TAC Spotlight: Jason S.

Jason S.


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 Jason S.!


Meredith, NH

 # of years played

I used to play in college for a couple of years, albeit poorly.  I’d say that collectively I have played for 2 or 3 years over a 25 year span.

Favorite 3 Bands:

Pink Floyd / David Gilmour (still riding the high from seeing him at MSG last month)


Gov’t Mule

(Man it is hard to pick 3!)

How many guitars do you currently own?

I have a single 1994 Washburn D-12s.  I have a Taylor GS Mahogany Mini on the way (I might even have it by the time you read this)

Why is it important for you to improve at guitar?

I love the sound of the guitar.  I am always amazed when someone plays something stunningly beautiful on the guitar.  I am equally amazed when I can copy a lick or a tune and marvel at how simple some of this is when you break it down (even if my version pales in comparison to the original).  It is empowering for me to see that I can accomplish something and I hope to one day amaze someone with something that I have done on the guitar and inspire them to push their own boundaries and do something beautiful as well.

Why are you an active TAC member?

You get out of it what you put into it.  This program has given me more advancement in playing and has inspired me to practice like no other.  I can tell that I’m improving where in the past I never got past strumming chords to classic rock songs (even when I had an electric guitar and a sweet Mesa/Boogie amp that I regret selling to this day).

What convinced you to submit your first performance video?

I wanted that performance badge!  Gamification can really do wonders for pushing people out of their comfort zone.  Look at all the people who run marathons for medals!  Same thing works here!

Tell us the story of your first Open Mic?

I have never performed an open mic.  To be honest I think that is in the best of the poor patrons attending the open mic event at this point in time.  Maybe someday, but for now I still get nervous just videoing myself and you all are super supportive of whatever we lay on tape!

What’s the one thing you’d tell other TAC members who don’t think they’d be good at writing songs?

I have only written a few really, really bad songs so my advice is this:  just write songs.  You don’t get better by thinking about it.  You have to just do it.

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

When time and conditions permit I love to fly High Powered Rockets.  A fun hobby for sure but you are very weather and schedule dependent to get them off the ground.


  1. Profile photo of Richard S
    Richard S

    Hi Jason,
    I very much enjoyed your story and how you involved every aspect of your story with your learning curve here in TACland. You are a highly interactive and fun individual. I am glad you are a part of our family.

  2. Profile photo of Malcolm S
    Malcolm S

    Thanks for your spotlight Jason. I agree that it is a great feeling when you can make a lick/song sound even a bit like the original. Guitar is such a fun instrument.

  3. Profile photo of Michael D
    Michael D

    Congratulations on the spotlight Jason. Enjoyed reading your story. I always find them interesting. Glad to have you with us on TAC 🙂

  4. Profile photo of Andrew D
    Andrew D

    Congratulations Jason! I am also a huge Pink Floyd and David Gilmour fan, I am very jealous you got to see him play. Thank you for sharing your story, hope you enjoy that GS Mini.

    1. Profile photo of Jason S
      Jason S

      Thanks Scott! I find everyone’s profile on here to be interesting.

  5. Profile photo of Gary L
    Gary L

    Congrats on your feature Jason. Great to hear your story. I enjoy hearing about everyone’s journeys that lead to becoming a TAC member. Look forward to seeing your performances.

    1. Profile photo of Jason S
      Jason S

      Thanks Gary! Hopefully my month of crazy was only a month and I can get back on to the weekly practices.

  6. Profile photo of Steve H
    Steve H

    Hi Jason. Congrats on the Spotlight! As a fellow GS Mini Hog-top owner I can tell you you’re in for a treat when the top starts to open up a bit. The tone just gets sweeter and sweeter. It’d be cool to see a video of your rockets with you playing as a backing track one day. Keep it up!

    1. Profile photo of Jason S
      Jason S

      I love the idea of having some rockets in the background. I’ll totally do that for July’s video!

      I LOVE the GS Mini. It sounds awesome, it fits me so well. When I pickup the washburn (which is tuned to Gilmour open E for “Fearless”) it feels so huge and ungainly! It also sounds like crap compared to the GS Mini!

  7. Profile photo of Duane W
    Duane W

    Jason, Congratulation on Spotlight selection. Interesting to read what people do for hobbies other than playing guitar. Thanks for the new vocabulary word “Gamification”.
    I have a GS Mini Mahogany and think you will love it (I was shocked at it tone and volume). Keep smiling and keep at song writing, IME you advise to “just write songs” is spot on.

    1. Profile photo of Jason S
      Jason S

      Thanks Duane! As I said before, I LOVE the GS Mini! I am so excited that Taylor gives full support to lefties! I secretly pine after one of their T5z models in addition to a 522 that they have at my local shop.

      I, too, find it interesting to know what people here do other than guitar. It makes all of us that much more interesting!

  8. Profile photo of Russell S
    Russell S

    Hey Jason! It’s awesome that we get to know more about you! Congrats on being chosen for the spotlight!

    1. Profile photo of Jason S
      Jason S

      Thanks Russell! It was fun to give an interview. I was surprised to be chosen but was happy to give some details!

  9. Michael Strickland

    Keep it up, Jason! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Profile photo of Fred R
    Fred R


    Congrats on being in the spotlight!

    It was great reading about your return to guitardom and how the badge was the thing that help get you over the hump of video freeze. I get that!

    And so glad you are branching into another guitar. I look forward to reading about the sound of it.

    1. Profile photo of Jason S
      Jason S


      Thanks! I really like how Tony and Levi have set this up. It is positive reinforcement all the way! Also – if you fall off track like I did in June, no worries! Just pick it back up the next month and keep on rollin!

      The GS mini Mahogany is a fantastic little guitar. It took a little time to get used to the slightly compressed size and fret spacing but it is all good now. The sound though. It is hard to believe that such a nice “big” sound comes out of this little guitar. I was able to A/B a spruce top and mahogany top and I felt that the mahogany sounded a little less shrill to my ears. However, both were basically new out of the shipping box so that might not be a fair comparison. I also liked the look of the mahogany in person over the spruce, which is interesting because I like the picture of the spruce more than the mahogany online. Tony does a review of the GS mini and I think that it is spot on.
      ONE annoying thing about the GS mini. The EZ pickup for it does not work for left handed guitars very well. It was disappointing to purchase the EZGO pickup and not be able to hear the bass strings at all. A call to Taylor confirmed that the pickup is setup for right handed and that there was not much to do since its a sealed unit. I asked why they bother with the EZGO on lefties if this is the case and they guy on the other end of the line (who happened to be a lefty) wondered that as well. He did, however, recommend the K&K mini pickup system which was a little unnerving to glue into my guitar but works fantastic!

      Anyway! Maybe I’ll do a write up under the gear page one of these days!

  11. Profile photo of Dru

    Great spotlight, Jason. Glad to hear you are on an adventure with your new mini. What fun! Rocket on!

  12. Profile photo of Jason S
    Jason S

    Thanks everyone!! I did get my GS Mini after I responded to this interview. I absolutely love it! I may have added in a pickup and have been spending my time using a looper and a delay pedal instead of working on my lessons for the last few weeks……

  13. Profile photo of Roger L
    Roger L

    Hello Jason. Nice to read about you. I too am amazed at copying a lick and discovering how simple it may be but sounds so awesome. Keep on Strumming.

    1. Profile photo of Jason S
      Jason S

      Yeah – I started to work on “The Rain Song” after seeing someone post it in the chatroom on here. It is so cool to be able to play even just 75% of that song! I shock myself when I can get something like that done correctly!

      I am always amazed at the Tuesday licks that Tony gives us. When I first see him do it I think “man I can’t do that” and 3 or 4 minutes later I am plinking out some version of it! Brings a smile to my face every time!

  14. Profile photo of Lou Q
    Lou Q

    Hi Jason
    Nice to here a little about you. Congrats on the spotlight! Gamification, took me awhile. Great word!

  15. Profile photo of Bradley A
    Bradley A

    Congrats on the spotlight here Jason! I can relate to a whole bunch of things you said about why you are here, and how you got here. Love that word “gamification” LOL. Glad you are here and enjoying TAC-land. Oh…congrats on the Taylor acquisition too!

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