Slack Key Guitar in Open G or Taro Patch Tuning, is a finger style music that originated in Hawaii. The open G sound is achieved by detuning or "slacking" one or more strings to form a single chord, in this case Open G.
Lesson 1: Slack Key: Grandfather’s Clock (Open G)
Grandfather's Clock Slack Key is a Taro Patch (Open G Tuning) arrangement based on the playing of legendary Hawaiian guitarist Leonard Kwan. His slack key style introduced many different techniques and sounds to the developing style. This version of Grandfather’s Clock includes a rapid triplet roll, harmonics, and quick hammer-on pull-off combinations. The lesson includes thoughts on improvising a bit as well.
Lesson 2: Slack Key: Kimo's Slack Key (Open G)
Kimo's Slack Key is a tune composed by legendary Hawaiian musician Sonny Chillingworth. It is played in Taro Patch Tuning (Open G) and includes some classic licks and techniques that define the sweet sound of slack key guitar. The right hand uses standard alternating bass technique and the left mostly plays one note at a time, typical of the style.
Lesson 3: Slack Key: Ke Aloha (Open G)
Ke Aloha is a popular Hawaiian tune from the first part of the 20^th century. It was written by Maddy Lam and Lei Collins, and is used very commonly for hula performances. This arrangement was done by my friend Hal Kinnaman in Taro Patch Tuning (Open G). It features standard alternating bass technique but also introduces a few important slack key techniques.
Lesson 4: Slack Key: Moloka'i Waltz (Open G)
Moloka'i Waltz is a Slack Key arrangement done in Open G Tuning. This traditional song is in 3/4 time and uses mostly open notes. One of the challenges is to keep an alternating bass pattern going where the second and third bass notes are the same. The lesson stresses the importance of understanding the melody and harmony independently before putting them together.
Lesson 5: Slack Key: Radio Hula (Open G)
Radio Hula is another Open G adaptation of a song written in the 1920s, as radio was becoming common in the Hawaiian Islands. This arrangement was done by Hal Kinnaman, based a bit on one popularized by slack key master Ledward Kaapana. It is a bit more challenging than most of our other Taro Patch tunes, using repeated triplet eighth notes on a single string. This lesson also includes thoughts on improvising and making the song your own.
Lesson 6: Slack Key: Hula Blues (Open G)
This arrangement of Hula Blues was mostly done by Neil's friend Hal Kinnaman, who teaches guitar on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. It is in Taro Patch (Open G) Tuning and is done with an alternating bass accompaniment.