At the Lessons.com offices, we often find ourselves wondering aloud about how various well-known musical artists learned to play guitar, and after watching a performance on The Ellen Degeneres Show of Taylor Swift and Zac Efron playing a song that she taught him, our curiosity turned to whether or not she had taken guitar lessons, and, if so, how it all went down.
Well … turns out, we’d have to wait a while for the answers to those questions, but, sooner or later, the truth (or someone’s version of it) does come out, and, now, a few years after the airing of that Ellen episode, some light has been shed on the subject.
There have been several variations from different sources about how Taylor Swift learned to play guitar, and an article in The Daily News on January 10, 2015 sheds more light on the subject and reveals a side of the story previously unknown to many.
As Taylor Swift tells the story on liner notes from a DVD:
“When I was about 12 this magical twist of fate (happened). I was doing my homework [when the tech 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!’”
However, according to Ronnie Cremer’s version in The Daily News, it wasn’t quite like that at all. Although Ronnie was a computer repairman, his recollection, as he states it in this quote from the Daily News piece, is different from how Taylor Swift has been quoted as remembering how she met her eventual guitar teacher:
“I only met Taylor face-to-face in 2002. I had a shop up in Leesport. It was a computer shop, and that’s where I had my little studio. My brother brought Taylor and her mom and her brother over and introduced me, and said, ‘would you be interested in recording a demo?’
It was a couple cover songs. I recorded the demo for her. It wasn’t a great demo, but it was a demo.
After I did the demo, I was approached again by my brother, and by Andrea Swift. ‘Would I be interested in giving guitar lessons for Taylor? We’re trying to teach her how to play country music.’ I said, ‘I don’t know if I can teach country music. I don’t know the first thing about country music. I know rock music.”
And from there, Ronnie says, they continued working, two evenings a week, $32 per hour.
So, he never went over to fix her computer?
“Honestly, it was probably months before I even looked at a computer for them,” Ronnie says.
Many of the guitar teachers we’ve talked to on Find a Guitar Teacher have related to us stories of wonderfully talented students who inspire and challenge them with their musical affinity and drive to get better, and we have a feeling that giving guitar lessons to Taylor Swift caused Ronnie Cremer to bring a new perspective to his guitar playing and his guitar teaching.
For the complete New York Daily News article, please click here.