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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
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
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
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
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
Noah Campbell - Slack Key Acoustic on Pono Guitar
Noah Campbell - Slack Key Acoustic on Pono Guitar
Published: 2015/02/12
Channel: HawaiiMusicSupply
KAHUKU Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Lessons by Patrick Landeza,
KAHUKU Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Lessons by Patrick Landeza,
Published: 2013/11/05
Channel: guitarlesson
Hi
Hi'ilawe Slack Key guitar
Published: 2009/11/12
Channel: shuji asakawa
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Lesson
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Lesson
Published: 2008/01/20
Channel: JamPlay
"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 guitar - "Na Nalu o ke Kai"
Slack key guitar - "Na Nalu o ke Kai"
Published: 2006/12/14
Channel: Rachel Akaka
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 Master Led Kaapana Performs "Kolomona Slack Key" (Acoustic Guitar Sessions)
Slack-Key Master Led Kaapana Performs "Kolomona Slack Key" (Acoustic Guitar Sessions)
Published: 2017/04/06
Channel: Acoustic Guitar Magazine
Slack Key Serenade (Instrumental)
Slack Key Serenade (Instrumental)
Published: 2015/03/21
Channel: Ozzie Kotani - Topic
Hawaiian Slack Key-"Ku
Hawaiian Slack Key-"Ku'u kika kahiko" (My old guitar)
Published: 2008/02/22
Channel: Duke Domingo
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
Hawaiian Slack key guitar Ledward Kaapana
Hawaiian Slack key guitar Ledward Kaapana
Published: 2008/07/19
Channel: scuderiaverdy
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
Slack Key Guitar Tuning with Harry Koizumi
Slack Key Guitar Tuning with Harry Koizumi
Published: 2012/07/25
Channel: coconutgrovemusic
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Performance by Jeff Peterson (complete version)
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Performance by Jeff Peterson (complete version)
Published: 2014/05/07
Channel: HKU GE
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
'Ihiuka (Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar)
Published: 2016/09/05
Channel: Makana Videos
Blue Hula - Slide instrumental in open G - Blues, Hawaiian slack key and Steel Guitar
Blue Hula - Slide instrumental in open G - Blues, Hawaiian slack key and Steel Guitar
Published: 2010/03/12
Channel: daddystovepipe
Kalena Kai - Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar Arrangement
Kalena Kai - Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar Arrangement
Published: 2016/04/13
Channel: Rob MacKillop
Doug & Sandy McMaster Broadcast - Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele - KVIC-TV, myKauai.com
Doug & Sandy McMaster Broadcast - Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele - KVIC-TV, myKauai.com
Published: 2011/03/29
Channel: KauaiVisitorChannel
George Kuo "Opihi Moemoe" Live Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - High Quality - DreamTyme Films
George Kuo "Opihi Moemoe" Live Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - High Quality - DreamTyme Films
Published: 2011/05/01
Channel: dreamtymefilms
"Mauna Loa" @SlackKeyShow Kevin Brown - Traditional Slack Key Guitar & vocal
"Mauna Loa" @SlackKeyShow Kevin Brown - Traditional Slack Key Guitar & vocal
Published: 2010/07/18
Channel: Slack Key Show - Napili
Hawaiian music  - Ho
Hawaiian music - Ho'omana'o Mau (Slack key Guitar)
Published: 2015/10/05
Channel: Mr21Superboy
Slack Key Guitar "Radio Hula"
Slack Key Guitar "Radio Hula"
Published: 2007/12/19
Channel: Dayton Watanabe
"Koke
"Koke'e" @SlackKeyShow with Kevin Brown, master Slack Key guitarist
Published: 2014/05/05
Channel: Slack Key Show - Napili
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
Keola  Beamer-1
Keola Beamer-1
Published: 2010/02/22
Channel: chiedon
Slack-key guitar legend told not to play at Honolulu airport
Slack-key guitar legend told not to play at Honolulu airport
Published: 2016/03/18
Channel: KHON2 News
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
"Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai" @SlackKeyShow Slack Key Guitar Masters & Hula Dancers
"Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai" @SlackKeyShow Slack Key Guitar Masters & Hula Dancers
Published: 2012/07/11
Channel: Slack Key Show - Napili
Radio Hula (Ledward Kaapana) - Slack Key Guitar
Radio Hula (Ledward Kaapana) - Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2015/06/05
Channel: Another Guitarist
MAKANA / Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Master (Win tickets)
MAKANA / Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Master (Win tickets)
Published: 2017/08/31
Channel: Do206
Island Style - `Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar
Island Style - `Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2010/11/05
Channel: KawiliNaKaleponi
"Molokai Slide" @SlackKeyShow George Kahumoku Jr Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Master
"Molokai Slide" @SlackKeyShow George Kahumoku Jr Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Master
Published: 2011/07/26
Channel: Slack Key Show - Napili
The Art of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
The Art of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2015/06/08
Channel: HomespunSamples
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar: Isa Lei
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar: Isa Lei
Published: 2017/01/08
Channel: lapsteelpfunk
Moloka
Moloka'i Waltz Slack Key Guitar Tutorial
Published: 2016/04/06
Channel: Maui Guitar & Ukulele Teacher - Entertainer
Ke Aloha - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Ke Aloha - Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Published: 2010/06/21
Channel: Fran Guidry
Legend and Legacy: Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar with Ledward Kaapana
Legend and Legacy: Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar with Ledward Kaapana
Published: 2017/07/18
Channel: SmithsonianFolklife
Beach cafe - Ukulele.Slack-key guitar & vocal [Short mix]
Beach cafe - Ukulele.Slack-key guitar & vocal [Short mix]
Published: 2014/10/24
Channel: Mr21Superboy
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar-Kani Ki Ho
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar-Kani Ki Ho'alu
Published: 2008/03/21
Channel: banjobozo
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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 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 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 August 7, 2009. 
  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 June 9, 2017. 

External links[edit]

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