Slack key is a Hawaiian term for what is more commonly known as open tuning. According to legend, when Cyril Pahinui met Chet Atkins in Nashville, Tennessee, Atkins told him that the tunings he used in Slack Key were what Atkins considered open tunings. Ken Emerson and Jim Kimo West, masters of slack-steel guitar and acoustics, offer an intimate learning experience for beginner and intermediate level students. A long-time fan of open tunings, West was immediately drawn to the soft rhythms of the loose-key guitar, and soon began writing his own songs.
This began to change as the generation of musicians currently considered “living legends” realized that if they didn't start sharing with people, the slack key would disappear. Play the whole song (or an important part of the song) on keys other than the key where the tuning is located. Jim Kimo West is recognized as one of the best baggy guitarists in the world and brings his unique musical perspective to this great acoustic guitar tradition. Both Jim Kimo West and Ken Emerson are living legends in the world of Hawaiian loose-fitting guitar and steel acoustic guitar. The fourth Slack Key style is sometimes more entertainment-oriented and features unusual visual and sound techniques, sometimes to entertain listeners and sometimes to achieve new sounds of expression.
Dancing Cat Records has been producing the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters series, which began in 1994, mainly consisting of solo albums by many of Hawaii's top guitarists. Slack Key guitarists are now more willing to share their knowledge with people outside the family circle who sincerely want to learn. West didn't concentrate on learning the standard riffs and songs, but instead developed his own unique loose vocabulary that now defines his unique approach to this great tradition. Since the 1960s, and especially in the 1990s, the Hawaiian Slack Key guitar has become a highly developed instrumental art form, both in solo and group formats. Ken Emerson is one of the most respected traditional Hawaiian 26% steel slack key guitarists in the world living today. Leonard Kwan, Ray Kane and Sonny Chillingworth continued to record and influence many Slack Key guitarists in the 1990s.
To this day, the steel string guitar predominates, although Slack Key artists Keola Beamer, Ozzie Kotani, Moses Kahumoku and Bla Pahinui have also made prominent use of the nylon string guitar. If you're looking to record or mix a song with a Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, there are some tips and tricks you should keep in mind. First off, it's important to understand that open tunings are essential for playing this type of music. This means that you'll need to tune your strings differently than you would for other types of music. You'll also need to be aware of how different keys will affect your sound.
For example, playing a song in a different key than it was originally written can give it a completely different feel. Another important tip is to experiment with different techniques when recording or mixing your song. Try using different effects such as reverb or delay to give your track a unique sound. You can also try playing around with different tempos or rhythms to create something truly unique. Finally, it's important to remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to recording or mixing a song with a Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Take your time and don't be afraid to experiment with different techniques until you find something that works for you.
With enough practice and dedication, you'll be able to create something truly special.