TAC Spotlight: Kroum

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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 Kroum!



# of years played

One year as of December 3rd

Favorite 3 Bands:

It used to be Metallica and the like, nowadays is mostly Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and a slew of Delta blues guys – Robert Johnson, Son House, Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy, Bukka White, etc., with the occasional Rodrigo y Garbriella, TE, Andy McKee and so on.

How many guitars do you currently own?

In the first year since I touched a guitar, I’ve bought seven guitars, sold three, made one from scratch, and gifted one to my goddaughter. So that makes four guitars – Martin 000-28EC, Martin OM-ECHF, Layla, and a Harley Benton Les Paul interpretation.

Why is it important for you to improve at guitar?

I enjoy playing, it’s a meditative experience for me, so the better I can play the more I enjoy it. Also, it is a means of self expression, and a field that is vast enough that one would always have areas to improve and explore. From guitar building and woodworking to jazz, blues, percussive fingerstyle, classical music. And it’s a “cheap” source of flow for me. Cheap, meaning that you put in the practice, and you improve. Yes, it involves some blood, some sweat, and some tears, but the more one gets control over the instrument, the more enjoyable it becomes. Or so I hope. So far that’s been my experience.

Why are you an active TAC member?

I don’t really follow the practice plan anymore, but I enjoy the forum community. Some really good players, but more so the general atmosphere of everyone wanting to improve, and at the same time be inspired from other players, and offer encouragement – I quite like that, so I stick around. Maybe one day I’ll pick up the exercises again.

What convinced you to submit your first performance video?

My first performance video was actually my first open mic experience, so it was already out there in a way. Then I posted songs when I was preparing for my second open mic, so the performance videos have always been connected with the same songs being performed in front of a live audience. I don’t have stage fright, I’m actually quite comfortable with performing live, and I’m not really worried about making mistakes. I’ve accepted that the piece is not going to be perfect, and I’ll have 3-4 performances of each piece where it’s not 100% clean, so the sooner I get them out of the way, the better.

Tell us the story of your first open mic…

I had been playing for five months, group lessons, so we had these “graduation ceremonies” where we play together simple 3-4 chord songs. There was also an open mic time, and I played Someone Like You by Adele, arranged by Sungha Jung. Playing with the group helped set my adrenalin, and I managed to pull it off. It was quite challenging song for my level back then, but this is the style I like. Since then I’ve done a couple more open mics, and I quite enjoy it. There was another one on December 17th.

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

Well, this has been a great experience so far. I’ve managed to do 870 hours in one year, for the next year the goal is 1,000h. Initially I started putting £5 (about $7.50) in a biscuit box for every hour I play to save for a main instrument, in order to develop a relationship between player and guitar with something that would be of a standard that my skills would not outgrow quickly, so long story short I now have two “main” guitars.


  1. Profile photo of Kroum

    Thank you for the kind words, guys! I’m very flattered that such great players appreciate what I’m trying to do, I must be on the right path then 🙂

  2. Profile photo of X

    I’ve had much less time that I’d like to spend on the forum, so just read this, finally. I really envy your lack of stage fright! And I’ve always admired your focus and how you tackle really difficult songs, and pull them off. Don’t think my spouse would go for my paying myself for time spent practicing. 🙂

  3. Profile photo of Robert G
    Robert G

    Nice Spotlight Kroum, Congrats!
    After reading I looked into the Forum for some of your posts. I can easily agree with others saying that your progress is quite notable and inspiring. You’re obviously a craftsman with both the playing and the pictures I saw of your guitar building.
    Well done!

  4. Profile photo of Carol M
    Carol M

    Hey Kroum- congratulations on being in the TAC spotlight! You have always been an inspiration to me- you’re a great player and I love watching your videos. I can’t believe you have only been playing for a year! And glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t always do the daily lessons here- been feeling guilty about that myself- but that we all enjoy TAC in our own unique way! You rock!

  5. Profile photo of Andrew D
    Andrew D

    Hey there Kroum, cool idea about rewarding yourself for the hard work you put in, I like that!

  6. Profile photo of David W
    David W

    Congratulations, Kroum! I really enjoyed your postings and pics when you were making Layla – beautiful guitar!

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

    Great inspiration Kroum. I relate to the blood sweat and tears. When I get focused on a result without understanding the effort needed to get the result it usually leads to tears. Once the tears dry and I focus on effort that is where the blood and sweat happens. It is there that I find the joy. You have accomplished a wonderful result in the time you have committed. Thanks for expanding my concepts of what is possible.

  8. Profile photo of Pat Horwath
    Pat Horwath

    Kroum, Glad you got the Spotlight. I’ve enjoyed your insights, questions, info sharing and comments on TAC. Has the tone in your hand built guitar matured over the months? I learned a lot from your sharing and hope after 14 months I can be halfway to your goal. Congrats!

    1. Profile photo of Kroum

      Thanks, Pat! I’ve actually had a problem with the guitar, the neck wood changed shape and I’ve been playing it with 13s to force it back to where it was before, and it spent some time in repair. It hasn’t really opened up yet, but the OM-ECHF has definitely become more responsive, after a year and about 700h playing, so the one I made will do as well, just takes time…

  9. Profile photo of Kroum

    Thanks very much, guys! You are all very kind! The forum discussions are a real inspiration to me, and I’m glad I can contribute from time to time. I’m trying to figure out what’s possible to do if you really push it and have little to no talent for these things, so let’s see how this turns out. It’s really great to read about your individual journeys as well, this is probably my favourite part of TAC! I’m keen to adopt/steal any head-fake that would enable me to push harder, so please keep sharing your insights!

    Bruce, I live in London, have been in the UK for just under 8 years now…

  10. Profile photo of Dru

    Hi, Kroum,
    Glad to see you in the Spotlight. You play very well for someone who began 14 months ago. Thought you had been at it much longer. It’s great to hear you say you don’t have stage fright. Keep playing your beautiful tunes!

  11. Profile photo of Vic G
    Vic G

    Congratulations on your spotlight Kroum. I really like your approach to practicing, playing and performing in Open Mics. You’re an inspiration to us too.

  12. Profile photo of Jason T
    Jason T

    Congratulations, Kroum! Your musical taste sounds very similar to mine….basically Metallica to Robert Johnson, and back again…..always seems to come full circle…..

  13. Profile photo of Bruce B
    Bruce B

    Kroum, nice to read your comments about your approach to TAC. There are days I love to dig into the practice sessions, but then they get to be too much, so it’s nice that I have the option to grind it through or pick those I really want to learn. I enjoy the songs that are available and feel like I’m building skills that way, too.

    Like your group sessions, I had a great time just playing a simple song with the luthier who worked on my guitar. Just great fun picking up a song and playing with someone else. Really good stuff.

    Can I ask where you live in the UK? I’ve been four times and would love to live in the UK.


  14. Profile photo of Tony

    Congratulations Kroum – it was nice reading about you. Sounds like you’ve jumped into acoustic guitar with both feet, and I hope you always keep your enthusiasm! I find the guitar a great source of fun and relaxation as well.

  15. Profile photo of Steve H
    Steve H

    Hi Kroum!
    Congrats on your spotlight week!
    Your enthusiasm for all things guitar and impressive progress in such a short period are both fantastic.
    I agree with you about guitar being meditative, and love hearing you play/ reading your open mic stories.
    You live the rock’n’roll lifestyle now!

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