14-year-old guitar phenom gets record hits on YouTube

2010-03-30 00:12

A host of YouTube videos featuring a 14-year-old Korean guitar sensation from Gyeonggi Province notched up a record 110 million hits on the popular video sharing site YouTube.
The total figure is a cumulative of 240 video clips which have been uploaded between 2006 and 2009 that featured Jung Sung-ha performing various covers of iconic rock songs on an acoustic guitar.
His YouTube performances have garnered much attention around the world over the years in addition to industry professionals who have invited the young prodigy on tours throughout North America and Europe.
In 2008, interest in Jung`s performances surged after Yoko Ono, widow of late John Lennon, saw a clip where the young prodigy performed The Beatles` seminal 1967 hit "All you need is love."
Ono posted the video on her blog where she praised Jung`s performance, writing "I just witnessed your performance of `All You Need is Love`! Thank you for a beautiful performance. John Lennon would have been happy that you performed his song so well."
On the videos, Jung -- who had only begun learning to play five years ago according to local reports -- displays a dizzying array of advanced finger picking only the most venerable guitarists with decades of experience are said to be able to master.
This was especially the case with a technique known as fingerstyle -- a tricky technique which requires plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or picks attached to fingers.
The technique requires guitarists to perform the rhythm and tempo of a piece at the same time.
Jung`s path to sudden fame began in 2006 at just 10 years of age when a close acquaintance who witnessed Jung`s performance recommended that a video of his recital of a popular Japanese rock anthem titled "Splash" get uploaded on the site.
Since grabbing worldwide attention, Jung has attracted a host of guitar luminaries such as Tommy Emmanuel, Michel Haumont, Trace Bundy, and Kotaro Oshio who have all invited Jung on tours as a featured act.
He held his first solo concert in Seoul in February last year, officially kick starting his professional career. It was soon followed by performances in Frankfurt and Bangkok.
Jung recently wrapped his North American tour with Trace Bundy and is set for a six-day solo tour in Finland starting Feb. 19. (kws@heraldcorp.com)

By Song Woong-ki
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