Taylor Swift Proves She’s a Musical Genius But Doesn’t Recognize Her Own Hit Song

Taylor Swift just released her newest album, Lover, and it seems like everyone can’t get enough of the multi-talented artist. The album features some of Swift’s most personal songs yet, heartfelt lyrics that speak straight to the souls of her large, devoted fanbase. Swift is certainly unique among top artists today in that she writes most of her own songs, plays multiple instruments, and can sing beautifully.

Swift recently made an appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and showed off her music knowledge chops — but proved that as brilliant as she is, she can still be caught off guard from time to time.

Taylor Swift knows a lot about music

Taylor Swift performs onstage
Taylor Swift | John Shearer/Getty Images

Taylor Swift grew up surrounded by music. She developed an interest in writing and found herself drawn to the process of making music. It was around her twelfth birthday when Swift really started to become interested in playing an instrument and began putting pen to paper. She learned the process of creating a song from beginning to end and, inspired by country artists like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, began writing her own tunes before she was even a teenager. 

Swift’s parents recognized their daughter’s talents and started marketing her on social media. They created a MySpace account for her in order to help Swift look more appealing to record executives who might give their daughter a chance in the industry.

When Swift was fourteen, her family moved to Nashville so that Swift would have a better opportunity at getting started in the business — and by the time she was seventeen, Swift had released her debut album, Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift plays four instruments

Once she landed her record deal, Taylor Swift’s rise to fame was rapid. Fans loved her authenticity, her sweet voice, and the way she was able to communicate often-complex emotions through simple lyrics. Swift never took her fame for granted, and kept writing her own songs and working on her craft. Although most fans know her for her guitar playing, Swift actually plays four instruments in total.

All in all, Swift is proficient at playing the piano, guitar, banjo, and ukulele. She likes to switch up what instruments she plays during her live shows, and while in the early years of her career she was seen with her guitar almost exclusively, Swift has really branched out over the past few years. No doubt being able to play multiple instruments allows Swift to be able to hear how her tunes sound in different chords and pitches.

Jimmy Fallon guessed Taylor Swift’s hit song before she did

Recently, Taylor Swift proved her musical knowledge is truly impressive when she stopped by The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. The host is notorious for inviting his guests to participate in fun games and he had a truly special one lined up for Swift. His “Name That Song” challenge featured his house band, The Roots. The premise of the game is that The Roots would play a part of a popular song, using only one instrument. Whoever guessed the song first would win the round. 

Taylor Swift got off to a strong start, beating Fallon to the buzzer on songs such as “Kiss Me” and “Hot in Here.” Fallon was astonished at how quickly Swift picked up on some of the songs, saying that she’s a “genius.”

Still, Fallon beat Swift on the very round, hitting his buzzer immediately and naming the song as “Shake it Off,” one of Swift’s biggest hits. Swift seemed stunned when she realized it was her song, and started laughing along with Fallon.

Most likely, the superstar was caught off guard, never guessing that Fallon would trick her by using one of her own tunes in the game.