Home of Slack-Key Master Keola Beamer

ADV-17: Wi Ha


For our members, particularly those of you that are Taro Patch fans, here’s a good fun ditty called “Wi Ha”. I wrote this piece by thinking back of when I was a kid, riding my horse. (At the time, I thought it was my horse, but now I’m pretty sure it actually belonged to my Grandfather!)

My grandfather loved to read the paper. He arranged with the Hilo paper delivery people to have his paper delivered to our ranch every afternoon. It was the morning paper, but it took that long to get it to us way out along the slopes of the beautiful white mountain, “Mauna Kea”. The problem was that our ranch encompassed 450 acres in the rolling, green hills of Waimea. Our drive way (4WD only) was 4 miles long! My grandfather taught us kids to ride, mainly so that we could fetch his paper. So almost everyday in the late afternoon, we’d ride out on the horses.

On the way back, the horses would get excited. They knew that they would get their grain and then be brushed down, so on the final incline to the ranch house, they would gallop at full speed. Over time, they got quite competitive with each other and as my grandfather would remark, they would … “go like hell”. Us kids would end up hanging on to our saddles for dear life!

There was something so exhilarating about the wind in your face, the thundering hooves and the horses going like hell. Sometimes, you couldn’t help but holler …..

Wi Ha!

Performance Notes

The reference recording audio here is my steel string guitar overdubbed several times, playing the same part. Its a sort of layering effect that I was fond of in those days. Wi Ha is also great played solo on the steel string guitar. Feel free to use my "hammer-on" and "pull-off" ornaments, including discordant notes that are not heard directly but are played for a percussive effect. The ending of this piece is interesting. It is a string "stretch" up one half step to the tonic key (G). Use your LH third finger on the second string 11th fret, play the note firmly (Bb), then push / guide the second string upwards until it bends 1/2 step in to the final resolved pitch. This is the note B, part of the G major Tonic.

Keola Beamer

Lesson Resources

Tuning: Taro Patch or G Major Tuning (DGDGBD)

Tablature: PDF of Wi Ha

Audio File: M4A Audio of Wi Ha

These resources are for members of kbeamer.com. Learn more and join now!