Striking the Right Chords: Female Guitar Players in Rock


The rock ‘n roll genre has been synonymous with rebellion, power, and passion. But who said it’s only the men who are leading this revolution?

In this article we’ll explore the role of female guitarists in the rock industry.

The Paradigm Shift: Female Guitar Players in Rock Statistics

For decades, rock ‘n roll has been perceived as a boys’ club, but that’s rapidly changing. The surge in the number of female guitarists in rock is not just a ripple, but a monumental wave shaking the very foundation of the genre.

According to a 2019 Fender survey, 50% of new guitar buyers in the U.S. and UK are women. Let’s analyze these numbers and more to comprehend their widespread influence.


Epicenter of the Revolution: The US and UK

These countries have always been the breeding ground for rock music. Statistics show that a significant proportion of female rock guitarists hail from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Rise in Female Guitar Purchases

The boom in the number of women buying guitars can be linked directly to the increasing number of female guitarists in rock. Fender’s report states that women now account for half of the new guitar purchases, a massive leap from the earlier 20%.

Impact on Guitar Sales

The increase in female guitarists has had a domino effect, leading to a surge in guitar sales. Fender, Gibson, and other major brands report seeing a consistent increase in sales over the past decade, thanks to this emerging demographic.

From Joan Jett to St. Vincent, they have inspired millions to pick up the guitar and create their own rock symphonies.

Music Schools and Female Students

The rise in female rock guitarists is mirrored in music schools and institutions across the globe, where female enrollment has seen a significant boost. Schools like Berklee College of Music and The Juilliard School report a substantial increase in the number of female students in their guitar programs.

Electric guitar player

In-depth Profiles: Trailblazing Female Rock Guitarists

Joan Jett

Her powerful riffs with The Runaways and The Blackhearts set the stage for women in rock, making her one of the most influential guitarists of the genre.

Lita Ford

As a former member of The Runaways and a successful solo artist, Lita Ford’s guitar skills have left an indelible mark on the rock music scene.

Jennifer Batten

Batten is known for her spectacular solos and innovative techniques, and her role as lead guitarist for Michael Jackson’s tours has solidified her place in rock music history.

Nancy Wilson

A prominent member of the rock band Heart, Wilson’s unique style and intricate melodies have inspired a new generation of female rock guitarists.


This Australian-born guitarist has shared the stage with legends such as Michael Jackson and Alice Cooper, proving that women have the prowess to rock just as hard as men.

St. Vincent

A visionary in the realm of rock music, St. Vincent’s guitar playing defies conventions, combining rock, pop, and electronic music in a style uniquely her own.

Challenges Faced by Female Rock Guitarists

Despite their significant contributions, female rock guitarists still face numerous challenges in the industry.

Gender Bias in the Rock Music Industry

From lack of recognition to underrepresentation at music awards, gender bias remains a significant hurdle for female guitarists in rock.

Pay Inequality

Statistics reveal a stark wage gap between male and female rock guitarists. The difference is significant, particularly at high-profile concerts and festivals.

Lack of Role Models

With fewer women in the rock music scene, aspiring female guitarists have fewer role models to look up to. However, this is changing, as more women continue to break into the genre.

Guitar player

Empowering the Future: Changing Trends and Projections

Change is in the air, and the future of rock music seems to be swinging in favor of the ladies. Let’s take a glimpse at how the trends are changing and what the future holds for female guitar players in rock.

Increasing Female Representation

Music festivals and award shows are gradually seeing more representation of female guitarists. Festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella have made efforts to increase the number of female performers.

Women-Only Music Schools

Some institutions are encouraging more women to step into the world of rock by establishing women-only music schools and programs.

Positive Projections

As per various reports and industry insiders, the next decade could see an explosion in the number of female guitarists in rock music, given the current trends.


The narrative of rock ‘n roll is being rewritten, and female guitar players are at the helm of this change. From Joan Jett’s rebellious riffs to St. Vincent’s genre-defying melodies, the world of rock music is experiencing a transformation.

Despite the obstacles, female guitar players are turning the tide, creating a more inclusive, diverse, and vibrant landscape. And if the current statistics are anything to go by, this is just the beginning.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who are some notable female guitar players in rock? Some influential female rock guitarists include Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Jennifer Batten, Nancy Wilson, Orianthi, and St. Vincent.
  2. What is the significance of Female Guitar Players in Rock Statistics? These statistics reveal the increasing influence and representation of female guitarists in the rock genre, breaking gender norms, and influencing industry trends.
  3. How have female guitar players impacted the rock industry? Female guitar players have significantly impacted the rock genre, inspiring more women to take up the guitar and contributing to a more balanced gender representation in the music industry.
  4. What are some challenges faced by female guitar players in rock? Female rock guitarists face issues like gender bias, pay inequality, and a lack of representation. However, these issues are slowly being addressed.
  5. Are there more female guitar players in rock now than before? Yes, the number of female guitarists in rock music is steadily increasing. This is reflected in rising female guitar sales and increased female enrollment in music schools.
  6. What is the future of female guitar players in rock? With increasing representation, initiatives for empowerment, and positive industry projections, the future for female guitar players in rock music appears promising.
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