By Andrew Catania
There are so many talented female guitarists out there it was hard to choose the top 10. I watched countless hours of YouTube videos, watching these ladies tone, technique, skill, and playing. This is my top ten female shredders. Most of these ladies are more than just shredders. They’re overall extremely talented guitarists that can play any genre!
Gretchen Menn. Gretchen tops this list for her incredible talent. Gretchen has a beautiful feel for the instrument. Her cover of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli’s “Minor Swing” is out of this world. She uses her guitar talents on a daily basis practicing her favorite artists. Gretchen held a BA in Music and studied classical guitar and composition. She’s a talented player in Zepparella. She released her first solo album in 2011 titled “Hale Souls.” Her 2016 release, “Abandon All Hope,” is phenomenal. Gretchen can shred and play any other genre with ease. She has performed with some of the all-time greats in her career.
Nili Brosh. Nili has a sound technique. Playing with the likes of Tony MacAlpine, Nili has to be an excellent player. Born in Boston. MA she studied music at Berklee College of Music. She has self-released an album in 2010 “Through The Looking Glass” an instrumental album. In 2011 she joined the metal band Seven the Hardway. In 2013 she joined the Ethan Brosh band as the second guitarist, August 2012 she joined Tony MacAlpine for the Maximum Security tour. Nili also released her latest record, A Matter of Perception in 2014.
Alexandra Zerner. Bulgarian guitarist who is a session musician, sound engineer, composer and teacher. She is a solo artist and the lead in Another Destiny Project since Sept 2014. In 2016 she started playing with “Vivaldi Metal Project.” She is also ranked in the top 15 guitar shredders by Metalholic.com.
Tina S. 17-year-old French guitarist is into heavy metal, and her latest exhibition is shredding “Beethoven’s Midnight Sonata” She has done previous videos of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets,” Jason Becker’s “Altitudes” and Dragon Force Z’s. Tina has a bright future ahead of her where I hope we can hear some original material from her.
Nikki Stringfield. Strings are the other 1/2 of the female tribute band The Iron Maidens. Schecter Guitars endorse this college educated Texas native. Like Courtney, Strings can tear down the house with her playing. I’m hopeful Strings can get out of the shadow of tribute bands and start recording original material.
Jennifer Batten. Jennifer was hired by Michael Jackson in 1987. She was a guitarist for his upcoming tour “Bad” she worked with him for 18 months, then off and on through the years. In 1998, she joined Jeff Beck’s backing band. Staying with Beck, she has played on 1999’s “Who Else!” And 2001’s” You Had It Coming” albums and several tours. Jennifer continues to dominate the fretboard and tour with the likes of Uli Jon Roth and Andy Timmons.
Orianthi. This Australian born female guitarist has plenty to her credit. Her music has been on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and other shows where her guitar can be heard. She was the last guitarist to work with Michael Jackson on the “This Is It” production. She’s currently working with Ritchie Sambora.
Lita Ford English-born American, she was a guitarist/vocalist with “The Runaways” in the late 70s. She embarked on a solo career in the 80s to 1985 that debuted with a solo album “Out For Blood” in 1983 and then a second in 1984 “Dancin on the Edge” her solo efforts gained moderate success. She had done songs with Ozzie Osbourne and went on hiatus when she moved to the islands with her then-husband, Jim Gillette. Lita came back and has released solo releases lately that have been produced by Gary Hoey.
Sarah Longfield is a guitarist from Madison WI. She plays various musical styles from progressive to experimental sounds. The band she plays with is called The Fine Constant. She composes, records, and mixes her music for the band and her solo endeavors.
Please check out each guitarist’s respective websites: