Don Alder plays acoustic fingerstyle guitar with a passion that has quickly earned him a reputation as Vancouver's "best kept little secret". Don is a world-class fingerstyle guitarist with a "wow factor" that has let to multiple endorsement deals with major manufacturers and a collaboration with Greenfield guitars to produce a signature acoustic guitar- the "Don Alder G4" model.
Don currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His unique style of playing incorporates fingerpicking with simultaneous percussion on the soundboard to create a wall of sound. He is often referred to as sounding like a four piece band. Don's music is his own unique weave of deeply textured melody and story. Lyrical and compelling, his original songs are notes of exploration - some passionate and haunting, some hard-driven, others light and teasing. In quiet pieces or pushing right to the edge, Don's phenomenal fingerstyle playing and rich voice captivate.
“We are extremely proud to have Don as a National Endorsee. Don chose our handbuilt L-Series flat tops as his weapon of choice. We recognize that Don is at the forefront of the ‘new fingerstyle’ movement and look forward to a long relationship with this mind blowing guitarist”. Chris Seldon, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Guitars Canada
"Alder can make a single instrument sound like a 4 piece band. The Guy's like the acoustic Hendrix". Picque News Magazine
"Don is Canada’s secret fingerstyle weapon…it’s only a matter of time until everyone discovers this world class player. I am honored to have Don endorsing my guitars." World Class Luthier, Michael Greenfield
"Don is an amazing guitarist, a one man mosh-pit. If your within 100 miles of a performance, go see this guy". Master Luthier, Matt Mustapick
"Congratulations. What a great achievement Don, you are at the top of your game and deserve every success!" Nick Campling, G7th capo inventor.
In 1985, he put his music career on hold to assist his lifelong friend, Rick Hansen, with his quest to create awareness for the potential of people with disabilities and to generate funds for spinal cord research. The World Tour (www.RickHansen.com), inspired millions of people throughout the 34 countries visited and raised 26 million dollars. Today, Don still works with Rick in a vital role at the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Foundation, which has had an impact of over 200 million dollars in the field of spinal cord injury. Don says he got involved with the Foundation to “help make a difference” in improving the quality of life of others and now continues to do so with his music.
In the early 90's, Don was mostly playing guitar as a hobby and was heavily involved in Wheelchair Sports. The World Tour developed Don's wheelchair tech skills which he continued to hone post Tour. This evolved to the point where Don was chosen to represent Canada as the Equipment Manager/ Wheelchair Tech for the Canadian Paralympic Team in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney Australia, 2000. During that time Don met Sam Sullivan and Dave Symington, both quadriplegics from accidents. Sam and Dave both musicians, founded the Vancouver Adapted Music Society. Don became the guitarist for the society's, performance band "Spinal Chord". They released a CD title "Why Be Normal" which received national airplay. They also released the video "Mary."
He continues to play to Canadian, American, European, and Asian audiences, sharing stages with Grand Master Acousticians such as Andy Mckee, Peter Finger, Jacques Stotzem, Bob Evans, Masa Sumide, John Parr (st elmos fire), Ellen McElwaine, Cassius Khan. He has also performed at festivals as a headliner which included artists such as Don Ross, Pierre Bensusan, Del Vazeau, Ric Emmet, Dave Martone. A;ex De Grassi, Lawrence Juber, Andy Timmons, John Jorgenson, Lee Ritenour, Billy Sheehan, Sarah McLauglin, David Foster and many more. Don's Character is also portrayed in the movie "Heart of A Dragon" heartofadragonmovie.com by UK actor Andrew Lee Potts.
1rst - 2011 Gutiar Idol Worldwide - held in London UK 1rst - 2010 Guitar Player Magazine, Gutiar Superstar Contest - North America 1rst - 2007 Inernational Fingerstyle Championships Winfield, Kansas 2nd - 2006 International Fingerstyle Championships Winfield, Kansas 1st – 2004, 2005, 2006 Winfield Song Showcase“Best Instrumental” Category 1st – 2005 Best 30-second Guitar Solo Contest - Acidplanet.com Finalist - International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA) 3rd – 2005 Vancouver BC Star Discovery 1st – 2004 Vancouver Folk Slam 1st – 2004 Winfield Intl. Fingerstyle Championships “Best Instrumental” Category 1st – 2004 Vancouver Guitar Show “Shred Contest” using just an acoustic guitar 3rd – 2004 Vancouver BC Star Discovery 4th – 2004 Openstrings International Fingerstyle Competition, Germany