DL Shepherd

Title: Senior Writer & Gear Testing

Started Guitar Playing: 1998

Writing About Guitars Since: 2021

Darren has been playing guitar for over 23 years and teaching guitar since High-School. He fronted the metal band Suddenly Silence in the early 2000’s, and also achieved recognition as an award-winning bluegrass guitarist. Currently Darren is a part of the metal band Seronova.

A native of southwestern Virginia, and has shared the stage with many big-name acts from various genres. When he is not playing one of his many guitars, he can be found riding his Harley through the mountains of Virginia.

Darren has written content for big guitar websites such as Stringjoy and guitarguitar. Darren started writing for Guitaristnextdoor.com on April of 2021.

Bands Darren has been part of (click to check out):

2 Minute Warning

Suddenly Silence

Good College Try

Seronova (current)

1. Highlights

  • Competed in many guitar competitions, winning multiple awards. 
  • Toured and recorded extensively with the heavy metal band Suddenly Silence.
  • Has been playing, repairing, and teaching guitar since 1998.

2. Experience

I began playing in 1998. I am a completely self-taught player and relied heavily on Troy Stetina’s instruction books to build my skills. I have always enjoyed writing, and I became a full-time freelance writer in 2021 after leaving a very successful career as a sales expert in the motorcycle industry. When I am not playing guitar or writing, I enjoy riding my Harleys, making knives, making contacts on my ham radio, fishing, and spending time with my wife, Marcia. We have a cat, Lyla, who is the undisputed ruler of the house. I have lived in Southwestern Virginia my entire life and love the Appalachian Mountains! 

3. Education – Share the author’s qualifications, degrees, and trainings related to their position as a content creator.

I am a self-taught guitarist with no formal music training. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services and an Associate’s degree in Police Science. I have worked with industry-leading sales trainers in the powersports industry, and I regularly contribute content to carsforsale.com. 

4. Favorite Gear

Favorite gear: Gibson B-2 Explorer (2019), Gibson Les Paul Special SL (2001), and my 2-channel Mesa Dual Recitfier. 

5. #1 Moment as a Guitar Player

Jamming with Doc Watson in Union Grove, NC. 

6. Favorite Genres and Bands

  • Metal bands such as Pantera, Unearth, Intervals, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax.
  • Shredders such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, and John Petrucci.
  • Bluegrass greats such as Doc Watson, Tony Rice, and Clarence White. 

7. Current and Past Projects & Bands

Current project:

Past projects:

Current list of DL Shepherds guitars and gear:


  • Gibson Les Paul Studio (1998)
  • Gibson Les Paul Special (2004)
  • Gibson Stealth Explorer (2018)
  • Ibanez RG 570
  • Ibanez RG 470
  • Ibanez RG 421
  • Ibanez Jem
  • Ibanez RG 6001
  • Ibanez AM 73
  • Ibanez GRX40Z
  • Epiphone Les Paul Special
  • Alvarez RD8 acoustic
  • Alvarez FD60BL acoustic
  • Aspen A-128 acoustic
  • Yamaha classical
  • Harmony H303 (3/4 Acoustic)


  • Ibanez GSR200
  • Ibanez SR400QM
  • BC Rich Warlock (1985)
  • Epiphone EB-100 P-bass copy
  • Dean Edge 5-string


  • Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier (2-channel) with EL34 tubes
  • Peavey XXX with 6L6 tubes
  • Taurus Stomp Amp 50w
  • Hafler T3 preamp
  • 2 – 4×12 Peavey Sheffield cabs
  • Peavey 1×15 bass combo with 4×10 cab


  • Line 6 FloorPOD
  • Donner, Ibanez, and Boss pedals
  • Digitech

Previously owned guitars:

  • Gibson Korina Explorer 1958 Reissue
  • Gibson Les Paul Standard 1997
  • Gibson Les Paul Tribute 2012
  • Gibson Les Paul Studio 2004
  • Gibson Les Paul Studio 2002
  • Gibson SG Faded
  • Epiphone Beast Explorer
  • Epiphone Les Paul Special
  • Epiphone Les Paul Custom
  • Epiphone SG
  • Ibanez RG 7421
  • Ibanez RG 450DX (white)
  • Ibanez RG 450DX (black)
  • Ibanez SZ520
  • Ibanez S470
  • Ibanez lawsuit era Les Paul copy
  • Ibanez AM73T
  • Ibanez Universe 777 string
  • Jackson Dinky
  • Jackson King V
  • Dean Hardtail
  • BC Rich Mockingbird
  • BC Rich Platinum Warlock
  • Fender MIM Strat (1993)
  • Gretsch County Gentleman
  • Takamine GD30CE
  • Takamine GD11 MCE
  • Takamine GD93CE
  • Martin D-28 (1999)
  • Martin D-28 (1976)
  • Martin D-28 (1987)
  • Martin 000-18
  • Martin DX1AE
  • Martin LX1
  • Taylor BBT
  • Taylor 110
  • Fender Hellcat acoustic
  • Alvarez RD10
  • Dean Acoustic bass

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