2013 Look Back – What a Year!

Wow is all I can say when I look back at what all has happened over the course of 2013. It has been a memorable year for sure with lots of life lessons to learn from.

In short, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a year like this with such extreme highs and lows. Winding down this year has led me to assess what has happened and figure out exactly where I am because:

“If you don’t know where you’re at, you can’t go anywhere”. – Zig Ziglar

Significant Events in 2013 Timeline

  • February- Released Play Like Warren Haynes and had the most sales ever in a single month
  • March – Recorded a demo of the Weber 10F150-T in a Princeton
  • March – Started doing demos for my EP Roll Down the River
  • April – The last Lesson I made before my hand injury – Shuffle Blues Lick.  It would be 4 months before I would make any new lessons.
  • April –  Avatar Jtm 45 Demo. The last video I made before the hand injury.
  • May – Foot Injury.  Played tennis and experienced severe pain for days in my left foot.
  • May – Went to CMS Conference in Chicago
  • May – Changed website to Woo Canvas and moved the Shopping Cart to Woocommerce
  • May – Suffered Arm Injury due to leaning on desk
  • June – Out due to Arm Injury
  • July – Arm Injury Update
  • August – Put out New Free Lessons and Blog Posts
  • September – Released Blues Techniques and Roll Down the River EP
  • November – Released the New Blues Guitar Method, Hit 10,000,000 YouTube views
  • December – Fixed Eye Problem

Foot Injury

Before my arm was injured, I suffered a minor foot injury. Actually, my left foot has been bothering me for about 2 years now and it’s been quite frustrating.

Something has happened to my foot over the years where I feel pain in my big toe joint when walking or running.  After playing tennis in Early May I found that my big toe was very swollen and wouldn’t go down.

After a foot doctor visit he recommended that I get custom molded inserts to take the pressure off my foot.  I was already wearing inserts he gave me from a year back, but the custom molded ones were supposed to be more effective at minimizing my condition.

I agreed and got the inserts about a week later I think.  Immediately when I put them in my shoes I felt relief.  It does take some time to get used to these inserts though.  At this point I had to start slowly by walking with them in my shoes and then increasing the amount of walking gradually.

At the end of July I was feeling pretty bummed out by my arm, my foot, and a number of other things personally that I have been through this year.  I put those feelings into words in this blog post.


Also, I was starting to feel very tired and weary and really didn’t want to do anything at all but lay around, eat, and watch tv.  My facebook friend Aaron kept posting all these workouts on his profile and then finally posted this post about how to get more done.

This post changed my life.  In the post he talks about how exercise gives you the ability to accomplish so much more than you thought you could have.

That was it!  I was going to start exercising regularly and track my progress.  At first I just started walking but then I wanted to run.  I was scared at first that my foot wouldn’t be able to take the running, but I decided to try and see what would happen.

As of today, Dec 12th 2013 I have done 101 workouts and if you follow me on Twitter you will see I post my workouts regularly.

My Activity Log

July Workouts

augAugust Workouts

September Workouts

October Workouts

November Workouts

December Workouts

Website Decline

During June July, and part of August, the website traffic and sales declined to levels I hadn’t seen since 2009-2010.  This was a very scary feeling especially since there wasn’t much I could do about it. Making videos and writing blog posts had pretty much come to a complete stand still due to my arm injury.

My traffic from Google was down 50% due to many factors including my complete overhaul of the website back in Early May.  I changed the structure of the site to improve user experience and redirected many links which seemed to cause some confusion with Google. Thus the decline of visits from Google.

At the End of July I decided to just start writing blog posts since my arm was starting to feel better. I mean had to do something! :

I wrote a number of blog posts during this time even though my hand still felt numb and recorded one demo of slide guitar using the Analog Alien Fuzz pedal.

Blog Posts

Here are a few of the popular ones I wrote during that time.

Forget Scales and Everything You’ve Learned
How to Know When to Use Overdrive Pedals
How to Set Your Guitar Amp for Blues

5 Free Artist Series

I then decided to put out 5 Free Lessons using a different guitar that focused on 5 different artists. I called it the 5 5 5 Series.

Eric Clapton
Ry Cooder
BB King
Derek Trucks

Roll Down the River

Also during August I was able to start working on my EP again which came to a halt due to my arm injury. I had done a lot of pre production for the tracks and just needed Organ, Bass, and Drums to finish out the sound.

This was a lot of fun and was very rewarding. I love teaching but man, recording original songs is what I’ve always loved since I started recording myself at the age of 17 with a small cassette recorder.

Recording drums and bass for the EP
Recording Organ for the EP
Roll Down the River

Finally New Lessons

After the recording of the EP was finished, I decided to sit on it for a few weeks while I recorded the highly successful Blues Techniques. I had a great time recording this as my hand was finally felling good enough to start recording video lessons again.

Before I recorded these lessons, I knew I wanted a different sound and found the ultimate Strat for me, a 1962 Custom Shop Heavy Relic Strat. I decided to go into my savings and purchase this guitar because I felt it would give me the inspiration I needed to produce these lessons and the other lessons in the works my Updated Blues Guitar Method. Blues Techniques was really successful and a couple weeks after it was released I mixed and mastered the EP.

Public Speaking

After the EP came out I started working on a speech an organization called PATH wanted me to do for them. I started writing this 15 minute speech in October and met with several ladies who really taught me about how to deliver a great speech. I met with them over the course of a few weekends and kept editing and rehearsing this speech in front of them until I had it down. I then practiced this speech on my own every day for about 2 weeks until the final day arrived.

I developed severe pain in my eyes ( which you’ll learn about later in this post ) the days leading up to the fundraiser and felt offle the day of the speech. I spent nearly the entire day in bed trying to get better.

When the time came for the speech I was feeling good enough to do my best. I also sang my Original song “Let Go” from the EP which was inspired by my participation in their spiritual healing program.

You see, many years ago I was involved in an abortion with the girl I was dating at the time ( 2005 ). This was a very difficult thing to get past and PATH helped me to finally come to terms with this situation.

“Let Go” is the story of how I was able to move forward from this experience and not let the past destroy my future.

Amazingly, the speech I gave went great! Everyone at the fundraiser was really impressed by the speech. This was my first public speech ever and it has done wonders for my speaking abilities on video in my opinion. I’m no pro for sure, but I think the new Blues Guitar Method reflects this.

Listen to the Full “Let Go”

New Blues Method

After this speech I was pretty drained and took a few days off then recorded the rest of my New Blues Guitar Method and released it. The New Blues Guitar Method has been an extreme success. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who really enjoy the lessons. I think they are the best lessons I’ve ever made. I really had a good time with this one and it is the most successful lessons I’ve ever put out by far.

I can’t wait to start on the Part 2 of this series which is already written. This will start in 2014.

Headaches and Eye Pain

Me in My New Specs
Me in My New Specs
After the New Blues Method was finished and I started promoting it, I gradually started suffering from headaches and eye soreness. During the Thanksgiving holidays I did a lot of marketing and promotion on my laptop which led to my right eye being very sore. The pain was very aggravating and I had so many emails to answer as well as some customer problems.

For about 7 days I had headaches and eye soreness that was bad enough for me to schedule an eye exam. It turns out that I needed Bi-Focals or 2 different pairs of glasses. I’ve worn glasses my whole life but over the years my vision has actually gotten better. The problem was that to make my vision better, I had to strain my right eye a lot. Lately after doing a lot of videos I have been experiencing extreme headaches and eye pain.

Now that I have 2 pairs of glasses I feel like a whole new person. It feels so good not to have to be able to strain so much to see! :)

You may see me in my next lessons wearing one of these pairs.


2013 has been been quite a year to say the least. It turns out that November 2013 was the most successful month ever for the site and 2013 will also go down as the biggest sales year in the history of the site.

My traffic from Google is almost back where it was at in March of 2013 so that is good as well.

So now, I’m tired! I’m taking the next couple of weeks off other than some basic maintenance duties and a couple of newsletters.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and thanks so much for the support! I have the best customers and supporters and I feel very fortunate to be able to teach you what I have learned throughout the years.

God Bless You All

– John W. Tuggle

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes about dealing with difficulties. This is the same quote I used from @ClintMCreative on Twitter back in July.


John W Tuggle
John W Tuggle

I love teaching the blues and have created numerous training courses and lessons to learn how to play like BB King, Clapton, Duane Allman, and more. Get Started Now

Articles: 171


  1. Hey John,
    I have two of your videos (play like BB and play like Clapton)

    Keep doing what you’re doing. As a father of 3, I can’t make regular lessons with a local teacher, so I need you to stay healthy!!! God Bless, brother!

    Merry Christmas, and have a happy & healthy 2014

  2. Hey John,
    It’s been quite a year for me as well, and many of your blog posts were just what I needed to hear. I have a few of your lessons on my Christmas wish list, so I’m hoping Santa delivers!

    I’m honored to be included in your blog post (again). Take care, and have a great Christmas.

  3. Hey John – thanks for sharing your heart and soul and thank you for the lessons. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! God bless,

  4. John, I just got my 3rd set of lessons from you, Clapton Series. I’ve learned a lot so far, keep up the outstanding work. I know what it’s like with the pain, sometimes if it’s not one thing its another. Your lessons are helping me get through a rather hard time right now. I’m retired and disabled, some days are good, some bad. But I’ve got my guitars and learning new things and trying to improve keeps my mind going and makes me feel a little better. Have a great Christmas!

    • That’s MapMyWalk. I sync it with Nike as well. Pretty awesome app that works with my iPod nano to count the miles. My Dad is now using it to control his diabetes so it’s an amazing thing to use I believe.

  5. This is an amazing Post and thanks for your openness and transparency. Few people have the integrity or the spiritual security to be this honest about thier lives. I am impressed with you as a musician and now as an individual after learning more about you personally. I’ll be praying that your involvement with PATH helps you further and that through your position in the Blues community you can encourage and inspire others.

    If you are ever in Nashville let me know and perhaps we can meet up for coffee.

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