An Advanced Workbook for the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Mike ( Mika'ele ) McClellan
Format: Spiralbound, 118pp.
The full title of this book is "An Advanced Workbook for Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar", but there wasn't enough room to fit it in the subject title. And the full title is somewhat misleading, since there is material here for everyone from the intermediate level up.
Mika`ele McClellan is an accomplished musician and second-generation Hawaiian. He plays thirty instruments and sings in four languages, but his passion is slack-key guitar. This 118-page notebook represents his sharing of what he has learned over the years, and includes several slack-key arrangements of songs that are not available elsewhere (including some hapa-haole classics) along with four original songs. There are a grand total of fifty songs in the notebook, almost all with lyrics (in Hawaiian and English), making this the richest slack key tab source currently available.
Each song is presented as both tab and staff, along with (for most) a background of the song. (No time is spent discussing the details of playing each song, so this is not a book for those who are looking for Ozzie-style instruction.) Mika`ele talks story throughout the book, with comments that range from his experience performing on the road and with other slack key players (some famous, some not) to a history of the songs. Some time is also spent discussing each tuning (11+ tunings are presented in the book), from both historical and musical perspectives. Speaking of historical perspective, the book begins with a controversial but well-reasoned treatise on the origins of slack key that will open a few eyes!
The notebook is self-published in a crude format, with some of it printed using an old dot-matrix, some with a typewriter, some hand-written, and some with a newer dot-matrix. (This makes the tab and lyrics hard to read at times.) It is, however, a treasure trove of information and music that belongs in the hands of any slack key player. It does not come with a CD or tape but includes a song index with a listing of recorded sources for each song where available. There is tab and standard musical notation.
Highly recommended, especially for the price: $19.98 + $3.00 shipping (plus $1.62 for CA residents)...less than fifty cents a song! You can order directly from Mika`ele by sending a check or money order to:
Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua (Taro Patch, Leonard's C, CDCGCE, D Wahine)
Contact Mika`ele McClellan to check on availability.