Are you curious to know which Sungha Jung songs are the best? Here is my pick of the top 10 original songs by Sungha Jung that contain a lot of musical variety.
Top Ten Fingerstyle Songs by Sungha Jung
Here is my pick for the top 10 songs by the famous Korean fingerstyle guitarist Sungha Jung.
My first pick for the top song by Sungha Jung has to be Felicity, from the album Paint It Acoustic.
have to start with Felicity because I love the youthful energy of this song. The song makes use of an open tuning which allows for plenty of use of open strings. I also enjoy the variations in the whole piece - the energetic parts full of drive and the calmer, more quiet parts.
Felicity is a great song to learn if you want to get started with a song in an alternate tuning. Be aware, though, that you will have to be familiar with a lot of other techniques such as harmonics and tapping.
To learn to play Felicity, check out this tutorial on my YouTube channel, where I show you how to play the entire song from beginning to end.
This classic song Flaming by Sungha Jung comes in at Number 2 on my list. I like the heavy, rhythmic drive of the song as well as the use of exotic or Spanish influenced harmonies.
The song Flaming borrows a lot from the flamenco style of playing guitar. Specifically, the song's main theme makes use of rasgueado strumming in a Rumba rhythmic pattern. Rasgueado strumming is a technique that you will learn in the program Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now!
The main theme of the song (the chorus) makes use of a harmonic progression common in flamenco music called the Andalusian cadence. This is the progression of chords which goes: Bm - A - G - F♯ .
If you are interested in learning Flaming by Sungha Jung, you will have to practice the rumba flamenca strumming (down - down-up - palm hit - up-down). This pattern, combined with the use of barre chords in the main theme, makes this song a challenge for any fingerstyle guitar player.
3. The Milky Way
The Milky Way is one of the most beautiful melodies by Sungha Jung. To play this song, like in Felicity, you will not be using standard tuning, but rather DADGAD tuning. Sungha Jung uses a capo on the fourth fret to further change the sound of the guitar. So the guitar sounds two whole steps higher, in the mysterious sounding key of F♯ major.
This song makes use of a pulsating rhythmic pattern in 12/8 time. The pulsating triple time rhythm is what make the song sound more light and flowing.
If you are interested in learning to play The Milky Way, note that in DADGAD tuning, the chord shapes are a little cramped in the higher positions. This is why I chose to play The Milky Way with the capo on the second fret, which puts the song for me in E Major.
The song title Gravity by Sungha Jung is a little confusing; there is also a cover song that Sungha Jung did of a John Mayer tune. Fortunately, this song is quite popular on its own and still remains one of Sungha Jung's well-known tunes.
The song Gravity has somewhat of a serious vibe to it. The beginning of the song isn't too difficult to play, but the tapping section in the middle part of the song requires a lot of care. To improve your tapping technique, I have an entire section in the course Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now! which includes an exercise influenced by the song Gravity.
The song l'Atelier by Sungha Jung is a charming little waltz that contains some beautiful jazzy chord progressions. Sungha Jung makes use of an almost impossible twisted finger chord shape right smack in the middle of the bridge section. But other than that, this song is very playable.
This song is a little less well-known than his other songs. But if you are new to fingerstyle guitar and want an easier to song to play, you can start by learning L'Atelier. but without any fast licks to play, it's a good choice if you are getting started with advanced fingerstyle guitar.
6. On Cloud Nine
On Cloud Nine by Sungha Jung has got to be one of my top fingerstyle tunes of all time. This makes use of a unique tuning, Open Low E Major tuning. This is like the tuning in Felicity, but a half step down. In fact, I use the same tuning for both songs, putting a capo on the first fret when I want to play Felicity.
This song is very challenging - it starts right off with slap harmonics and tapping. However, because it makes use of an open fingering, there are almost no real challenges in the fretting hand. I really enjoy this tune.
Coming in at number seven on the list is a more calm and pensive song, the song Siesta by Sungha Jung. As far as I am aware, this is the only one of his original songs that he plays on a classical guitar. I actually covered quite a few of his fingerstyle songs on classical guitar in my early days of making Sungha Jung tutorials.
The song Siesta shows Sungha Jung’s expert use of jazz harmony all throughout the piece, and especially in the bridge section. This song also goes on without his typical rhythmic thumb slap on the second beat. It’s nice to hear a Sungha Jung song without these elements.
8. Riding a Bicycle
Another one of my go-to songs by Sungha Jung is Riding a Bicycle from the album Two of Me. This is one of the first songs by Sungha Jung that I transcribed and learned for a tutorial on YouTube.
Riding a Bicycle is a great song to play, but there are some tricky parts that are difficult to play clean. As well, you will have to master the G Major licks at the end of the song. This song is a good choice if you are looking for a bit of a challenge.
Sprint is a youthful song in DADGAD tuning that makes heavy use of strumming all throughout the song. You will have to take this song at a quick speed in order to maintain the drive, otherwise it will sound "heavy".
Although Sprint is a fun tune, it resembles Felicity a bit too much in my opinion. Still, it's a good song to learn if you are passionate about it.
This song by Sungha Jung doesn't get enough air time, in my opinion. I originally created a tutorial for the song which wasn't very popular, so I figured the song wasn't that good. But I was wrong. When I eventually learned the song, I loved the energy and the dark vibes from the song.
Irony is in an unusual alternate tuning: C,G,D,G, B♭, D. There are also some complex rhythms that you will have to tackle. It's a challenging song that should get some more attention.
At least one person enjoyed my performance of this song when I was filming the music video for my YouTube channel. When I finished playing the last tapped chords, he clapped his hands and exclaimed, "Nice!". I totally agree.
Want to learn these songs by Sungha Jung?
I have complete tutorials for all these songs on my YouTube channel. But if you want more help with specific techniques, check out my online course Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now! where you can learn all the techniques that will help you learn these songs by Sungha Jung.