Guitarists of Singapore (GOS) - Isaac Yong 杨征宇



Age: 27

Occupation: Performer, Singer-songwriter, Guitar Instructor

Style: Mainly Acoustic Fingerstyle, also plays Classical/Electric/Bass/Ukulele

No. of years of playing the guitar: 11 years

No. of hours spent on the guitar per week: 30 hrs/ week

Gig/ competition experience: • 20th MusicXpress Songwriting Competition (飞乐时空 – 中文歌曲创作比赛) Champion. Winning Entry:《深夜》- 2014 • Regular performer (vocalist/guitarist) at: Starker Music @ Zhongshan Park, Shuffle Bistro Bar, 555 Villa Thai, Obar @ Punggol • Love Me Knot (Wedding band) – Guitarist, vocalist • StaRi Singing Competition 2016 - Finalist • Songwriter for Touch Music Publishing



Instagram: @isaacyongmusic

YouTube: @isaacyongmusic


How did you get acquainted with guitar playing?


I lived in a hostel when I was studying in secondary school. I have always been interested in music; was always knocking out drama theme song by ear on the piano, and then I joined the school string orchestra as a violinist.. but I actually never thought of learning to play the guitar until my roommate brought a guitar to the hostel. I picked it up out of curiosity, my friend taught me how to play the intro for one of Jay Chou's songs, and the rest is history.


Describe your first experience playing on a guitar.


The fretboard looked like a map of foreign city to me, and I remember the pain from pressing on the strings.


But when you managed to reproduce that intro line from the record, it just feels magical. It was so unbelievable that I can still feel the emotions from back then as I am typing this.


What is the best thing about being a guitarist?


Being a guitarist enables me to do work that I am passionate about, and the best thing is, this work gives me the ability to positively influence people.


As a performer and songwriter, I am bringing happiness and comfort to people.


As a teacher, I am helping hobbyist and budding musicians to realize their dreams and potential!


Describe your most memorable guitar-related incident.


The most memorable one is this one time when I was teaching outside (I didn't have a home studio back then). A guy approached me and we started talking about guitar and music. He is from Vietnam and was here for a business trip, but has always loved music and is fascinated by fingerstyle guitar playing. We exchanged contacts, and remain friends to date. Music really brings people together.


How many guitars do you currently own?


Yamaha LS16
Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500R
Yamaha Pacifica 112J
J&D Classical Guitar
Cordoba Ukulele


If your house is on fire, which one would you run out with? Why?


Definitely the Yamaha. It's my companion and livelihood :)


First guitar: Just a generic black guitar. It was a gift from my dad that costs only $80 but it means the world to me.


I remember asking my parents for a guitar after learning to play on my roommate's for some time. Although my mom was skeptical, one day when I came home during the weekend, this guitar mysteriously appeared on the sofa in the house!


Favourite guitar brand/ model: I would love to own at least one Jeffrey Yong guitar in my life. Gorgeous to look at, and sounds heavenly with all the overtones.


Other than that, Taylor. I simply love the piano like tone and the playability.


Favourite guitarist: Kotaro Oshio, Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Vai


First song you learned to play on guitar: 周杰倫 - 晴天


Song you love to play most on guitar: If I have to name one it would be 那英 - 默. I've arranged it and sung it with guitar, you can check it out here! :)



Most difficult song you have played on guitar: So Long, Michael by Pierre Bensusan - a melodic piece in DADGAD but requires a lot of inhumane stretch, as with all other Pierre's composition!


Tips for aspiring guitarists: It's never too late to start. I was once this 16-year-old boy who thought that he was very late to the game. But when I look back after a decade, it was the best decision I have ever made and my life would be on an entirely different trajectory if it weren't for that decision.


As the Chinese proverb says, "the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now".


If you want to play the guitar, just do it!


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