Aloha and welcome to the Advanced Realm. Here you will find professional level repertoire for concert performance. Please take your time with these pieces and listen very carefully to the audio files. At this level of study, it’s a good idea to use a quality set of headphones plugged in to your computer (or audio system) which will hopefully result in a more detailed and nuanced understanding of the music. It may sound more like what you hear as you are actually playing your instrument. Note tone changes, clarity of harmonics, melodic presence and the musical expressiveness of each rendition. Its OK to copy just a little, but a far more valuable experience is to find your own voice on the guitar. Remember that your own voice is unique and a valuable contribution to the art of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. A world of Keola Beamers sounds really boring to me, but your authentic voice? That’s fascinating.

The tablature and music presented here are great guides, but they are not written in stone! Explore and experiment. Have fun. Try not to get “addicted” to the TAB. Keep your ears sharp and play often by ear. Donʻt let the TAB be a crutch. You can play perfectly well without the palapala (paper) and I encourage you to do so, especially after you have gotten the piece in your hands. Then retire the palapala stretch your wings. Donʻt forget to honor those players who came before you. As we say in Hawaiʻi, its a kākou thing. Its not about me or you – its more about “us”. Be generous and kind as you make your way forward with music. That way people will want to be with you. That’s the gift of music: if we do it right, it brings us human beings closer together.

It’s also a good idea to attend to your instrument and make sure it is in top shape. How is the action? Do you have the strings at the proper height from the fingerboard? Is your instrument well suited to your style of playing? If not, invest in a custom made guitar that will last you a lifetime and then find a good luthier in your area and have him fine tune and maintain it. A great guitar will take the journey with you and become your friend. Also ….. donʻt scrimp on the case!

Do you have a great place to practice, uninterrupted? HINT… Turn off your mobile phone whenever your are working in your practice room or studio. This seems rather self explanatory, but youʻd be surprised how many of my students need to be reminded of this! Don’t let your workflow be interrupted. It is your sacred space. Donʻt feel guilty about withdrawing from the world to do the work of your heart and soul. Reach in there and find something beautiful.

What kind of strings are you using? Are they working out OK? Experiment a bit if you are not totally satisfied. Iʻm really enjoying Elixer Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Strings for my steel string guitars (I play medium gauge / .013 – .056). They are long lasting and have a nice, balanced intonation.

Elixir Package

For the nylons, Iʻve fallen in love with the German string maker Hannabach. I use the Hannabach Silver 200 9006MHT – 6th string (E) Medium-High Tension. (Model: 9006MHT) on my nylons. Lower quality strings loose their bass lustrousness after about three days, but the Hannabach last awhile. Buy some extra bass sets, because on nylon string guitars, the bass always seems to fade way before the trebles. This is the norm so far…. at least until some better technology comes along.


Also note that the above Strings By Mail links are a good resource. Quality strings, reasonably priced and delivered to your door.

Perhaps the most important thing about this level was expressed at the beginning stage of instruction on this website. Its the basic tenet of Kī Hōʻalu. Simply put ….“Play with Aloha In Your Heart”.

Be true to yourself. Don’t pretend to be somebody you are not. Don’t fake it, don’t be a poser. If you feel like you are pretending, then do something else. That is the real gift of the music, it helps us discover who we really are.

Then ….. Play with Aloha In Your Heart. Be Authentically You.

So now is your chance to go to the first lesson: Punahele – Ray Kāne Style.

Aloha mau,


Lahaina, Maui, Hawaiʻi