TAC Spotlight: Carol M


The TAC Spotlight is a weekly focus on members of Tony’s Acoustic Challenge who have posted at least one performance on the forums and are especially active in the community by showing exemplary support or inspiration for other TAC members. All TAC Spotlight featured members are nominated by other TAC members.

The ULTIMATE Guitar Practice Routine

Just show up every day, and I'll tell you what to play!

If you’d like to nominate someone to be honored with a TAC Spotlight feature, please submit your nominee here.

Say hi to Carol M!


Dutchess County, New York

# of Years Played

Maybe 2 years as a teen-ager, then after 35 years of not playing, it’s been almost 2 years that I’ve been back at it.

Favorite three bands

1. Simon & Garfunkel

2. John Denver

3. James Taylor

4. Beatles, Eagles, Boston, CSN&Y, Kansas, Journey… How do you possibly narrow it down to just 3?

(Oh and I like The Carpenters, too)

How many guitars do you currently own?

I have 6 guitars in my house right now, and another one on the way.

In order of acquisition:

1. An old Harmony circa 1970?

My first baby from way back when, she died of a broken neck when I gave her new strings 2 years ago after being abandoned in a closet for 35 years. I keep her as a decoration and because I just can’t let her go.

2. A Taylor 110 (2 years old, lot of hours played on this one, already has dented frets)

3. A 12 string Epiphone (an impulse buy, on sale for a song, who could resist that? Still learning how to play this one but LOVE the harp-like sound a 12 string sings)

4/5: purchased on the same day (Severe GAS that day)

4. Taylor 812ce: The most gorgeous stunningly beautiful guitar ever made, and plays like butter! I will never be good enough for this guitar!

5. Cordoba Iberia C5 ce: a nylon string… My teacher snuck a few classical peices in with my lessons and before I knew it, I was hooked on Bach!

6. A Fender electric- just because I sometimes need to practice real quietly, so I plug the headphones into the amp and the neighbors are happy!

7. Shopping for a travel guitar to take on a plane to Bozeman for the 2016 TAC Retreat- looking at Martins now, I have always wanted one.

Why is it important for you to improve at guitar?

This must be a hard question since I left it for last. 2 reasons I think. Firstly, because I love the way guitar music sounds and it’s not enough for me to just listen- I love to be able to be a producer of guitar music and not just a listener. It’s thrilling to learn a new song and just play it!

The 2nd reason is that if I spend time doing something, I want to do it right and do it well. I don’t feel that I have that many talents, so if I can get a song out that people can recognize or even sing along to, it gives me a very satisfying sense of achievement.

Why are you an active TAC member?

When I was guitar shopping online, I found lots of reviews by Tony Polecastro on YouTube! I wanted to learn some of the songs he played in his reviews cuz he plays really cool, so I found the TAC community.

I joined for “just 1 month” to try it out. And, Wow. Tony’s style of teaching makes it so much easier- it’s broken down into manageable peices that you can loop over and over, and with the tabs and video- you have all you need! It’s awesome. I am learning so much.

But the community is even more awesomer. This is why I got an annual membership-  There are so many fantastic guitar players and just downright nice people here in TAC. I love listening to all the video clips, seeing how well other people play, watching people grow and learn stuff they didn’t think possible. And if you post a question or problem? You better stand back cause before you can blink twice, there will be a flurry of posts answering back with information, answers, resources and support! It’s just a nice comfy guitar haven where you don’t have to explain yourself- everyone understands your guitar passion cuz they have it too.

What convinced you to submit your first performance video?

Watching other people posting their videos and seeing all positive comments and feedback- I wanted some of that too. I was a bit nervous posting my first one- (I think it was Scarborough Fair) but I’ve never seen anything negative posted anywhere in TAC, so I took the plunge and wow! It’s a bit addictive.

Watch Carol play Shady Grove

What else would be cool for people to know about you?

I used to be a chat room host for America OnLine, I am a certified Open Water Scuba Diver, and I taught myself how to juggle.


  1. Profile photo of Dru

    I think you are a very, very talented player and it was great to learn more about who you are and how you approach your music. It seems to me that you and the guitar are a natural pair. Thanks for sharing your performances and enthusiasm with us.

  2. Profile photo of coobie

    Congratzz carol!! you always gave me wonderful feedback as well as everyone else in tac but, my hat is tipped to you my dear 🙂 lol
    – Coobie

    1. Profile photo of Carol M
      Carol M

      Right back atcha, Coobie! You are wonderful yourself!
      :::tipping hat:::

  3. Profile photo of Charles B
    Charles B

    chat room host for America OnLine, a certified Open Water Scuba Diver, taught myself how to juggle.
    Wow that is awsome, diving and juggling? Thanks for the inspiration, the kind words and the push I needed for my first post! Your fretting hand is spot on! Thank you Carol!

    1. Profile photo of Carol M
      Carol M

      Thanks Charles, and glad you got your first post up there! Keep em coming!

  4. Profile photo of Tony M
    Tony M

    Carol , your a great addition to the TAC community. I liked watching you from your first video, you play so precise and relaxed. Thanks for sharing your life with us! Hope to meet you at Doms Campfire.

    1. Profile photo of Carol M
      Carol M

      Thanx Tony, but if only you could see the out-takes, LOL! Sorry I had to miss the campfire, looked like a truckload of fun!! Hoping there will be another get-together for us “East coast TACers”, maybe an open mike nite or something.

  5. Profile photo of Arthur M
    Arthur M

    Carol! You are an inspiration for me! Thaks for sharing your videos and music!

    1. Profile photo of Carol M
      Carol M

      Thanx Arthur, and thank YOU for sharing as well- you are an inspiration yourself!!

  6. Profile photo of Tony P
    Tony P


    Congratulations on the member spotlight!!! It was wonderful reading your story and learning more about you as a person and as a player!!! Thank you sincerely for being a member of TAC and for sharing your progress with everyone. I absolutely love the laundry list of guitars as well!!! And for the record, even the mention of the 2016 TAC retreat has me smiling!!! Great job and a big thanks for being a part of this wonderful community!!!


    1. Profile photo of Carol M
      Carol M

      Thank you so much Tony! And thanks for creating TAC and making it THE best and awesomest guitar hang out on line! Hope to hear more details about the 2016 TAC Retreat real soon

  7. Profile photo of DeeDee L
    DeeDee L

    Right on Carol!! Congratulations on the spotlight. You most certainly are an inspiring and helpful TAC member who deserves the recognition. Keep it up!

    1. Profile photo of Carol M
      Carol M

      Thanks Darleen, for your kind words! I am happy to be a part of this awesome community!

  8. Profile photo of Debra Fordham
    Debra Fordham

    Yay, Carol! I love hearing your story. Thanks for sharing more about yourself. (And yes, that is a GORGEOUS Taylor!) 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Carol M
      Carol M

      Thanx Debra! I may be biased, but I think my 812 is just the purdiest durned guitar ever been made 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Carol M
      Carol M

      Thanks, Betsy! I am happy to be your guitar “soul sister”- our stories are indeed very similar! Thank you for your kind words, and it’s been fun watching you venture up into the spotlight yourself- keep up the great work, buddy!

  9. Profile photo of X

    Big cheer for Carol! You bring so much to the community! It’s great to learn more about you. Keep up the great, inspiring work! I’m looking forward to meeting you in Bozeman next summer.

    1. Profile photo of Carol M
      Carol M

      Thanks Mark, that means so much to me! You have been such an inspiration to me, I love watching your videos! And I can’t wait to meet everyone at TAC Retreat Summer 2016!! I smile every time I think about it!

  10. Profile photo of Carol M
    Carol M

    Thanks, David! I am glad to be a part of TAC! It’s definately a special and unique forum.
    And Maggie- you are so very special! I look up to you as an excellent performer and a role model, so thank you for your encouragement, it means alot!
    Jeff- you should see my out-takes, LOL, you’d take back every word you said!! Seriously tho, I am far from mastering anything- I just play for stress relief and because I love creating something beautiful. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes, I don’t. But you guys just keep cheering me on (and everyone else too!) and DAT’s why I luv y’all so much!
    Dom- it may take me some time, but I WILL get you for this! Thanks so much for the spotlight nomination, I am like the deer in the headlights here. I never would have expected this, as there are plenty of people who should be here instead of me. Sooo, I am taking my turn, it is quite an honor. But really, everyone here in TAC is special and talented, and we are all standing in our own spotlight.
    Thanks guys, for being my guitar hang out buddies!

  11. Profile photo of David W
    David W

    Congratulations, Carol – you truly reflect the warm and friendly spirit of this community!

  12. Profile photo of Maggie

    Awesome, Carol!! A well deserved recognition… it’s great to get to know you a little bit more – and a fellow SCUBA diver! woohoo!!!

  13. Profile photo of jumpin' jeff s
    jumpin' jeff s

    What a pleasure it is to read a bit more about you. I have to say that I do admire your playing and specifically your fantastic economy of motion. You always appear so relaxed and purposeful. I try to practice this myself but fall short of your level of mastery. If you don’t feel it on the inside you should. Keep up what you are doing because it is working. So happy you are part of TAC community.

  14. Profile photo of Dom T
    Dom T

    Let me be the first congratulate you on this spotlight which you so richly deserve.
    Thank you also, for taking the spotlight away from me. I will be forever in your debt. 😉
    I can’t wait to see how much my fellow TACers show there appreciation and pour well-deserved praise all over your head. By the way, I DO have the Buffalo Trace and regardless of how much my brother and sister-in-law whine around the Friday night campfire, it will NOT be opened until Saturday after you (and a friend?), and Tony M arrive, along with my best friend and guitar player Gary and his wife show up. Saturday will be a blast. Enjoy your week in the spotlight !!!!! Proud of you!!

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