Donald (DJ) Cooke has been playing guitars since he was 12-years-old. DJ always gravitated to rock and blues, mostly learning to play by listening and trying to play back what he heard, rather than reading sheet music. It was not long after beginning to play that he began doing basic maintenance on his guitars which grew into customization of the guitars.
DJ grew up in Fort Mill, SC and joined the United States Army at the age of 19. He was deployed for both Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 & 3 and after an Honorable Discharge returned back home with his family in South Carolina. His love of playing and customizing grew and DJ decided he wanted to craft guitars from scratch instead of customizing one from the shelf.
DJ's passion led him to start from a chunk of wood and turn it into a piece of craftsmanship that can be enjoyed for years. Building guitars provides not only a means of stress relief for DJ but also is a way to connect with other veterans. Many of the guitars he has built have gone to other veterans and veteran-owned businesses.
DJ shared with Creative Loafing that he uses his gift of craftsmanship to bring joy to others through his work. He takes time to understand what each customer wants and carefully hand-crafts each detail to not just meet, but exceed client expectation.
DJ believes that music is a powerful form of therapy for those who have something to say but no words to express it. He has donated guitars charity including one that was signed by the performing artist of Carolina Rebellion 2018 and raffled to raise money for charity. He builds guitars under the name of LedFiddle Guitars.
The focus of LedFiddle is to provide custom guitars at an affordable price and using profits to help provide guitars to the those that could benefit from the therapeutic nature of playing but can not afford a guitar. He also extends his services to any service member that plays but due to line of duty injuries can no longer play.
A message from DJ:
As guitar players, you are all unique. Why would you ever deliver your unique style to your audience through a common, shelf bought guitar? Here at LedFiddle, it’s not my goal to build you a guitar....my goal is to build you “THE” guitar!
Follow LedFiddle on Instagram at @ledfiddle_guitars
Visit LedFiddle online HERE