Don Ross is a fantastic fingerstyle guitarist. As I recall, it was in a music store where I heard Kimblim, an original composition from his CD Passion Session, for the very first time. It absolutely blew me away and soon became one of my all-time favorite instrumental guitar pieces. You probably won’t be too surprised to learn that I also purchased his CD that very same day. =) Listen to the song for yourself and you’ll see what I mean…
Don is now offering video guitar lessons for those interested in learning how to play fingerstyle guitar. He is a good instructor and you’ll find that he is very thorough when demonstrating various techniques. He has tried to make it easy for students of all levels to be able to pick up fingerstyle guitar without difficulty.
More About Don Ross:
I believe I heard Don say that he was only 10 years old when he first began playing guitar. Being a little boy with small hands made it difficult for him to play chords like F Major because the fingers are required to stretch across the entire width of the fretboard. So he simply decided to lower the 1st string in order to make it match the note he was playing on the 2nd string. He confessed that he had no idea what he was doing at the time, but apparently that’s how he discovered altered tunings!
Don Ross comments on his guitar techniques…
I’ve been playing for more than 30 years, and I still find new sounds. It still amazes me. It’s taken me all these year of trying to get inside the instrument to realize just how many different capabilities it has. with the percussion techniques, the baritone guitar, and guitar with an extra lower string I’m my own bass player and drummer as well as the guitar player. I try to use the whole instrument to make the guitar a small orchestra.”
Don Ross was born in Quebec, Canada. He produced his first album on cassetter back in 1986. It was titled Kehewin. He has completed 16 solo and duo albums since that time, in addition to several group albums. You will probably be able to find his CDs in the New Age section at your local music shop.
In 1988 and 1996 he entered and won the US National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship that is held in Winfield, Kansas. Last I heard, Don Ross is the only guitarist to ever win the competition twice. This success catapulted his career and brought him international recognition. Since then, he has been acclaimed as “one of the most brilliant practitioners of fingerstyle guitar.”
Believe it or not, Don is also an excellent guitar instructor. That is not always the case with professional musicians. Many who make their living performing do not like to teach. Don, however, studied music composition and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University in Toronto, Canada. He then became a professor at Dalhousie University from 2010-2011 where he taught the history of guitar and techniques. So, I think it’s safe to say that he enjoys and does both well.