cover of an article about female bassist

My 6 favorite female bassists

So, there was a rainy February outside and I was sitting at the table looking at a calendar with a rat on it… My eyes suddenly caught on the red day of the calendar – 8th of March! It dawned on me – in the run-up to the holiday, we should definitely do an article about the beautiful half of our quiet bass-guitar swamp! They are few, but they still exist! So, today our eyes and ears are rejoicing and resting, because we are going to talk about representatives of a female bassists!

WARNING: This is by no means a “ranking” where someone is cooler than someone else! All female bassists are ranked in random order, not in order of “coolness” or importance. Each musician is unique and unrepeatable in their own way!

Kim Deal. The Pixies bass player

Well, I have to be honest here – I couldn’t resist the temptation to take advantage of my position and speak first of all about one of my favourite bands – The Pixies.

Kim Deal Pixies bassist short biography

Kim Deal. Female bassist, vocalist and author of music and lyrics, originally from the USA. Best known as a member of the legendary alternative band The Pixies, and as a founding member and long-time member of The Breeders.

Born in 1961. Has a twin sister, Kelly, who is also a member of The Breeders. Since childhood, Kim Diehl has had a passion for music, particularly hard rock and the blues. She listened to AC/DC, and Led Zeppelin. During her schooldays she was actively composing music and lyrics. After high school I went to a lot of colleges and universities but I never finished any of them.

I had hundreds of songs at the age of 16-17… The music wasn’t bad, but the lyrics… it had nothing to do with my real life…

In 1986, after responding to a newspaper ad, she joined the now legendary band The Pixies. She featured in all of the band’s studio recordings, co-authored the lyrics, and was a backing vocalist. Unfortunately, creative disagreements and overworked musicians led to the band’s break-up. But on the other hand it allowed Kim to concentrate on The Breeders, the album The Last Splash was a huge success, going platinum.

…I play pretty little, I don’t add where another bass player would add. I don’t push where another one would push.

From Kim Deal’s interview

Also working with The Breeders at the moment, while in The Pixies playing awesome Paz Lenchantin.

Have used bass guitars over the years:

  • Aria Pro II – borrowed from my sister for The Pixies first album.
  • Fender Precision 1962.
  • Music Man Stingray.
  • Gibson Thunderbird.

Rhonda Smith. Prince bassist

Remarkable session female bassist Rhonda Smith, originally from Canada. Along with her brothers has been passionate about music since childhood. Started with wind instruments, but then switched to keyboards and soon the bass guitar. Graduated from the University of Montreal Jazz School.

female bassist rhonda smith

Worked with Prince for over a decade. Has also recorded and toured with Chaka Khan, Beyonce, Jeff Beck.

Anna Sentina

Another one of the younger generation of bassists is Anna Sentina.

female bassist anna sentina

She was born in 1994 in USA, California. Anna has been making music since she was 8 years old, starting with piano and then switching to guitar and then to bass guitar.

At the age of 12 she began studying at the American School of Rock (there is one). Already since her teenage years, actively engaged and touring at School of Rock events. In 2009, at the age of 15, performed at the 40th anniversary of Woodstock Festival.

Since 2012 has been actively keeping a YouTube channel, doing covers not only on bass, but also on keyboards and guitar. She also occasionally does equipment reviews. Anna Sentina is an endorser of Kiesel Guitars, Roland and BOSS. Anna participates in a wide variety of music industry events (NAMM, Bass Magazine event) and works as a session musician.

Gail Ann Dorsey. David Bowie bassist

gail ann dorsey

American bassist. Born in 1962 in Philadelphia. This fragile woman has a truly colossal amount of work behind her. More than 20 years of collaboration with David Bowie, hundreds of projects and bands she was involved in as a session musician. Here are just some of them:

  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Boy George
  • Charlie Watts
  • Gwen Stefanie

Has also recorded three solo albums to date. The first album, “The Corporate World”, was recorded in 1988 and produced by Nathan East himself, with several tracks recorded by Eric Clapton. The album has very positive reviews from critics and listeners alike.

I highly recommend watching the interview where Gail Ann Dorsey talks about what it’s like to be a professional session bassist.

dorsey and bowie in concert

Since childhood she has had a passion for funk and rock ‘n’ roll. She studied film at a private university for three years, but at the age of 22 decided to take up music for good and moved to London. Since then, for over thirty years she has been active in a variety of genres and styles, remaining one of the most successful and in-demand female bassists. The versatility and multi-genre nature of her talent cannot be overlooked.

I don’t want to limit myself to anything. I just want to do my job honestly and thoroughly. It’s my responsibility to the art and to the listener.

Kim Gordon is the bass player for Sonic Youth

kim deal in concert

Once again we speak about one of my “favorites”. Kim Gordon. Bassist, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, screenwriter and actress. Member of the legendary band Sonic Youth, which are truly mastodons and pioneers of the alternative, no-wave and noise scene.

Born in New York City in 1953, she grew up in Los Angeles. Founded Sonic Youth in 1981 with my husband-to-be.

It was in New York that I first heard no-wave bands. It was very expressive and nihilistic at the same time. Punk rock was saying, “I’m going to destroy rock ‘n’ roll.”
No-wave was saying, “No. I’m really going to ruin rock ‘n’ roll.” There was so much freedom in all that, I thought – I should do it.

In 1991, at Courtney Love’s request, she produced the band’s first album, Hole, which soon became a cult hit.

In 2011, Sonic Youth finally breaks up, Kim Gordon divorces her husband and co-founder Thurston Moore… On top of that, she is diagnosed with breast cancer, luckily the disease has been beaten.

kim deal sonic youth female bassist

Kim herself notes that she doesn’t consider herself a musician. “I rather just do what I like to do.” In more than 30 years of creativity, Kim Gordon’s image has gained quite a cult status in American culture. An artist, writer, actress, designer and bass player who sings “I wanna be your dog”. It’s a hell of a mix. In addition Kim successfully flirts with electronic music, as if to make it clear that the 21st century will not be bored without her either.

Kinga Glyk

kinga glyk

Kinga Glyk. The young bass player hails from Poland and was born in 1997. Kinga gives some hope that jazz and funk will not die out in Europe in the 21st century.

Already at the age of 18, she recorded her first album “Rejestracja”. So far, four solo albums have been released, and the schedule of concerts on the official website is planned months in advance. The third Dream album is already recorded with Warner.

The bass cover of Eric Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’ has had over 20 million views on Facebook! Looking forward to working together with Wojtek Pilichowski, another Polish virtuoso.

Also read “My favorite female bassists #2”

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1 year ago

Tal Wilkenfeld is my crush)