1: 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

2: ADV-17: Wi Ha

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

3: 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

4: 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

5: INT-24: Sanoe

In Hawai’i, distant memories of Queen Lili'uokalani and her short reign are held close to the heart of the Hawaiian people. Besides being a compassionate and caring leader, our queen was also a wonderful composer. (I once examined her guitar, by request of the Bishop Museum on the Island of 'Oahu.) Queen Lili'uokalani played both guitar and piano and is… Read More

6: INT-22: Papa’s ʻOkolehao

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

7: INT-21: Mino‘aka

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

8: 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

9: 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

10: 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

11: 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

12: 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

13: 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

14: 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

15: 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

16: 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

17: 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

18: 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

19: 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

20: 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

21: INT-20: Puka Pants

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Intermediate Realm > This Lesson This song has the old time feel of some of the older “Taro Patch” tuning styles, although its actually in F Wahine, sometimes called Leonard’s F. In Hawai’i we name tunings after certain players, not because those players invented the tuning, but because they have done such a large body of… Read More

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

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Intermediate Realm > This Lesson This is a good fun piece in C Wahine Tuning, sometimes called Keola’s C. Level: Intermediate Tempo: Moderate Tuning: C Wahine or Keola's C Length: 3:00 50 Bars / 3 pages After you have finished this piece, go on to Puka Pants. Keola Beamer Lesson Resources Tuning: C Wahine "Keola's C"… Read More

23: INT-18: Mele Kakahiaka

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Intermediate Realm > This Lesson This is a solo Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar piece composed by Keola Beamer depicting the early morning on the Island of Kaua'i. Level: Intermediate Tempo: Moderate / Slightly Fast Tuning: F Wahine or Leonard's F Length: 1:20 30 Bars / 2 pages After you have finished this piece, go on to… Read More

24: 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

25: 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

26: 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

27: 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

28: 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

29: 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

30: 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

31: 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

32: 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

33: 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

34: 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

35: 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

36: 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

37: 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

38: 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

39: 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

40: 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

41: 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

42: 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

43: 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

44: 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

45: 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

46: 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

47: 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

48: 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

49: 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

50: 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

51: 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

52: 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