Girls Who Play Bass Guitar: Behind-the-Scenes Stories and Tips!

Welcome to the world of bass guitar, where talented women have been rocking low-end frequencies for decades. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the rich history and incredible impact of female bassists in the music industry.

From breaking gender stereotypes to inspiring a new generation of girls to pick up a bass guitar, these powerhouse musicians continue to make waves in all genres. So let’s explore and celebrate these amazing women who’ve shown that when it comes to laying down smooth grooves or pulsating riffs on the bass guitar, they can do it just as well as their male counterparts – if not better! Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Celebrating Women In The Bass Guitar Industry

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Women have been making waves in the bass guitar industry for decades, breaking down gender barriers and proving that they can rock just as hard as their male counterparts. From Carol Kaye to Esperanza Spalding, there have been countless female bassists who have made significant contributions to music history.

A Historical Overview

The journey of women in the bass guitar industry is an inspiring tale filled with barriers broken, stereotypes smashed, and groundbreaking musicians who changed the game forever. From its early days when a female musician wielding a bass guitar was almost unthinkable to now where some of today’s most talented and impactful bassists are women – it’s a story worth telling.

One significant figure from the past who deserves recognition for her skills on the bass guitar is Carol Kaye. Starting her career back in the 1960s, she became one of the most sought-after session musicians as part of The Wrecking Crew – a collective responsible for creating countless hits that still resonate with audiences today.

As someone who loved legends like Frank Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, and Simon & Garfunkel just to name a few, Kaye paved the way for future generations of female bass players by proving that gender didn’t limit one’s ability to succeed in this field.

While Carol Kaye might have been one of few female names among predominantly male-dominated lists initially, she certainly wasn’t alone. Soon enough other pioneering women joined her ranks like Suzi Quatro or Tina Weymouth (from Talking Heads) contributing vastly different sounds across various genres – pushing boundaries further than ever thought possible. This rich history serves not only as an inspiration but also fuel for aspiring young girls looking to take up their own instruments – proving that they too can become successful musicians while defying conventions along the way!

Women Who Made An Impact In The Industry

1. Carol Kaye – A prolific session bassist, Carol has played on an estimated 10,000 recordings, including hits by the Beach Boys and Frank Zappa. Definitely a woman who rocks the bass guitar.

2. Suzi Quatro – As one of the first female bass guitar players to become a major rock star in the 70s, Suzi Quatro shattered gender stereotypes and inspired countless women to pick up the instrument.

3. Kim Gordon – Co-founder of Sonic Youth and a pioneer for women in alternative rock, Kim continues to make waves with her innovative approach to bass guitar.

4. Tina Weymouth – As a founding member of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, Tina’s driving bass lines have influenced generations of musicians across various genres.

5. Meshell Ndegeocello – With her fusion of funk, jazz, and soul, Meshell stands out as a true innovator and inspiring female bass guitar player.

6. Tal Wilkenfeld – This young Australian prodigy has already made an impact in the industry by playing with legendary musicians like Jeff Beck, Prince, and Herbie Hancock.

7. Gail Ann Dorsey – Known for her long collaboration with David Bowie as well as working with other icons such as Lenny Kravitz and Tears For Fears, Gail is widely celebrated for her contributions to music.

8. Esperanza Spalding – A Grammy-winning artist with a unique blend of jazz, pop and R&B influences on her playing style making her mark in today’s music scene.

9. Rhonda Smith – An essential part of Prince’s New Power Generation band for years; Rhonda also tours with notable artists such as Chaka Khan and Beyoncé showing her versatility in different genres.

10. Ida Nielsen – Another incredible musician handpicked by Prince himself for his backing band; Ida is known for her aggressive slap-bass technique that breaks the bass guitar stereotype.

These women bass guitar players have not only left an indelible mark on the music industry but continue to inspire and pave the way for future female musicians to break barriers and follow their dreams.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes In Music

Breaking gender stereotypes in music has been a continuous journey, particularly when it comes to women bass guitar players. Historically, the music industry was predominantly male-dominated, with few female bassists receiving the recognition they deserved.

However, as more and more talented women took up the instrument and showcased their skills in various genres like rock, jazz, and punk, people began to challenge these outdated notions and celebrate female musicians.

Take Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth or Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads – both exceptional bass players who have made significant impacts on alternative music scenes. They’ve inspired countless young female bassists to follow in their footsteps and keep pushing boundaries.

By excelling at an instrument commonly associated with masculinity – such as the powerful low frequencies that define the sound of many bands – these trailblazing women have continually demonstrated that talent knows no gender. A new generation of girls is now emerging onto the scene with outstanding proficiency on the bass guitar, ready to break even more barriers in years to come.

Today’s budding female musicians can look up to several iconic contemporary bass heroines like Tal Wilkenfeld (who played alongside Jeff Beck), Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie’s longtime collaborator), or Esperanza Spalding (an award-winning jazz artist).

These incredible women continue shattering preconceived notions about what kind of musician should play this essential instrument by gracefully commanding stages worldwide while creating a dynamic impact through their performances.

As we move towards greater inclusivity across all aspects of life – including music education programs for girls interested in learning how to play instruments typically dominated by men—we will see increasingly diverse representation and richer musical landscapes celebrating diversity: women who play bass guitar taking center stage without any stigma attached!

Inspiring Girls To Play Bass Guitar

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Playing bass guitar offers numerous benefits to girls who are interested in music. It can help develop their musical skills, boost their confidence, enhance cognitive abilities, and provide an outlet for self-expression.

With the rise of female bassists in the industry, girls can find inspiration from those who have broken gender stereotypes and carved a path for themselves.

Music education programs and resources specifically aimed at encouraging girls to play bass guitar are also available, along with online communities where they can connect with other aspiring female bassists.

The Benefits Of Playing Bass Guitar

As someone who has been playing bass guitar for years, I can tell you that there are numerous benefits to committing to this amazing instrument. Here are just a few:

1. Improving hand-eye coordination: Playing bass requires a lot of physical movement and it can help develop better hand-eye coordination.

2. Building confidence: Being able to play an instrument well is something that can truly boost your self-esteem and confidence.

3. Relieving stress: Playing music is known to be an effective way of relieving stress and anxiety, and playing bass is no exception.

4. Developing discipline and focus: Consistently practicing and working on improving your skills requires discipline and focus – important qualities that can be applied in other areas of life as well.

5. Meeting new people: Bass guitar players often join bands or jam with others, making it a great way to meet new people who share similar interests.

6. Expanding musical knowledge: Learning how to play the bass opens up doors to learning more about music theory, different genres of music, and other instruments.

7. Feeling a sense of accomplishment: Mastering songs or perfecting techniques on the bass can bring about a great sense of accomplishment that encourages you to keep pushing yourself.

Overall, playing bass guitar is not only fun but has many benefits beyond the skill itself! So why not pick up a bass today?

Music Education Programs And Resources For Girls

As more and more girls take an interest in playing bass guitar, there are many music education programs and resources available to help them get started.

One excellent resource is Girls Rock Camp, a nonprofit organization that provides week-long camps for aspiring female musicians. At Girls Rock Camp, girls can learn to play bass guitar (and drums, keyboard, and other instruments) alongside their peers in a supportive and empowering environment.

Another great resource is online bass guitar tutorials. Websites like offer free lessons on everything from basic techniques to advanced theory concepts. For those who prefer one-on-one instruction, local music schools often have private lessons available with experienced instructors who can tailor the lesson plan specifically for the student’s needs.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube are filled with talented female bassists who share their performances, techniques, and insights into their craft. Following these players can be both inspiring and informative as you begin your own journey towards becoming a skilled bassist yourself.

By taking advantage of these various programs and resources geared towards girls interested in playing bass guitar, you’ll be well on your way to developing the skills necessary to succeed in this exciting field!

Role Models And Female Bassists To Look Up To

When it comes to finding inspiration and role models in the bass guitar industry, there are plenty of talented and badass women to look up to. Here are a few to check out:

1. Tal Wilkenfeld: Tal is a well-known bassist who has played with legendary musicians like Jeff Beck, Prince, and Herbie Hancock. She’s known for her technical skill and innovative playing style.

2. Esperanza Spalding: Esperanza is a jazz bassist, singer, and composer who has won four Grammy Awards for her work. She’s also known for incorporating elements of soul, funk, and Latin music into her sound.

3. Divinity Roxx: Divinity is a bassist, singer, and rapper who has played with Beyoncé and other big-name artists. She’s known for her powerful stage presence and funky playing style.

4. Carol Kaye: Carol is a pioneer in the bass guitar world, having played on countless recordings in the 1960s and 70s. She was part of the famous Wrecking Crew studio musicians and has worked with artists like The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, and Ray Charles.

5. Kim Gordon: Kim is best known as the bassist for Sonic Youth, an alternative rock band that was hugely influential in the 80s and 90s. She’s known for her experimental approach to music and use of distortion on the bass.

These are just a few examples of the many talented women who have made their mark in the bass guitar industry. As you continue your journey as a beginner player, don’t be afraid to seek out inspiration from these incredible musicians!

Tips And Resources For Girls Interested In Playing Bass Guitar

If you’re a girl interested in playing bass guitar, there are plenty of resources and tips available to help you get started. First and foremost, finding the right bass guitar is crucial – look for instruments that fit your size and skill level, and don’t be afraid to try different types until you find one that feels comfortable.

Once you have your instrument, seek out learning resources like online tutorials or music schools that offer lessons specifically for female players. Connecting with other girls who play bass can also be helpful – whether it’s through online communities or local music groups – as they can provide encouragement and support on your journey as a musician.

Finding And Selecting A Bass Guitar

If you’re ready to start playing bass guitar, the first thing you’ll need is a bass guitar! Here are some tips for finding and selecting the right one:

1. Determine your budget: Bass guitars come in a wide range of prices, from around $200 for entry-level instruments to thousands of dollars for top-of-the-line models. Decide how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping.

2. Do your research: Look for reviews and recommendations online or ask other bass players for their opinions. Narrow down your options based on factors like sound quality, playability, and durability.

3. Consider your needs: What type of music will you be playing? Will you be performing live or just practicing at home? These factors can help determine the style and features of the bass guitar that will work best for you.

4. Try before you buy: Whenever possible, go to a music store and play a few different models to see which one feels most comfortable and sounds best to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get advice from the staff.

5. Shop around: Once you’ve decided on a specific model or brand, compare prices at different retailers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Remember, there’s no single “best” bass guitar – what matters most is finding the one that fits your individual needs and preferences. With some research and experimentation, you’ll be well on your way to rocking out on the bass!

Learning Resources And Tutorials

As a beginner in bass guitar, it’s important to have access to learning resources and tutorials that can help you develop your skills. Here are some of my recommendations:

1. Online Bass Guitar Lessons – Websites like TrueFire, Scott’s Bass Lessons, and BassBuzz offer online courses that cover everything from basic techniques to advanced playing styles.

2. YouTube Tutorials – There are countless free bass guitar tutorials available on YouTube that cover a variety of topics, from how to hold the instrument correctly to playing popular songs.

3. Books and Instructional Guides – There are many books and instructional guides available for beginner bass players that provide step-by-step guidance on everything from tuning your instrument to playing different genres of music.

4. Private Lessons – If you prefer one-on-one instruction, consider taking private lessons with a local bass teacher or online instructor.

5. Practice Apps – There are several practice apps available that can help you improve your playing by providing feedback on your timing, pitch, and technique.

Remember, no matter which learning resource you choose, consistent practice is key to becoming a skilled bass player. Keep practicing regularly and don’t give up – with time and patience, you’ll soon be rocking out like the best of them!

Connecting With Other Female Bass Players

As a beginner in the world of bass guitar playing, it can be quite intimidating to start out on your own. That’s why connecting with other female bass players can be incredibly helpful and inspiring. One way to do this is by joining online communities such as Facebook groups or forums where you can chat with other female players, ask for advice, and share your progress.

You can also attend music events or festivals that focus on women in music or bass guitar specifically. These types of events are great opportunities to network with like-minded musicians and learn from others who have more experience than you do. You might even meet some of your favorite female bassists at these events!

Finally, consider taking lessons from a female bass teacher. This will not only give you an opportunity to connect with someone who shares your passion but also provide a safe space where you feel comfortable learning and growing as a player. By connecting with other women who play bass guitar, you’ll be able to find support, encouragement, and inspiration along the way.


In conclusion, girls who play bass guitar are changing the game in the music industry. From pioneers like Carol Kaye to modern-day trailblazers like Thundercat’s Rebekah Raff and Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr, women have been making their mark on this instrument for decades.

By breaking through gender stereotypes and inspiring new generations of female musicians, these talented bassists are proving that there is no limit to what we can achieve. So if you’re a girl interested in playing bass guitar, don’t be afraid to take that first step.

With access to great learning resources and role models all around us, the sky truly is the limit. Who knows? You may just become one of those incredible women who rock the bass guitar!


1. Can girls really play bass guitar as well as boys?

Yes, absolutely! Gender does not determine a person’s ability to play an instrument, and there are many talented female bass players in the music industry.

2. Who are some famous female bass guitarists?

Some notable female bass guitarists include Tal Wilkenfeld, Esperanza Spalding, Carol Kaye, Kim Gordon, and Suzi Quatro.

3. How can I get started playing bass guitar?

To begin playing bass guitar, you will need to purchase or borrow an instrument and amplifier. There are also many online resources available for beginners such as instructional videos and tutorials.

4. Are there any specific challenges that girls face when learning to play bass guitar?

While gender is not a direct factor in learning an instrument, some girls may feel discouraged or intimidated by the lack of representation of females in certain musical genres or within the industry itself. However, it’s important to remember that with dedication and practice anyone can learn to play any instrument regardless of their gender identity.

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