1: ADV-26: Pailolo (NEW!)

I wrote this original guitar solo, inspired by the channel between Maui and Molokaʻi called “Pailolo”.… Read More

2: ADV-25: Kaliponi Slack Key

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Advanced Realm > This Lesson This is a famous song both in Hawaiʻi and Japan. It has been featured on the Channel 2 Nightly News in Hawaiʻi for over 40 years. I AM NOT KIDDING. As of this writing in December 2020, they are still playing it! If you are in Hawaiʻi you can check it… Read More

3: ADV-24: Barefoot On The Range

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

4: ADV-23: Blue Water Dolphin

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

5: ADV-22: Sweet Singing Bamboo

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

6: ADV-21: Sweet Lei Mamo

The "mamo" is the safflower or false saffron from Asia. The yellow feather-like flowers were highly prized and loved by Hawaiʻi’s people. This piece is in triple meter with its distinctive waltz feel and contains a modulation (change of key) element within the form.… Read More

7: ADV-20: ʻOpihi Moemoe

This is a wonderful taro-patch solo written by the legendary Slack Key guitarist, Leonard Kwan. ʻOpihi Moemoe became famous as a guitar piece when Chet Akins recorded it back in the day. For many standard tuning players, this piece (and its Open G sound) was their introduction to Slack Key. Check it out! It has a great rhythm and feel.… Read More

8: INT-28: Waʻapā

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

9: ADV-19: Kalapaki

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

10: ADV-18: Pupu Hinuhinu (Advanced)

Here is my Advanced Solo Slack Key Guitar arrangement of my Mom, Nona Beamerʻs beautiful song and a Hawaiian Classic!… Read More

11: BEG-25: Pupu Hinuhinu

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

12: INT-26 Ka Makani ʻOluʻolu

Great Solo Guitar Piece in Double Slack Tuning… Read More

13: INT-27: Pua ʻĀhihi

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

14: ADV-17: Wi Ha

Keola's good fun, galloping Taro Patch piece with a bended string ending.… Read More

15: ADV-16: Makika

This is Keola's good fun piece written by Keola, where his guitar imitates the sound of a mosquito. Its whimsical, fun and interesting!… Read More

16: INT-25: Aloha Kalikimaka Bonus!

Keola's solo guitar arrangement of the Christmas classic, "The Little Drummer Boy" as a holiday bonus for our valued members… Read More

17: INT-24: Sanoe

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

18: INT-23: Ku’u Lei Awapuhi Melemele

Isn’t it true that a scent can lead us to a sweet recollection? In Hawai’i, the air is soft and the scent of our fragrant flowers are carried in the trade winds. Sometimes out of nowhere, we recall a place or a thing. More than often, it is a person. A treasured memory emerges.

This is a wonderful song with a sweet melody. I’m quite happy with my solo guitar arrangement of this beauty. I think you will be too.… Read More

19: The Bar Exercise

Keola demonstrates an excellent bar exercise for the left hand.… Read More

20: The Rehearsal Journal

A great tool!… Read More

21: INT-22: Papa’s ʻOkolehao

Keola shares a piece he wrote to honor his grandfathers aloha for pineapple -swipe!… Read More

22: INT-21: Mino‘aka

Keola describes his reflectively wistful Taro Patch Solo -Mino'aka. This is one of his favs!… Read More

23: ADV-15: Honolulu City Lights

Here are the lesson materials for Keola’s famous song, “Honolulu City Lights”. Because this is rather a special piece and close to heart of the Beamer ‘Ohana, Keola has shared three different audio files for our members, along with the tablature.… Read More

24: ADV-00: Advanced Realm Introduction

Keola offers guidance to his advanced students.… Read More

25: ADV-14: Ke Aliʻi Hulu Mamo & Kimo Hula

In this medley, I pay tribute to the compositional genius of my great-grandmother, Helen Kapuailohia Desha Beamer (1881-1952). She is the musical backbone of the Beamer family. Tuning: Keola's C.… Read More

26: ADV-13: Lei ʻAwapuhi

This popular song is about of an ʻawapuhi (ginger) lei that binds two lovers securely. Royal Hawaiian bandleader Mekia Kealakai is said to have composed the melody in 1893 on a train en route to the Chicago World's Fair. Tuning: Keola's C… Read More

27: ADV-12: He Punahele Nō ʻOe

This song, written by Albert Nahaleʻā (Nahale-a), has become a popular Island favorite. You often hear it being dedicated to loved ones over the radio and even at weddings or a baby's lūʻau (dinner party). Tuning: Keola's C.… Read More

28: ADV-11: ʻImi Au Iā ʻOe

In a small Koa church in the small town of Kamuela, Hawaiʻi, my grandfather's voice would carry this song. Up along the pews, reverberating against the windows. Tuning: Keola's C.… Read More

29: ADV-10: Maui Waltz

With sincere aloha for the place and composer, I gave this waltz for the Valley Isle by the wonderful O'ahu pianist Bob Nelson a new arrangement for kī hōʻalu. I’ve been a great admirer of Bob's work for a lot of years. It's really well crafted. Tuning: Keola's C… Read More

30: ADV-09: Winter Tide

On this original composition for solo steel string, I play in a variant of a C Major tuning: C-G-C-G-D-E. I draw my inspiration from the sights and sounds of the ocean in winter.… Read More

31: ADV-08: Slack Key Music Box

The song reflects both my love for my wife and a musician's heightened sensitivity to sounds. My wife, Moana, has a small collection of Hawaiian music boxes. As she gets ready for work, she enjoys lifting the lids of the little koa boxes and hearing the music waft through the house. In F Wahine tuning.… Read More

32: ADV-07: Liʻi’s Song

Li'i's Song is performed in the same tuning that Gabby Pahinui used for his signature piece, Hi'ilawe (the song that, for many musicians and historians, launched the modern slack key era in 1946).… Read More

33: ADV-06: Kalena Kai

Playing with me on Kalena Kai for the recording “Wooden Boat” is my dear friend and excellent pianist/guitarist George “Keoki” Winston, who plays a wonderful second part. Tuning: Leonard's F.… Read More

34: ADV-04: E Kuʻu Morning Dew

I perform this piece on a nylon string acoustic guitar beginning with an original introduction. The lightly diffused hoʻopāpā (harmonics) heard in the middle and at the end delicately evoke the first blush of morning light pushing through the leaves of trees. Tuning: C Old Mauna Loa/Ni'ihau.… Read More

35: ADV-03: Bali Hai & Stranger In Paradise

In my arrangement, played solo in a C Wahine tuning on the nylon string, the ghostlike overtones of the dream guitar are very apparent. Tuning: Keola's C.… Read More

36: ADV-01: Punahele (Ray Kāne)

Uncle Ray and I used to tour together in the 90’s and we developed a warm friendship. After he passed away, Elodia Kāne (Ray’s Wife) gave me permission to share this piece with my students, so it is used here with permission and with the hope that it helps keep Uncle Ray’s music alive. Tuning: Double Slack.… Read More

37: INT-20: Puka Pants

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

38: INT-19: Kepania Paniolo (Spanish Cowboy)

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

39: INT-18: Mele Kakahiaka

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

40: INT-17: Ka Leileiona

This is a solo Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar piece composed by Keola Beamer depicting the starlight of the Milky Way (Ka Leileiona) as seen from the Island of Maui. Level: Intermediate. Tempo: Moderate. Tuning: C Wahine or Keola's C… Read More

41: INT-16: Hula Nā Lāʻau

In Keola's C (C Wahine). The key to the musicality of "Hula Nā Lāʻau" lies in the smooth execution of its manaʻo (thought, phrasing). Learn about right hand harmonics and how to play in a smooth, legato (connected) fashion. This lesson will really move your technique forward!… Read More

42: INT-15: Shaka Slack Key

This original composition first appeared, with bass and drums, on my 1986 album, "Sweet Maui Moon". It's a great piece to play. On the attached recording, I overdubbed a second guitar part and added drums and bass. In Taro Patch in G and C.… Read More

43: INT-14: Kanaka Waiwai

Uncle Johnny Almeida wrote this great song. I remember him coming over to our house and singing it to my mom when I was a boy. Uncle Johnny was a unique soul and wrote some really great music that later became some of the classics of Hawaiian music. In Leonard's F.… Read More

44: INT-13: Manu Kai (Sea Bird)

Manu Kai is played solo on the steel string guitar in taro patch tuning. I use my trademark "hammer-on" and "pull-off" ornaments, including discordant notes that are not heard directly but are played for a percussive effect. According to George Winston and Dancing Cat records, this was the first time these types of ornaments were recorded in this tuning.… Read More

45: INT-12: Roselani Blossoms

The song is said to have been inspired by a lei given to a woman friend. It speaks in typically poetic language of the author's desire to sip the delicious waters of ʻIao Valley on Maui. Lesson in F Wahine or Leonard's F.… Read More

46: INT-11: Pua Lililehua

In tribute to the Kahauanu Lake Trio's stunning vocal harmony, my arrangement features two guitars as in this recording from my CD, "Soliloquy - Ka Leo O Loko". I have also included the tablature and music for solo guitar only especially for our members.… Read More

47: INT-10: Moana’s Laundry Basket

This is a good, solid guitar piece with an interesting character. My study notes for this piece are here in audio form. Tuning is Taro Patch G… Read More

48: INT-09: Holo Waʻapā

My arrangement for two nylon string guitars in C Wahine tuning again features an innovative bridge, and I’ve included two versions of the tablature here, the first guitar for solo performances and then the two guitar duet arrangement as in my CD “Moe ʻUhane Kīkā”… Read More

49: INT-08: Kaulana Nā Pua

I created this arrangement in 1971 going for a soulful feel that honors the subject and mood of the song. Because this song has such importance to our culture, I’ve included the lyrics for your study, prepared by my brother, Kaliko Beamer Trapp. Tuning used is Keola’s C or C Wahine (C-D-G-B-D-E) in the key of G. … Read More

50: INT-07: Kuʻu Ipo Kuʻu Lei

Many Hawaiian "mele" (songs) use poetic images of flowers to express affection. The title of this traditional lovely old melody, which translates as "my beloved sweetheart, my beloved lei," typifies this romantic custom. Learn this in Keola's C tuning.… Read More

51: INT-06: Ka Makani ʻUlaʻula

Ka Makani ʻUlaʻula is an original piece that I composed for the “red wind” of our home near the little town of Kamuela, Hawaiʻi. Learn this piece in Modified Taro Patch (DGDGBE).… Read More

52: INT-05: Wai Ulu

E āwaiaulu i ke aloha (a love securely bound) is the subject of this popular mele hoʻoipoipo (love song) attributed to Lala Mahelona and George Kalelohi, Sr. You will learn it in F Wahine Tuning.… Read More

53: INT-04: Kapalua Bay

This is my tribute to the region of Maui where I used to play music in the evenings. You will also learn the differences between kāne (male) and wahine (female) tunings.… Read More

54: INT-00: Intermediate Realm Introduction

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Intermediate Realm > This Introduction Aloha and welcome to our Intermediate Level Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Lessons. This level of instruction consists of “repertoire pieces” or a selection of guitar pieces that are listed by their level of difficulty. One of my first revelations of the world of Kī Hōʻalu – the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar… Read More

55: INT-03: Isa Lei

This is a great intermediate level piece. It has a very interesting rhythmic bass line that is fun to play. My lesson notes are presented in audio form for this piece.… Read More

56: INT-02: Kolowaka

Kolowaka is a beautiful lullaby type piece in my signature nahenahe (soft and gentle) style, exploring the idea of theme and variation. I wrote it for my students as a kind of etude. Simple on the surface, it opens up a lot of possibilities for growth and for playing one's own variations.… Read More

57: INT-01: Hiʻilawe

Hiʻilawe was the great slack key guitarist Gabby Pahinui's signature song, and he recorded it several times, beginning in 1946. Here, I take an entirely different approach in his interpretation of this popular slack key piece, adding many new parts to the original melody.… Read More

58: BEG-13: How To Read Tablature

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson The best system of notation for the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar is called Tablature. I was the first to use tablature for our art form when I realized its potential for kī hōʻalu. I included it in the first method book ever written for Slack Key Guitar which I wrote and… Read More

59: BEG-24: How To Proceed In Slack Key Guitar

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson I hope you’ve enjoyed your tenure as one of my haumāna (students). If you’ve come this far with me, then you’ve experienced the joy of making the music. It is one thing to hear recordings, to follow the notes and appreciate their beauty, but it is a far more evocative experience… Read More

60: BEG-23: Ka Lupe ʻUla – The Red Kite

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

61: BEG-22: G Double Slack Tuning

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

62: BEG-21: How Do We Call Aloha Into Our Lives

rainbow thumbnailkbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson It is the philosophy of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar that good music doesn’t come from the ego, it comes from the heart. To play with aloha in our hearts, we must learn to make the way of aloha an integral, “living” part of our own existence. Perhaps, the first step… Read More

63: BEG-20: Aunty Alice Slack Key

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

64: BEG-19: Tablature Exercise #5

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

65: BEG-18: Modified C Wahine Tuning

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

66: BEG-17: Tablature Exercise #4

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

67: BEG-16: Tablature Exercise #3

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

68: BEG-15: Tablature Exercise #2

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

69: BEG-14: Tablature Exercise #1

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

70: BEG-12: Taro Patch Tuning

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

71: BEG-11: A Brief History of Slack Key Guitar

An Excellent History of The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar prepared by Dancing Cat Records & George Winston… Read More

72: BEG-10: Keola’s C Wahine Tuning Up For The First Time

(excerpt coming soon)… Read More

73: BEG-09: C Wahine Tuning Introduction

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson Introduction We will start with the C Wahine Tuning, (also called “Keola’s C” because of my extensive use of this tuning over many years). It is one of the easiest and most user friendly tunings available for the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, plus it has the added bonus of sounding very… Read More

74: BEG-08: Chromatic Scales Exercise

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson A chromatic scale is a scale ascending and descending in half steps, the smallest interval in western music. To play a chromatic scale on the guitar, begin on the open strings. Then play the note on the first fret, second fret and third fret, continuing up to the twelfth fret, and… Read More

75: BEG-07: The Spider Exercise

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson Left Hand Reach Development Exercise (Also known as The Spider Exercise) This is a great exercise that is VERY effective in left hand training. The movements of the fingers in this exercise are encountered in many styles of guitar playing. They are so basic and occur so often that early mastery… Read More

76: BEG-06: Exercises

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson Introduction to Exercises When you thoroughly understand the basic playing position, the free stroke and the rest stroke, the next step is to train the right and left hands to function smoothly in preparation for the pieces in this tutorial. To this end, the more you practice these technical exercises, which… Read More

77: BEG-05: Fundamentals: Rest Stroke

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson The rest stroke produces a substantial tone and is occasionally used to accent a melodic line. As this is an important technique, especially in the more advanced pieces, the student should acquire at least a working understanding of it. To prepare for the rest stroke, place the index finger of the… Read More

78: BEG-04: Fundamentals: Right Hand Technique

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson There are two basic strokes for the right hand in Hawaiian Slack Key guitar: the free stroke and the rest stroke. Both must originate from a good right hand position. Most slack key is played with the free stroke which, when executed correctly, produces a clean, strong sound. Elements of the… Read More

79: BEG-03: Fundamentals: Basic Right Hand Position

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson Bring the right hand over the sound hole and relax it completely from the wrist. Place the palm of the hand parallel to the surface of the soundboard. To achieve good sound quality, it is important to keep the hand in this relaxed position at all times. Right hand position When… Read More

80: BEG-02: Fundamentals: Left Hand Position

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson The position of the thumb is important in left hand technique. When playing a nylon string or classical-type guitar, the thumb of the left hand should move along the center and top of the back of the neck (see left illustration). It may be placed slightly higher on the neck of… Read More

81: BEG-01: Fundamentals: Playing Position

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson Basic Playing Position Holding the guitar properly is essential to good guitar technique. In one method the body of the guitar is held over the right leg. The right arm comes over the side of the instrument and forms a clamp with the leg so that the guitar is braced firmly… Read More

82: BEG-00: Beginning Realm Introduction

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson Let’s review the simple tools that you will need. A guitar (nothing fancy – any guitar will do: electric, acoustic, nylon, steel string – it doesn’t matter!) PDF Reader (or similar software) to download and view my PDF tablature and music files. A modern web browser to hear me demonstrate the… Read More

83: ADV-02: ʻAu Kai

From my recording, “Moe ‘Uhane Kīkā - Tales from the Dream Guitar", this original of mine was inspired by the subtly swirling ocean tides of my homeland. This solo steel string guitar composition in F Wahine tuning distinctively displays many of my trademark ornaments. Tuning: Leonard's F.… Read More

84: ADV-05: ʻElepaio Slack Key

This is my sprightly original Hawaiian slack key guitar piece portraying the behavior of the Hawaiian bird (ʻelepaio) believed to be the goddess of canoe makers. Tuning: Keola’s unique F tuning (C-F-C-G-A-F).… Read More