Scientific name: Alnus glutinosa
Origin: Coastal western North America
Other names: Red Alder, Western Red Alder, Aliso
Average density: 28 lbs/ft3 – 450 kg/m3
Uses: Electric guitar bodies
Alder tends to be a light tan to reddish brown; color darkens with age. There is no visible distinction between heartwood and sapwood. The grain is generally straight, with a moderately fine, uniform texture. It is very easy to work with both hand and machine tools; it sands especially easy. The wood is rather soft so, care must be taken to avoid denting it. It has excellent gluing, staining, and finishing properties; it also turns well.
Alder is mostly used on solid body guitars and basses, due to its light weight, balanced tonal response and good resonance. It has a balanced tone, without much accentuation in any area, aside from a slightly pronounced upper midrange that helps with clarity. It is fairly resonant and complex, with a good dynamic range.
A favorite for Blues and Rock tones, but can fit in most musical styles.