Occupation: Music Teacher
No. of years of playing the guitar: 16 years
No. of hours spent on the guitar per week: Generally, at least 4 hours per day of teaching and/or practising!
Guitar/ music qualifications: Diploma in Contemporary Music from Lasalle College of the Arts Bachelor of Arts from James Cook University
Gig/ competition experience:
• Played together with a touch community band called “Freefall” for a Christmas show at Fort Canning, 2005 • Played together with a touch community band called “Freefall” for a Donation Program at Cineleisure. 2005 • Performed at the esplanade waterfront with local Chinese pop band “H20six,” 2006 • Performed for various weddings Mandarin Hotel • Company event gigs at Keppel Club. 2007 • Lasalle Lunch Time Concert Series, Guitar Ensemble (soloist), 2007 • New Horizon, September 07 • Events at Ritz Carlton, January 08 • Mosaic Jazz Festival, March 08 • Wedding gigs at Raffles Hotel, March 08 • Performed with members of Juz-B at DXO esplanade - 2008 • Father’s Day, Outreach program for the community, June 2008 • New Horizon II, (Guess of Honor, Mr. Teo Chee Hien) September 08 • Meritus Mandarin Hotel (Mezabar) Dec 06 – June 06 • Acid Bar April 07 – June 07 • Novous May 07 – Nov 07 • Stage Music May 08 – July 08 • Accapella Society at the Esplanade – 2009 • Accapella Society for a company event – 2009 • Performer at Club Jojo – 2010 • Performer for wedding dinner - 2010 • Performance with Changing Hues at One-Twenty Six - 2011 • Performance at Yamaha Electone Festival as guest performer – 2011 • Performance at Hood Bar for Local artist Sherman Ko’s Album debut • Performance with Sherman Ko at All About Eve bar • Performance for T4K at Bras Basah Complex • Guest performer for Yamaha JOC concert (2012) • Yamaha Open House (2013) • BBC Cbeebies Kid’s workshop in conjuction with Yamaha (2013) • BBC Cbeebies Kid’s workshop in conjuction with Yamaha Band (2013) • Opening for Sungha Jung Live in Singapore 2016
How did you get acquainted with guitar playing?
This brings back memories. I was in the Audio-Visual Club when I was in secondary school and always had to prepare microphones and carry amps for several rock bands in school. It's always like they get all the attention and we kinda do all the work, so heck I'm gonna pick em up myself! Bends on the electric guitar sounded so cool! I mean it still is now.
Describe your first experience playing on a guitar.
I gave up on the full barre 'F' chord. Went around playing bass guitar and drums, not contented with myself, went back and mug on my barre chords. Been a long long time since then!
What is the best thing about being a guitarist?
I can still afford a house, get married, have a daughter and still play the guitar! It always feels a little off when I pick up daughter up, carrying a guitar behind me. Kinda feels like I'm just a grown up boy, still chasin' my dreams man.
Describe your most memorable guitar-related incident.
I can't put my finger on the 'most' memorable guitar memories but if I may, I'd like to list a few!
1. Being a top ten contestant of the Sungha Jung Guitar Competition 2016. Always miss the other 9 contestant from the competition. We've never met before but i guess having the common interest and passion in fingerstyle guitar kinda broke the ice for us!
2. Having the chance to open for Sungha Jung Live in Singapore 2016. Always wanted to play in front of thousands, alone, and i did! The glaring stage lights, the pitched black darkness filled with thousands of audience, the awkward silence while you plug in and last but not least, the applause.
3. Being an ambassador for Maestro Guitars Singapore.
I kinda have three dreams I wished to be fulfilled, and it did. All within the span of 3 months, after 16 years of working on the craft. I'd always wanted to win something and I did. I'd always wanted to perform on a big stage and I did. I'd always wanted to be good enough to be an ambassador of a guitar company and I did! Super honoured to be a part of Maestro Guitars Singapore!
How many guitars do you currently own?
I generally have guitars in pairs. One for performance and the other one for travelling around this tiny red dot, teaching classes. My previous pair has gotten a decent amount of fret wear, some buzzing issues and have 'retired' them.
As of now, I am using a Maestro Custom VERA MR (left) for performances and a Maestro ET-1C travel guitar (right) for classes.
If your house is on fire, which one would you run out with? Why?
Probably the VERA!
First guitar: It's an Ashton Classical Guitar my sister got from Australia.
Favourite guitar brand/ model: I generally like the Maestro custom series. The neck feels so good!
Favourite guitarist: Pete Huttlinger. Every single note he plays sings!
First song you learned to play on guitar: I don't remember. I'm sure it didn't have an 'F' chord though.
Song you love to play most on guitar: Isn't She Lovely, arranged by Pete Huttlinger. I practiced this tune day in and day out when my daughter was conceived!
Most difficult song you have played on guitar: Any Tommy Emmanuel songs would be the 'most' difficult song.
Tips for aspiring guitarists: Learn simple songs and play them beautifully, as opposed to learning a complex song that you can't finish. Pace yourself slowly, know what is within reach.