Sungha Jung

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Sungha Jung
Born (1996-09-02) September 2, 1996 (age 17)
Cheongju, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Other names jwcfree (name of Youtube channel), @jungsungha, blueseaJSH
Occupation Musician
Years active September 8, 2001–present
Known for Fingerstyle guitar
Korean name
Hangul 정성하
Revised Romanization Jung Sungha
McCune–Reischauer Jŏng Sŏngha

Sungha Jung (Korean: 정성하) is a South Korean acoustic fingerstyle guitarist. His YouTube channel has more than 2.5 million subscribers.[1][2] Sungha creates acoustic covers and arrangements, typically by ear and/or by watching videos, and has original music, which he plays and places 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'.[3]


Sungha began to play the guitar after watching his father play. He first learned piano, but found it somewhat boring, while his father's guitar playing looked great.[4] Sungha was taught the basics of guitar by his father. After learning the basics, he developed his skill greatly just by trying to play what he heard.[3] When he struggled he would study online videos.[5] Sungha 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.[4] At first, Sungha's mother and grandmother disapproved of the 'noise' that Sungha and his father continuously created, but they came to understand it as his gift. Soon after his first debut video on the internet, he garnered many supporters, from whom he asked for advice on his playing.[5] His cover of "The Pirates of the Caribbean" theme song, which currently has over 42 million views, made Sungha an internet sensation, and his playing caught the attention of world-renown guitarists, who found his covers of their songs impressive. Sungha has since played on stage with them multiple times.[6] Sungha has received guitar lessons from Hata Shuji, a well-known Japanese jazz guitarist. He has also been mentored by German guitarist Ulli Bögershausen, who Sungha refers to as his musical inspiration,[7] and from whom he learned much about composing and arranging.[8][9] In a video he recommended the 'all ears method' for those who like his style of guitar playing and want to learn it.[10] Besides acoustic and classical guitar, his YouTube channel also has videos of him playing the twelve string guitar, electric guitar, the four and the six string ukelele, harp ukelele, and piano. He also sang "Why Georgia" at a concert in Bangkok.[11] Besides Korean, Sungha speaks English,[4] which he studies to be able to communicate during concerts abroad.[8]


Sungha received his first guitar at age nine, a very coarse plywood guitar that was less than $60.[12] Upon discovering Sungha's skill with the toy-like guitar, his father decided to buy him a better one - a Cort Earth900. Sungha began seriously playing with this guitar. His third guitar was a custom-made Selma guitar, a small-combo sized "All Spruce" model upon which Thomas Leeb wrote "KEEP ON GROOVING! TO MY FRIEND, THOMAS LEEB"[12] In 2009 he entered a sponsorship arrangement with Lakewood guitars, with the help of Ulli Bögershausen.[12] Sungha currently still plays a Lakewood guitar, which has his autograph on its fingerboard.

Practice and Recording[edit]

Sungha's daily practice time is one to two hours long when there is school, and up to three hours during school breaks. Sungha usually takes an hour to figure out the notes and fingering to a piece, and typically takes another five hours to practice before recording. However, to make his songs better and more accurate, he occasionally spends from a couple days up to a month practicing.[13]


In 2010, Sungha was featured on Narsha's solo album "NARSHA", for the song "I'm in Love". In 2011 he performed in the US with Trace Bundy, and also toured Scandinavia and Japan.[1] In 2012 he collaborated with 2NE1, creating acoustic versions of the group's hit songs "Lonely" and "I Love You". Later in 2012, he participated in a live stage with BIGBANG's G-Dragon, where they performed "That XX". He performed "I'm Yours" with Jason Mraz, who described Sungha as "amazing" and his "hero", in 2013.[14] Sungha played Ahn Hyeok in the 2011 Korean movie, The Suicide Forecast.[15]


Sungha released his first album, Perfect Blue, on 17 June 2010,[16] his second album, Irony, on 21 September 2011,[17] and his third album Paint It Acoustic on 15 April 2013.[18] All three were recorded at Ulli Bögershausen's studio in Germany, each featuring increasingly more originals.[9] Sungha has also recorded an album consisting of guitar duets called The Duets, released on 17 December 2012.[19] A fourth album is scheduled to be released 28 April 2014, titled Monologue.[20]


  • Perfect Blue (June, 2010)
  • Irony (September, 2011)
  • The Duets (December, 2012)
  • Paint It Acoustic (April, 2013)

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Trace Bundy, acoustic guitarist with whom Sungha cooperates
  • Megan Lee, YouTube musician with whom Sungha collaborated


  1. ^ a b Yoon, Ja-young (28 February 2011). "How YouTube impacts lives of ordinary people". The Korea Times. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "jwcfree". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  3. ^ a b Jung, Sungha (2008-10-10). Interview (by DCinside). Interview with DCinside. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  4. ^ a b c "Sungha Jung interview -part 1". YouTube, uploaded by Fríðrikur Ellefsen. 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  5. ^ a b "Sungha Was On TV! (English subtitled)". YouTube, uploaded by fatalsignal. 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  6. ^ "Sungha Jung on 文化思索- (En_sub)". YoutTube, uploaded by Dee Kim. 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  7. ^ Sungha Jung (2009). "About Sungha Jung". Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  8. ^ a b "Sungha Jung on TODAY (Eng_sub)". YouTube, uploaded by Dee Kim. 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  9. ^ a b "Lakewood musician Sungha Jung". Lakewood Guitars GmbH & Co. KG. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  10. ^ "Untitled". Vimeo, uploaded by Thinksoul. 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  11. ^ "[FANCAM] 140125 Sungha Jung singing Why Georgia(John Mayer) in BKK". Youtube, uploaded by MsMstyle06. 2014-01-26. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  12. ^ a b c supporters of Sungha (2009). "Sungha's Guitar". Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  13. ^ supporters of Sungha (2009). "FAQ Sungha Jung". Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  14. ^ "(Jason Mraz) I'm Yours - Jason Mraz ft. Sungha Jung". YouTube, uploaded by jwcfree. 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  15. ^ "The Suicide Forecast (2011): Full Cast & Crew". Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  16. ^ "(Making Film) Sungha's First CD "Perfect Blue"". Youtube, uploaded by jwcfree. 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  17. ^ "(Making Film) Sungha Jung's 2nd Solo Album 'Irony'". Youtube, uploaded by jwcfree. 2011-10-10. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  18. ^ "Sungha Jung 3rd Solo Album (Paint It Acoustic) Promo". Youtube, uploaded by jwcfree. 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  19. ^ "Sungha Jung's New Album "The Duets" Making Film.". Youtube, uploaded by jwcfree. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  20. ^ "Mobile Uploads, Sungha Jung New Album [MONOLOGUE] to be released- 28, April. 2014!!". Facebook, uploaded by Sungha Jung (Official Fan Page). 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2014-03-18.