Why are there not more women guitarists in bands?

As a fully fledged guitar playing female member of live function band – Chemistry Live – I often wonder why more women don’t play guitar in bands? Is it because the guitar is traditionally seen as a “male” instrument and not “cool” for a woman to play? Is it because of the size of the instrument, or because you have to keep your finger nails short on your left hand??! These reasons seem ridiculous to me.

Personally, I think that a woman playing bass, rhythm or lead is very cool, as exemplified by artistes such as Chrissie Hynde (favourite guitar, the fender Telecaster), Joan Jett (armed with Gibson Les Paul), Nancy Wilson and Jennifer Batten who was asked by Micheal Jackson to play Eddie Van Halen’s solo on his Bad, Dangerous and History tours – superb!

Jennifer Batten, Micheal Jackson’s Guitarist

 

Chrissie Hynde in action!

 

I’ve been attending guitar lessons for almost a year now and I love it! I go to a local college along for 3 hours on a Monday morning along with 12 other students ranging from the age of 25 up to 70, and play through well known songs as a group.

We are all on the same journey in our desire to learn to play guitar, but everyone has a different motivation for being there – some just love to play at home, others want to learn a new instrument to exercise their brain, and some, like me, want to play on stage!

I am happily married to Bill, who plays guitar in our band Chemistry. His journeystarted at the age of 17, at which time he realised the huge “pulling power” that this gave him! As I said, people have different motivations for playing a new instrument and this could well be a valid one – if it gets someone learning and playing, that’s great!

Me playing the guitar on stage!
Wendy playing guitar in function band Chemistry Live

I can’t believe that after what seems to me to be such a short period of time, I have realised my dream of being able to play guitar on certain songs as part of my band, Chemistry. I now play and sing during the song “It’s Gonna be a Good Night” by The Black Eyed Peas, “Hotel California” by The Eagles, “500 Miles, by The Proclaimers, “I Predict a Riot”, by Kaiser Chiefs and “Come Away With Me”, by Nora Jones. This list of songs is growing very quickly as I gain more confidence and as I learn new chords. I can’t help thinking that if I can do it, so can everyone!

I don’t believe there are any valid reasons not to start playing a new instrument. I have discovered that it is easy to start individual or group lessons in any instrument and that a huge amount of pleasure and satisfaction can come from it. It is a journey, and if you are on that journey with other people it is a most interesting and exciting one!

So, if you wake up and say to yourself, I’d like to do something new and different, look up a local college and then get yourself down there to learn to play an instrument – it can be as easy as that!