Don Alder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Donald L. Alder, or Don Alder, (born in Vancouver, BC, Canada) is a Canadian fingerstyle guitarist.

Don Alder – Canadian Fingerstyle guitarist
Don Alder
Born Vancouver, British Columbia
Genres Fingerstyle guitar
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Guitar, vocals, harp guitar
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts Extreme Guitar Duo, Keith Knight, Fingerstyle Collective


He spent his early childhood years in Montreal, before his family moved to Williams Lake/BC. He has played guitar since age 11.[1] In March 1985, Alder put his music career on hold to accompany his friend Rick Hansen on his Man in Motion world tour.[2] In January 1988, Mayor Woods of Williams Lake presented a certificate of merit to Don Alder for "Disabled Awareness - Man in Motion". [3]

Don Alder's character appears in the feature film "Heart of a Dragon" (2008), a movie about the Man-In-Motion-Tour (,[4] with Andrew Lee Potts playing the character of "Don". Don Alder also worked on this movie as a technical advisor.[5]

There's also a theatre play called "Rick: The Rick Hansen Story", which is also about the Man in Motion Tour and in which Don Alder is featured as well.[6]

Don Alder was a member of the Canadian National Paralympic team in Atlanta for the 1996 Games and again in 2000 for the Games in Sydney, Australia. Alder did not participate as an athlete but as the equipment manager and wheelchair technician.[7]

In 2007 Don Alder became International Fingerstyle Champion.[8] In 2010 he was the Guitar Superstar contest winner.[9] In 2011 he won the World Wide Guitar Idol contest.[10] He also won a 2013 Brand Laureate Award (Malaysia) for his contributions using his guitar and music to help and inspire others around the world.[11] Today, Alder continues to play to Canadian, American, European ([12]), and Asian audiences.

So far, he has been performing at Muriel Anderson's All Star Guitar Night five times.[13] He writes and performs all of his own music, and has released six albums.[14] His CD, Not a Planet earned him a nomination for Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2009.[15]

Greenfield Guitars designed a guitar for Don Alder, a G4 married with the Novax Fanned Fret™ fingerboard.[16]

Don Alder is writing for Iguitar magazine.[17]

Don Alder also performs together with Keith Knight as "Extreme Guitar Duo".[18]

He was a featured guest on CBC's "North by Northwest" (nxnw) in 2011.[19]

UBC (University of British Columbia) is listing Don Alder as featured presenter.[20]

Don Alder did volunteer work with the Vancouver Adapted Music Society.[21]

Don Alder is also volunteering as "Artist as teachers" for DAREarts,[22] a Canadian charitable organization that uses educational experiences in the arts to empower children and youth facing life challenges, with confidence, courage and leadership skills to unlock their potential and ignite change in their lives and communities.

He is also a featured performer for Synergy Collective[23]

Don Alder has several endorsements, f. e. Seymour Duncan,[24] Yamaha Guitars, Santo Angelo Cables, Guitar Hands, Ernie Ball, Holloway Harp Guitars.[25]

The guitarist Don Alder is not to be mistaken with the US actor Don Alder.[26]

In April 2014 Don Alder performed the song "Space Oddity" together with Canadian astronaut and ISS Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield. The third Canadian on stage at this event, which took place in Kona, Hawaii, was actor William Shatner.[27]


2008 Not A Planet;[28] 2007 Acoustic Matters; 2005 Take The Train, eh; 2005 Cool Tunes Compilation; 2005 Best of Don Alder; 2003 Acoustiholic;

2008 Not a Planet: "Acoustic fingerstyle soloist Don Alder branches out to sit in with a number of players on nine of the 13 tunes on this recording. The 2007 Winfield International Guitar Fingerstyle Champion even sings on two tracks. (He sings well enough to front a band.) Collaborations like "The Wall" yield a polished, rootsy pop. The ambient textures of "Sayonara.calm," a duet with Michael Manring, border on a new age vocabulary. The solo "He Said, She Said" puts the melody right out front of a shuffle. The track reveals Alder's remarkable fluidity and ability to make clear statements. "Taiwan Traffic Jam" cuts out in a Willy Porter vein, with a driving urgency that showcases pure chops rooted in a strong, chiming melody. Overall, Alder proves he plays well with others on this outing. The emotional content is amorphous, yet specific to the moment at hand. At times you can feel an almost cinematic sensibility behind it." Steve Klingaman[29]

2007 Acoustic Matters: "Acoustic Matters is a collection of interesting and sometimes fun pieces showing off Alder's abilities. There are 10 tunes with comical titles listed on the album's cover art. Alder's album is appropriately titled since every track is only the man and his acoustic guitar."[30]

2005 Take the Train, eh: "Canada is one of the places where many finger-style guitarists have their residence. Don Alder lives in Vancouver and has been a guitarist/ composer over 23 years. He performed with Don Ross, Alex de Grassi, Peppino D'Agostino among others. Also Don was a competitor in the prestigious U.S. National Finger-style Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Don Alder's influences come from guitar players like Michael Hedges, Don Ross and for instance Bruce Cockburn. His new album Take the Train Eh. is a groovy and up tempo album with extraordinary techniques on his selected guitars. He uses Greenfield, Lowden and Jenkins guitars, which all have their own unique sound. This album is a solo guitar album without Don's warm expressive voice. Don starts off with Dr. Dr. which is full of astonishing techniques as tapping, slapping, percussion and a brilliant groove. Meeting Pierre is in the style of Pierre Bensusan, who also as Don plays a lot in DADGAD tuning. This song embodies a lot of space and structure with a fine gentle touch. The album would even impress more if Don focused more on melody line building and not primary on skilled techniques. Chet or Cheese shows his admiration for Chet Atkins in a top-notch composition. One of my favorites is Its Only Goodbye which has all a good song needs, balance, structure and emotion. Tommy Time is an ode to Tommy Emmanuel with the typical melody lines and staccato approach. One thing is clear Don Alder has an own significant signature which covers all capabilities in finger-style music. Don Alder writes all his songs himself which can compete with the best guitarists in the circuit. Seldom one sees so much quality and versatility in one guitarist. Don Alder succeeds with this album to impress any serious acoustic guitarist and listener."[31]

2005 Best of Don Alder: "Don Alder compiles a dozen gems from his collection that's as pleasant as it's impressive. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Alder intertwines his fingerpicking with percussion on his soundboard for a smooth but surprisingly propulsive effect. This solo, acoustic, instrumental disc features Alden's own compositions, which are invariably marked by their expressiveness. They range from the galloping Western of "Nutberry Farm" to the bittersweet "Marshall's Lanai" to the swinging "Granny on the Run." His liner notes reveal compositional tidbits, adding to the fun, and also offer a glimpse into the huge heart of this versatile musician." Fred Kraus[32]

2003 Acoustiholic: "Most artists who arrive on the scene with acoustic guitar-in-hand proclaim themselves as either fingerstylists or singer-songwriters, but hardly ever both. Don Alder is an artist able to wear both hats quite comfortably. The former Winfield competitor and student of Don Ross can kick up his heels instrumentally (as on "Granny on the Run") but can also put his vocals and songwriting up on ear-catching display ("Haunting Me")." Alan Fark[33]


GuitarIdol Guitarplayer Superstar 2010 Man in Motion Tour Williams Lake CivicWeb Int'l Fingerstyle Champion Brand Laureate Award Man-In-Motion-World-Tour Rick: The Rick Hansen Story VAMS Iguitar magazine Greenfield Guitars Iguitar magazine CBC UBC DAREarts Extreme Guitar Duo wiki

Other Links[edit]

Don Alder's website: Facebook: Twitter: