1: BEG-25: Pupu Hinuhinu

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson My mother Nona Beamer wrote Pupu Hinuhinu in the 1950’s. Since then, it has been sung by generations of mothers as a lullaby. It has been the first hula of generations of hula dancers. No one has counted the number of times it has been played, adapted, and arranged for ukulele,… Read More

2: 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

3: 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

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

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson When I was a boy, we used to make our own kites. Growing up, we didn't have much money for toys so we made our own stuff. I remember seeing my red kite fly for the first time against a clear, blue sky. It was as if my heart lifted up… Read More

5: BEG-22: G Double Slack Tuning

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson The G-Double Slack Tuning ("Double Slack Tuning") is uncommon. Those of us that play in it get a real joy out of it. We find it delightful. It’s got a nice feel and you'll have fun with it. You should know that it is based on Taro Patch Tuning, but involves… Read More

6: 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

7: BEG-20: Aunty Alice Slack Key

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson About Aunty Alice Nāmakelua Aunty Alice was my special mentor for the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. She taught me a great deal about how to play the instrument and perhaps more importantly, the philosophy hidden beneath the surface of the music. At one point, she was the love of my life,… Read More

8: BEG-19: Tablature Exercise #5

Play the song ʻImo ʻImo Hōkū Iki kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson Before playing this exercise, count through the measures and give careful attention to the time symbols. The time structure of this arrangement fits with the English lyrics of the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, because they are more familiar than the Hawaiian translation. I… Read More

9: BEG-18: Modified C Wahine Tuning

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson Introduction The Modified C Wahine Tuning is identical to the basic Keola’s C that we learned in earlier lessons, except for one string. This change is that the 1st string is slacked from E down to the note D. In a way the modified C Wahine is in the "double slack"… Read More

10: BEG-17: Tablature Exercise #4

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson In this fourth exercise, the notes themselves are a little more difficult than those of the previous exercises. Try to play smoothly and evenly, connecting the individual notes to each other. Here is my tablature for Exercise #4. Take a moment to print this Tab from your printer, then compare the… Read More

11: BEG-16: Tablature Exercise #3

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson This third exercise uses eighth, quarter and half notes. It's best to count eighth notes, as they have the smallest value. Try to play smoothly and evenly, connecting the individual notes to each other. Here is my tablature for Exercise #3. Take a moment to print this Tab from your printer,… Read More

12: BEG-15: Tablature Exercise #2

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson In this second exercise, the first measure is incomplete, because it doesn't contain four beats. It is called a "pick up" bar. In this case the pick up is an eighth note. Count the entire first measure, but play on the last eighth note only. (Play on the Blink - one… Read More

13: BEG-14: Tablature Exercise #1

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson It's best to go through a couple of Tablature exercises before attempting a complete piece of music. If you ease into the Tablature system, it's a far more pleasant experience. What you don't want to do is wrestle with something way too difficult that could end in frustration and the unfortunate… Read More

14: BEG-12: Taro Patch Tuning

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson The Taro Patch tuning or 'G' Tuning is a favorite of many Slack Key Artists as its timbre and flexibility are remarkable. Taro patch is based on a G Major chord structure. If you are just beginning with us and coming from another guitar style, you might want to begin by:… Read More

15: 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

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

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Beginning Realm > This Lesson Let's Tune Up! To begin, tune your guitar to the normal EADGBE. If you don't know how to tune your guitar in standard tuning don’t worry! Play the following audio file and tune your guitar to mine: C Wahine Tuning If you are tuned normally and to standard pitch, you will… Read More

17: 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

18: 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

19: 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

20: 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

21: 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

22: 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

23: 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

24: 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

25: 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

26: 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!) Adobe Acrobat Reader (or similar software) to download and view my PDF tablature and music files. A modern web browser to hear me demonstrate… Read More