TAC Spotlight: Tony S.

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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 Tony S.!


Houston, Texas (born & raised)

# of years played

About 35, with a few short breaks now and again.  I’ve been a pretty dedicated acoustic player for the last several years.

Favorite 3 Bands:

Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits, Chet Atkins, & Robert Earl Keen

How many guitars do you currently own?

Three, with plans for another in the near future:

1.  Gibson Hummingbird True Vintage

2.  Collings D2HA

3.  1989 Fender Strat (Clapton signature)

4.  Coming soon! – Martin Custom D-28 Short Scale (from Music Villa!)

Why is it important for you to improve at guitar?

I love playing the guitar, period.  I also enjoy learning and challenging myself, and this motivates me to improve my playing.  It seems like the more I learn, the more I realize how much more I want to learn….if that makes any sense.

Why are you an active TAC member?

First, the TAC community is very supportive and encouraging – It’s nice to just be a part of such a great group of folks.  Second, the TAC instruction method is extremely well organized – daily lessons, weekly challenges, monthly songs and all of the other features are very well done.  Finally, there is a competitive aspect that encourages individual achievement while fostering group support simultaneously.  That’s a difficult balance to achieve and maintain!  Many thanks to Tony, Levi, and Joel.

What convinced you to submit your first performance video?

As I mentioned, I’ve never been very comfortable in front of people.  After watching many TAC posts and reading the consistently positive and supportive comments, I thought I’d give it a try.  That was a big stretch for me, and I was truly grateful for the positive comments that I received.  Like I said before, the TAC community is simply amazing.

Tell us the story of your first open mic…

I’ve never played an open mic.  I’m like Marco – not very comfortable with public speaking or playing!  I’m optimistic that my TAC participation will gradually nudge me toward some sort of open mic opportunity in the near future.

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

I wouldn’t say I’m much of a songwriter, but I would recommend taking the time to record the cool little licks and chord progressions that you stumble across while you’re noodling and save them.  You can re-visit these later and try to develop them further.

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

Hmmm…how about this:

1.  I’ve been married to my wonderful wife, Annette for just over 20 years.  Her support and seemingly endless patience with my guitar playing will undoubtedly earn her a ticket straight to Heaven! 

2.  Although I consider myself to be a guitar player first & foremost, by day I pretend to be an accountant (just to pay the bills)….I’m not sure that many CPA’s are guitar players! 

3.  I enjoy mowing my own yard; I don’t like heights, and I’m scared of spiders.

4.  I would much rather read the cool things about other folks than write them about myself!


  1. Profile photo of David O
    David O

    Great spotlight Tony! Thanks! I always look forward to your encouraging words on the Stage or Solo Zone!

  2. Profile photo of Joseph S
    Joseph S

    Hey Tony
    I know exactly how you feel about putting yourself out their but glad you did keep it up

  3. Profile photo of simon thorpe
    simon thorpe

    Hey Tony,enjoy your playing,you always look relaxed,and that collings is a beauty!not sure I’m disciplined enough to wait long enough to save that much money!i’d probably stop when I had enough for a D-28!
    Would be worth the wait though.

  4. Profile photo of simon thorpe
    simon thorpe

    Hey Tony,enjoy your playing,you always look relaxed,and that collings is a beauty!not sure I’m disciplined enough to wait long enough to save that much money!i’d probably stop when I had enough for a D-28!

  5. Profile photo of Duane W
    Duane W

    Tony, Congratulation on being selected for Spotlight. I’m in awe of your talent and playing skills. Each week I look for your posts and really appreciate your sharing with us. Spec wise the short scale D28 looks perfect, hope to hear it soon.

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Thanks very much Duane. The D28 should be here around mid-June, and I’m really looking forward to it!

  6. Profile photo of Vic G
    Vic G

    Hi Tony. Great to have you onboard with us and congrats on your spotlight. I certainly appreciate your positive comments for us and I enjoy your playing. You play really well for a man with only a handful of guitars (haha). No GAS symptoms on you 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Thanks Vic – I’m printing out your comment and leaving it in my wife’s purse. I owe you a beer if it works…..


  7. Profile photo of Dave H
    Dave H

    Tony – Congrats and thanks for taking the time for the write up. Have really enjoyed you being part of TAC.

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Emma, I really appreciate your comment. I’ll take this opportunity to honestly say that your posts are (to me) the standard that I aim for in terms of tempo, articulation, wonderful feel and melody.

  8. Profile photo of jeff s
    jeff s

    Nice spotlight Tony S. Congratulations. Your years of experience show in the way you play. I totally get how you feel about the more you learn the more you want to learn. Each time a skill is acquired it seems to make it possible to attempt several new skills. Pretty cool. I am happy you are here at TAC.

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Thanks Jeff. It’s truly great to be here at TAC with so many great people (who are also great guitar players)!

  9. Profile photo of Andrew D
    Andrew D

    Tony, I enjoyed reading your spotlight feature, a very well deserved recognition. The TAC Community took a leap forward when you became a member, thank you for your active participation and for all of your free advice. Your 35 years of playing experience definitely shows in the posts you provide for all of us to enjoy, keep them coming please!

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Thanks for the very kind words Andrew. Your last performance of “Don’t this Road Look Rough” was impressive! You are becoming an accomplished player faster than you realize. I Really enjoy your posts.

  10. Profile photo of Steve H
    Steve H

    Congrats on the Spotlight! Good to read more about you Tony. Your 35 years’ playing shines through on your videos, as does your fine taste with that collection of guitars. I’m with you on #3. Mowing your own yard is the best kind of exercise and therapy.

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Thanks Steve. When I retire maybe I’ll start a Tony’s Lawnmowing Challenge” group!

  11. Profile photo of Jason T
    Jason T

    Congratulations, Tony! I enjoy the helpful hints you drop on the forum and look up to you as a player for advice! Keep it up!

  12. Profile photo of Charles B
    Charles B

    Congratulations Tony! 35 years playing wow! I’ll be in my 80’s when I get 35 years in. I don’t much care for spiders ether.

  13. Profile photo of Stephen M
    Stephen M

    Congrats Tony! Well earned. You’re a really great player and also always very supportive of others. I dig your Hummingbird too. It’s on my short list. In fact when I bought my D-28, I was really really torn between it and the Bird. 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Thanks Stephen. Funny, you say that … I was torn between the same 2 guitars also, and now I’m going back to the well for the D-28. Can’t go wrong with either one in my opinion!

  14. Profile photo of leslie c
    leslie c

    Pleased to read your views Tony S

    Id love a Hummingbird wow they are beautiful looking

    Always nice to listen to your playing Tony. S

    Best wishes for your projects

  15. Profile photo of Pat H
    Pat H

    Congrats on the Spotlight. Always enjoy your posts and playing Tony. You’ll have to play us Margaritaville! (hope I didn’t miss it here) As far as spiders I’m with you, they thrive in the desert, it’s a museum of all shapes, colors and sizes. I’m always filling little cracks around the house to prevent their entry. The creepiest arachnid for me is the scorpion. All others seem warm and fuzzy.
    Can’t wait to hear you play the HD-28!

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Thanks Pat – appreciate your note! I’m really happy to know that I’m not alone about the spider thing. I’m really looking forward to the HD-28. 🙂

    2. Profile photo of Tony

      The desert is beautiful, but I could do without the arachnids for sure!

  16. Profile photo of Roger L
    Roger L

    Enjoyed your bio. Surprised you haven’t done an open mic – the way you play – totally enjoyable. Stay away from spiders.

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Thanks Roger. I actually did play for the first time in public just last month. Played one song (Margaritaville) in front of about 100 of my coworkers at the House of Blues in Houston. Best 3 minutes of my guitar life! I may post a picture in the forum.

  17. Profile photo of Greg W
    Greg W

    Congrats Tony! Well deserved. I always enjoy your post and appreciate the encouragment you give. Cracked up on #3 of the tell is a little about you. Mowing the yard the best. Spiders are little monsters…

  18. Profile photo of Mike K
    Mike K

    Great Spotlight Tony, you are one of the most “positive contributing ” members of this TAC community, your playing posts are always exceptional( makes sense now that I know there is 35 years of experience behind them). Thoroughly enjoyed reading more about your background.

  19. Profile photo of Dom T
    Dom T

    Congrats buddy! Well deserved. You always have something positive and nice to say to people. We need more like you in the world. Keep playing.

    1. Profile photo of Tony

      Dom, you are simply the best. A real role model for all if us at TAC – thanks for being here!

  20. Profile photo of Lynne R
    Lynne R

    Congratulations Tony. Your 35 yrs of playing shows in your great performances. That’s what it takes to become proficient….all of the accumulated hours that years of playing encompasses. Something for the rest of us to remember when we get impatient with our playing.

  21. Profile photo of Robert G
    Robert G

    Nice Spotlight Tony! And “Kicking Rocks” as fast as Tony P … that’s serious modesty. OK, good to have something to shoot for but now you’re the bar that a lot of us will be trying to reach. Must be that CPA mastery of the old adding machine coming through:) Well done Tony!

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