Whether you’re the most avid Taylor Swift fan in the world, who picked up the guitar just to play her songs. Or a beginner looking for some nice, easy, and accessible tunes to jam to. There is a ton of value to be had from learning some Taylor Swift songs.
She’s had 8 number 1 songs, 11 Grammy Awards, 52 Guinness World Records, and has sold over 200 million albums over her career. She’s undeniably one of the biggest pop artists of all time and has a slew of incredibly catchy and accessible songs just waiting to be mastered.
So that is why we’ve prepared a list of 25 of her easiest songs to learn on guitar, making sure to include both tabs and video lessons for each song to help you along the way.
- Back To December
- Love Story
- Shake it Off
- Teardrops on My Guitar
- You Belong with Me
- Wildest Dreams
- Our Song
- Speak Now
- State of Grace
- We Are Never Getting Back Together
- Begin Again
- Blank Space
- Come Back, Be Here
- Cornelia Street
- Cruel Summer
- Everything has Changed
- I Don’t Wanna Live Forever
Back To December
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First up we have the hit single ‘Back to December’ from Taylor’s third studio album ‘Speak Now’, which was released in 2010. This is a nice, easy, ballad-esque song written from the perspective of someone apologizing to a young man whose heart she had broken. There’s a lot of emotion in the vocal delivery and the melancholic chord progression helps cement the somber feel of the song perfectly. Later on, Taylor Revealed this was about her former boyfriend Taylor Lautner.
The song is nice and slow at 71bpm and is essentially all played using simple open chords. There are also some melodies and percussive elements that can easily be incorporated into the primary guitar if you wanted to spice things up a little.
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Next up, we have a single from Taylor’s second album titled ‘Fearless’. The song discusses her own experience of falling in love at an early age and serves as a source of solace for young teens. And that their inevitable experiences of heartbreak at a young age aren’t as bad as they think, and they will achieve much greater things in their lives. The song was a huge commercial success going 2x platinum in the US alone.
The song primarily uses a 4 chord progression which is G, Cadd9, Em7 to Cadd9. This repeats throughout the song and is quite easy to remember, but do be conscious of the strumming pattern as it’s a large contributor to the groove and overall feel of the song.
Click Here for tab for Love Story
One of Taylor’s biggest ever singles. Which had a stellar music video to accompany it which loosely follows the story of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and is currently sitting at 613 million views on YouTube. It’s a country/pop song that works great on either acoustic or electric. It was a massive commercial success selling 18 million copies worldwide, winning numerous awards, and going 8x platinum in the US.
The song uses a very catchy and easy to play chord progression which every guitarist should have in their vocabulary. It can also be played with a capo to make some of the barre chords a little easier to hold. But no worries if you don’t have to hand, it’s very playable without. The song is in C major and again be aware of the strumming pattern, particularly where there is a doubled-up downstroke on the offbeat (D-DU).
Shake it Off
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This is the one many people will be here for, with its upbeat feel and ludicrously catchy verse and chorus hooks, this song is guaranteed to get everyone young and old dancing along as you play it. The song sold over 10 million copies in the US alone and spent 50 weeks in the billboard top 100. It also has an accompanying music video which, drama and controversy aside, is also very light-hearted and entertaining.
Fortunately, the song is also super easy to play. You just need to learn G, Am, C, D. No capo or special tuning is needed! The strumming patterns are a little open for interpretation as the original song is not primarily guitar-driven, so you can make it as simple or complicated as you wish for your desired level of comfort (alternate strumming patterns are demonstrated in the video lesson.
Teardrops on My Guitar
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Going all the way back to Taylor’s debut, self-titled album from 2006. The song was written together with Liz Rose and is said to be about her high school love interest, perhaps the same one fifteen references? Who knows! But what we do know is this song lends itself incredibly well to the learning guitarist as it’s catchy and easy to play.
The song has some simple strummed open chords which are accompanied by some lead melodies which are played on a banjo adding to that country-pop feel. The main chords you will be playing are G, G6, Cadd9, and Dsus4, no capo is required! Try to give some attention to the dynamics (loud and soft chords) as it’s an important part of the song’s feel.
You Belong with Me
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Another song from Taylor’s debut album ‘Fearless’, and was once again written with fellow songwriter Liz Rose. It’s a quintessential catchy and radio-friendly song that harkens back to her older style of blending country and pop. You will also know this as the infamous song in which Kanye West hilariously interrupted Taylor Swift’s MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech to complain that Beyonce did not win.
Drama aside, this song works great on both electric and acoustic and has both lead and rhythm elements you can choose between. If you are a beginner we recommend learning it from a chordal perspective and leaving the other parts for another day. The song has a very emotive chord progression and will introduce you to a couple of cool voicings including the add9 chord.
Click Here for tab for Wildest Dreams
For something a (little) bit more recent, Wildest Dreams from her fifth studio album titled ‘1989’ is a great power ballad song. Which, although primarily driven by electronics, can easily be translated to the guitar and played as a solo acoustic piece. The song itself achieved reasonable critical acclaim with two million copies sold in the US.
The nice thing about this is if you are looking for something a bit more technically interesting there is an arrangement that also includes the vocal melodies as part of the guitar transcription. Perfect if you’re not interested in singing along! But the video lesson also includes regular chords if you want a more traditional version of the song to learn on the guitar.
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Remarkably, this song went 4x platinum with over 4 million copies sold in the US AND hit the number 1 spot on the US Hot Country Songs billboard. Yet it was a song that she had humbly written for her high school talent show. Although the production was upgraded quite a bit for her full album release it was still met with critical praise for its catchy hook and mass appeal.
The song is primarily played using the chords D, Em, G, and A, as always do pay attention to the strumming pattern where you’ll be using your thumb to pick single notes acting as the bass before hitting the rest of the chord. There is also a banjo lead over the top which you can choose to join in on if you wish. Otherwise, the chords are plenty interesting by themselves.
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One of the main promotional singles from Taylor’s third album ‘Speak now’. It hit the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for Country songs and was certified platinum in the US. It also has a very successful accompanying video which is sitting at 100 million views on youtube. The song has a very emotional and catchy feel to it. Fortunately, it’s also heavy acoustic guitar driven making it an ideal song to learn.
To play this in the correct key you will need a capo on the 5th fret, otherwise, you might have to use a bit of theory knowledge to re-jig the chords about to work in different voicings. The strumming pattern is primarily DDD-DU.
Click Here for tab for Red
The second single from her fourth studio album of the same name. Much like many of her other songs, this flirts in between pop, soft rock with some country flair using a banjo for some of the lead lines. While not her most popular single ever, it did sell two million copies in the US and was the song to spend the longest amount of time in the charts at a whopping 42 weeks.
The song is in a slightly higher key so you’ll need a capo on the 4th fret. The guitar work on this is a little bit more interesting where for the intro and verse you will be playing the chords as arpeggios, which means playing each note of the chord one at a time instead of strumming them all at once.
Click Here for tab for Speak Now
The main promotional single from the album of the same name, this was written in collaboration with Nathan Chapman. The song tells the story of someone interrupting a wedding after having a dream about the would-be groom marrying another girl. The song did very well, charting in the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
The song uses all easy to play open chords, G, D, Am, C, and Em. The song is produced as a kind of a country-pop song with some distorted guitar underneath. So you can easily learn this on both acoustic and electric. There are also some cool arpeggiated sequences on the verse which will provide you an opportunity to flex those picking skills!
State of Grace
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A little bit more of a rock tune for Taylor, but it nevertheless has all the catchy melodies and hooks that you’d expect. There are a lot of electric guitars, power chords, and higher-up melodies on this. But it can be easily translated to the acoustic guitar, just check out some cover renditions that are around on YouTube to get an idea.
You can essentially just take the underlying chord the guitar is outlining and play them as your regular open chords that you are probably quite familiar with. But if you did want to play this on electric, remember to use just a little bit of gain as all the notes still need to ring clearly.
Click Here for tab for Treacherous
One of Taylor’s more subdued and balladesque songs. Making it perfect for those quiet nights when you just need to learn something relaxing. It was released as a promotional single for the album Red and was written between Taylor Swift and songwriter Dan Wilson, who Taylor wanted to work with after being inspired by his work in his own band Semisonic.
The chords on this are a little more interesting in their voicings, using some cool minor 7th and add9 chords. You can use a capo on the 7th fret to make this easier to play and of course, the song is transposable so if the original is too high, or low, you can just move the capo around and play the song in a different key.
We Are Never Getting Back Together
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Another single from Red, this one has a great anthemic feel to it and mixes acoustic guitar into modern dance-pop. But is one that nevertheless translates onto the acoustic guitar exceptionally well because of its clear and defined chord progression. The song was a collaboration between Taylor, Max Marin, and Shellback. It achieved monstrous commercial success going 6x platinum in the US alone.
Although the chord progression is quite simple, because of the nature of how it translates to the acoustic guitar there is a lot of freedom to play this in a few different ways. One is just as strummed chords or others have created some cool strumming patterns and arpeggiations to give it a little more spice. Do check out the video lessons for some inspiration on how to play the song.
Click Here for tab for 22
And once more, another song from Red. This was also a continued collaboration between Taylor and songwriters/producers Max Martin and Shellback. The song depicts the fun-loving and carefree joys of being 22 years old, because of the song’s success it became a bit of a phenomenon amongst her fans all over the world as they would mark their 22nd birthday as a date of importance specifically because of this song.
It’s an upbeat and joyful pop song that uses some good staccato rhythmic acoustic guitar. which gives it a lot of energy and life. Do be sure to check the video lessons for the strumming patterns as that’s a large part of what gives the song its upbeat feel.
Click Here for tab for August
A very somber and melancholic song that’s accented with electronics and vocal harmonies. But as always there is a clear chord progression that can be used for an acoustic version. The song itself is from Taylor’s 2020 album ‘Folklore’ and it made the top ten in both the US Rolling Stone Top 100 and US Hot Rock songs.
The song jumps between the chords D, G, Em, and A. Take note of the strumming pattern as some upstrokes fall on unusual parts of the bar, you can use a metronome to help you as this is a little different from some of the other Taylor Swift songs on the list. No capo is required for this song!
Click Here for tab for Begin Again
Another classic country song that Taylor wrote in collaboration with Nathan Chapman and Dann Huff for her Red album. This was a much welcome return to her more country orientated roots and was praised by critics for this direction. The song was also nominated for the Best Country Song at the 56th Grammy awards and went platinum in the US with over a million copies sold.
This song is ideal if you don’t have a capo because it’s just in regular standard tuning, and uses the chords G, Cadd9, Em7, and Dsus4. The nice thing about this is your pinky and ring finger can stay planted on those top two strings for all but the final D chord. Be sure to remember the quick upstroke on the offbeat before changing the chord!
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Another pretty new one from Taylor also from her most recent 2020 release titled ‘Folklore’. The song returns to that country roots with a bit of rock flair and was written between Taylor and William Bowery. It was largely praised for the use of instruments such as the lap steel, harmonica, and harpsichord. Not common things to see in modern commercial pop!
The song uses some interesting chord voicings with the progression C, C/B, Am, Gsus4, and Fsus4. You won’t need a capo for this as they can all be played in their regular open positions. Some of these chords are arpeggiated with a nice picking pattern on the intro but don’t be afraid to just strum these, it works just as well!
Click Here for tab for Blank Space
This was the second single from Taylors 2014 album ‘1989’. It achieved huge commercial success spending seven weeks on top of the US Billboard Hot 100 selling over 8 million copies in the US, and even had a Grammy nomination! The official video for the single is sitting at an incredible 2.9 billion views on YouTube.
Although the song is not necessarily a guitar-driven one, it does lend itself well to being played as a solo acoustic piece and many people have made their own renditions and interpretations of it. When Taylor sings the song acoustically it doesn’t completely line up with the original studio version, so don’t worry if some of the chords sound a little different.
Come Back, Be Here
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Another track from Taylor’s highly successful ‘Red’ album. The song has an original studio version which has a full band supporting it, but there is also one dubbed as ‘Taylor’s Version’ which is essentially a solo performance just with an acoustic guitar and vocals. You can choose to play along to either depending on your preference.
Because of the multiple versions, there are a few interpretations of the song and you can choose which one suits you best by referencing both the tablature and video lesson. Regardless, both the chords and strumming pattern are very simple and should pose no trouble for even a beginning guitarist.
Click Here for tab for Cornelia Street
Taylor has said that this is one of her most personal songs from her seventh album titled ‘Lover’. She also mentioned that she wrote the lyrics to the song while in the bath and Cornelia Street is a reference to the location of the property she was renting. The song charted in the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK streaming chart but did not win any awards.
While at first glance the song might seem electronically driven there is still a clearly discernible chord progression that you can follow on the guitar. Because you are playing a section that wasn’t present in the studio recording you are free to strum and interpret the song how you wish, the video tab will have a good guide if you are not sure.
Click Here for tab for Cruel Summer
This song was famously made in collaboration with St. Vincent who the guitarists will know for her signature Sterling by Musicman series guitar. The single marries a range of styles leaning towards more of an electronic and synthesized sound. The song details some of Taylor’s struggles with being in the public spotlight while dealing with an uncertain romantic relationship.
The song has a great ambiance and melodic feel. Much like some of her other single’s, although it’s primarily driven by electronics it’s easily adapted as a solo singer/acoustic piece and you will find many covers and adaptations of it online. Feel free to use the chord progression and play it any way you see fit.
Everything has Changed
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This song was written in collaboration with the world famous acoustic singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran to create a wonderful acoustic folk-pop ballad. Although the song got middling reviews from critics, this is largely due to high expectations from such stellar musicians, and the single still charted in the US and UK.
Generally speaking, Ed’s guitar work is a little bit more involved than what you might commonly see from Taylor’s music. So there are some interesting chord voicing and strumming patterns you need to be aware of. You will notice that when Taylor plays this solo her version is a little more simplified, so feel free to pick whichever one is more in line with your current level of technical ability.
Click Here for tab for Gorgeous
One of the more unique and quirky synth-pop songs from Taylor which took some fans aback because of how different from her other music this sounds. But the closer you listen the more you will realize it still follows all the same beats of a classic Taylor song including chord progression and hooks.
Like many of her other songs, the studio recording for this is electronically driven, so you can take the core progression which is C, C/B, G/B, Am, F, and G and strum them in a way that’s comfortable for you. There are many acoustic renditions available on YouTube so do reference them for some inspiration as well as the provided video tab.
I Don’t Wanna Live Forever
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This song was a collaboration between Taylor and English singer Zayn. It was released as part of the soundtrack for the movie ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ which came 2 years after the hit movie Fifty Shades of Grey. The song was a huge hit, between the associated movie and the prominence of the two performing artists it went 4x platinum in the US and hit number 2 on the US Mainstream Top 40.
For this song, you will be mostly following the bassline which is very easily converted into strummable chords on the acoustic guitar. The vocal performance can be quite tricky to execute as the studio recording has two different singers with their own tonality, so you can simplify the strumming pattern to make this easier to perform.