International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion, David Youngman, has been the most consistently awarded Fingerstyle guitarist for the last three years. He’s the first person to win both the International award and the Indiana Fingerstyle Competition. Recently David released his third solo album titled Trust that included a tour around the Midwest. His CD has received top reviews. Phil Keaggy said, “Your talent is God-given — this is obvious. Congratulations on a finely produced work of art!” Along with performing David is also a guitar instructor at Spring Arbor University.
Influenced by Pat Metheny and Bela Fleck, Youngman pursued instrumental music at a young age and went on to get a performance degree in music. While working on his degree David toured Michigan each summer with his “Jazzgrass” trio, Afterthought. During this time he was performing and practicing so much that he developed severe tendonitis in his hands and forearms. This led to an inability to play the guitar for about a year until he found a master Classical guitarist, Brian Roberts of Ann Arbor, to study with and learn proper technique. David also began to study the Alexander Technique, a method for developing balanced and effortless movements of the body, with Michelle Obrecht of Ann Arbor. After two years of intense study David started performing again.
In 2008, David released his first solo album, Solo Guitar, which included his own take on well-known Classical guitar pieces, some popular Fingerstyle cover pieces, and a few of his own original pieces. He switched from Classical music to steel string fingerstyle music after getting into the music of Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, Alex De Grassi, and Andy McKee. Youngman connected with this music and he began writing his own original pieces in these styles. In 2011 he released his first album of original music, Alive.
With the encouragement of fans and supporters, David decided it was time to push his playing skills and test them on the national and international scene by competing in the biggest Fingerstyle competitions in the world. In 2013 the guitarist took second place in the renowned Canadian Guitar Festival, which led to being recognized around the country and allowed him to book a Midwest tour.
The competitions also challenged David to compose at a much more detailed level. His most recent release, Trust, is the result of this. This album has received the top review on Minor7th’s online magazine in the November/December 2014 issue (a popular online Acoustic Guitar review magazine). In 2014 David performed his new arrangements at three of the biggest Fingerstyle competitions in the world, placing third at the Walnut Valley International Fingerstyle Competition, second at the Canadian Guitar Festival, and second at the Indiana Fingerstyle Competition. Youngman is the first guitarist to place in all three of these events in a single year.
Along with performing David also does his own photography and videography as well as works with other musicians on their photo and video needs. His wife and three boys travel with him most of the time on his tours to help with his large stage setups and help manage the merchandise table. Youngman is never short of ideas and new projects and continues to develop his love for music and art through the guitar.