TAC Spotlight: Roger L.


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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 Roger L.!


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

# of years played

I got my first guitar as a kid, likely soon after the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Taking music lessons wasn’t glamorous though and after about two years that was it for the guitar.  I was big into sports at that time – competitive swimming and Water polo.  Twice daily training sessions kept me busy.  Guitar stayed in the closet until 1987.  The industry I work in was in recession, things were slow so I decided to re-learn the guitar.  I went to a guitar store and asked the agent to get me a really good guitar.  He played it for me and it sounded great – Larrivee dreadnaught. (I was too shy to play it at the store).  I took group lessons at the local High School and some of the participants and I got together for sing songs afterwards.  My guitar skill went from beginner to intermediate during that time period of perhaps three years.  Subsequently, I got into other work and the closet welcomed my guitar again.  This time for about 25 years.  Then 4 years ago my parents passed away and my granddaughter was born.  Somehow that combination of events got me back into the guitar – with a vengeance.  I signed up to internet instruction and have been going pretty solid since.

Favorite 3 Bands:

Lol.  How is that possible?

I’m mainly into classic rock so I have to go with The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Moody Blues, Fleetwood Mac, The Guess Who, Herman’s Hermits, Turtles, Animals, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, CCR, Neil Young, CSNY, Byrds………

Having said that, I find I listen to Leonard Cohen, Jesse Cook and k.d. Lang a fair bit also.

How many guitars do you currently own?

Four in total.  I have two acoustic Larrivee’s, a classical and an electric.  I don’t play electric or classical – these guitars are remnants of the group lessons I took in the 90’s.  But someday again quite probable.

Why is it important for you to improve at guitar?

A type of Zen perhaps.  I find I want to challenge myself to the next level.  I can spend hours playing where I’m totally lost in time.    Sometimes its gut wrenching learning a song because I know it may take me months to get it smooth but when it happens it’s very rewarding.

Why are you an active TAC member?

I was quite content taking my on-line classic rock lessons until I came across a video of this wacky bearded character drinking bourbon at breakfast and cracking eggs with an axe.  That was Tony and he was advertising a new on-line guitar course that had a fair bit of bluegrass content.  I had been exposed to bluegrass back in the 90’s and associated it with running hills and stairs as a quick start to getting in shape.  In other words, I find bluegrass really elevates my guitar playing.  And this guy was making it fun.  I joined right away. 

The daily lessons are a must with me.  I bought into Tony’s concept that playing even just for 10 minutes a day, will show faster results.   I try to incorporate the chord progressions and licks into other songs I do.  The Wednesday solo lessons with the backing track are invaluable also.  Creating a lead was something I never did.  Now it’s not so daunting (still a challenge though and it’s very useful to view other interpretations of the jam in the Solo Forum). 

The way Tony breaks down the Song Lessons into manageable parts makes learning songs way easier than traditional online methods.

What convinced you to submit your first performance video?

Not being Tech savvy, I have just recently been able to post my performances.  I used to say it was more important for me to practice than it was for me to “waste my time trying to figure out how to record and post”.   Well, I got to thinking perhaps the performances are something that should be done as a tool towards further improvement.  So I upgraded my cell phone for a better camera, made the time to learn what was necessary to get the job done and started doing it.  Figuring it out wasn’t that difficult after all.  Recording the perfect performance however is.   Regardless, recording and posting your performance is definitely a key ingredient in building skill and confidence.  I get it!

Tell us the story of your first Open Mic?

Back with the gang I did group lessons with, I became friends with a guy who was a very good player.  His band had a gig at a dude ranch every other weekend and one time he was short a player so he asked me to join him.  There couldn’t have been more than thirty people in the bar but I was thrilled to be part of their group that evening.

The same guy also did Christmas concerts at a number of senior’s hospitals.  By default I was the singer for those.  I don’t recall the song, but I noticed a lady in the first row crying.  I felt so terrible imagining the lyrics of the song I was singing had struck a tender memory for her and remarked about it after the show. Lol – a nurse assured me it wasn’t the song that angst her as she had dropped her Teddy Bear and couldn’t pick it up.

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

I’ve never tried or thought about writing songs.  To me learning a song like the entertainer performed it is challenging and rewarding for me.  However, I envy and respect the songwriter who comes up with the perfect lyric or story that just makes the song. Similar for the perfect riff. Truly a gift.

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

A friend has asked that I play at her wedding and my granddaughters’ daycare would like me to accompany their sing song.  This wouldn’t have happened if I still had those guitars in the closet.

I am Montana bound this June for the TAC Jamboree.  I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada so it’s only a mere 10 hour drive.  Ellie will be joining me for the spousal program of the Jamboree.

Looking forward to meeting a few TAC members in the flesh.


  1. Profile photo of Gary L
    Gary L

    Hey Roger. Congrats on being featured. Enjoyed hearing your story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Profile photo of Bradley A
    Bradley A

    Always enjoy your posts Roger. Don’t ever let those guitars go into hiding again!

  3. Profile photo of David P
    David P

    Congrats on the great spotlight Roger, and thank you for sharing your story and talent with us.

  4. Profile photo of Emma S
    Emma S

    Hi Roger, congrats on being on the Spot-light. I just watched your ‘Delicious Drone Dragon’ solo and that’s one super cool moustache, I didn’t recognize you at first lol.

  5. Profile photo of Roger L
    Roger L

    The irony of life. Been away and busy for last month. Back now trying to catch up on lessons. Missed my week in the spotlight. lol. Thanks all for the comments

  6. Profile photo of Duane W
    Duane W

    Roger, Congratulations on spotlight selection. Very interesting read. We share many of the same favorite bands. I can relate to the Zen aspect and agree that sometimes just picking up a guitar and playing anything has a meditative therapeutic aspect. I understand the challenge of learning to video and post solo & performances but have come to think of it as an integral part of my week.

  7. Profile photo of Jason T
    Jason T

    Very nice spotlight, Roger! I totally get the “ZEN” comment and agree 100%….

  8. Profile photo of leslie c
    leslie c

    Brilliant spotlight Roger, My Brother lives in Calgary
    Great to read your spotlight
    You reminded me of my youth here in England
    Thanks for a great read
    Keep well

  9. Profile photo of Ryan B
    Ryan B

    Another Canadian! Seems like we’re taking over!

    From Saskatoon with love 😉


  10. James Smith

    Rodger we have a Rodger Long here in Ontario Canada an x neigbure of mine who has his own band and plays all aroun the area here

  11. Profile photo of jeff s
    jeff s

    Super spotlight Roger. I look forward to meeting you in Bozeman. We may have to find a pool for a water polo match. I hear Maggie was a “Tiger” in the water when she played. I played in high school as well.
    I was struck by how and what reignited your interest in guitar again. I related. See you in Bozeman.

    1. Profile photo of Roger L
      Roger L

      You still got your beard going? I started my mustache back. See you in Bozeman

  12. Profile photo of Russell S
    Russell S

    Hey Roger!
    What a story! I’m glad I got to learn more about you! Congrats on being chosen here!

  13. Profile photo of Brett L
    Brett L

    Congrats Roger!!! Great learning about you. I have a good friend that lives in Calgary and I’ve been there for a few days of Stampede. Beautiful place!! Keep up the great work!!

  14. Profile photo of Steve H
    Steve H

    Congrats on the spotlight this week Roger. I think your back-and-forth journey with guitar echoes many here. Things would have been so much easier back in the day if we’d had the internet! Enjoy the Jamboree!

  15. Profile photo of Anna K
    Anna K

    Roger, Nice Spotlight! Thanks for the Teddy Bear story and the inspiration. Gave me a laugh, now I’m grabbing my guitar. Thanks!

  16. Profile photo of Dave H
    Dave H

    Roger – thoroughly enjoyed your story. Thank you for the quality time you spent on it. Great 3 favorite bands. Always enjoy your postings and thanks for all the encouraging comments you have given me over this past year.

  17. Profile photo of Robert G
    Robert G

    Appreciate you sharing your guitar saga Roger. Sounds like it strikes a chord with many of us. Still laughing about the dropped teddy bear:)

  18. Bill von Zangenberg

    Hi Roger,
    Loved your story, makes me want to go practice more. If you get a chance listen also to the Ventures. They are a rock n roll group from the 60’s that probably influenced more people to play guitar than any other band in history. They are also a great bunch of guys to hang with. They were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame a few years back and still play today. They have been together over 55 years as a full band which is pretty amazing in itself. Keep on strumming and have fun!

    1. Profile photo of Roger L
      Roger L

      I love the Ventures. Play 4 or 5 of their tunes. Can’t believe I missed them

  19. Profile photo of Thaddeus W
    Thaddeus W

    Roger , I enjoyed reading your spotlight . Nice to see we like the same classic rock groups. I had my Gibson in the closet 25 years, now I play it every day.

  20. Profile photo of Lynne R
    Lynne R

    Hello fellow Canadian…..enjoyed reading about you and I enjoy listening to your posts. BUT …I was surprised that you did not mention Ian Tyson ( also an Albertan) in your list of favorites . He is a legend in my books. Enjoy the summer….hope you get out to the Rockies this summer as well as Montana. Do us proud at the TAC get together.

    1. Profile photo of Roger L
      Roger L

      Thanks for the reminder. Ian is fantastic. I used to play a number of his tunes years ago.

  21. Profile photo of Vic G
    Vic G

    Congratulations on earning this week’s spotlight. I look forward to meeting you in person at the Jamboree.

  22. Profile photo of Michael D
    Michael D

    Roger, I just saw this, so congratulations on the spotlight, and I envy your going to the TAC jamboree! I always enjoy your posts 🙂

  23. Profile photo of Tony

    Congratulations on your spotlight Roger, it was nice learning more about you. Enjoy your week and your trip to Bozeman next month!

  24. Profile photo of Dru

    Hi! Nice to see you in the spotlight and it will be even nicer to meet you at the jamboree. Your guitar journey sounds very similar to my own. Looking forward to meeting you!

  25. Profile photo of Mike K
    Mike K

    Enjoyed your story. I too am a Larrivee fan. Look forward seeing yours in action.

  26. Profile photo of DeeDee L
    DeeDee L

    Hi Roger. Kudos for landing the spotlight this week. I was intrigued by the same on-line ad by Tony, which needless to say got me and glad that it did. ThankS for sharing your story. Enjoyed reading more about you and I too am attending the TAC jamboree and excited to meet some members. Cya then.

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