Country-pop powerhouse Taylor Swift has been sporting a new Taylor guitar on her latest tour: a ruby-hued 614ce to color-coordinate with her RED album. Since its release in October of 2012, more than 6 million copies of the album have been sold, and at the time of this writing, Swift had recently hauled in eight trophies at the Billboard Music Awards, where she claimed Artist of the Year, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album (RED), Top Country Artist, Top Country Album (RED), and Top Country Song (for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”). Her six-month North American tour, which extends through September, covers 66 shows, including 13 stadium dates, before she heads to Australia and New Zealand. Swift also recently picked up a sunburst-top Grand Orchestra First Edition 718e.
Swift has enjoyed a warm relationship with Taylor Guitars for many years, tracing back to when she was barely a teenager with a store-bought K65ce, when her father called up Bob Taylor to rave about her. Even at a young age, Swift’s precocious songwriting talent was evident.
“Music has always been it for me,” she said during an interview at the Taylor factory. “I’m so lucky to have found it so early.”
At age 15, Swift landed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Tree Music Publishing, followed by an agreement with then-fledgling record label Big Machine Records. It wasn’t long before an industry buzz had made her the label’s centerpiece. Her self-titled debut in 2006 took up permanent residence on the Billboard charts, she was honored with numerous awards, and her use of the Web to cultivate her fanbase in a grassroots way was formidable.
Her diary-confessional lyrics, usually about relationships, tap the universal range of emotions of her fans in a way that they can relate to. During her interview at the Taylor complex, Swift indirectly described the power of her own songs in talking about what she likes about other people’s.
“A song becomes my favorite song when [an artist] can say how I’m feeling better than I could,” she reflects.
She’s been described as a songwriting savant, and has acknowledged having written several hundred tunes, mining the fertile emotional turf of relationship issues. Swift says her prolific songwriting output was strengthened by playing shows and being forced to improvise on the spot.
“I could walk into a coffeehouse and play for three hours, and when I ran out of songs I’d written, I’d just make some up,” she says. “That sort of ad-libbing really grew my songwriting. When you’re forced to do it on the spot, it’s crazy how quickly you come up with things.”
Swift’s songs are groomed with impeccable structure, strong melodies and great instrumental arrangements, all of which might sound like standard fare coming from a Nashville artist. What’s impressive, though, is the degree of artistic ownership she exerts, and how fully formed her songs are before she ever gets to the studio.
“When I write a song, I hear it completely produced in my head,” she says. “So, going into the studio is always about accurately portraying how I hear it in my head.”
In addition to her worldwide success and passionate fanbase, Swift has amassed a boatload of accolades with no end in sight. Her songwriting talents have been recognized by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She has also earned multiple Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards.
Taylor Swift’s Taylor guitar arsenal includes:
- Red 614ce (to color-coordinate with her RED album)
- Custom, all-koa PSGA (AA koa top, Florentine cutaway, “Taylor” fretboard inlay, passive ES)
- Swarovsky-crystal-encrusted GS6 that was originally decorated for a video shoot
- Maple PS-LTD with a tobacco sunburst and Florentine cutaway
- Pink T5-S (flake-top finish)
- Two K65ce’s
- Custom maple Dreadnought with the “Living Jewels” koi fish inlay
- Presentation Series Grand Auditorium
- Black SolidBody Classic
- Sunburst-top First Edition Grand Orchestra 718e
- All-koa ukulele
- Baby Taylor
- Taylor Swift Baby Taylor (signature model)