Hawaiian slide guitar

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walters
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Hawaiian slide guitar

Post by walters » August 16th, 2005, 10:18 pm

What are some Hawaiian guitar basic slide tricks?

who are some famous Hawaiian slide guitar players?

What make a slide guitar play sound hawaiian?

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Post by NoteBoat » August 17th, 2005, 3:50 am

What are some Hawaiian guitar basic slide tricks?
Hawaiian guitar grew out of Hawaiian vocal styles. They've incorporated a number of single-string non-slide effects like hammers and pulls. There's also the tunings. Hawaiian (also called slack-key) usually uses major, major seventh, or minor sixth tunings... although there are lots of others that find a place too, and in guitar ensembles they'll often have different guitars in different tunings.
who are some famous Hawaiian slide guitar players?
The current guitar god of the style is Keola Beamer (his brother Kapono is no slouch either). Gabby Pahinui and Sonny Chillingsworth are a couple other notable ones.
What make a slide guitar play sound hawaiian?
The way it's played. It's essentially a classical guitar in a non-standard tuning, played with Hawaiian folk techniques.
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Steinar Gregertsen
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Post by Steinar Gregertsen » August 17th, 2005, 4:40 am

Hard to know where to begin Walters, but I'll give it a try..

The Hawaiian steel guitar was 'invented' quite accidentally by a young teenager named Joseph Kekuku, who is reported to have been the first to start sliding a metal object along the strings in an effort to imitate the human voice. This was in the late 1880s, so the Hawiian steel guitar (actually, steel guitar in general) is a rather new invention.

Anyway, at first they used regular guitars with raised nuts, usually tuned to open-A. Then the Weissenborn style of slide guitars came along around 1910-15, specially made for Hawaiian style playing with a square, hollow, neck.
Still the tuning was open-A for the most parts, though some had started experimenting with open-E.

Later, the all-metal National guitars were invented in the late 20s, and their superior volume and sustain pretty much put an end to the Weissenborn guitars (who has had a huge boost in popularity in the last 15 or so years, thanks to players like David Lindley, Ben Harper, and others).

One of the first great masters of Hawaiian steel guitar was Sol Hoopii, who was also the first to experiment with tunings outside the standard major chord. He basically played open-E, but started tuning the second string up a whole step to C#, which gave him a E6/C#m7 tuning. He also went from acoustic to electric Hawaiian steel guitar when the electrics were introduced in the '30s.
Hoopii started traveling to the mainland, and soon found an interest in jazz, and was a pioneer of the more jazzy, swinging, style of Hawaiian steel guitar.

Other players from this period that it's well worth listening to are Richard McIntyre, Eddie Alkire, Barney Isaacs, and many others (I'm not very good at remembering names.....).

Hawaiian steel guitar soon found its way into country, western swing, bluegrass (the dobro), and other popular music styles. The years from the early 20s and up to WWII are by many claimed to be the "golden years" of Hawaiian steel guitar (or 'lap steel', or simply 'steel guitar'), where it was just as common to learn to play Hawaiian steel as it was to learn the regular guitar.

In the late 30s, early 40s, a player named Jerry Bird invetnted the C6 tuning, which has pretty much become a standard in Hawiian/lap steel playing. Other popular tunings include A6, E6, E13, B11, and lets not forget the 'good old' open major chord tunings (still my personal favorites). These days you can say that there's about as many tunings as there are players, but the C6 still stands as the "standard" because of it's versatility.

By the early '70s Hawaiian steel guitar was reported to be pretty much dead on the Hawaiian islands, and Jerry Bird - who's always been a big fan of the traditional Hawaiian music - moved to Hawaii and started teaching and recording there. Many players will claim that he single-handedly 'saved' the Hawaiian steel guitar music, a claim that can make the die-hard fans go crazy whenever it is opposed, so it's usually a good idea not to..... :)
Bird is perhaps the single players who's had the greatest command of the Hawaiian steel guitar, his technique was simply not of this world, but personally I find him to be too smooth for my liking. But there's no doubt that he's one of the, if not THE, greatest player who's ever lived (he died earlier this year).

Anyway,- the pedal steel was invented in the late 40s and soon became popular because of its capacity to play chords and full harmonies (by this time the Hawaiian/lap steel had grown to include multiple necks, often with 8 to 10 strings on each).

What makes it sound Hawaiian? Simple answer; phrasing and vibrato.
Most Hawaiian playes use a pretty wild, yet controlled, vibrato.

Famous players? Check the Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame.

Special tricks? None that is easy to explain in a few words. Check out Bob Brozman's Traditional Hawaiian Guitar DVD, lots of stuff to learn there.
There are also lots of other good instructional material around, don't know for sure which ones that deals with the Hawaiian styles specifically. There are some Jerry Bird books/videos available, but I'm not sure where you can get them. Do a search.

Also, as I've mentioned before, the Steel Guitar Forum is a well of good information, on all steel guitar styles you can imagine. For $5 you get more info than most $30 instructional DVDs can offer.

I hope this explained some......

Steinar

PS - any historical blunders on my part in this little 'essay' is due to lack of strong, black coffee........ :)
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Post by walters » August 17th, 2005, 8:34 am

Thanks alot Steinar Gregertsen for writing all that information out


I want to get some music of the Hawaiian pedal steel masters so i can
listen to how they play the instrument to learn from

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Post by Ricochet » August 17th, 2005, 8:59 am

Had a late night, Steinar? :lol:
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Post by Steinar Gregertsen » August 17th, 2005, 9:26 am

Ricochet - how could you tell? :D

Walters,- very few Hawaiian players use the pedal steel, most play the lap steel. But it's a truly beautiful music, personally I prefer the older recordings from the 20s to the 40s.

Here's what's been said to be the last recording of Sol Hoopii, recorded just before he died (he was supposedly almost blind at this point).
It is so beautiful it hurts.....

Sol Hoopii - Kaluana o Hilo Hanakahi

Here's a crazy solo by Sol Hoopii, not sure how old it is but he is playing a National Tricone on this track, so I'd guess it's from the '30s. There's some heavy pickin' going on here...

Sol Hoopii - Hapa Haole Hula Girl (solo)

Enjoy! :)

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Post by Ricochet » August 17th, 2005, 11:09 am

Wow! Those Hoopii tracks are killer stuff!
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Post by walters » August 17th, 2005, 10:14 pm

So what should i buy for pedal steel guitar masters from hawaii music?

When i put the Slide or a Capo on the pedal steel on the 5th fret i fret about 6 strings with the metal slide and when i push a pedal down all the strings down up or down it transpose the strings/key up or down from each pedals are different

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Post by Steinar Gregertsen » August 18th, 2005, 3:25 am

Walters,- as far as I know there are no pedal steel masters in Hawaiian music, almost all of them use(d) lap steel guitars. That doesn't mean you can't play Hawaiian music on a pedal steel, I'm sure there are many who does that, I just don't know of any 'famous masters'.

I think dogbite is the one to ask about your pedal setup if you have some problems there..

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Post by walters » August 18th, 2005, 9:42 am

who are the hawaiian lap steel guitars masters?

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Steinar Gregertsen
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Post by Steinar Gregertsen » August 18th, 2005, 10:23 am

If you want to hear the ultimate in technical brilliance and control of the instrument, then Jerry Bird is the man. Also check out Sites Of Interest on the same site, many interesting links there for a fan of Hawaiian steel guitar music.

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Classics features 27 tracks of many of the great players from "the golden age" 1927-38. I don't have it myself, but it may be of interest to you as an introduction to the classic 'old-time' Hawiian steel guitar.

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Post by Ricochet » August 18th, 2005, 10:23 am

Well, he did mention the top two above.
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Post by smokindog » August 19th, 2005, 10:42 am

Hey Steinar, thanks for the excellent education!! Pretty cool stuff.--the dog

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Post by Steinar Gregertsen » August 19th, 2005, 11:05 am

Glad you enjoyed it! Whatever I know about Hawaiian music I've learned over at the Steel Guitar Forum and by reading a few books and stuff. I'm not really heavily into it myself - I regard the lap steel as a musical instrument and not a musical style - but it's always cool to know the background of one's chosen instrument and know what the pioneers were about....

:)

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Post by dogbite » August 25th, 2005, 9:44 am

Im late to this thread.
Thanks Steinar for the great info.

walters: I havent heard traditional Hawaiian on pedal steel guitar. although it is possible.

pedal steel guitar is a different beast than lapsteel and especially standard guitar.

you dont capo. in fact you cant. the strings are a good half inch above the fret board.

pedals and levers. pedals steel guitars have them. they are used to raise and lower string pairs.
one gets the traditional cowboy sound by using them, because the note rings out while the pedals change the note.
striking the note and then raising it by mashing down the pedal is a technique that is standard. it has a name, I just learned, gliss. or glissando.

one does not have to use the pedals. single string licks are awesome. they lend themselves to specific genres of music; like blues and hawaiian.

tunings can give you specific results too.
Robert Randolph is getting popular. he plays blues type stuff. he tunes to Sacred Steel tuning and uses no pedals.

I play more traditional western so I tune E9 and use the pedals.


as for bottleneck. I use the term acoustic slide. I play a Martin . I dont do anything to the action because I use that guitar for non slide stuff too.

I use a Dunlop glass slide on acoustic. I like the warmer softer tone it gives.
because necks are radiised one does have to be gentle so as not to fret out. that knocking can be a bother.
but some knocking is normal. I think it adds to the style.

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