Female guitarists rock just as hard, if not harder than some men, yet the things people say to us sound like they’re straight from the 1950s!
Ladies, women, and girls, here are 11 of the most annoying things I’ve heard in my years of playing guitar. Maybe a few will sound familiar to you too?
1. Is that for your boyfriend?
Why do some people find it so unbelievable that you’re carrying your own gear or shopping at Guitar Center for yourself?
2. You’re pretty good for a girl.
Would you tell another musician he’s pretty good for a man? Nope. Please stop saying this.
3. Are you the singer?
Because that’s the only thing you think women are capable of? Please go back to rock and roll history and study Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Kaki King, Nancy Wilson, or any of the other hundreds of women who have made their mark in music with an ax in hand.
4. Oh, you’re IN the band!
If you’ve ever had trouble being allowed in to a venue for your own show, you know just how annoying this one can be. This is doubly annoying when someone assumes you’re a groupie.
5. You should show off your body more and be sexier.
Because when I asked for feedback on my performance, I really wanted to hear about how I looked. Even young girls aren’t immune from this misguided advice. Please stop making female performers feel like their sex appeal matters more than their music. It’s just sad.
6. You only got that gig because you’re hot.
Like a meaner, more petty version of the last comment, this implies that any attention or success you enjoy as a musician is all thanks to your looks. Luckily, people will mostly say this one behind your back, so you only need to roll your eyes when you hear this through the grapevine. Then you can get back to crushing it.
7. Do you want to be in a band? We’re looking for a chick bass player.
Why would you want to work with someone who’s already objectifying you before they’ve heard you play a single note?
8. Let me explain your gear to you.
I just haul it around, set it up, play it, own it, and love it. So sure, please tell me all about my amp.
9. Wow, are you going to play that?
Nope, I just carry a guitar around for fun.
10. Chick guitarists are hot! Do you want to jam sometime?
Unfortunately, nine times out of ten, they don’t really mean “jam”.
11. I don’t usually like chick music, but you were actually pretty good.
For the love of music everywhere, please stop acting as if music made by women is in its own single genre. There are women who shred and women who croon, women who get down and funky and women who play smooth, sweet jazz.
The sooner people can stop treating female musicians as novelties and start hearing us for the talents we possess, the sooner we all can enjoy a more equal and exciting music scene.
Now it’s your turn. Ladies, what really grinds your gears? Share the most annoying thing someone has said to you about playing the guitar in the comments below!