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?
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. 😉