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 Daniel Ho: The Secrets of Contemporary Slack Key
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Admin
Pupule

USA
4521 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2002 :  10:16:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Send Admin an AOL message  Send Admin an ICQ Message  Send Admin a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote


mikeo12
Aloha

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2002 :  3:33:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The book is definately of high-quality, and the CD greatly eases learning; but, my brudda, you're right; if you want the old-style music, it's not for you...but it is delightfully challenging, and if you're in seek of relaxing music, it's well worth the effort! :)

Aloha to that, bruddah!
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cpatch
Ahonui

USA
2187 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2004 :  7:08:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit cpatch's Homepage  Send cpatch an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I've been meaning to write a review on this book for some time now. While this is a good book with some very beautiful and relaxing music in it, I would go so far to say that the majority of songs bear little or no resemblance to slack key at all...old style or contemporary. Instead I'd label it as New Age, with a light jazz flavor (complete with synth and sax in many pieces). The exceptions are Pupu A `O `Ewa, Hawai`i Aloha, Hawai`i Pono`i, and Ke Aloha O Ka Haku; which are still offered in contemporary arrangements (and not an alternating bass in the lot). Dreams of Eternity is vaguely reminiscent of Keola Beamer. On a completely different tack, Haiku is an interesting (and challenging) fingerpicked ukulele piece with a slight Japanese feel to it.

The bottom line? If you're looking for a more contemporary interpretation of Hawaiian music and aren't particularly tied to the slack key style then you'll find a lot to draw from in this book. Otherwise you're much better of with Ozzie's book (for beginners) or Mark Hanson's (for intermediate to advanced players). Or, if you're looking for contemporary slack key, go with Keola's (for intermediate players).

Craig
My goal is to be able to play as well as people think I can.

Edited by - cpatch on 01/22/2004 01:21:08 AM
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RJS
Ha`aha`a

1635 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2004 :  11:39:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh boy, another chance to but in.
First of all, I think the CD included with this book is a mistake. Daniel should have recorded his pieces with just solo guitar. As it stands he just took selection from his other CD's and pasted them in here. For a book that otherwise has excellent attention to details, this is a very sloppy mistake. When I tok the songs and played them solo, without the other "new age" stuff added, they do sound more "slack key."

Next, I am not a "traditional" slack key player. Except for specific occasions, I don't play "like Ray Kane," or some of the other kupuna. Hopefully, I am developing my own style within the slack key tradition. And I take lesson time with "Masters" to check out my arrangements. I strongly encourage experimentation and moving the style into new directions. That said, I think some of the pieces in this book do move beyond what I would call "slack key." BUT, they are great tries, and worth studying for what you can learn from them. I would allow a few others "into the club" than would Craig, but I don't think it's worth arguing over specific titles. On the point of the bass, however, I think there's more bass in these pieces than I would surmise from Craig's comments - I think, however, that the bass is much more integrated into the piece a a whole so it doesn't have the metronomic quality. That's not necessarily bad in my opinion. A couple of the 14 songs just don't work for me for a combination of reasons.

I do think Dan needs some more focus when it comes to slack key. However, there's a lot of good stuff to learn in this book- a lot of which can easily be brought into most anybod's slack key, unless you are making a conscious effort to play "in the real old style." Things like phrasing, voicing, chord progressions - especially on the "inside" of the chords, - using more of the fretboard. -- having the guts to strike out in your own direction. It think this book deserves support by the slackk key community, even if, at times, it is just a bit off the target.

Raymond
San Jose
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RJS
Ha`aha`a

1635 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2004 :  11:43:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oops, I forgpt to add,
I love the arrangement of the Queen's Prayer by Steve Sano.
I tend to like most of what Steve does === grounded in the tradition, yet.... Well, Steve is director of Choral Studies at Stanford, so he's well grounded in classical music and especially modern choral works, and he brings that awareness to his slack key.
I find that his approach gives depth and drop-dead beauty to his pieces. He opens up a lot of the potential in the slack key style.
And when he parrtners with Ozzie -- oh man, heaven in a wooden box.

Raymond Stovich
San Jose
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