Sungha Jung (Korean: 정성하) is a South Korean musician who specializes in acoustic fingerstyle guitar. His YouTube channel currently has more than 4.5 million subscribers. Jung creates acoustic covers and arrangements, typically by ear and/or by watching videos, and has original music, which he plays and uploads online. He was nicknamed the “Guitar Prodigy” and the “August Rush” in Korea, though he prefers to be known as a ‘guitarist’ rather than a ‘guitar prodigy’.
Jung developed an interest in guitar after watching his father play. He found his father’s guitar playing more interesting than piano, which he was already learning. Jung’s father taught him the basics, and after learning the basics, he developed his skill greatly just by trying to play what he heard. When he struggled he would study online videos. Jung came to play fingerstyle when his father discovered the fingerstyle technique on the internet. His first ‘idol’ was guitarist Kotaro Oshio, from whom he developed interest in fingerstyle. At first, Jung’s mother and grandmother disapproved of the ‘noise’ that Jung and his father continuously created, but they came to understand it as his gifts.
Soon after his first debut video on the internet, he garnered many supporters, from whom he asked for advice on his playing. His cover of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” theme song, which currently has over 50 million views on YouTube, made Jung an internet sensation, and his playing caught the attention of world-renowned guitarists, who found his covers of their songs impressive. Jung has since played on stage with them multiple times. Jung has received guitar lessons from Hata Shuji, a well-known Japanese jazz guitarist. He has also been mentored by German guitarist Ulli Bögershausen, who Jung refers to as his musical inspiration, and from whom he learned much about composing and arranging.
In a video he recommended the ‘AllEars method’ for those who like his style of guitar playing and want to learn it. In addition to steel-string and classical guitar, he has been recorded playing twelve-string guitar, electric guitar, ukulele, guitarlele, harp ukulele, and piano. He has also sung live, singing Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s “Falling Slowly” at a concert in Bangkok. Apart from Korean, Jung speaks English, which he studies to be able to communicate during concerts abroad.
One of my personal favorites is his cover of “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
If you’re a fan of Spotify, here’s a couple tunes to get you started:
- “River Flows In You”: https://open.spotify.com/track/2DqrNS3m1ci1WEFKCLJ9gw
- “Felicity”: https://open.spotify.com/track/37DOsJC2NdpbUJxTsRUmTl
Albums: View List
- Sungha Jung Signature – Grand Concert Model with cutaway and pickup system. Check on Lakewood-guitars.com
- AER Amp. Check price on Amazon.com
- Elixir strings. Check price on Amazon.com
- Oval PickUp. Check price on Amazon.com
- Sunrise Pickup. Check price on Amazon.com
- G7th Capo. Check price on Amazon.com