International Women’s Day: Top 5 Women Who Shred

by Frederik Nielsen, Mar 8, 2020 . 4 min read

International Women’s Day: Top 5 Women Who Shred

Although women by no means are under-represented in the music industry, female instrumentalists are not quite as common as we’d like them to be – particularly when it comes to rock and metal.

We can only speculate on the reasons for this lack of female representation in the world of shredding, but my money is on the shadowy cabal commonly referred to as The Patriarchy.

However, real talent always shines. No one can deny that some of the best guitarists in the world are female.

Since it’s International Women’s Day, what better opportunity is there to highlight some rock’n’rolling femme fatales?

Jennifer Batten

There are many reasons to love Jennifer Batten, and one of the reasons I like her is our shared interest in Steampunk art. Oh yeah, and she’s been Michael Jackson’s lead guitarist for ten years and toured the world with him three times. In addition, her impressive CV, which includes playing with Jeff Beck, is too long to list here, but it includes three solo albums, two books and three DVDs. Check her out live in the video below, and if you like what you hear – let her teach you the tricks:

Orianthi

Like Jennifer Batten, Orianthi was supposed to tour with Michael Jackson as the lead guitarist for “the greatest tour that never happened”. The unfortunate events that put a stop to the tour did not stop Orianthi: she went on to tour with Alice Cooper. Notable achievements include performing at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Music Festival, releasing three solo albums and garnering a string of awards for her musicianship. Check her outperforming here with Steve Vai:

Nita Strauss

When it became time for Orianthi to part ways with Alice Cooper, The Iron Maidens’ Nita Strauss was ready to fill the void left behind by her – a position she’s maintained until the time of this writing. Ms. Strauss has music running through her veins, being the descendant of the great Johann Strauss II. Guitar World has labelled her one of the best guitarists you should know, and it would seem like she is still just at the beginning of her stardom.

Joan Jett

My neighbours are no strangers to “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” and “Bad Reputation” – whether they like it or not. Credits for those two hits go to Joan Jett, previous frontwoman for all-female glam-rock band The Runaways and subsequently Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Her career has earned her a well-deserved spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and she has not slowed down on rocking out since her early beginnings. Check her out live in the video below:

Lita Ford

Joan Jett wasn’t the only one wielding an axe in The Runaways. Lita Ford’s powerful licks became part of the band’s signature sound. After their breakup, Lita spent fifteen years as a solo artist, recorded five studio albums and collaborated with none other than Ozzy Osbourne. After a hiatus taken to raise her family, she re-emerged with new material in 2008. This quote says it all: “I just wanted to kick ass! I don’t know what’s popular, or the flavor of the day. I just wanted the music to rock! The lyrics are very personal and that’s it. I wasn’t going to come out in sandals with hairy armpits!”

Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments below.



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Multitasking. For some people, doing more than one thing on an expert level is nothing more than a myth. However, multitasking does exist, although you need hours and hours of practice to become good at it.

Frederik Nielsen
Mar 16, 2020 . 3 min read

A list of musicians who died before the age of 30 would be too long to write. Even going through all of the members of the infamous “27 Club” would take ages.

Frederik Nielsen
Mar 4, 2020 . 3 min read

While most people are not sure if they have one genuine talent, some people are much luckier. 

Tamara Habchi
Mar 3, 2020 . 4 min read

In most cases, parents are proud when their kids reach a developmental milestone ahead of their peers.

Tamara Habchi
Mar 2, 2020 . 4 min read

There are enough obstacles to making it in the music industry. Succeeding with a disability is nothing short of a miracle. But it’s not impossible.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 25, 2020 . 4 min read

People who speak more than one language are impressive to all of us. And musicians that play more than one instrument are even more impressive.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 25, 2020 . 4 min read

Despite what many people will tell you, you can earn more than decent money as a relatively unknown, professional guitarist. There are many ways to make money:

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 24, 2020 . 3 min read

Music magazines weren’t so kind to electric guitars over the past decade. Sales were down and it seemed like the guitar market would never recover.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 18, 2020 . 4 min read

When you think of the ukulele, you probably think about a tropical, Hawaiian beach with lots of sunlight. But people from all over the world have fallen in love with ukulele.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 18, 2020 . 5 min read

The second month of the year comes with a lot of celebrations. We have the Presidents’ Day, there’s also Valentine’s Day, plus all of the birthdays of amazing people we look up to.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 17, 2020 . 3 min read

We’ve rounded up the most expensive guitars in history. Part of their value lies in the fact that they were used by some of the most famous rockstars around.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 14, 2020 . 3 min read

Guitars come in all sizes and shapes, but they’re all equally beautiful. That said, it helps to know the difference between them if you’re looking for your next instrument.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 10, 2020 . 3 min read

So you’ve been splashing the cash at the local music store and want to know how to set up a new guitar? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 10, 2020 . 3 min read

There has been a lot of talk about the death of rock music. Maybe you’ve heard it too and begun to wonder if it’s time to hang up your Fender for good.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 3, 2020 . 3 min read

How many times have you found out someone has tickets to a concert that you’ve always wanted to go to. You go to book and find out it’s too late – you’ve missed your chance! 

Tamara Habchi
Jan 31, 2020 . 3 min read

A while back I wrote a blog post about songwriting habits. Most of what I found during my research

Frederik Nielsen
Jan 28, 2020 . 4 min read

New year, New reviews? But wait, before we officially welcome 2020, let’s look back at some of our favorite reviews of 2019.

Tamara Habchi
Jan 8, 2020 . 4 min read

The term guitar tunings may refer to pitch sets other than standard tuning, also called nonstandard, alternative, or alternate.

Alain Abou Atmeh
Jan 6, 2020 . 5 min read

In this edition of Roadie Spotlight, we’re checking out the Japanese guitar virtuoso ichika [sic] who has taken the Internet by storm with his amazing skills.

Frederik Nielsen
Dec 31, 2019 . 3 min read

Nothing says Christmas like a screeching guitar solo. Christmas Hits CDs are flying off shelves at this time of year. But, spare a thought for your heavy metal

Alec Plowman
Dec 25, 2019 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!