Does Olivia Rodrigo Play Guitar?

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Olivia Rodrigo is one of the most exciting pop stars to debut in recent years. The singer is known for emotional songs, but many people wonder if she writes her own songs and if so, does Olivia Rodrigo play guitar?

Here’s what I have seen:

Oliva Rodrigo does play the guitar and started learning from her vocal coach around the age of 5. However, thus far, she has not played guitar on her recordings and only occasionally plays guitar in live performances.

She truly loves expressing herself through music. The use of a musical instrument allows her to do it in a different way than singing does.

Singers being able to play musical instruments seems to be a dying art.

While it has never been a requirement to make music, fewer artists are well-rounded in this way than there used to be.

Olivia and a few other pop stars are exceptions to this change in the music industry. I took a look into Olivia’s guitar playing as well as if she plays any other instruments, and this is what I uncovered.

Let’s take a deeper look.

How did Olivia Rodrigo learn guitar?

Olivia learned to play guitar from her vocal teacher Jennifer Dustman around age 5. Dustman believed in the young singer and saw the potential for both singing and guitar playing.

Olivia Rodrigo got her start in music at a very early age.

The singer began taking voice lessons when she was just five years old. Her vocal teacher believed in her so much that she eventually began to teach her the guitar as well.

After this, Dustman said that Olivia “needed to get on stage”.

As a result, the teacher began signing her up for both talent shows and local appearances. This helped the child with her confidence and stage presence.

Olivia was lucky to have a mentor. 

By the age of 12, Olivia was already an accomplished singer and guitar player. She was lucky to have her voice teacher because she helped her begin to achieve her true potential. Olivia has spoken about this experience when asked about her musical background.

It should be noted that Olivia was heavily influenced by Taylor Swift. 

This has probably helped fuel her love for guitar since Taylor also plays the instrument. I wrote about their relationship in a recent article. Taylor has been a major supporter of Olivia and her music career. But is Taylor Rodrigo’s mom? That rumor is circulating!

Just click that link to read it on my site.

What instruments can Olivia Rodrigo play?

Olivia Rodrigo plays the piano in addition to the guitar. Her piano playing can be heard in her song “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back”.

Her dad felt that it would be beneficial to learn to play it.

After mastering the art of playing guitar, Olivia was persuaded to learn the piano. This was her dad’s idea because he saw her love for music. He believed it would enhance her other skills as an artist.

Olivia’s dad was right.

Although Olivia hated the process of learning the piano, she began to appreciate the craft. Over time, learning the piano helped Oliva with songwriting. Soon, the young singer was creating songs of her own. Her dad had the right idea to influence her to learn the piano.

Olivia has stated that she used to cry before her piano lessons. 

She is now singing a different tune and even enjoys playing. This has become an important aspect of her life as a pop star.

Does Olivia Rodrigo play guitar on her recordings?

Olivia Rodrigo has not played guitar on any of her recordings thus far in her career. She also rarely plays guitar in concert.

But there is at least 1 live performance on her YouTube channel where she does a solo performance while playing guitar. Check it out here.

Given that Olivia is a skilled guitar player, many would assume she plays it on her album, Sour.

However, she does not. Upon looking at the credits for the album, it appears that most of the guitar playing was done by Daniel Nigro, although 5 others are also credited with guitar parts.

This is not unusual for pop stars on major labels with big-name producers.

Producers are often tasked with creating hit songs in as short a recording time as possible. In many cases, they prefer to use studio musicians they have worked with previously as they know their capabilities and already have a mutual understanding.

As a result, until pop stars get more established (and more say-so in their career), they often just do what the producers tell them.

However, while Olivia did not play guitar on the album, she is credited with having played piano for the 1 song I mentioned above.

But as her career grows and she begins to assert herself more, we’ll likely see her playing guitar on future recordings.

Does Olivia Rodrigo play guitar in concert?

Olivia Rodrigo does occasionally play guitar live in concert. But for the vast majority of her songs, she just sings without an instrument.

Above, I linked to a YouTube video of her playing guitar live on the song “Enough For You”.

Of course, gaining popularity in 2020, Rodrigo hasn’t had too many opportunities to perform live in concert. But this will change as her career grows.

The singer has released a concert film called Sour Prom.

It has been quite well received by fans and critics online. In the film, she performs several songs from her album and plays guitar while attending a prom.

Olivia Rodrigo has now shown on multiple occasions that she is a gifted and confident guitar player. She seems to be in her element when she performs with it.

What made Olivia Rodrigo famous?

Olivia first became famous as an actress in an Old Navy commercial, and then, in 2015, she played the lead role in the film, An American Girl: Grace Stirs up Success. 

So Universal, who produced that, made her a star.

But Olivia Rodrigo really gained attention in 2016. She starred in the Disney Channel show called Bizaardvark. Now-professional Boxer, Jake Paul, was also in the first two seasons of the show.

Interestingly enough, Olivia’s character in the show is a guitarist. The show lasted from 2016 until 2019. One show ended, then another one began.

The same year Bizaardvark ended, Olivia went on to another Disney show. She stared in the Disney Plus show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. For many fans, this was their introduction to the starlet.

Olivia also contributed music to the soundtrack for the show.

In fact, “All I Want”, which is by Olivia, was considered the breakout hit for the first season on the show. The second season debuted on Disney Plus in May of 2021.

Olivia now balances being a singer and actress.

She also appreciates that some fans of hers may not be super familiar with both aspects of her career. This is because, for many, they got to know her when her solo single, “Driver’s License”, debuted.

Olivia Rodrigo – enough for you (live from SOUR prom)


Olivia Rodrigo is an accomplished singer and actress who has a bright future ahead.

She is one of the rare pop stars who can play both the guitar and piano. She also incorporates the guitar into her performances.

Olivia’s story shows what determination mixed with talent can produce. She began taking music lessons at an early age, and they paid off. She is currently super famous because of it.

The great thing about Olivia Rodrigo is that her success seems to be a result of her talent. People like her because they feel that she deserves the great things that have happened in her career.

Photo which requires attribution:

Still frame taken from video Olivia Rodrigo joins Press Secretary Jen Psaki at the White House Press Briefing by WCPT 820 is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text and graphic overlay added.

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