Keola Beamer and
Mark Nelson have collaborated to give us a comprehensive slack key method, and it is the
hardest for me to write about. Why? Just look at how many songs are in this book!?!? This book could very well be the slack key bible
of the 21st century if people give it the chance.
The challenge? There is just so much content here that the faint
of heart might put this book down before giving it its due.
Shame on me! I am included in
This book is different from many
others in that it does not always provide complete tabs for each song. It gives you enough tab (12 -24 measures) to get
the gist of the song and then the rest is up to you.
Perhaps this is a good way to encourage students to play around with
arrangements on their own and not get too attached to tablature. However, it is my personal opinion that this is
better suited for advanced students. Beginners
may feel the need to have tabs (i.e. their hand held) throughout an entire song.
On to the good stuff. This book contains more songs (28) and tunings
(11) than any other slack key instruction book that I have ever seen. Regardless if whether songs are tabbed in their
entirety or only 15 measures, you can learn so much from this book. Common turnarounds or vamps are provided in Taro
Patch and C Wahine tunings to help the student understand these tunings. The music is interlaced with Keola stories and
Keola Q&A's. Finally, this book concludes
with some duets that Keola and Mark have arranged to get you started playing with other
people. Slack key is not limited as a solo
instrument after all. What would hawaiian
music be without kanikapila (jamming)?
If you're serious about learning
slack key, you should own this book. I
promise to give it a try myself.