TAC Spotlight: Marco J.


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 Marco!


I was born, raised, and still live in Mexico City; a very big, crowded and chaotic City but with great people full of joy, traditions and very interesting musical interest.

# of years played:

I started practicing guitar about 12 years ago, but I really got into it about 8 years ago when I bought my first guitar.

Favorite 3 Bands?

That is a tough one, I have a lot of favorite bands in many musical genres, but if I have to pick my absolute 3 favorites those would be System of a Down, The Dubliners and The Beatles, I can assure you there are a lot more!

How many guitars do you currently own?

I currently own 12 guitars.

5 Acoustics

-Epiphone EJ-200

-Taylor 326cek Fall Limited Edition (My personal favorite!!!, bought from Music Villa and reviewed by Tony)

-Taylor GS Mini Rosewood Limited Edition

-Godin Grand Concert SA (Nylon)

-Custom Made Nylon Guitar

7 Electric

-Gibson SG Standard

-Gibson LP Standard (Whit a sweet Honeyburst finish!!!)

-Epiphone Nick Vanelsi Riviera

-Epiphone G1275 Double Neck

-Fender Stratocaster Mexican Made

-2 Self Made Guitars

Why is it important for you to improve at guitar?

This is something that I’m really passionate about, I love the feeling of realizing that something that was hard to practice or complicated to play just isn´t anymore, there is  always something to improve.

Why are you an active TAC member?

When I´m sitting in front of my computer with my guitar it’s the only time of the day I can forget about everything, no work, no stress, nothing else but my guitar and me, and everyone else in the TAC community is so great, I love spending time watching everyone’s videos and leaving comments, I love seeing everybody’s improvement as well!!

Tell us the story of your first open mic?

I’m a very shy guy with a terrible case of stage fright, so I have never played for an audience other than my family but even that is scary sometimes, the first time I played was on a Sunday afternoon visiting my grandma, she always heard me practice and asked when I could perform for her, so I shook all my nerves away and played for everybody, that was a very lovely evening.

But I don´t discard the possibility of my big debut someday at a stage 😛

What convinced you to submit your first performance video?

As I said before I have a very bad case of stage fright, so to start getting over that feeling I pushed myself to upload my first video, and everybody’s response was so great that I don´t think I will ever stop uploading now haha my favorite day of the week is Wednesday so I can share with all of you the solo of the week.

What advice would you give to other TAC members trying to write songs?

Just give it a try, anything, even the combination of 2 simple notes can be the beginning of a melody. When I found a sound I like I record it, I have written some tunes with a mashup of several ideas I record, and whenever you are stuck let it rest through the night, you will find the next day that the answer was right there.

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

You may wonder why would a guy who doesn´t play live and has stage fright need so many guitars, well one of my best friends is a professional musician and I help him to record sometimes with his band “The Original Ceviche Sound” some backing track guitar and make arrangements for songs he has written.


  1. Profile photo of Tony P
    Tony P Post author


    I am looking forward to seeing your collection of guitars 🙂 Congrats on your spotlight and thank you so much for being here on TAC!!! I look forward to hearing your solos every week, and am always so pumped when I see your technique and timing; they are top notch!!! You rock and I look forward to seeing you continue to rock!!! Keep up the awesome work!!!


    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Tony

      Thanks bro!!!, surely couldn’t do this without your help thanks for creating TAC for us and been such a great inspiration to all of us, I promise I will post pictures of my guitars soon :P, I have been so bussy this beggining of the year at work that is also messing with my time for the plactice plan.

      Keep up the good work at TAC headquarters, you guys are awesome!!!


  2. Profile photo of Heidi H
    Heidi H

    Hi Marco! 😀 I could VERY much relate to your comments re: playing for family being stressful/stage fright, and all that! 😀 I hope your family is appreciative and considerate of your efforts! 😀 Loved learning more about you and where you live, all your wonderful guitars, and your musical journeys! 😀

    Do you know anyone that is a “ham” radio operator? I know there are quite a number of them in your fine city and other parts of Mexico, and I’ve enjoyed talking to a few in English, or just listening when I didn’t understand the Spanish. My part of Washington State in the USA is a pretty good mix of cultures and languages, but I’ve never learned much Spanish. Isn’t it AWESOME how UNIVERSAL music is? It can be enjoyed all over the world, even if we don’t understand the lyrics! 😀 Best wishes for 2016! 😀

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Heidi

      Totally agree!! music is an universal language and we sure enjoy it no matter what. Unfortunately I don´t know any ham radio operators, I´m not much of a radio listener myself, but I could research some and let you know 🙂

      Best wishes for this 2016 to you too!!!

  3. Profile photo of Carol M
    Carol M

    Hi Marco!
    Congrats on your appearance in the spotlight here- it was cool reading about you and your guitars. Anybody who has more guitars than me, is a role model and an inspiration! Amazing that you built so many of them yourself- can’t wait to see pix of them!
    Hope to see you working on your stage fright more- I agree that we all have it to some degree or another, and I think it all depends on the audience as to the severity of it… If the audience is just my video camera and the 2 cats, I am usually pretty good. Add a real live breathing person, and it all gets shot to heck. It’s easier for me if the live audience is distracted in some way, i.e., they are eating, drinking, in another room, or “not really listening”. And also much easier if I am not up on the stage by myself.
    Thanks for sharing, and Happy New Year!

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Carol

      It has been a while since I played for my family and now mi only audience is my dog hehe but posting videos here helps a lot!!


  4. Profile photo of Linda K
    Linda K

    Your beginnings sound like my present, I am a total closet guitar player! I do play at home so my my family hears me, however, that’s it. I have a lot of friends that play at many different levels, from intermediate like myself & professionally. It is no wonder that all my life I have gravitated towards musicians.
    My story is simple I always wanted to play, had an acoustic when I was in high school given to me by a good friend that tragically died a few years later, in a motorcycle accident. What I would give to have that guitar today not because it was a great guitar but because it was his. Anyway…before I turned 50 years old, I thought about what I wanted to do for myself for my 50th, I bought a guitar. Buying that guitar, 4 years ago, was one of my best decisions ever. I picked it up & have been so happy that I did. I do not own that particular guitar any longer as I have upgraded since & currently have a Taylor 150E 12-string (a recent xmas gift to myself), Martin Ellipse Special Edition X-Series (first Martin), Martin DXCE1 X-Series (I love the warmth of this one), Martin OMJM (a gift to myself after I finished my bachelors degree), & a PRS Mira S2 Mahogany Semi-Hollow. I sometimes feel like my skill level does not match my guitars & have to let the negativity go, self-talk..UGH! I love playing them all.
    These amazing instruments are the reason I finally said yes to the practice plans…Even though I have only been a member of this community for the month of January, I seriously, have noticed an improvement, so happy I did it!
    Anyway, Marco Thank you so much for your honesty, it gives me hope. I just want to be able to play without fear & nervousness around others, there will be no big stage for me, I am not doing it for that…just peace of mind & soul.



    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Linda,

      Wow that’s quite a collection of guitars, the TAC communuy has helped me so much and sure it will help you too, so welcome and share your playing with us, posting not only helps with the fear and nervousness but also helps to check on your progress, that amazing feel that this instruments gave us when we pick them up and play is what we are all here for, and sharing it with others is great you will see 🙂

  5. Profile photo of leslie c
    leslie c

    Hola Amigo como estas
    Feliz Ano Nuevo
    Yo entiendes poco Espaniol
    I was living in South America for a while
    Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay
    Ecuador Bolivia to.
    Hello Marco
    I like Carlos Santana a lot
    I have been listening to his music since the 70s

    Marco I would like to hear you playing
    BUT I am not good with computers
    so I have a problem seeing your videos
    someone could show me how to open up your videos
    I would love to hear you and see you play the Guitar
    Congratulations for going on Spotlight Bravo

    Keep well Marco


  6. Profile photo of Dru

    Hi, Marco. I, too, would love to see pics of all your guitars. I have a Taylor Fall Limited Koa that I love. I always look forward to your posts and playing. You don’t seem shy to me! And I feel like I know you some, as you resemble a friend of mine that I play music with occasionally. So, you’re already a good friend! Keep playing and hope to see you someday in live TACland.

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Dru

      I love Koa it is the best wood I would love to see that guitar, and I can assure you I get really nervous when I record my videos but I’m getting used to it.
      I will post pictures of all my gitars soon

  7. Profile photo of David Cagle
    David Cagle

    Marco – Congratulations on your time in the spotlight and I enjoyed reading your story and getting to know a little more about you. I used to travel to Mexico City for business and always enjoyed my time there as the people were friendly and welcoming, even in such a large city. Traffic is crazy there! I always look forward to your videos and you have quite the stable of guitars. Peace and blessings to you in your music and in your life.


    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Dave

      Yeah the traffic is terrible here, and getting worse everyday haha thanks for the comment and peace and blessings to you as well

  8. Profile photo of David C
    David C

    Great story, Marco. I’m inspired. Thank you.

    MIM Strats are the best. I’ve owned a few high end MIA’s and one MIJ, none of them compare to the MIM 2002 ’50s classic series. At least the piece I have. The chime and bell tones of the second and fourth selector positions are heavenly. Recall the strat tone of the 80s new wave. The 7″ rad fingerboard is a rhythm players dream. I could go on and on. Thanks for specifying the country of origin. It reminded me just how special that guitar is at a third the price.

  9. Profile photo of Chad P
    Chad P

    Cool man! You got it going on. I have yet to texts anything myself, after reading your advice I might give it a shot.

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Chad

      Give it a shot man, you will be amazed at what you can came up to with a simple chord progression or a pair of notes, and there are no wrong notes just improved arrangements

  10. Profile photo of Dom T
    Dom T

    What an interesting background Marco. Well deserved spotlight for sure. When you think about an Open Mic, just remember the feeling you had AFTER you played for your Grandma……I’ll bet it was one you won’t soon or ever forget. You brought joy to someone with your talent. That feeling will be with you always, and can really help to get you on stage, which is where you deserve to be, showcasing that enormous talent of yours.

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Dom,

      You bet I will never forget that, I cannot really describe the feeling when everybody starts clapping and singing along, that is amazing!!!

  11. Profile photo of nowhere man
    nowhere man

    I’m such a slacker… Read this several days ago and got sidetracked. Marco: I loved reading what you wrote and learning more about you. Your koa guitar is one of my favs on the site for sweet sound. I always look forward to your solos. Can relate to the shyness thing, and I know you’ll continue to overcome it. Hope to get a chance to play with you live some day! Thanks for being such a great community member!

  12. Profile photo of jeff s
    jeff s

    Marco, Just want to say I am glad you are here. I have gone to school on you and watching you has made me a better player. I was just reading Emma’s spotlight too and the stage fright or its more friendly cousin “performance anxiety” seems to be a recurring theme. Growing and learning together has been very helpful for me especially in overcoming those self imposed limitations. Keep playing and posting and getting better and know you are helping me to get better too.

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Jeff

      I’ ve learned a lot from you and so many others here on TAC too, it is getting easier to play in front of the camera with every video but theres always that felleng of anxiety…. so hard to get rid off

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Dave

      Thanks I always enjoy your post too, in fact I have used some of your videos for inspiration hehe

  13. Profile photo of Charles B
    Charles B

    Congratulations Marco! Really enjoy hearing you play and man you do have a lot of guitars! How about some pictures of the ones you made?

  14. Profile photo of DeeDee L
    DeeDee L

    Hi Marco,
    I totally feel ya on the stage fright. It was nice reading more about you. Congrats on the spotlight.

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Darleen

      Yeah is tough right? But it gets easier with every video, although I think it would work better if it was people instead of the camera hahaha but one thing at a time

  15. Profile photo of Bruce B
    Bruce B

    Marco, congrats on your spotlight feature this week. You have done some very nice solos for us to enjoy. Keep ’em comin’! Way to go.

  16. Profile photo of DEXTER KEATS

    MAAAARRRRRCOOOOOO!!!! Congrats buddy!!! I’m looking forward to you melting our faces this year with your solos… Keep rockin’….

  17. Profile photo of Vic G
    Vic G

    Hola Marco. Felicidades on your spotlight. I always enjoy your posts, and love to see the guitars that you play (although I am not sure I’ve seen them all 🙂 ). We are alike in many ways, including the number of guitars that we own, and the ever presence of some nerves before any performance. Continue the great work that you do and I share in your passion for playing the guitar. Felicidades de nuevo. Atentamente. (You’ll have to forgive me, but these few words are pretty much the extent of my Spanish. 🙂 )

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hola Vic

      Your spanish is perfect, I will post pictures of my guitars, and yes I think stage fright is something we all share, I would love to see your guitars too bro


  18. Profile photo of Steve H
    Steve H

    Happy New Year Marco! Congrats on your well-deserved week in the spotlight. Your videos are always good fun. I was nodding along reading about your stage fright. I suspect most people here would agree to varying extents. It sounds like you’re already half way to getting out there though, posting videos weekly, performing for the family, and playing with your friend. Good for you!
    That’s an impressive collection of guitars BTW!

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Steve

      It has been getting easy with every video but the nerves are still there hehehe I will post pictures of my guitars soon

      Happy New Year to you too!!!

    1. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
      Marco Jimenez

      Hi Emma

      The smile at the end of the videos was a nervous way to finnish my first video haha but it has become kind of a signature move

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