Local picker Don Alder wins Guitar Player magazine's Guitar Superstar competition

He might not look like your typical stage-strutting guitar hero, but when it comes to mindboggling chops on the acoustic six-string, Vancouver's Don Alder is tops.

At least that's what the judges at the recent 2010 Guitar Superstar Competition thought, and they ought to know. The panel of experts at the event—which took place September 18 at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, California—included Elliot Easton of the Cars, Reeves Gabrel from David Bowie's Tin Machine, instrumental solo artist Gary Hoey, and George Lynch from Dokken. They all decided that Alder should be the first Canadian to win the coveted title and prize package, which includes musical gear, a feature story in an upcoming issue of sponsor Guitar Player magazine, and a contract with Guitar Player Records.

This isn't the first time Alder has won major praise for his fancy fretwork, though, as back in 2007 he became the first Canuck to win the International Fingerstyle Championships. Local guitar freaks should mark their calendars and check him out on December 18 when he joins fellow guitarists David Sinclair (Sarah Mclachlan) and Doug Towle (De La Terra) for the 3D Guitar Night at St. James Hall.

You can follow Steve Newton on Twitter at twitter.com/earofnewt.




Oct 1, 2010 at 9:41pm

Now this is a Vancouver TREASURE! Don Alder is one serious talent he has such masterful musicality and stupendous string skills! How is it this guitar god, who lives, works and walks among us on Vancouver's streets is not celebrated and show cased at every opportunity?! Unbelievable! Brilliant! Should have been showcased at the Olympics! We would have all burst with pride as the world watched and wondered and wowed!

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Steve Newton

Oct 2, 2010 at 3:56pm

you said it, LTG. Couldn't agree more. Sorry it took me so long to find about him!

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Oct 10, 2010 at 9:25am

I found this blog by doing a search for Alder. I was one of the people that was at the Guitar Superstar contest and I also stood for him. HIs performance was stellar. I watched the videos up above and its funny to see the difference.The videos show a guy that can play guitar but dont do him any justice, you have to seem him live his stage prescence and energy is incredible. I think thats one of the reasons he won, he made you believe he owned the stage, he totally blew everyone away. They have the videos online at the guitarplayer website

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Oct 14, 2010 at 9:57pm

Don has a presence about him LIVE that is truely "magical" musically. Canada's Guitar gem is now big stuff in the USA !! Congrats , DON ALDER. Deserving of the award ; long overdue


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Oct 15, 2010 at 6:22pm

did this article appear in the georgia straight paper .. which issue, cant find it.

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Travis Lupick

Oct 15, 2010 at 6:46pm

@mm No, this article did not appear in print.

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Oct 16, 2010 at 10:35pm

So isn't it time the Georgia Straight show cased Don Alder in print?! I have picked up your paper three times since this incredible acknowledgement was focused on Don Alder and I can't believe your paper has not FEATURED, let alone mentioned, that he is one of Canada's greats and we are fortunate to have him paying local taxes! HELLO! I know there are great local talents, a vastly entertaining Film Festival and concerts to review, but- surely, there has to be some kind of major grand error that needs correcting that the mention of this caliber of talent is not celebrated in your pages! I am shocked that your paper doesn't get that by omitting mentioning Alder is like reporting on WE Day without mentioning it is focussed on teens! Vancouverites deserve to know about our local stars- the ones who win international competitions judged by music legends- especially if they win two!! I bet you are planning to devote the front page to him and you just have to get the best story you can- that has to be it. If not we fans of super talents would love to know how this guitar hero could go unsung. Champion Alder- he is one legend to be shared!!!

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Nov 5, 2010 at 8:44am

I heard Don on the Peak radio he was really funny and he did some very cool guitar playing. Heres something i found on youtube he's playing a very weird guitar called a harp guitar,

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