Dan Donegan

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Dan Donegan
2016 RiP Disturbed - Dan Donegan - by 2eight - 8SC8794.jpg
Donegan performing with Disturbed at the 2016 Rock im Park
Background information
Birth nameDaniel Joseph Donegan
Born (1968-08-01) August 1, 1968 (age 51)
Oak Lawn, Illinois, U.S.
  • Musician
  • guitarist
  • Guitar
  • keyboards
Years active1986–present
Associated acts

Daniel Joseph Donegan (born August 1, 1968) is an American musician, who currently serves as the lead and rhythm guitarist/keyboardist for the heavy metal band Disturbed. Donegan began playing guitar as a teenager and eventually formed a band called Vandal, which was a 1980s-style glam metal band. [2] He also played with some of the members of Vandal in another band that was called Loudmouth. Donegan was added to the guitar show "Chop Shop's" list of "Top 100 Most Complete Guitar Players of All Time" at number 76. [3] Donegan is currently pursuing a side project band, Fight or Flight in collaboration with Disturbed band member Mike Wengren. [4]


History and personal life

Donegan had very long hair during the early days of Brawl and Disturbed. [5] [6] According to Disturbed's DVD titled M.O.L., Donegan got a job with his father doing construction work. He was required to cut his hair for it, but instead opted to wear a wig to fool his dad and keep his long hair. It worked, and his dad eventually let him keep his long hair. [5] Donegan is married and has a daughter named Maya and a son named Justin.

Technique and style

Donegan is a self-taught guitarist. [7] He uses one handed and two handed tapping in many of his solos, with pull-offs, legatos and hammer-ons, sometimes using the "flick off" technique, as used in the solo for the song "Indestructible", and in others as well. His heavy riffs and sweep picking are seen in many music videos. He also combines arpeggios with finger tapping and many other techniques. He is known for shredding in some songs and uses finger vibrato on occasion. He uses the whammy bar in many songs to give it a certain sound effect.

In the video "The Making of Indestructible ", Donegan mentions that he prefers "tasteful" solos, as opposed to shredding solos that rely primarily on speed. Disturbed's frontman David Draiman mentions "he [Donegan] can rip with the best of them". David also mentions that "He's [Donegan], in my opinion, you know, among the best in existence, and he doesn't give himself enough credit". In the 80's, he was in a glam metal band known as Vandal, where many of his solos were shred guitar solos, but he would incorporate other techniques, which many consider his own style of playing.


While playing with Loudmouth, Dan played an Ibanez Iceman amplified through a Peavey Ultra 120 head with Peavey 4x12 cabinets. Early on with his career with Disturbed, Donegan played Gibson Les Paul Standards and SGs. In some early photos with Brawl, he can also be seen with a Gibson Explorer. Then, he switched to play a few Paul Reed Smith models, the Tremonti Model and a PRS Singlecut. In 2005, Washburn Guitars built Donegan his own signature model called the Maya, named after his daughter. For 2010, Dan built a signature guitar with Schecter guitars, that is based on the ultra classic model (his being the ultra DD). [8] Donegan is a fan of GHS Boomer guitar strings and uses the 12-52 gauge set. He also uses Seymour Duncan pickups in his guitars. He is currently signed to Schecter Guitars and uses custom leather guitar straps made by Orion Guitar Gear. In 2016, Dan and Orion Guitar Gear teamed up to sell a limited quantity of his custom straps to Disturbed fans.


The Schecter Ultra Dan Donegan signature model Schecter Ultra Dan Donegan signature model.jpg
The Schecter Ultra Dan Donegan signature model



Note: All controlled by a Voodoo Lab Ground Control, except for the Whammy and Wah





Fight or Flight

Awards and nominations

Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2008Dan DoneganBest ShredderNominated

Revolver Golden Gods Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2011Dan DoneganBest GuitaristNominated

Loudwire Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2015Dan DoneganBest GuitaristNominated

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  1. https://www.facebook.com/Disturbed/posts/10151724779452384
  2. http://www.noisecreep.com/2010/01/01/top-10-musicians-with-hair-metal-pasts/
  3. "JIMMY PAGE, JIMI HENDRIX, EDDIE VAN HALEN, STEVE VAI Among 'Chop Shops Top Guitarists". BlabberMouth. Archived from the original on 2009-03-15.
  4. "News – Fight or Flight". Disturbed.
  5. 1 2 M.O.L. (Media notes). Nathan "Karma" Cox. 2002.CS1 maint: others (link)
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