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Donegan performing with Disturbed at the 2016 Rock im Park
Donegan performing with Disturbed at the 2016 Rock im Park

Daniel Joseph Donegan (born August 1, 1968) is an American musician, who currently serves as the guitarist/keyboardist for heavy metal band Disturbed. Donegan began playing guitar as a teenager and eventually formed a band called Vandal, which was a 1980s-style hair 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, also 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 uses his DigiTech Dan Donegan, "The Weapon" for many effects in and out of his solo work. 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", he mentions 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 "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.


  • Current:
  • Schecter Ultra Dan Donegan signature model
  • Schecter Solo-6 2010 limited edition (used in the studio for Asylum)
  • Past:
  • Washburn Maya DD81 signature model (Indestructible)
  • Washburn Maya signature model (Ten Thousand Fists)
  • PRS Singlecut (Believe)
  • PRS Mark Tremonti (Believe)
  • Gibson Les Paul Standards (The Sickness)
  • Gibson SGs (The Sickness)
  • Gibson Explorer (used in the early days with Brawl)
  • Ibanez Iceman (used in the early days of Disturbed)


  • Randall RM4 preamp with 1 "Clean" and 3 "1086" modules into a RT2/50 Power Amp. Has used Randall Cyclone and V-Max heads in the past since 2001, when Dan received an endorsement. Uses Randall R412XLT cabs
  • Mesa/Boogie Dual and Triple Rectifier amps with Mesa/Boogie Rectifier 4x12 cabs. Used until his Randall endorsement
  • Bogner Ecstasy heads
  • Marshall Heads and 4x12 cabinets in the early days


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

  • 2 Digitech Dan Donegan "The Weapon" overdrive/effects pedals
  • Digitech GSP1101 Preamp
  • DigiTech Whammy
  • Boss MT-2 Metal Zone (for a lo-fi effect)
  • Korg Toneworks 411FX
  • Dunlop Custom Shop Rackmount Crybaby with wireless foot control
  • 2 Boss NS-2s and 2 ISP Decimators in tandem
  • Audiotech Guitar Products CL-2 Selector (amp channel switcher) and ABC Selector CCM.


  • Better Days
  • Demo Tape (1994)

Awards and nominations

Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards

Revolver Golden Gods Awards

Loudwire Music Awards

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