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 Slack Key Instruction
 Beamer & Nelson: Learn How to Play Hawaiian Slack
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4551 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2002 :  11:00:15 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

Pauline Leland

783 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2003 :  10:18:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, Andy, you give it an intermediate/advanced rating while I called it good for a basic beginner's book. I see short songs without a lot of confusing frills as what a beginner needs. You like to see all the frills tabbed out because a beginner may not see how to add their own improvisation touches to the song.

This would be a good book to work through with a teacher or with experienced friends who could suggest some extras and where they might go.

If you start this book as a beginner, you won't be by the time you get to the end of it, for sure!

BTW, this book comes with a sewn binding but I've seen it with a spiral binding so the pages lie flat. I ordered mine over the net, Amazon?, and got the sewn binding; no choice was offered.


Edited by - Pauline Leland on 05/25/2003 10:29:16 AM
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1526 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2003 :  11:41:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pauline, I think I know where Andy is coming from, rating it intermediate/advanced. I use it off and on to tune up what little chops I have because of Keola's choice of notes in his arrangements.

Where both Ozzie and Ron Loo arrange so that (mostly always) your left hand is in a very good position to move on to the next chord or series of notes or, even, right where they ought to be for the next measure, Keola doesn't. Keola goes with the melody *and* forces techniques, just as he does in live instruction. "Simple" songs, such as Pa`ahana and K├╝wili, have tricky little pickups and movements along one string that *must* be done *smoothly* to sound good. If you haven't noticed yet, Keola is a Bear about connectedness and choosing notes that allow previously played notes to ring. In fact, this is how he defines nahenahe. His Hula o Makee is not really easy, although it looks as if it ought to be - even Sarah has to work hard at it. Note the C chord ornaments and, in the 9th through 11th measures, the leap backward from the 7/5 sixth to a 4-7 hammer on the first string and then a flip of the fingers to 5/4 sixth and then a slide that jumps to a pulloff on the first string. That is not easy for me to do smoothly.

Ironically, one song that looks hard, Mark's Matt's Bounce, is really quite straightforward - the variations are logical and occur in much the same form in many other slack key pieces. Mark, himself, has remarked that at least one of the more complex of Keola's pieces in the book was somewhat tough for him.

Nonetheless, I value it just because it is different and challenging for me.

...Reid the Hack
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14 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2004 :  06:43:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit Saint's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm a novice to slack key, and a got the Keola Beamer as my first book, I think the book is great ,alots of information and tunes, but one problem that I could'nt folow the musics with the CD they not mach the timing on the book, I red the Tablature I reconized and learned two songs, maybe I have a problem with this CD ?
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1526 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2004 :  09:59:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

What you said about timing is a bit confusing. Do you mean that not all the printed songs are on the CD? If so, you are right, but there is an additional table of contents for the CD.

If you mean that the printed music timing (in eighth notes, quarter notes, etc.) don't quite match the music timing exactly on the CD, then you are also *mostly* right because Keola and Mark meant the printed music to be a *guide*, not slavishly folowed, and they say so in the text. In fact, I rarely hear notes played as printed in slack key. And, it is very difficult to cram a folk art into a standard notation's idea of rigidity - transcriptions of played works rarely capture the timing of a performance. Remember, slack key is not meant to slavishly follow a composer's supposed ideal.

If I missed your meaning entirely, please elaborate.

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1635 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2004 :  11:21:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If I understand Sergio, this underlines what Reid and Andy said about that book not being for beginners, with which I agree. Sergio, you might want to try starting with Oziie Kotani's book -- in my opinion still the best "first" book.
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2187 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2004 :  12:59:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit cpatch's Homepage  Send cpatch an AOL message  Reply with Quote
If I recall correctly, I think Mark mentioned once that the tab in this book is meant to be more of series of sketches upon which the reader is meant to paint in the details of the songs. (I don't think he was as eloquent.)

So as Raymond states, if you want something that holds your hand and leaves nothing to chance then Ozzie is definitely the way to go for your first steps.

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