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Jeff Peterson demonstrates Slack Key Guitar jeffpetersonguitar.com
Jeff Peterson demonstrates Slack Key Guitar jeffpetersonguitar.com
Published: 2010/04/09
Channel: JeffPetersonGuitar
Black Sand - Ledward Kaapana Slack Key Guitar
Black Sand - Ledward Kaapana Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2012/04/06
Channel: Fran Guidry
Hawaii Slack Key Guitar Music
Hawaii Slack Key Guitar Music
Published: 2014/03/23
Channel: Traditional Music Channel
Beginner Slack-Key Guitar Lesson
Beginner Slack-Key Guitar Lesson
Published: 2012/08/17
Channel: Curtis Kamiya
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters George Kahumoku Jr. and Ledward Kaapana
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters George Kahumoku Jr. and Ledward Kaapana
Published: 2014/04/04
Channel: MySPNN
Slack Key Guitar
Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2014/10/22
Channel: Making Music magazine
Let Me Introduce You To Some Slack-Key Guitar Ideas.
Let Me Introduce You To Some Slack-Key Guitar Ideas.
Published: 2015/07/20
Channel: Harry's Guitar
John Keawe - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Musician on BITV
John Keawe - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Musician on BITV
Published: 2009/09/24
Channel: Big Island Television, Hawaii
The Magic of Slack Key
The Magic of Slack Key
Published: 2016/03/09
Channel: Makana Videos
Kawika Kahiapo - East Side Slack Key (HiSessions.com Acoustic Live!)
Kawika Kahiapo - East Side Slack Key (HiSessions.com Acoustic Live!)
Published: 2013/10/25
Channel: HI*Sessions
Slack Key Chords: The Major Chords ( Taro Patch or Open G tuning ) Ki Ho
Slack Key Chords: The Major Chords ( Taro Patch or Open G tuning ) Ki Ho'alu
Published: 2015/08/31
Channel: Harry's Guitar
LT Smooth - Slack Key Guitar
LT Smooth - Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2010/07/19
Channel: ColleeninHawaii
Keola Beamer "Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar In The Real Old Style" - full album
Keola Beamer "Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar In The Real Old Style" - full album
Published: 2016/01/01
Channel: elephantnavel
Slack Key Serenade (Instrumental)
Slack Key Serenade (Instrumental)
Published: 2015/03/21
Channel: Ozzie Kotani - Topic
KAHUKU Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Lessons by Patrick Landeza,
KAHUKU Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Lessons by Patrick Landeza,
Published: 2013/11/05
Channel: guitarlesson
Ke Aloha - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Ke Aloha - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2010/06/21
Channel: Fran Guidry
Three Old Time Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Tricks (Open G  or Taro Patch Tuning) Ki Ho
Three Old Time Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Tricks (Open G or Taro Patch Tuning) Ki Ho'alu
Published: 2016/07/09
Channel: Harry's Guitar
Hawaiian Slack Key-"Ku
Hawaiian Slack Key-"Ku'u kika kahiko" (My old guitar)
Published: 2008/02/22
Channel: Duke Domingo
HAWAIIAN MUSIC Instrumental Study Playlist Classical Guitar Island Music for Studying Ukulele Hawaii
HAWAIIAN MUSIC Instrumental Study Playlist Classical Guitar Island Music for Studying Ukulele Hawaii
Published: 2013/03/09
Channel: HDnatureTV: Relaxing Music & Nature Sounds Videos
Chet Atkins "Hawaiin Slack Key"
Chet Atkins "Hawaiin Slack Key"
Published: 2008/06/15
Channel: daffydoug
Kalena Kai - Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar Arrangement
Kalena Kai - Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar Arrangement
Published: 2016/04/13
Channel: Rob MacKillop
Slack Key Guitar Tuning with Harry Koizumi
Slack Key Guitar Tuning with Harry Koizumi
Published: 2012/07/25
Channel: coconutgrovemusic
Noah Campbell - Slack Key Acoustic on Pono Guitar
Noah Campbell - Slack Key Acoustic on Pono Guitar
Published: 2015/02/12
Channel: HawaiiMusicSupply
Amazing Slack Key Guitar by Hawaii Musicians Bunny & Paul!
Amazing Slack Key Guitar by Hawaii Musicians Bunny & Paul!
Published: 2009/09/24
Channel: justukes
McMaster Slack Key Guitar - Best Slack Key Guitar - Hawaii 2012
McMaster Slack Key Guitar - Best Slack Key Guitar - Hawaii 2012
Published: 2013/01/04
Channel: OfficialBestOf
"Ua Mau" "Hawaiian hymn" @SlackKeyShow.com Slack Key Guitar Master George Kahumoku Jr
"Ua Mau" "Hawaiian hymn" @SlackKeyShow.com Slack Key Guitar Master George Kahumoku Jr
Published: 2011/03/28
Channel: Slack Key Show - Napili
"I Kona" @SlackKeyShow.com Ledward Kaapana Master Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarist
"I Kona" @SlackKeyShow.com Ledward Kaapana Master Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarist
Published: 2011/04/18
Channel: Slack Key Show - Napili
Slack Key: Hawaiian Vamp ( Taro Patch or Open G tuning ) Ki Ho
Slack Key: Hawaiian Vamp ( Taro Patch or Open G tuning ) Ki Ho'alu
Published: 2015/08/17
Channel: Harry's Guitar
Gabby Pahinui - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Vol 1 - Side A
Gabby Pahinui - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Vol 1 - Side A
Published: 2015/10/17
Channel: niceandeasymusic
Gabby Pahinui - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Vol 1 - Side B
Gabby Pahinui - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Vol 1 - Side B
Published: 2015/10/17
Channel: niceandeasymusic
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Aloha
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Aloha 'Oe
Published: 2012/01/29
Channel: Slackkey Haole
"Kohala No" @SlackKeyShow Kimo West instrumental Hawaiian slack key guitar
"Kohala No" @SlackKeyShow Kimo West instrumental Hawaiian slack key guitar
Published: 2011/05/02
Channel: Slack Key Show - Napili
Papalina Lahilahi - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Papalina Lahilahi - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2009/12/14
Channel: Fran Guidry
2nd Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival "Westside Style"
2nd Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival "Westside Style"
Published: 2013/10/21
Channel: Olelo Community Media
Ghost Riders In The Sky - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar by Hi
Ghost Riders In The Sky - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar by Hi'ikua
Published: 2010/07/30
Channel: ColleeninHawaii
How to Play "Papakolea" on the Slack Key Guitar (Open G Tuning - Taro Patch- Ki Ho
How to Play "Papakolea" on the Slack Key Guitar (Open G Tuning - Taro Patch- Ki Ho'alu)
Published: 2016/05/26
Channel: Harry's Guitar
"Maori Brown Eyes" Slack Key Guitar / Hawaiian Ukulele By Mal-O-Dua
"Maori Brown Eyes" Slack Key Guitar / Hawaiian Ukulele By Mal-O-Dua
Published: 2014/09/09
Channel: Christo Ruppenthal
'Opihi Bounce - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar / Ukulele Jam by Mal-O-Dua
Published: 2014/09/03
Channel: Christo Ruppenthal
Kimo
Kimo's Slack Key Guitar Lesson Preview - Neil Hogan
Published: 2012/02/08
Channel: TGAcousticLessons
Hapa - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Hapa - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2008/08/22
Channel: ColleeninHawaii
Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) "SoCal Slack Key" - NAMM 2013 with Taylor Guitars
Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) "SoCal Slack Key" - NAMM 2013 with Taylor Guitars
Published: 2013/03/26
Channel: Taylor Guitars
Hawaiian Slack key guitar Ledward Kaapana
Hawaiian Slack key guitar Ledward Kaapana
Published: 2008/07/19
Channel: scuderiaverdy
Jim Kimo West - Danny Boy, slack key guitar
Jim Kimo West - Danny Boy, slack key guitar
Published: 2013/03/16
Channel: Jim Kimo West
White Christmas Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Irving Berlin
White Christmas Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Irving Berlin
Published: 2013/12/24
Channel: Keni Lee Burgess
Doug & Sandy McMaster Extended - Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele - KVIC-TV, myKauai.com [Music]
Doug & Sandy McMaster Extended - Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele - KVIC-TV, myKauai.com [Music]
Published: 2011/03/17
Channel: KauaiVisitorChannel
Slack Key Chords: The Minor Chords ( Taro Patch or Open G tuning ) Ki Ho
Slack Key Chords: The Minor Chords ( Taro Patch or Open G tuning ) Ki Ho'alu
Published: 2015/08/31
Channel: Harry's Guitar
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - E Ku
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - E Ku'u Morning Dew
Published: 2013/04/06
Channel: Slackkey Haole
Spongebob slack key guitar - Aloha
Spongebob slack key guitar - Aloha
Published: 2014/12/25
Channel: pasukaru14
"Ku
"Ku'u Ipo Onaona" @LedKaapana Grand Master of Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2011/08/23
Channel: Slack Key Show - Napili
"Kanaka Waiwai" (Slack Key Guitar, Taro  Patch or Open G Tuning) Ki Ho
"Kanaka Waiwai" (Slack Key Guitar, Taro Patch or Open G Tuning) Ki Ho'alu
Published: 2015/11/10
Channel: Harry's Guitar
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Slack-key guitar is a fingerstyle genre of guitar music that originated in Hawaii. Its name refers to its characteristic open tunings: the English term is a translation of the Hawaiian kī hōʻalu, which means "loosen the [tuning] key". Most slack-key tunings can be achieved by starting with a guitar in standard tuning and detuning or "slacking" one or more of the strings until the six strings form a single chord, frequently G major.

History[edit]

In the oral-history account, the style originated from Mexican cowboys in the late 19th century. These paniolo (a Hawaiianization of españoles—"Spaniards") provided guitars, taught the Hawaiians the rudiments of playing, and then left, allowing the Hawaiians to develop the style on their own. Musicologists and historians suggest that the story is more complicated,[1] but this is the version that is most often offered by Hawaiian musicians. Slack key guitar adapted to accompany the rhythms of Hawaiian dancing and the harmonic structures of Hawaiian music. The style of Hawaiian music that was promoted as a matter of national pride under the reign of King David Kalākaua in the late 19th century combined rhythms from traditional dance meters with imported European forms (for example, military marches), and drew its melodies from chant (mele and oli), hula, Christian hymns (hīmeni), and the popular music brought in by the various peoples who came to the Islands: English-speaking North Americans, Mexicans, Portuguese, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, Tahitians, and Samoans.

The music did not develop a mainland audience during the Hawaiian music craze of the early 20th century, during which Hawaiian music came to be identified outside of Islands with the steel guitar and the ukulele. Slack key remained private and family entertainment, and it was not even recorded until 1946–47, when Gabby Pahinui cut a series of records that brought the tradition into public view.[2] During the 1960s and particularly during the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance of the 1970s, slack key experienced a surge in popularity and came to be seen as one of the most genuine expressions of Hawaiian spirit, principally thanks to Gabby Pahinui, Atta Isaacs, Leonard Kwan, Sonny Chillingworth, Raymond Kāne, and the more modern styles of younger players such as Keola Beamer, his brother Kapono Beamer, Peter Moon, and Haunani Apoliona. During this period, luthiers such as the Guitar and Lute Workshop in Honolulu specialized in the development and manufacture of guitars bespoke for slack-key performance.

Many currently prominent Hawaiʻi-based players got their starts during the Cultural Renaissance years: Cindy Combs, Ledward Kaapana, George Kahumoku, Jr., his brother Moses Kahumoku, Dennis Kamakahi, Ozzie Kotani, three Pahinui brothers (Bla, Cyril, and Martin), the Emerson Brothers and Owana Salazar. These artists, and slack key in general, have become well-known outside of Hawaiʻi largely through George Winston's Dancing Cat Records record label, which has most often showcased the music in solo settings.

One indication of slack key's increasing visibility beyond the Islands is that the first four winners of the Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Music Album were slack key collections: Slack Key Guitar, Volume 2 in 2005,[3] Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Volume 1 in 2006,[4] Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar—Live from Maui [5] and "Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live in Concert from Maui." Players from outside Hawaiʻi have also taken up the tradition, for example, Chet Atkins (who included slack key pieces on two of his albums), Yuki Yamauchi (a student of Raymond Kāne's and an advocate of Hawaiian music in Japan), pianist George Winston, and Canadian Jim "Kimo" West (perhaps better known as guitarist with "Weird Al" Yankovic).

Techniques and tunings[edit]

Kī hōʻalu is often characterized by the use of an alternating-bass pattern, usually played by the thumb on the lower two or three strings of the guitar, while the melody is played on the three or four highest strings, using any number of fingers. Many kī hōʻalu players incorporate various embellishments such as harmonics (chimes), the hammer-on, the pull-off, slides, and damping. Slack key compositions exhibit characteristics from indigenous Hawaiian and imported musical traditions. The vamp or turnaround (a repeated figure, usually at the end of a verse) is descended from the hula tradition, and other harmonic and structural features are descended from hīmeni and from the hula kuʻi encouraged by King David Kalakaua.[6]

Nearly all slack key requires retuning the guitar strings from the standard EADGBE, and this usually means lowering or "slacking" several strings. The result is most often a major chord, although it can also be a major-seventh chord, a sixth, or (rarely) a minor. There are examples of slack key played in standard tuning, but the overwhelming majority of recorded examples use altered tunings. The most common slack key tuning, called "taro patch," makes a G major chord. Starting from the standard EADGBE, the high and low E strings are lowered or "slacked" to D and the fifth string from A down to G, so the notes become DGDGBD. As the chart below shows, there are also major-chord tunings based on C, F, and D.

Another important group of tunings, based on major-seventh chords, is called "wahine". G wahine, for example, starts with taro patch and lowers the third string from G to F, making DGDFBD. Wahine tunings have their own characteristic vamps (as in, for example, Raymond Kāne's "Punahele" or Gabby Pahinui's 1946 "Hula Medley") and require fretting one or two strings to form a major chord. A third significant group is Mauna Loa tunings, in which the highest pair of strings are a fifth apart: Gabby Pahinui often played in C Mauna Loa, CGEGAE.

George Winston has identified fifty slack key tunings[7] Some are only commonly used for a single song, or by particular players. Mike McClellan and George Winston have developed similar schemes that organize the tunings by key and type. The chart below follows their categories and naming conventions.

Common slack key tunings[edit]

Common Slack Key Tunings Notes Used
G Major or Taro Patch D G D G B D
G Wahine D G D F B D
D Wahine D A D F A C
Open D D A D F A D
C Major or Atta's C C G E G C E
Mauna Loa C G E G A E
C Wahine or Leonard's C C G D G B D
C 6 C G C G A E
Old Mauna Loa C G C G A D
Open C C G C E G C
F Wahine C F C G C E
Open F C F C F A C
Double Slack F C F C E A C
Le Igi

List of slack-key guitar players[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For example, Elizabeth Tatar, "Slack Key Guitar", in Hawaiian Music and Musicians, ed. George S. Kanahele, University Press of Hawaii, 350–360. ISBN 0-8248-0578-X
  2. ^ See updated and corrected liner notes to the compilation CD History of Slack Key Guitar, by Harry Soria, Jr., Jay Junker, and George Winston.
  3. ^ "Slack key wins first Hawaiian Grammy", by Tim Ryan, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 14, 2005
  4. ^ "'Masters' of the Grammy", by John Burger, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 9, 2006
  5. ^ Derek Pavia (February 12, 2007). "Slack Key Snags Third Hawaiian Grammy". Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on 2009-08-07. 
  6. ^ Tatar, "The Technique" and "The Chant Tradition" sections of "Slack Key Guitar" in Hawaiian Music and Musicians
  7. ^ [1] George Winston's on-line Short History of Slack Key Guitar, "Chart of Recorded Tunings"
  8. ^ "Bio". Kawika. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 

External links[edit]

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