(Picture above from left: Hirotaka Kaneto 2nd, Helen Avakian 1st, Me 3rd)


As many competitors commented this year, guitar performance is not a competitive sport. It’s interesting at these competitions because all the players seem to really support each other and want to hear each other at their best. I think it’s a genuine love for the instrument and the inspiration that comes out of each player. You get to see who each person is through there playing. I performed in the Walnut Valley Festival Fingerstyle Competition, the Canadian Guitar Festival Competition, and the Indiana State Fingerstyle Competition this year as well as last year. Being a part of these really pushed me to be a much better composer and player. I felt like my arrangements for the Trust album came out really well because of the influence of the competitions.


Of course there is that competitive part of me that in the back of my mind I do want to win at these events. After all, that is the nature of these. While I didn’t win any of the competitions, I was happy to place in all three events which was a great honor. I came in second at the Indiana Fingerstyle Competition, 2nd at the Canadian Guitar Festival, and 3rd at Walnut Valley. It was really rewarding to see all the hard work I put in pay off here and to be recognized for it. The greatest part of this is that I was being judged by some of the top fingerstyle guitarists in the world including, Don Ross, Ed Gerhard, Colum Graham, Maneli Jamal, Brian Henke, and Mark Sganga.


(It was nice having my whole family with me at the Indiana competition)

One other aspect of these competitions that is probably the best part is the community of guitarists and guitar enthusiasts. There were a number of the same competitors at the Indiana competition and the Walnut Valley competition in Kansas. Canada is a sort of a different genre and different crowd of players. Regardless I reconnected with a number of players and listeners that were there last year. One interesting connection this year in Indiana was meeting Alan Fark, who started the popular Acoustic Guitar Review blog Minor 7th. He recently chose me as his top review for Minor 7th's November/ December issue and he also invited me to perform in a showcase with two other great fingerstyle guitarists Chris Weiss and Mark Bayer a few weeks ago.


So after touring and doing these competitions this summer I'm happy to be home for a while.  I've got much more to share and new projects coming up including a new music video that I hope to have out before Christmas time.  


Until next time,




Helen Avakian November 03, 2014 @02:47 am

Well said David! I was just putting up a blog and writing about you and the Walnut Valley Fingerstyle Championship. I went to your website to get your link and saw this blog! I am very honored to be in it too! You have played so well every time I have seen you, I am not at all surprised to see you get all this recognition at the fingerstyle guitar championships. You so deserve it. I have been enjoying your CD so much!!! All best wishes! Hope to meet again and hear you play!

Leave a comment:


Purchase Music


Social Media

YouTube -- https://www.youtube.com/user/YoungmanGuitar Twitter -- https://twitter.com/DavidYoungman Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/davidyoungmanmusic/

Mailing List

Listen for Free!


2015 International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion

2015 Indiana Fingerstyle Guitar Winner


Preferred Brands

Galloup Guitars

Bourgeios Guitars

Journey Instruments

MiSi Electronics

David Youngman is a proud endorser of Sagework Magenetic Guitar Supports, available at www.sagework.org.