TAC Spotlight: Vic


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 Vic!


San Bruno, CA

# of Years Played

37 years, however my guitar playing activity resembles a graphic equalizer setting when you boost bass and treble and scoop out the mid-range.  I played a lot in my high school and college years, but then “life” (i.e. career, relationships) got in the way of my guitar passion.  It’s only been the last few years that my rediscovered passion for the guitar and playing music made its way back into my life.  Turning 50 years old in 2015 helped this out a lot.

How many guitars do you currently own?

It’s slightly embarrassing to say, but all in all, a cool dozen.  My first 4 guitars are from my youth (Cortez Stratocaster Clone, Fender P-Bass, Yamaha FG-335ii acoustic, and Eterna [Yamaha] EC-18 classical guitar).  A long break went by before getting my ukulele (Mitchell MU-70) about 6 years ago, and then BAM!!!, room-clearing GAS set in.  Since 2013, I’ve acquired 2 electrics (Epiphone LP Special-II, Epiphone ES-335), a 12-string acoustic (Taylor 354), and 4 6-string acoustics (Gibson AJ, Taylor GS mini-Koa, Martin Custom 000 all-mahogany, Martin OM-21)…and I don’t think I’m done yet.  13 is generally an unlucky number and 14 is my favorite number…[I’m just sayin’]

Why is it important for you to improve at guitar?

A couple of years ago, the realization of turning 50 hit me.  A Zen moment happens during this time when you reflect on your life and you evaluate whether you are truly happy where you are and what you are doing in life.  My self-evaluation took days and from that, I discovered that I wasn’t passionate about something that was just for me, which left a dissatisfying taste in my mouth.  I thought back to a time when I was really happy about something that I was doing for myself, and that was playing music and playing guitar with my high school buddies.  Yes, I can play guitar well enough now, but I continue to strive to be a better musician, so it’s important for me to keep fanning the flames of my passion for hopefully the rest of my life.  TAC provides me with so much inspiration.

Why are you an active TAC member?

There are a number of reasons including the practice plans and song lessons, but TAC’s soul is really about Tony, Joel, Levi and the members.  Here at TAC, I find everyone to be personable, humble, open, generous, and most of all authentic.  I’m elated to have the opportunity to participate and contribute to the soul of this awesome community, and to be among like-minded guitar players.  I’ve been a TAC member for only a few months, but I feel like I’ve known my fellow TAC-ers for years.

What convinced you to submit your first performance video?

To be honest, there wasn’t much convincing that needed to happen.  I joined TAC right around the time that the RAW channel was born, and I quickly realized that my struggles and performance levels were just like everyone else’s.  Knowing this, I was actually eager to put something together that was decent enough to be my first performance video and I posted it.  But mostly I did it to share with everyone that I’m one of them.

Tell us the story of your first open mic?

Nerve-racking, but some alcohol helped.  Years ago, my friends and I walked into a bar that happened to be having an open mic event.  I had no intention of playing whatsoever but one of my friends secretly put my name in the hat to play.  It was a total surprise to me when they called my name.  At this point, I at least had one beer in me, so I got up on stage and played the house guitar.  I may have uttered something about getting my friend back for putting my name in the hat, but with the beer and the lighting, which made it difficult to see an audience, I somehow cranked out “You’ve Got a Friend” (the James Taylor version), which is a song that I’ve always had in my back pocket since high school and to this day.  I don’t quite remember the performance itself, but I think I did all right (at least that was what I was told).  If there is a moral to this story, besides knowing who your real friends are, it would be to have at least one song in your back pocket that you can pull out on unexpected occasions.

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

Two things:

I talked about playing music in my high school and college days.  Back then I joined a rock band with my classmates, playing bass guitar.  We won Battle of the Bands competitions, played at local festivals and benefits, and we were even the house band at a beauty pageant.  When we came of age, we started playing in bars and playing at corporate events.  I left the band with only a little bit of regret in order to focus on my college studies and graduating.  The band continued on with my replacement, but I don’t believe they acquired any fame other than being local legends.

I literally live a stone’s throw away (if you have a really good arm) from YouTube Headquarters.  Now just because I live near them doesn’t mean that I can solve your YouTube problems, although I’ll do my best to fake it and try.  😉


  1. Profile photo of David R
    David R

    Congrats on the selection Vic. Well deserved. All those years playing with the gap of time that life throws at us. I guess it is true that you can go home again.

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thanks David. It certainly does feel like home when I have a guitar in my hands.

  2. Profile photo of 1973.

    Congrats dood! Thanks for sharing your story. It’s a good one. I picked out a quote that really sums up the fact that this is not just a site, it’s truly a community: “I’ve been a TAC member for only a few months, but I feel like I’ve known my fellow TAC-ers for years.”

  3. Profile photo of David W
    David W

    Congratulations, Vic! Looking forward to hearing YGaF in the new year!

  4. Profile photo of Michael D
    Michael D

    Cool to read about you in the spotlight, which is well deserved. I’m with Maggie too. The J.T. cover? Yes please. Love me some J.T. I had a bootleg tape of J.T. that I completely wore out. “Blossom send some sunshine down my way, lately I’ve been lonely…”
    Happy you got the spotlight, and happy to have you with us on our journey.

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Hi Michael. Thanks and I’m glad to be here with you. Yup, I love JT’s style and am looking to get to more of his songs under my belt. I remember bootleg tapes fondly. I think I’ve even got some Springsteen tapes too.

  5. Profile photo of Jason T
    Jason T

    Congratulations! That whole Zen experience is what I’m currently going through….that’s the reason I joined TAC. I hear ya loud and clear!

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Ah, I knew I wasn’t alone in my journey. I hope you are finding new dreams here to be fulfilled, like I have. Just remember to get through your Zen experience with a smile. 🙂

  6. Profile photo of Tony P
    Tony P Post author


    A huge congratulations to you on your spotlight!!! I appreciate having you here and your enthusiasm for all things guitar is very much contagious!!! your willingness to share your knowledge and always do so with a smile and a laugh is just awesome!!! Thank you for your presence on the site and for being a member. Keep up the awesome work and I can’t wait to see your guitar wall completely full 🙂


    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Hey Tone. It’s such an honor for me to be able to contribute to this great community and I thank you in reply for providing us the opportunity to be here. I love everything about TAC and I recognize and acknowledge all of the hard work that the three of you at TAC Central put in for us. I again thank you for that. I’m looking forward to all that you will bring to us in 2016. See you in person this summer.

  7. Profile photo of DeeDee L
    DeeDee L

    Hi Vic,
    Congrats on the recognition. I enjoyed reading your spot light story. Thanks for sharing. Also, 50 is the new 30. Ha! I too would like to hear your backpocket song by Mr. James Taylor. Have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate it. If not, enjoy the holiday.

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Hi Darleen. Thanks for your comments. Yes, the plan is to record YGaF once Christmas is done. For each one of these posts, I’m feeling closer and closer to 30. Merry Christmas to you too.

  8. Profile photo of Maggie

    Nice, Vic! So glad to see you recognized and in the spotlight! Can’t wait to hear that James Taylor cover (because you know you have to post it now ;)) and see the pic of your next guitar 😉

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thanks Maggie. Such an honor to be spotlighted among the musicians on this site, such as yourself. OK, so this is one of those unexpected moments so I’ll be posting the JT song in the coming days. 🙂

  9. Profile photo of Carol M
    Carol M

    Hi Vic! Congrats on your week in the spotlight! It was really great reading more about you and your guitars! Wow, that’s quite a collection you have, can’t wait to see your new wall here in TAC! You really do have bad GAS, much worse than mine, LOL!
    Well, I’d say you should have all the guitars you want, cuz you are a phenomenal (sp?) player! I always love to watch your latest video- you are a great inspiration to all!
    Hope you can make it to Bozeman next year!!

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Hi Carol, thanks for your kind words. If I’m phenomenal, then you are just as much and more, because I think you are a smoother, more disciplined player than I am. You inspire me. Yup, the GAS is bad in the last couple of years, but I think I’m almost done…but who knows :-D. I’ll be in Bozeman so I’ll look forward to meeting you in person there, if not sooner.

  10. Profile photo of Tony M
    Tony M

    Vic you are one cool guy! You have a great talent and I enjoy watching you play and sing. Please remember its 50yrs young.;) How about getting a pic of all those guitars together up for us to see?
    Congrats on your spotlight!

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thanks Tony. Absolutely, 50 years young!!! Now that we’ve got a Guitar Wall, I’ll be filing mine up as much as I can with pics and stories.

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

    Hi Vic,
    We have quite a bit in common including proximity. Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on the Spotlight. Have you ever been over to Steve Swan’s shop in Burlingame? Fantastic shop. On my to do list is Mighty Fine Guitars in Lafayette. Any chance you would want to meet up there? My GAS is in overdrive now.

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Hi Jeff, meeting up at the Lafaytte guitar shop sounds great to me. I’d love to see how mighty fine the Mighty Fine Guitars are. No, I’ve not been in Steve Swan’s shop. I didn’t even know such a shop existed until you mentioned it. I’ll have to drop by sometime since it’s so close to me. In the meantime, I’ll look forward to meeting you in person. GAS on overdrive, now that’s a dangerous thing.

  12. Profile photo of Emma S
    Emma S

    Hi Vic, it’s great getting to know you more. Wow, that is some collection you have. The ’14 is my lucky number’ made me chuckle.

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Hi Emma. Just thinking about 14 makes me chuckle too. It will probably be at that point that I finally take the GAS-X. 😀

  13. Profile photo of X

    It was great to learn more about you Vic. That’s my favorite thing about these spotlights…. 12 guitars eh? Nice round number! Anyway, now I know more about where your musical knowledge comes from. I enjoy your playing, look forward to your posts, and am very thankful for all your contributions to our community. You really are one of the reasons why the TAC forum is such a friendly, helpful place. One day we’ll get the chance to play and sing together. Should be this summer!

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thanks Mark for your generous words. Your sentiments are appreciated and reciprocated from me to you. I appreciate the work that you do in getting all of us closer together. It’s a difference maker for me and others I’m sure.

  14. Profile photo of Bruce B
    Bruce B

    Vic, I so enjoyed getting ti know more about you and your passion for guitars and music. You’re a humble man and a great contributor to my life through TAC. I’m so glad to connect with you through this venue.

    God bless you!

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Hi Bruce, I sense your passion for guitars and music too from your posts and our conversations in the hangout. It’s such a great thing to share among friends. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person someday and we’ll jam on a bunch of Beatles tunes. Thanks so much.

  15. Profile photo of Dave H
    Dave H

    Vic – thanks for taking the time for the write up. Enjoyed it. 50? You are a young pup.

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thanks Dave. Yup, I recently turned that corner on realizing that 50 is young and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.

  16. Profile photo of Heidi H
    Heidi H

    Vic, I always look forward to reading your well-thought-out and well-explained posts! 😀 Your friendly and helpful (and never judgemental) approach to everyone is greatly appreciated and a wonderful asset and addition to TAC! 😀 I always learn something from you, even if it’s still “too far over my head” to fully understand! 😀 (music theory type of stuff for example! :D) Congrats!

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thank you Heidi for your kind words. As mentioned many times in the forums, we are all in this same wonderful boat of learning and we all help each other out as best we can. Although I’m not a teacher by trade, I’ve been told that teaching is one of my better assets, so I appreciate that you feel like you can learn from me. The best and most rewarding part for me is when someone gets that “Eureka” moment right in front of my eyes (virtually). Feel free to reach out to me for help on those “over your head” items. I’m happy to help if I can.

  17. Profile photo of Ray W
    Ray W

    Congrats, Vic! It’s great getting to know you! I think we need a video for “You’ve Got a Friend”. Love JT’s music and your playing!

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thanks Ray, buddy. The thought hadn’t occurred to me on doing a video on this song, but I’ll have to get right on that.

  18. Profile photo of Pat Horwath
    Pat Horwath

    Congrats Vic, you deserved the Spotlight. I’ve learned a lot from your posts and sharing. You also live close to Gryphon Strings where I picked up two of my guitars in the past. If I still lived in the Bay area I might have several more!
    Blessings and Peace for the new year.

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thank you Pat for your kind words. Gryphon Strings is an awesome place. I love playing the guitars that are “behind the ropes”. One day, one of those guitars will scream out at me to take her home. Hopefully, my wallet will agree 🙂 .

  19. Profile photo of David Cagle
    David Cagle

    Congratulations on the spotlight and feel its warmth as it shines on you! Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself, and know that life just starts to take on meaning at 50. I have had ten years of practice now and I am still learning what true purpose and meaning are all about, but above all is our ability play in harmony with the universe and that’s where a good practice comes in. Peace and blessings on your day!

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      David, thanks so much for your great words. When my GAS set in, I feel like I was reborn. Purpose and meaning are at the forefront of my life now and I look forward to seeing where it takes me. Peace and blessings to you too.

  20. Profile photo of Lynne R
    Lynne R

    I enjoyed reading your story. I would love to be 50 again so don’t sweat it! You have many,many good years ahead of you to enjoy all 13 guitars. Merry Xmas And all the best in 2016

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thanks Lynne for your comment. If I wasn’t playing guitar, I’d probably be sweating 50, but I’m looking forward to the many good years ahead. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you too.

  21. Profile photo of Steve H
    Steve H

    Congrats Vic! Well deserved! I always appreciate your comments and insight, which appear to be borne out of years of playing and incurable GAS!
    Look forward to hearing more of that collection on here and seeing what you performance you come up with next.
    Happy holidays!

    1. Profile photo of Vic G
      Vic G

      Thanks Steve. Yes, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about guitars too as you can tell, and now I can put more of my collection up on My Guitar Wall.

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