Pop singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has been experimenting with her music for as long as we can remember, but throughout the years one thing has remained constant: her love for guitars. She may be known for her guitar-heavy hits such as White Horse and Lover, but can Taylor Swift actually play the guitar?
Yes, Taylor Swift can play the guitar, and she has been described by Andy Mooney, CEO of Fender, as “one of the most influential guitarists of recent years”. After learning to play at the age of 12, guitar-playing became an essential aspect of Taylor’s image. Ever since she’s been playing the guitar on stage and in the studio when writing new songs.
Whilst you’re unlikely to witness Taylor shredding the guitar on stage anytime soon, her musical ability cannot be ignored. Join us as we explore Taylors guitar journey, her inspirations, and her ever-growing guitar collection.
Learning to Play
Taylor received her first guitar as a Christmas present when she was a young child, probably around the age of 8 or 9. The sweet moment was captured by her parents and can be seen in the music video for ‘Christmas Tree Farm’.
However, Swift didn’t commit to learning the instrument until a few years later when she was 12. Taylor describes the incident in a promotional DVD from 2009:
“When I was about 12 this magical twist of fate happened. I was doing my homework [when the technician fixing my computer] looked over and saw the guitar in the corner. And he said ‘do you play guitar?’ I said ‘Oh. No. I tried, but…’ he said ‘do you want me to teach you a few chords and I said ‘uh, yeah. YES!’”
From this point onwards the computer technician, Ronnie Cremer, had guitar lessons with Taylor twice a week. Her parents paid Ronnie $32 an hour for his efforts.
Taylors early influences include Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and Tom Petty. But according to an interview with Vogue, the first song Taylor learned to play was Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer.
By the age of 14, Taylor’s love of music was fully ignited. This led to her father, Scott, moving his business to Nashville so that Taylor was in a better position to pursue her dream of becoming a country singer. The gamble paid off, as Taylor eventually signed a record deal with Big Machine Records.
Taylor’s Guitar Collection
As a multi-millionaire, Taylor is certainly able to splash the cash on fancy guitars. In fact, when asked by Vogue about how many guitars she owns, Taylor replied: “I lost track of that in 2007”.
Perhaps the most infamous guitar Swift owns is a Swarovski-crystal adorned acoustic that she took on stage in her Fearless and Speak Now world tours. The guitar is a standard Taylor Guitars GS6 Grand Symphony model, that has been painted black and customised with bling. The guitar was first seen in the music video for ‘Our Song’.
In addition to this, Taylor has a long term partnership with Taylor Guitars. In 2009, they brought out the ‘Taylor Swift Baby Taylor Guitar (TSBTG)’, named as an ode to the guitars that Swift grew up playing. Speaking of the collaboration Taylor said:
“For a beginner, finding the right guitar can be intimidating, but this guitar, it’s the perfect size. Even if you’ve been playing for years, it’s a great size to travel with”.
More recently in the Lover era, Taylor has been spotted using a customised Gibson SJ-200 Electric Acoustic Guitar. Spray painted in pastel blue and pink colours, the guitar also features a glittery pink decal of the words ‘with love’, and star fret markers. From electric to acoustic, and black to blue, it’s fair to say that Taylor is a guitar enthusiast. In total, Equipboard lists 28 guitars that Taylor has used across the past 15 years, and we can expect this number to continue growing as her career goes from strength-to-strength.