100 Greatest Female Bassists

The thumping bass parts accentuate a song to a new level. While bass players may not hog the limelight in a band, they are the crusaders of laying the foundation of song structure along with the drummer. This article is an ode to the best female bassists.

The rich tone of bass parts adds textural fragrance to a song taking it musically forward. While the bass guitar is not a very popular musical instrument, it is the most important musical instrument in context to giving structure to songs. The bass parts in unison with the kick drum patterns of the drummer weave the shape and structure of sound. Bassists are the torch bearers of timing in a band. Let’s put it this way… Without a good bassist a band just cannot sound good.

It’s the bassist that binds the sound of the band giving it a strong musical

foundation. The bassist forms the groove in a beat thereby helping other instrumentalists in a band flourish with their musical explorations. Since music came into being female musicians have inspired and influenced. While many women in music have taken up to playing the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboard/piano and drums, very few female musicians have made the bass guitar their signature instrument. However, in the recent past the army of female bassists is growing, and that’s definitely a sign of great sounds for the future.

In recent decades, female bass players have been contributing significantly in various music genres. A number of female bassists are working as sessions musicians. Female bassists that have emerged in recent times have floored guitar music fans with their technical skills. The new wave of female bass players has showcased exemplary slap techniques in the realms of music. Furthermore, the number of female guitar players with an unconventional playing technique has gone up significantly, thereby bringing new bass explorations in mainstream genres.

Not many female bassists have earned the success they have deserved. A number of female bassists in the 60s and 70s did not earn the recognition for their skill at the instrument. While the 80s and 90s did showcase female bassists in new light, it’s only since the year 2000, female bassists have started earning accolades from music critics. While, a strong number of female bassists are underrated, their cult following has become epic in every sense.

Rich textural bass parts with a warm fuzzy sound are popular. However, sound is a personal thing, and every bassist has her little secrets about extracting warmth from bass notes. Bass slap techniques are exceedingly popular in jazz, funk, and the jazz fusion genre. Many female rock bassists have creatively used slap techniques adding vividness and character to compositions. Some of the intricacies in harmonic scales used by female bass players have made jaws drop, and this definitely is just the beginning…the years ahead will witness female guitar players taking technique to a new level.

The space below is a tribute to the best female bassists. It brings to life a diverse list of female guitar players from various genres.

100 Greatest Female Bassists

  1. Carol Kaye- Jazz (Solo/Sessions Musician)
  2. Tal Wilkenfeld- Rock/Jazz (Solo/Sessions Musician)
  3. Esperanza Spalding- Jazz (Solo/Sessions Musician)
  4. Rhonda Smith- Rock/Jazz (Prince/Sessions Musician)
  5. Meshell Ndegeocello- Jazz/Funk/Soul (Solo/Sessions Musician)
  6. Gail Ann Dorsey- Rock/Funk (David Bowie/Sessions Musician)
  7. Mohini Dey- Jazz/Funk ( Solo/Sessions Musician)
  8. Sean Yseult- Heavy Metal/Alternative Metal (White Zombie)
  9. Kim Gordan- Alternative Rock (Sonic Youth)
  10. Brandi Disterheft- Jazz (Solo)
  11. Melissa Auf de Maur- Alternative Rock (Hole)
  12. Kim Deal- Alternative Rock (Pixies)
  13. Tina Weymouth- Art Rock/New Wave (Talking Heads)
  14. Suzi Quatro- Rock (Solo)
  15. Aimee Mann- Rock/Alternative Rock (‘Til Tuesday)
  16. Ginger Pooley- Alternative Rock (The Smashing Pumpkins)
  17. Kira Roessler- Punk Rock (Black Flag)
  18. Sara Lee- Alternative Rock (Gang of Four)
  19. Paz Lenchantin- Alternative Rock (Pixies)
  20. Jennifer Finch- Punk Rock/Alternative Rock (L7)
  21. Debbie Googe- Alternative Rock (My Bloody Valentine/Primal Scream)
  22. Michie Nakatani- Alternative Rock (Shonen Knife)
  23. Juliana Hatfield- Alternative Rock (Blake Babies/The Lemonheads)
  24. D’arcy Wretzky- Alternative Rock (The Smashing Pumpkins)
  25. Gail Greenwood- Alternative Metal (Belly/L7)
  26. Catherine Popper- Rock (Ryan Adams and the Cardinals)
  27. Kathy Foster- Punk Rock/Alternative Rock (The Thermals)
  28. Jackie Foxx- Rock (The Runaways)
  29. Kathy Valentine- Rock (The Go-Go’s)
  30. Kristen Pfaff- Alternative Rock (Hole)
  31. Laura Ballance- Rock (Superchunk)
  32. Janice Marie Johnson- Soul/R&B (A Taste of Honey)
  33. Ida Kristine Nielsen- Funk/Rock (Solo/Sessions Musician)
  34. Tracy Wormworth- Rock (Solo/Sessions Musician)
  35. Jeanne Sagan- Heavy Metal (Crossing Rubicon)
  36. Jenny Lee Lindberg- Indie Rock (Warpaint)
  37. Atsuko Yamono- Rock (Shonen Knife)
  38. Michael Steele- Rock (The Bangles/The Runaways)
  39. Patricia Morrrison- Rock/Punk Rock (Bags, Sisters of Mercy, Bags)
  40. Nicole Fiorentino-
    Alternative Rock (The Smashing Pumpkins)
  41. Este Haim- Rock (Solo)
  42. Britta Phillips- Rock (Luna/Dean&Britta)
  43. Maya Ford- Rock (The Donnas)
  44. Mai Agan- Jazz/Jazz Fusion (Solo/Sessions Musician)
  45. Gina Birch- Rock/Punk Rock (The Raincoats)
  46. Trish Doan- Alternative Rock (Kittie)
  47. Maureen Herman- Alternative Rock (Babes In Toyland)
  48. Joanna Bolme- Indie Rock (Sessions Musician)
  49. Shauna Reynolds- Rock/Heavy Metal (White Zombie)
  50. Ivy Jenkins- Heavy Metal (KIttie)
  51. Anna Sentina- Hard Rock/Rock (Sessions Musician)
  52. Theresa Flaminio- Soul/R&B (Sessions Musician)
  53. Josephine Wiggs- Alternative Rock/Rock (The Breeders/The Perfect Disaster)
  54. Divinity Roxx- Blues/Funk/Soul (Solo)
  55. Tessa Pollitt- Punk Rock (The Slits)
  56. Eva Gardner- Rock/Progressive Rock (Sessions Musician)
  57. Robin Moulder- Rock/Heavy Metal (Jack Off Jill)
  58. Stephanie Ashworth- Rock (Something For Kate)
  59. Share Pederson- Rock (Vixen)
  60. Butterfly Boucher- Rock (Sessions Musician)
  61. Gaye Advert- Punk Rock (The Adverts)
  62. Shanne Bradley- Punk Rock (The Nipple Erectors)
  63. Ida Evileye- Rock/Heavy Metal (Solo)
  64. Leah Randi- Alternative Rock (Sessions Musician)
  65. Kimberly Dahme- Rock (Boston)
  66. Sandy Home- New Wave (Spoons)
  67. Alla Fedynitch- Heavy Metal (Eyes of Eden)
  68. Shingai Shoniwa- Indie Rock (Noisettes)
  69. Camila Grey- Rock (Mellowdrone)
  70. Pia Maiocco- Rock (Vixen)
  71. Marya Roxx- Rock (Vanilla Ninga)
  72. Lori Black- Rock (Melvins)
  73. Donna Dresch- Rock (Team Dresch)
  74. Marjolein Kooijman- Rock (The Gathering)
  75. Kathi Wilcox- Alternative (The Julie Ruin)
  76. Rachel Haden- Rock (That Dog)
  77. Beverly Breckenridge- Rock/Punk Rock (Fifth Column)
  78. Tish Ciravolo- Rock (Rag Dolls)
  79. Joyce Irby- R&B (Klymaxx)
  80. Regina Zernay Roberts- Rock/Punk Rock (Scarlet Fever)
  81. Jennifer Arroyo- Rock (Kittie)
  82. Clare Kenny- (Sessions Musician)
  83. Stefanie Drootin- Rock (The Good Life)
  84. Michelle Mae- Rock N’ Roll (The Make-Up)
  85. Nadja Peulen- Heavy Metal (Cola Chamber)
  86. Jo Bench- Heavy Metal (Bolt Thrower)
  87. Misia Furtak- Rock (Tres b)
  88. Debbie Smith- Alternative Rock (Echobelly)
  89. Iracema Trevisan- Indie Rock (CSS)
  90. Tomomi Ogawa- Rock (Scandal)
  91. Sheila Chipperfield- Rock (Elastica)
  92. Abby Travis- Rock (Sessions Musician)
  93. Melanie Sisneros- Rock/Heavy Metal (Crescent Shield)
  94. Johnette Napolitano- Alternative Rock (Concrete Blonde)
  95. Molly McGuire- Rock (Sessions Musician)
  96. Wanda Ortiz- Heavy Metal (The Iron Maidens)
  97. Jody Bleyle- Rock (Hazel)
  98. Annie Holland- Rock (Elastica)
  99. Debra Killings- R&B/Soul (Sessions Musician)
  100. Kim Warnick- Rock (The Fastbacks)

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