A contemporary master of slack key guitar provides the perfect introduction to a rich and vital guitar tradition. Called ki ho'alu in Hawaiian, 'slack key' refers to a variety of deep, richly-toned tunings in which the strings are loosened from standard pitch to suit the music. The thumb plays the bass while the fingers are used to pick melody in a cross between country fingerpicking and classical guitar. The music, which can be played on any guitar - acoustic or electric - has a lush sound that is instantly evocative of the islands of the Pacific. Keola Beamer has chosen five traditional pieces and teaches them both in depth in this marvelous CD/book package. His tunes employ a variety of tunings and techniques, including the use of vibrato, harmonics, slurs, harmonies in thirds and sixths, legato playing and other musical ideas that help create a distinctive guitar sound. The ideas you'll learn in this lyrical and increasingly popular fingerpicking style will add thrilling new sounds and flavours to your entire repertoire.