How To Play The Hawaiian Steel Guitar

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How To Play The Hawaiian Steel Guitar by Henry Kaleialoha Allen

The promotional material says, "The sound of the Hawaiian steel guitar is sweet, nostalgic, and unmistakably Hawaiian. You can almost feel the trade winds and the surf in its subtle vibrato. In this well-illustrated and easy-to-understand book, acclaimed musician Henry Kaleialoha Allen shares everything you need to know in order to play this beautiful instrument from purchasing a guitar, to performing with that special Hawaiian flourish. This primer, adapted from Allen’s popular self-published guide, features a history of the Hawaiian steel guitar; instructions for reading musical notation; a practical guide to buying and tuning a steel guitar; guidance on using the bar; sheet music for 11 original songs; exercises; a discussion of the nuances of the Hawaiian touch; and much more. Written for beginning and intermediate students alike, this book and its accompanying audio CD will have you playing like a pro in no time."

Beyond that, I have to say that this is a beautiful, spiral-bound hard cover book that will lay flat on your music stand. The songs and exercises are written in standard musical notation plus tab - the most complete way of expressing steel guitar music. Mr. Allen uses a 6-string C6/7 tuning (the bottom string is lowered to Bb), but any C6th set of strings from this catalog will work just fine. He also explains how to retune one string of an 8-string C6th to play the songs as written.

I'm really impressed with this book, and I recommend it highly to anyone who wants to learn the Hawaiian style of playing.


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