Ohholycrap I have a long list of these. As a bass player, I am always checking out bass players, and as someone who is all for women expressing themselves in whatever way they see fit, I love seeing women play bass (and drums).
So let's start with the obvious ones: the women bass players leading their own bands:
- Meshell N'degeOcello - Funk/soul goddess
- Kinga Glyk - Polish funkster. She also just jams in her bedroom and invites people to create tunes with her free-form jams.
- Til Tuesday - 80's pop sensation, Aimee Mann played bass and sung. She's also had a long solo career, and even appeared on the TV show "Portlandia" in a darkly funny bit about being a cleaning lady.
- Kate Davis is an upright bass player and songwriter, who did a gorgeous version of Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" with Postmodern Jukebox.
- The Regrettes are just wonderful group of young ladies who are having fun, but do a stonkin' version of "Fox On The Run" for the AV Club.
- The Surfragettes take a kitschy 60's surf vibe, and have fun with it. Like doing Britney Spears' "Toxic" in their living room
- 4 Non Blondes, of course, are known for "What's Up", with Christa Hillhouse on bass. But she was also a member of Lesbian Snake Charmers before, which was led by my friend (and later on, a band mate of mine) Jai Jai Noire.
- The Runaways are the definitive punk rock "girl band" ever, and with Jackie Foxx on bass, their hit Cherry Bomb is a kinda wild look into the early women-in-rock story.
- Fanny was a rock band in the 1970's that should have been huge, but ... shit happened. This video of their song "Ain't That Peculiar" has resurfaced recently, and inspired a documentary about the band. The singer's sister, Jean Millington is on bass, and Philippine-born.
Female bass players in other bands:
- Smashing Pumpkins (who I despise) started off with D'arcy Wretzky, and later had Melissa Auf der Maur, who was previously the bass player for Courtney Love's eponymous band Hole.
- KB has already pointed out Sean Yseult of White Zombie.
- Tal Wilkenfeld is only 23, and a MONSTER bass player, who has played on tour with Jeff Beck, and others like Prince, and Eric Clapton.
That barely scratches the surface, but is a kinda broad selection to get started with. It doesn't even touch Tina Weymouth, Kim Gordon, Carol Kaye (arguably the most recorded bass player EVER), Suzi Quatro, Kim Deal, Kira Roesseler (BLACK FLAG!), Johnette Napolitano, Haim, or Maya Ford from The Donnas... etc, etc, etc....
Finally, I have to tell EVERYONE to watch Julia Plays Groove on YouTube. Five years. Has never said a word. Just lays it down. Her take on Jamiroquai's "Stillness in Time" is a good example of her delicacy, agility, pocket, and groove. This is her FIRST YEAR of YouTube. She's 19. She just gets better.