25 Best Female Bass Guitarists Of All Time: Ladies Who Bring The Low-End Thunder
Time to give a huge shoutout to the women who’ve been rocking the bass world. While many times the spotlight is hogged by their six-stringed counterparts, let’s not forget that it’s the bass that gives any band its groove and soul. So, let’s dive deep into the realm of female bassists who’ve shattered stereotypes and given us so many iconic low-end lines!
Lady Bass List
1. Carol Kaye
Dubbed the “First Lady of Bass,” Carol Kaye is a session musician legend. Having recorded with the Beach Boys, Ray Charles, and Simon & Garfunkel, among many others, she’s estimated to have played on over 10,000 recordings!
2. Esperanza Spalding
Jazz, pop, funk – you name it, Esperanza has it covered. A Grammy winner and a phenomenal double bass and bass guitar player, her virtuosity is genuinely spellbinding.
3. Kim Gordon
Sonic Youth’s co-founder and bassist, Kim Gordon, not only brought a unique style to the alternative rock scene but also became an emblem of indie cool throughout the ’80s and ’90s.
4. Meshell Ndegeocello
Meshell’s R&B and funk grooves have earned her ten Grammy nominations. Her artistry stretches beyond just bass playing; she’s also a singer-songwriter and rapper.
5. Suzi Quatro
Pioneer of female rock musicians, Suzi Quatro, burst onto the scene in the ’70s and proved that women could rock just as hard, if not harder, than the guys. Leather jumpsuits and a bass guitar? Iconic.
6. Gail Ann Dorsey
Gail’s collaboration with David Bowie, especially her bass lines and vocal duets on songs like “Under Pressure,” cements her spot on this list. She’s also played with Tears For Fears, Lenny Kravitz, and many more.
7. Tal Wilkenfeld
Australian-born Tal started making waves in the music industry at a young age. Her work with legends like Jeff Beck and Prince showcases her intricate style and musical maturity.
8. Tina Weymouth
As a founding member of Talking Heads, Tina’s minimalist bass lines on hits like “Psycho Killer” have made her a post-punk legend. Plus, her work with Tom Tom Club? Fire.
9. Rhonda Smith
Rhonda’s funk and jazz-infused style has made her a sought-after musician. Collaborations? How about Prince and Jeff Beck for starters?
10. Mohini Dey
A prodigious talent from India, Mohini has been making waves on the international stage, showcasing her stunning bass chops alongside guitar virtuosos like Steve Vai.
11. Yolanda Charles
With a CV boasting names like Paul Weller, Robbie Williams, and BB King, Yolanda’s groovy bass lines and impeccable pocket playing make her one of the best in the biz.
12. Aimee Mann
From her days with ‘Til Tuesday to her successful solo career, Aimee’s songwriting prowess and melodic bass lines showcase her depth as a musician.
13. Paz Lenchantin
Having played with bands like A Perfect Circle, Zwan, and now a member of the Pixies, Paz brings both technical skill and a unique flair to her bass lines.
14. Sean Yseult
With a background in design and a penchant for horror, Sean co-founded White Zombie and delivered heavy bass lines that powered their groove-laden metal. A multi-talented artist, she’s also showcased her skills in photography and design.
15. Ida Nielsen
Danish bassist Ida Nielsen was handpicked by Prince himself to be part of his rhythm section. From funk grooves to searing solos, Ida brings the heat every time she hits the stage.
16. Jenny Lee Lindberg
As the bassist for indie rock band Warpaint, Jenny’s hypnotic grooves are a cornerstone of the band’s dreamy, atmospheric sound. Her solo project as “jennylee” further showcases her eclectic musical tastes.
17. Divinity Roxx
Having toured with both Beyoncé and Victor Wooten, Divinity Roxx flawlessly fuses hip-hop with jaw-dropping bass techniques. Her live performances? Pure energy!
18. Melissa Auf der Maur
From Hole to The Smashing Pumpkins, Melissa’s powerful bass playing has complemented some of rock’s biggest acts. She’s also ventured into solo projects, displaying her prowess as both a musician and a songwriter.
19. Nicole Fiorentino
A member of The Smashing Pumpkins and an accomplished bassist in her own right, Nicole’s melodic approach adds a beautiful layer to any track she’s part of.
20. Nicky Wire
The Manic Street Preachers’ lyricist and bassist, Nicky Wire, combines punk attitude with melodic sensibilities, making him a standout in the world of rock bassists.
21. Kira Roessler
Kira’s time with the hardcore punk band Black Flag showcased her aggressive yet articulate style. Post-Black Flag, her work has ranged from film sound editing to other musical collaborations, proving her wide range of talents.
22. Kim Deal
The iconic bass lines of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” Yep, that’s Kim Deal for you! She’s not just a fantastic bassist but also a brilliant songwriter, as further evidenced by her work with The Breeders.
23. Shonna Tucker
Formerly of the Drive-By Truckers, Shonna’s Southern rock roots combined with her melodic approach make her one of the most recognizable bassists in the alt-country world.
24. Catherine Popper
Having played with Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Grace Potter, and even Jack White, Catherine’s vast range of styles and her impeccable groove have made her an in-demand session and touring bassist.
25. Brittany Howard
While mainly known as the lead vocalist and guitarist for Alabama Shakes, Brittany has often shown her multi-instrumental prowess, including laying down some thick bass lines.
So there you have it – a whirlwind tour of the world of female bassists, each with their unique flavor and style. Whether it’s jazz, punk, rock, or funk, these women have laid down the foundation for some of the most iconic songs and performances. And remember, in the world of music, it’s always essential to appreciate the backbone – the bass! Keep those grooves coming and ears open for the next bass line that makes your heart thump. Rock on!