How To Play Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

Hawaiian slack key guitar is a beautiful and unique style of music that originated in Hawaii. It involves playing the guitar with a loose or “slack” tuning, which gives it a distinct sound. If you’re interested in learning how to play this style of guitar, here are some tips to get you started.

Choose the Right Guitar

The first step in learning how to play Hawaiian slack key guitar is to choose the right guitar. You’ll need a guitar that can be tuned to a loose or “slack” tuning, which means that the strings are loosened from their standard tuning. This gives the guitar a unique sound that is characteristic of this style of music.

Learn the Basics

Once you have the right guitar, it’s time to learn the basics. Start by learning how to hold the guitar and how to strum the strings. You’ll also need to learn some basic chords and scales that are commonly used in Hawaiian slack key music.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any musical instrument, playing Hawaiian slack key guitar takes practice. Set aside time each day to practice your chords and scales, and work on building up your finger strength and dexterity. With time and dedication, you’ll start to see progress.

Listen to the Masters

One of the best ways to learn how to play Hawaiian slack key guitar is to listen to the masters. There are many talented musicians who have made a name for themselves playing this style of music, and listening to their recordings can give you inspiration and ideas.

Join a Community

Finally, consider joining a community of Hawaiian slack key guitar players. This can be a great way to meet other musicians who share your passion for this style of music, and to get feedback on your playing.


Learning how to play Hawaiian slack key guitar is a rewarding experience that can bring you joy and fulfillment. With the right guitar, some basic knowledge of music theory, and plenty of practice, you can start playing this beautiful style of music in no time.