10 Trailblazing Women Country Guitar Music

Photo of author

Country music has long been a genre dominated by men, but that has not stopped countless women from picking up guitars and making their mark on the industry. These trailblazing women have not only paved the way for future generations of female country guitarists, but they have also created some of the most memorable and enduring music in the genre’s history. In this article, we will take a look at 10 of these groundbreaking women and the contributions they have made to country guitar music.

Maybelle Carter

Often referred to as the “Mother of Country Guitar,” Maybelle Carter was a founding member of the legendary Carter Family, one of the most influential groups in the history of country music. Maybelle’s distinctive guitar style, which featured a unique “scratch” rhythm, helped to define the sound of country music in its early days.

Chet Atkins

While Chet Atkins is often thought of as a guitarist in the country and rockabilly genres, he was also a major influence on the development of the country guitar style. Atkins’ fingerstyle technique, which involved using all four fingers to pluck the strings, was a significant departure from the traditional flatpicking style of country guitar.

Minnie Pearl

Minnie Pearl, whose real name was Sarah Colley, was a country singer and comedian who was known for her trademark straw hat and price tag hanging off the brim. Pearl was a regular on the Grand Ole Opry for many years and was one of the first women to achieve success as a country comedian.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn, known as the “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” was a pioneering country singer and songwriter who wrote about her experiences as a woman in rural America. Lynn’s guitar playing was an integral part of her sound, and she often played her own rhythm parts on her records.

Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who has had a long and successful career in the blues and rock genres, but she has also made significant contributions to country guitar music. Raitt’s slide guitar playing, which is heavily influenced by the blues, has been a major influence on many country guitarists.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is a country music legend who has had a successful career as a singer, songwriter, and actress. Parton’s guitar playing is often overshadowed by her other talents, but she is a skilled guitarist who has written many of her own hits.

Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris is a country singer and songwriter who has had a long and successful career in the genre. Harris is known for her clear, crystalline voice, but she is also a talented guitarist who has played on many of her own records.

Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash is the daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash, but she has made a name for herself as a talented singer and songwriter in her own right. Cash’s guitar playing is influenced by a variety of genres, including country, rock, and folk.

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who has had a long and successful career in the Americana and country genres. Williams’ guitar playing is known for its raw, emotive style, which is heavily influenced by the blues.

Interested in the evolution of women in country guitar music? Explore the history and impact of female guitarists in country music with articles on acoustic country women guitar evolution and female guitarists in country music evolution. Discover how women are redefining country guitar with insights from women redefining country guitar. Looking to pick up the guitar yourself? Check out our guide on beginner’s guide to electric guitar fingerpicking in country music and learn about the significance of holding a guitar pick in country music here!


These 10 trailblazing women have made significant contributions to country guitar music, and their influence can still be heard in the music of today’s country guitarists. From Maybelle Carter’s “scratch” rhythm to Bonnie Raitt’s slide guitar playing, these women have helped to shape the sound of country guitar music and pave the way for future generations of female guitarists.

About the author

Hi there! I’m Jack Little – an avid country music fan with tons of live country performances in the past. I used to play banjo in a country band with my best friend John Peters, who’s a true country harmonica master. Those were great years and I’m still mastering new banjo playing techniques, writing my own country songs and lyrics, and collecting banjos!

Leave a Comment