With 40 years of teaching professionally, I have taught countless students (beginners to advanced) how to play or improve their chops.
Taylor Swift on DVD
This is a rhythm guitar chart for You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift. The strumming pattern is slightly different from Runaway Train, in that, the second half of the third beat is played with an upstroke. This is the only difference between the two patterns. Once again, the pattern is made up entirely of quarter and eighth note rhythm slashes. The strum direction and count is notated in measure one. This pattern continues through the entire tune. Simply strum the pattern according to the number of measures notated. With this method, there is no reliance on the lyrics to indicate where the chord chages fall, which can result in odd time signatures. Most rhythm parts are not actually played with just one pattern. Instead, they are composed of a number of different patterns throughout the song. Sticking with one pattern will add discipline to the strumming hand.
The Role Of The Capo
If you want to play with the recording or the backing track, you must place a capo on the fourth fret.
Once called a 'cheater bar', capos allow you to play open chords in different keys. The capo replaces barre chords (chords that require the first finger to be positioned across all the strings, hence the name cheater bar). In effect, the capo is replacing the nut (the plastic, metal or ivory part of the guitar that the strings pass over and continue to the tuning pegs). The same high pitched sound is produced when strumming behind the capo or the nut.
When the capo is placed on the fourth fret, the D Major becomes F sharp Major, the A Major becomes C sharp Major, the E minor becomes G sharp minor and the G Major is transposed to B Major. All of these without the capo, are normally barre chord shapes. The capo remains in place for the entire song. There are number of capos on the market (some even allow you to move the capo quickly during the song), but I highly recommend the trigger style. Very easy to attach and remove. Of course, if you are playing and singing the song on your own, the capo is not needed, but you will have to transpose (change the key), of the melody line.
You Belong With Me
This is the entire song with rhythm guitar, bass, drums, and synth strings. Kinda haunting sound. Anyway, have fun!
Play Along Track.
The Official Video. Put on the capo and play along!
Teardrops On My Guitar
This is an easy strumming chart for Taylor Swift's first hit song, Teardrops On My Guitar. All the chords are normal open shapes, and the strumming pattern is exactly the same as You Belong With Me, with the exception of the tie between the 'and' of two and first half of beat three. A very subtle difference in the notation, but quite a big change in the sound of the pattern. The strum direction is: down, down-up, up-down-up. Let your strum hand glide by the strings on the downstroke that would normally be beat three, and, with an upstroke, hit the strings on the second half of the beat. Remember to keep your hand moving in a strict eighth note strumming pattern, and simply miss the divisions of the beat that are not played.
Teardrops On My Guitar
Teardrops On My Guitar • Complete Rhythm Guitar
There is a two bar intro: count 1,2,1,2,3,4
Teardrops On My Guitar Play Along Track
No capo for this tune. The song is in the key of D Major. Chords for D Major: D Em F#m G A Bm C#dim D. Once again, like so many new country songs, there is only four chords and the song is totally diatonic. Since the tempo is fairly slow, I have notated the rhythm pattern with eighths and sixteenths. Treat the strum direction the same as quarters and eighths. Downstrokes for the eighths and upstrokes for the sixteenths. Watch for the repeats, and cut the eighth note strums just before the rests sharply (in measure twenty eight, after playing the eighth note on the first half of the third beat, lay the palm of your strum hand across the strings to deaden the sound, that is, don't let the strings ring).
No capo for this tune, either. Once again, the song is in the key of D Major, in fact, they are the same four chords as Mary's Song. Chords for D Major: D Em F#m G A Bm C#dim D. The strum pattern is only half of the pattern as Mary's Song, but there is a different technique in use. The first two strums are palm muted (PM) with the palm of the strum hand, at the same time that the strum is executed. This is a very common way to mute open chords, but will require some practice. This style of muting lends a very percussive sound to your playing and sounds great on acoustic guitars. Accent the first half of the second beat. This should result in a country rhythm guitar sound, very cool! There are some tricky measures. In bar seventeen, the A Major chord is only played on the fourth beat. I have notated this with two eighth note downstrokes to make the change easier, and to add some more force to this part. This happens in various measures, so keep read and count carefully. In measure fifty eight, play all downstrokes, on 1&2, then again on &4&. Please refer to the video.
Md shariwer kabir from park more, Rangpur, Bangladesh on October 10, 2016:
Though I love guitar very much but not able to play it. I wish I were a guitarist
Lorne Hemmerling (author) from Prescott on January 23, 2014:
The capo should help. Thanks so much for the compliment. Good luck!
oldiesmusic from United States on January 23, 2014:
Although I played piano, I also attempted to play guitar but only the easy chords (Em, A, Am, D, E, the like). I have short arms and fingers hehehehe. An ordinary acoustic guitar was the only available. I think the capo would help deal with that. Thanks for the very useful hub. I'm also entertained by your videos, aside from being educational. :)
Lorne Hemmerling (author) from Prescott on May 06, 2012:
Thanks, my friend! He should find this fairly easy. Let me know what he thinks. This is the beginner teaching method I have been using for years.
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on May 06, 2012:
I wish I knew enough about guitar to judge this. But I'll pass this on to my guitarist brother, who I'm sure would vote it Up and Useful.