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An Advanced Workbook for the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

Mike ( Mika'ele ) McClellan

Format: Spiralbound, 118pp.
Pub. Date: 1992
Edition Desc: BOOK
(Reviewed by cpatch):

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:

Mika`ele McClellan
Bartlett & Company
22283 Cass Ave.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
(818) 999-3129

Rating: Intermediate/Advanced
Songs (Tunings):

Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua (Taro Patch, Leonard's C, CDCGCE, D Wahine)
Hele Au i Kaleponi (Taro Patch)
Holoholu Ka`a (Taro Patch)
Hula Blues (Taro Patch)
Kahuli Aku (Taro Patch)
Kaimana Hila (Taro Patch)
Ka Nanaka (Taro Patch)
Ka Pineki (Taro Patch)
Maunawili (Taro Patch)
Ke Kali Nei (Taro Patch)
Maui Chimes (Taro Patch)
Manuela Boy (Taro Patch)
Maui Girl (Taro Patch)
Moana Chimes (Taro Patch)
Na ka Pueo (Taro Patch)
Willy's Tune (Taro Patch)
Pa`ahana (Taro Patch)
Royal Hawaiian Hotel (Taro Patch)
Wai Hu`ehu`e o ke Aniani (Taro Patch)
Willy's Tune (Taro Patch)
`Elua na Pua i ke Ao (Leonard's C)
I Wonder Where My Little Hula Girl Has Gone? (Leonard's C)
My Honolulu Hula Girl (Leonard's C)
Makee `Ailana (Leonard's C)
Nahenahe (Leonard's C)
Nani Ko`olau (Leonard's C)
Waimanalo Blues (Leonard's C)
Silver Threads Among the Gold (Leonard's C)
Ua Like no a Like (Leonard's C)
Lei Aloha, Lei Makamae (C All The Way: C-G-C-G-C-E)
Pu`uwa`awa`a Slack Key Waltz (C All The Way: C-G-C-G-C-E)
Pua Lililehua (C All The Way: C-G-C-G-C-E)
Ua noho Au a Kupa i kou Alo (Atta's C: C-G-E-G-C-E)
Hi`ilawe (in four Wahine tunings)
He`eia (Gabby's C Wahine)
Sterling Slack Key (Double Slack)
Hi`ilawe (D Major 7 Wahine)
Manu `O`o (D Major 7 Wahine)
Hi`ilawe (D Major 7 Wahine)
Noho Paipai (D Major 7 Wahine)
Wahine U`i (D Major 7 Wahine)
Old Plantation (D Major 7 Wahine)
`Auhea `Oe e Sanoe (G Maunaloa: D-G-D-D-G-D)
My Yellow Ginger Lei (G Maunaloa: D-G-D-D-G-D)
Ka Makani Ka`ili Aloha (Bb Maunaloa)
Ka Makani Ka`ili Aloha (Bb Maunaloa)
Kalena Kai (Bb Maunaloa)
Moku Kia Kahi (Bb Maunaloa)
None (Bb Maunaloa)
Akaka Falls (F Maunaloa/Wahine: F-Bb-C-F-A-E)
`O KCCN (F Maunaloa/Wahine)
When Hilo Hattie Does the Hilo Hop (F Maunaloa/Wahine)
Maori Brown Eyes (D-G-D-E-G-D)
Hula a`o Keli (D-G-D-E-G-D)
   This review borrowed from cpatch on Taropatch.net

Contact Mika`ele McClellan to check on availability.

E-mail:
Home phone: (818) 999-3129
22283 Cass Av, Woodland Hills CA 91364
Day job (slack key doesn’t support him!): (818) 756-9086