The ULTIMATE Guitar Practice Routine
Just show up every day, and I'll tell you what to play!
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.
If you’d like to nominate someone to be honored with a TAC Spotlight feature, please submit your nominee here.
Say hi to David S.!
Caledonia, ON, Canada
# of years played
Favorite 3 Bands:
I have long list of bands that I like but my top 3 influencing performers are singer/songwriters who inspired me when I was in my teens and started to perform (I am a singer as well) on my own. Top of the list is Orillia, ON native Gordon Lightfoot, one of Canada’s most prolific songwriters of all time, next would be James Taylor whose songs I have enjoyed performing over the years, and then David Bradstreet, a Hamilton native songwriter who wrote “Renaissance” made famous by another Canadian singer Valdy.
How many guitars do you currently own?
Lets see – 1 Taylor, 1 Gibson, 1 Guild, 1 Yamaha, 1 Norman and 1 Susuki classical – so 6 is the short answer.
Why is it important for you to improve at guitar?
Working at improving anything you do keeps it fresh and stimulates the grey cells. For me music – guitar and singing has been such an integral part of who I am for over 50 years. Learning the material on TAC is new to me as I have basically accompanied my self for 50 years. I had developed a style that combines strumming, picking, bass runs all together as a solo artist but I wanted something more. I realized I was JUST PLAYING and NOT PRACTICING. Working through the lessons and songs on TAC require me to practice and do the same things over and over and over again to get them right. The challenge is refreshing.
Why are you an active TAC member?
I guess I could just do the lessons and learn the songs in isolation but there is such an amazing sense of community on TAC that is hard not to be drawn in by the caring and supportive membership. I admit I was a bystander for about the first year of my membership but at the start of 2016 I committed to being a part of the group, do the lessons, learn the songs and experience the group in its fullness – and offer support and encouragement to others who want to learn and are willing to bare their guitar souls to the rest of us. I salute the courage it takes to do that. Plus I get a real kick out of the badges and stuff.
What convinced you to submit your first performance video?
Recording a song to share with the group and the rest of the world is a challenge and takes a lot of work – the learning of the song, the practicing over and over and doing 30 minutes of takes to get one that is good enough(for now) – that’s what gives me a sense of accomplishment. Plus it begins a record keeping that you can go back to as time goes and shows us how much we really do improve if we stick to it. And I would love to win a GS Mini.
Tell us the story of your first Open Mic?
I started playing for others when I was 13 but they were pretty much scheduled and scripted. But it was not until I was about 50 when my daughter invited us up to party with her at her University at the on campus roadhouse. Turned out it was open mic night so being suspicious that she signed me up I took along a capo, a couple of picks and some lyric sheets. Sure enough, one of the guys who hosted the evening called me up, handed me his guitar and I was singing. It was a blast – this is not the group I would typically play in front of. Thunderous applause from the crowd was special and I figured I would have won the prize if there was one for the oldest dude in the place.
What else would be cool for people to know about you?
When I was a kid there was a 1936 Gibson L-00 in a cardboard case stored in my bedroom closet. It was my Dads. I only ever heard him strum it once or twice. After seeing Flatt and Scruggs play on the Beverly Hillbillies I thought I would like to play the guitar. And so when the salesman from the Ontario Conservatory of Music knocked on the door in June of 1965 my parents signed me up. Seven years later I had completed my Grade 8 Conservatory Exams and I just never stopped playing.