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

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Advanced Realm > This Lesson When I was growing up in the little town of Waimea on the island of Hawai’i, we would saddle our horses in the late afternoon and go down to the post box to get my grandfather’s “Hilo Tribune” newspaper. The old man’s driveway was 4 miles long. On the way home,… Read More

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Advanced Realm > This Lesson A few years back, I owned a fishing boat. I’d take my Maui friends out in the morning, just as the sun was coming up. We’d run the boat at fairly high speed and head off towards the deep sea fishing grounds off the ledge of the back-side of the island… Read More

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Advanced Realm > This Lesson Tuning: Keola’s C or C Wahine Tuning (CGDGBE)Level: Advanced Introduction This is a beautiful piece written by Madeline Kaululehuaohaili Lam. Maddy was a Hawaiian artist, born in 1910 and deceased in 1985. From 1930 to 1980 she had a varied musical career and was active as songwriter, producer, pianist and singer.… Read More

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

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

Wa’apa means rowboat or skiff. This is a terrific Double Slack Piece with a vamp that utilizes a special technique called “Hammers From Nowhere”. Its a great ornamental and guitaristic approach to the Hawaiian turn-around (vamp) and its lots of fun to play! I enjoyed writing this piece and tried to give it a good “old time” sound and feel.… Read More

While hanging out with my haumana (students) and friends, I composed this fun, playful piece in Double Slack. We call it double slack because to get there, one often tunes the guitar to Taro Patch (DADGBD) and then take an additional step of tuning the 3rd string down to F#. Thus – the double slack description (DADF#BD). I love Double… Read More

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

kbeamer.com > Instruction > Intermediate Realm > This Lesson Maddy Lam composed this song for Kahauanu Lake as a gift to his wife, kumu hula Maiki Aiu. The song was first danced by April Peeples Chock and presented as a hoʻokupu (gift) to Maiki. Aunty Maiki loved her mele and it became the signature song of her halau. This mele… Read More

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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