TAC Spotlight: Emma S.

Emma S.

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 Emma!


Brandon, Suffolk, UK

# of Years Played

I’ve been playing on and off since I was 14 years old, also followed with a 10 year break. But it’s only been the past year that I’ve really put the effort in.

How many guitars do you currently own?

I have a Gibson SG and a Little Martin LX1.

Why is it important for you to improve at guitar?

I want to be the best that I can, so that I can hear the true beauty of each of my guitars ‘voice’. It’s such a great feeling to be able to play a piece of music.

Why are you an active TAC member?

I enjoy the community spirit and friendly encouragement.

What would you tell other TAC members who don’t think they would be good at writing songs?

Be brave and enjoy what you do. Its astounding how many very well known songs have three simple chords.

What convinced you to submit your first performance video?

I wanted to be a contributing member of the forum and I also wanted to overcome my shyness in playing in front of people.

Tell us the story of your first open mic?

I’ve only recently plucked (no pun intended) up the courage to play in front of my family. But my New Year’s Resolution is to go to an open mic and get up and play.

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

I like exploring derelict buildings. It fascinates me that even with all the decay a building still maintains it’s soul and beauty. I would like to add that I ask for permission to enter these buildings.


  1. Profile photo of doug d
    doug d

    I admire your courage to stand up in front of others to play. Ive played many times live, but never just me alone. Always with a full band Like you I wont even play much in front of the family by myself. I guess I play acoustic guitar more for myself than for others. I’ll play when my 3 year old twins are around, but my wife usually asks me why what i play sounds so sad. Its not sad dear, its beautiful. 🙂 best of luck to you!

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

    Hi Emma, it is nice to get to know a little more about you. I relate strongly to the the shyness issue. It is still something I work on overcoming. It has gotten better as I begin to match my mental image of myself with what I actually see. I play now in front of my family but only as a back round thing. I still freeze up when eveurone stops and looks/listens. I have a feeling that with time and repeated practice the urge to freeze will dissipate. At least I am no longer queasy when I post on the solo stage or open mic in the TAC forums. Glad you are here and part of TAC. Keep playing no matter what.

  3. Profile photo of Michael D
    Michael D

    Congrats on the spotlight Emma 🙂 I love old buildings too (and railroad tracks and cars) there is an endearing sorrow and story to them. Very cool that you got the spotlight and love to listen to you play.

  4. Profile photo of Karol D
    Karol D

    How did I miss you are getting an awesome new guitar?! Congratulations and congrats on being in the Spotlight, very, very well deserved! Love your playing, always very solid with perfect timing. Happy New Year!

  5. Profile photo of Tony P
    Tony P Post author


    Congratulations on your spotlight!!! Seeing you continually progress is really quite the treat!!! I just watched your posting of Joy To The World and your tone, technique, and timing are right on!!! Thank you for contributing and being a member here, it is great to learn more about you and I look forward to 2016 and more awesome videos from you!!!


  6. Profile photo of X

    Congratulations Emma, and it’s very nice to learn more about you. What you wrote about overcoming shyness and sharing your play sounds a lot like part of my story too. I’ve really enjoyed listening to the music you’ve already shared with us, and i know there will be much more to come. I wonder if your visits to derelict buildings will lead to songs? I find that buildings evoke feelings in me, maybe I imagine the people who once lived or worked there? I have one such song in the works (but it may take a long time to get it written).

  7. Profile photo of Maggie

    In the spotlight, Emma! Nice! Happy to see you recognized and to learn a bit more about you! You sound a whole lot like me as far as the only playing in front of your family part with the goal to do an open mic… that was me less than a year ago!! It had taken me a while to even play anything in front of my own husband, lol – my kids were the only ones that I was comfortable playing music around and that was just because they would ignore me 😉 But I have to tell you it has been such an adventure – when I got up the courage to do the open mic I’ve really had so much fun, grown by leaps and bounds musically, and have met such an amazing group of people that I now call my close friends. I wish you the best of luck in that adventure!!

    1. Profile photo of Emma S
      Emma S

      Hi Maggie, thank you. Well I’ll be honest with you, my jaw hit the floor when I read that you have been performing for less than a year. You have such a gift for writing and performing I enjoy listening to your performances. Reading your reply has really stoked the flames for open mic adventures for 2016

  8. Profile photo of Pat Horwath
    Pat Horwath

    Congrats on the TAC spotlight Emma! You make me want to try a little Martin LX1 since you make it sound so sweet when you play. I played a 00-15 two months ago and it was a great sounding mahogany guitar you’ll have for a lifetime. Its a beauty in its simplicity. I too love exploring (and photographing) old homestead cabins here in the mojave desert which seem caught in time. Travelling through Nevada on a stretch of road in the middle of the desert we turned off the main road toward a sign that read Nuclear Test Site museum, daily tours. So we drove down the lonely desolate road and found a building open to the public. It was fascinating seeing the bland interior, the ancient instrument panels and being encased in a building without windows, like being in the twilight zone or another world. Enjoy the open mic experience.

  9. Profile photo of Dom T
    Dom T

    Congrats Emma on a well deserved spotlight. Enjoy it. You play so sweet and lovely. I look forward to anything you post for us. Your resolutions are really good ones. PLEASE, when you are getting ready for that HUGE step up onto a live stage, let me know if you need a tiny nudge. I KNOW exactly what you will be going through. IF you find you need to hear someone say “You CAN do it, and you WILL enjoy it”. I will say it now, AND if and when you request to hear it again, I will oblige you..

    I am fascinated by your fascination of those buildings. I KNOW there is a song, or many songs from those experiences. Try one out on us soon.

    Again, congrats! Happy new Year! 😉

    1. Profile photo of Emma S
      Emma S

      Hi Dom, thank you so much for offering advice, I know I’m going to be calling on you for help. I’m excited about doing the open mic but also very nervous. I popped round to some friends of mine and played in front of them and my family, we did ‘House of the Rising Sun’. That was a big step and to think only a couple of months ago doing this would have filled me with dread.

      Dom, what a brilliant idea, it never occurred to me that amongst my fascination for derelict buildings songs could be born, all those feelings that stir when I’m exploring can be put to words and music

  10. Profile photo of Stéphan B
    Stéphan B

    Emma, you play very well, and I’m sure it will be even better with your 00-15M! Looking foward to hear it soon.

  11. Profile photo of Bruce B
    Bruce B

    Emma, so nice to see you featured on TAC. Tell us where you live in relation to London, or some other well known city/landmark. I’ve been to the UK four times and love it as does my wife. We’ve actually talked about the possibility of moving there one day!

    I love the fact that you like to explore derelict buildings. Fascinating. We have a TV show in America titled, “American Pickers”. Two guys drive around the country and find old junk in old buildings and buy it to re-purpose and sell.

    Blessings to you,


  12. Profile photo of Steve H
    Steve H

    Congrats on the spotlight Emma! I always enjoy watching your videos and hope to see more of them in 2016. You have excellent technique and make your Little Martin sing. Imagine what a 00-15M (lefty) will sound like!

    1. Profile photo of Emma S
      Emma S

      Hi Steve, thank you for comments. I’m getting so excited that the 00-15m is becoming a reality and blessed that my family are very supportive

  13. Profile photo of Dru

    Hi, Emma. Nice to see you in the spotlight. You are a very good guitarist and I always want to hear what you play. Keep it up. I love seeing the lucky leopards in your videos!

    1. Profile photo of Emma S
      Emma S

      Hi Dru, I kind of panicked when I realised that I wouldn’t be able to wear my lucky leopards when I go to a open mic session. I’m going to have to buy a leopard neckerchief lol

  14. Profile photo of Jason T
    Jason T

    Congratulations, Emma! I enjoy hearing and seeing your posts. I love the answer on the derelict buildings. Sometimes you can just feel the emotion in those places just like an old song.

  15. Profile photo of Ray W
    Ray W

    Congratulations, Emma! Can’t wait to hear about you getting out and playing in public! I think you’d kill an open mic although your playing warrants a command performance. 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Emma S
      Emma S

      Hi Ray, thank you so much for the motivation, I can’t wait to have a go at a open mic and be able to participate with other guitarists. 2016 is definitely going to be one cool year

  16. Profile photo of 1973.

    Congrats Emma! I too like looking at older buildings and imagining the history that surrounds it. At times architecture speaks to us historically like no words can.

    1. Profile photo of Emma S
      Emma S

      Hi Trace, when the weather gets a bit warmer I’m going to visit a nuclear bunker in Essex. The thing that makes me laugh is that I’ve seen the roads signs stating: Secret Nuclear Bunker. This is going to be such a cool place to explore, I’m going to invest in a dslr camera so hopefully I’ll have some great photos

  17. Profile photo of Vic G
    Vic G

    Congratulations Emma. I love the tone of your little Martin and you play it flawlessly. The 00-15M will make a great upgrade for your playing style.

    1. Profile photo of Emma S
      Emma S

      Hi Vic, the Little Martin is a fun guitar to play and is really helping me along with my playing. I can’t wait to get the ‘big boys toy’ and Santa very kindly gifted me a wedge of money for the 00-15m. I can’t wait to find ‘the one’

  18. Profile photo of Roeland

    Congrats Emma! Always love the answers on that last question, and this is no exception 🙂 Best of luck in achieving all your dreams next year!

    1. Profile photo of Emma S
      Emma S

      Hi Roeland, thank you for your kind words. Wishing you all the best for the New Year

  19. Profile photo of Carol M
    Carol M

    Hi Emma- Congratulations on your week in the TAC spotlight! It was great to read more about you! It is always nice to watch your videos- you play very sweetly, and totally awesome considering that you’ve only been back to it for about a year- you are a true inspiration! Happy New Year, may it be filled with all things guitar!

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