Guitar slack key is a fingerpicking style that has been well hidden by its most famous exponents. Finding books, notes, or tutorials about playing guitar slack key is a series of dead ends where recording studios and music publishers have stopped recording and publishing and guitar players who specialize in playing slack key prefer playing for family gatherings rather than finding ways to spread words about art they.
We often associate guitars and ukulele with Hawaiian but they are quite recently imported into Hawaiian culture. Understanding the way the guitar was introduced to this country is a matter of which version of the story you like the most. One version says that American and Spanish cowboys were invited to work in Hawaii in the mid-1830s to help the newly imported cattle population. Another story is that Hawaiian people helped the Argentine navy with something or something else in Monterey, California. Whatever the truth, Hawaiians take string instruments and adapt them to their own culture and how to express their feelings.
By the way, let’s explain an unusual name for this style of guitar. The name “slack lock” refers to the practice of changing guitar tuning by turning a tuning key so that the strings are loose, or “loose”. The end result of this adjustment is usually in the form of “open adjustment” which means the guitar is tuned so that the open string sounds a chord. But sometimes sometimes a loose key guitar player plays at a standard tuning, so apart from tuning, what distinguishes the slack key from playing other fingerstyle guitars? Well, there is a repertoire. Playing the slack key guitar usually accompanies songs whose themes are rooted in the country of Hawaii – mountains, palm trees, seas – southern sea islands.
The G major chord turned out to be a popular open setting for Hawaiian guitarists. This is D G D G B D, from lowest to highest, and they call it Taro Patch tuning. Other types of settings are called Wahine settings and include the seven main ones, for example D G D F # B D. Other loose key settings are called “Gabby’s C” and CG E G A E.
Another aspect that makes special slack locks is the unique use of standard finger retrieval techniques such as hammers, pull-offs, slides, and harmonics. These guitar techniques used in a very personal way with guitar players sometimes use different tunings and techniques for the same song according to their current feelings. Playing slack keys has a variety of expression modes. Some players will still play melodies with little variation, others like to improvise on their basic theme. Other guitar players like the bell effect that is achieved by using harmonics.
If you are interested in listening to key Hawaiian guitar games, some of the names to watch out for are Sonny Chillingworth, Leonard Kwan, Moses Kahumoku, George Kuo and Ray Kane. These are some of the most prominent composers and slack key guitar players. If you look on YouTube for sagging key guitar videos you will find some uploaded by some dedicated guitar players who are working to spread the word about this beautiful art form.