Best Female Bass Players

25 Best Female Bass Players Of All Time

Time to give a huge shoutout to the women who’ve been rocking the bass world.

So, let’s dive into the realm of female bassists who’ve shattered stereotypes and given us so many iconic low-end lines:

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.