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Top 5 Female Bassists in Rock


Rock is very much a male dominated music genre, yet that doesn’t mean there aren’t equally talented females involved in making rock music. Here are some of the best and most influential female bassists, in no particular order:

Melissa auf der Maur – Smashing Pumpkins, Hole and Auf der Maur

From Montreal, Canada, Melissa began her musical career playing with alternative rock band Tinker while still at university. She later joined Hole, the band of rock legend Courtney Love, with whom is performed for many years. Arguably the highlight of Maur’s time with Hole is her performance on the bands most successful album, Celebrity Skin, released in 1998.

Maur briefly joined the Smashing Pumpkins, though never appeared on any of their records. In 2004 she released her first solo album, which featured her playing bass and doing vocals. Her second solo album was released in 2010 through her own independent record label.


Jennifer Finch – L7

In a strange twist of fate, Finch began her career as a bassist in the band Sugar Baby Doll in San Francisco, which happened to include Courtney Love (Hole) and Kat Bjelland (Babes in Toyland). Nothing came of this initial effort and Finch left for Los Angeles where she joined L7.

Finch played bass and vocals for L7 throughout the 90’s and also appeared in a music video for Hole, leading some to claim her to be a member of the band. However, this was never the case.


Kim Deal – The Pixies, The Breeders

Though actually a guitarist at the time, Deal joined the Pixies in 1986, auditioning with her sister’s bass. She went on to play on each of the bands studio albums and became integral in the production of the Pixies unique sound.

After the Pixies went on indefinite hiatus Deal started the band The Breeders, at which point she left the bass behind and returned to her origins playing rhythm guitar. Not until 2004, when the Pixies reunited for a North American tour did Deal pick up the bass once more.


Kim Gordon – Sonic Youth

Gordon made her mark in music as the bassists, guitarist and vocalist of alternative rock band Sonic Youth. The band was hugely influential, inspiring generations of indie rockers. The band toured with other alternative rock legends including Nirvana, Babes in Toyland, Dinosaur Jr. and Mudhoney.

Not only a musician, Gordon also tried her hand at producing. Her first production project happened to be Hole’s first album Pretty on the Inside, released in 1991.


Kira Roessler – Black Flag

As part of Black Flag through its most successful period, Roessler was easily the best bassist the band ever had. A sophisticated musician with the ability to play heavily enough for Black Flags hardcore punk sound.

Roessler was studying applied engineering at UCLA in Los Angeles when asked to join Black Flag. As such all Black Flag tours were organised around her study schedule until she left the band in 1985.


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