as well as any shredder on your list.

  6. Dennis E

    October 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Jeff Beck introduced Jennifer Batten to the world, but she couldn’t make this list?

  7. Jim Kieley

    October 7, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    There is an “importance void” in this list left created by NOT including June Millington of Fanny which was an all female rock band that drew attention in the early 1970’s.

    • Linda Schulz

      October 7, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Yes, or April Lawton of Ramatam, Lita Ford of the Runaways, or Britanny Howard of Alabama Shakes


        October 8, 2018 at 2:28 am

        Debbie Davies, Carmen Vandenberg, Rory Block?

    • Christopher Nowak

      September 29, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      As I said before, June would only considered to be average today.

  8. Marc Shackleford

    October 8, 2018 at 4:54 am

    And Ani Difranco no where on this list?!? Criminal…..

  9. Paul Denham

    October 8, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Joanne Shaw-Taylor??? Chantel McGreggor??????

  10. Mike Whitfield

    October 10, 2018 at 5:04 am

    Is this some sort of weird parody list? The first section reads like a declaration of “I LOVE GIMMICKS AND GADGETS” rather than top female guitarists. I mean, I prefer Joan Jett myself but she’s never been half the guitarist Lita Ford was from the Runaways days. And sure, I love Susan Tedeschi, she’s a drop dead gorgeous woman with an incredible voice and tons of soul, but as a guitarist she’s nowhere near the league of a Joanna Connor or Samantha Fish.

  11. steven nover

    October 10, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Ellwn Mcilwaine

  12. David Bosman

    October 31, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    And how about Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman from Warpaint and Anna Calvi?

  13. Pepe

    November 1, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    This list is a joke, a bad one actually.
    Suzi Gardner? Donnita Soarks? Long live L7!

  14. lezzlie

    November 12, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    While I agree that there are some great guitarists among your selection, unless you actually show them playing live then it could be anybody miming to an audio track in a video, hell even I could pose about and pretend to be Orianthi (although I ain’t that good looking) which rather proves my point, videos are all glam and glitter, promotional tools to sell an image, musicians need to be seen live to appreciate their talent.

  15. Cindy

    January 21, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    No Ana Popovic?

    • Edvard

      March 15, 2021 at 8:14 pm

      My vote’s for Ana!

  16. Mark C

    March 8, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Man there’s so many missing from this.

    Melissa Auf Der Maur
    Yvette Young
    Suzanne Vega
    Gabriela Quintero
    Joan Armatrading

    I could go on!

  17. Hugh Middleborough

    March 12, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    This is a popularity list,if your talking top female guitarists where’s Anna Popovic, Mimi Fox, Lita Ford, Gabrella Quevedo, Ani Defarnco, Carol Kaye and by the way… where is Muriel Anderson ?

    • travis

      August 5, 2019 at 7:19 pm

      Right; Mimi Fox is the big gap. IMO, she’s actually better than Joe Pass ever was, which, again IMO, ranks her as one of the top 5 or 10 technical masters of the instument, well above a Tommy Emmanuel, and possibly above a Segovia.

  18. James J. Drumm

    May 14, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    What happened to Sharon Isbin? She’s far too talented to be left off the list.

  19. James

    June 30, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    This should have been a top 50 list. Honestly, Charo could play circles around a lot of the entries on this list.

  20. Russell Alan Forte

    July 18, 2019 at 12:30 am

    If this is supposed to be best female guitar players, then you did not do your homework!

    • Tibor Palatinus

      March 25, 2021 at 10:33 am

      I absolutely agree! Many of them have no place in 25 list! Where is Ana Popovic?

  21. Russell Alan Forte

    July 18, 2019 at 12:40 am

    If you placed sister Rosetta Tharp in the same room with TINA S.She would certainly have a heart attack!

    • Christopher Nowak

      September 29, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Yes. I agree!!!
      TINA S. is an EXCEPTIONAL virtuoso electric guitarist!!!

      • Plastikfan

        March 16, 2021 at 5:48 pm

        You are so right. Tina S is amazing. If she were as good a composer of original material as she is in her skill level of playing, she could arguably be described as the best guitarist of all time, including men.

  22. Will

    August 8, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    As several others have mentioned, how on earth is LITA FORD NOT on this list?

  23. Christopher Nowak

    September 29, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    What about ANN Wilson to go along with Nancy Wilson?
    Ann was a good singer as well as a good guitarist.

  24. Kayla Miguens

    November 14, 2019 at 5:20 am

    how you gonna use korey cooper at the start and not actually add her to the list

  25. Slam

    March 8, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    Nita Strauss?

    Go and watch an Alice Cooper show… She’s electric!

    • Rick Cooper

      November 10, 2020 at 11:50 pm

      Nita Strauss–absolutely belongs on this list!

  26. John

    March 30, 2020 at 2:53 am

    Nice that you mentioned Susan Tedeski. She too often gets overshadowed by her husband….. Ann Wilson should be higher…..You also should mention up and comer Samantha Fish.

  27. Paul

    May 5, 2020 at 8:38 am

    I personally think that Jen Turner is better than any of them that I know- just listen to her guitar work on Natalie Merchant’s Carnival- maybe the best guitar work I’ve heard by anyone ever.

  28. Armindo Moniz

    September 14, 2020 at 5:08 am

    no Charo???

  29. Pete R

    October 20, 2020 at 4:13 am

    Clearly this was a “woke” list. Couldn’t bring yourself to make a white guitarist, Maybelle Carter, #1 as she should be.

    Where’s Gretchen Menn? Louise Post of Veruca Salt is better than some in this list

    Joan Jett is the single most overrated act, male or female. Anyone can play power chords and sing in the same repetitive key.

  30. Pistol

    December 7, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    And… P.J. Harvey

  31. Patrick Vyncke

    March 15, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Laura Cox!!!!!

  32. Dave Samuelson

    March 15, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Gwenifer Raymond, a brilliant Welsh Ph.D. who abandoned a promising career in astrophysics to master and expand upon the style of influential acoustic guitarist John Fahey.

    And have we all forgotten about Jo Anne Kelly, who died tragically young more than three decades ago? I hope not.

  33. Stephen Lamb

    March 16, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Where is Molly Tuttle???

  34. Bert Jansch

    March 16, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Joni Mitchell only ranked 20? Give me a break. She is up there with the very best!

  35. Les

    March 16, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Interesting. Anybody who has seen Bonnie Raitt would concur that she could be considered
    In the list and well up in the order.

  36. Simon

    March 16, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    ” Ivy’s been underground since the loss of her partner Lux, and she’s been missed.” I couldn’t agree more. She’s a huge loss.

  37. Twatbadger

    March 16, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    It’s a good list but needs these 2 I feel..

  38. Rich

    March 17, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Yeah, can quibble about a few omissions (for me, Mary Halvorson, Molly Tuttle and Lita Ford) but hopefully some folks will check out the top five who are all seminal exemplary guitarists regardless of gender.

    But there’s one woman missing that no one has mentioned — and most definitely should have been recognized — the great Mary Osborne. I’m sure a bunch of people might ask “who?” Well she encountered Charlie Christian (who for the really clueless out there can truly claim to be the first electric guitar hero) while still in her teens and was playing with musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Art Tatum and Coleman Hawkins in the 40’s. Go to YouTube to find her 1960 album “A Girl and Her Guitar” and a wonderful video with Mary backing Billie Holiday.

  39. Roger

    March 19, 2021 at 3:51 am

    Who the hell came up the this BS list???
    What a bunch of CRAP!!!

  40. Margot

    March 21, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    Some good choices on this list, but the author of this article appears to have limited knowledge of musical genres and guitar-playing technique. Suzanne Vega and Sharon Isbin are among the very best female guitarists of the past 35 years and clearly belong not only in the top 25, but in the top 10.

  41. Greg Bode

    March 31, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    No Sue Foley?

  42. Bruce Hale

    November 18, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    How about Sheron Alton of the 80’s Canadian rock band TORONTO. Sheron was an amazing guitarist.

  43. Claire

    December 5, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Samantha Fish and Nita Strauss definately need to be on this list ! Maybe Lita Ford also…

  44. Rachel

    December 8, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    Where is Charo????????????

  45. Christian Counterman

    February 28, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    Only about 10 of these ladies deserve to be on this list.

    A little FYI there would definitely be a Ramones without the Runaways. Considering they formed before and released their first album the same year. Yeah, the Runaways were not the Ramones great influence, they weren’t even really punk. they were a pop band. They toured with Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Talking Heads, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers… that’s not punk. They are less punk than Billy Idol in the 80s. And, she is not in the same league as Lita Ford technically or as an influence.

    • Todd Burns

      March 7, 2022 at 11:48 pm

      Thank you for the comment, Christian! I’ve updated the Joan blurb to be more factually accurate re: timing. Appreciate you bringing it up!

  46. pri znr

    May 15, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    one of the most worthless lists i’ve come across. apparently the author doesn’t know what the word “best” means.

  47. Tony

    March 9, 2023 at 11:00 am

    Think you’ve missed the best by a country mile, Zoe Mculloch.

  48. Loren

    March 14, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    How are Lita Ford and Nina Strauss not on the list?

  49. Joschma

    April 7, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    Schon mal was von Donna Grantis gehört!!??
    Dann wird`s aber Zeit!
    Die Auflistung ist im Prinzip Schall und Rauch.

  50. Marcus

    April 10, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    Good overall, but a list without Jen Turner really can’t be taken seriously

  51. TMH

    July 3, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    C’mon! Ruyter Suys from Nashville P****sy is better than anybody on here!

    It’s still a good list.


  52. Steve Fisher

    July 27, 2023 at 10:16 pm

    Mark Knopfler played with a gal in his later live

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