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 beautiful.

“Wahine” refers to the female of our species. Because Wahine tunings contain a major 7th note, they were perceived by the founding fathers of our art to have a personality or “sound type” that was more complicated than the normal Major (Male or Kāne) tunings. There is respect here, an unspoken intuition that women may be more complex creatures than men.

Speaking from a musicianʻs point of view, the “Wahine” class of tunings are beautiful, generally darker and more evocative than the Major tunings. There is the very real element of tonal coloration here, but please keep in mind this entire Wahine/Kāne discussion amongst slack key players over the years, is somewhat of a generalization. In the hands of a true Master, any tuning can transform into any coloration.

Next: Tuning up and playing a chord