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Thread: Advanced Hawaiian Methods

  1. #1
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    Default Advanced Hawaiian Methods

    I have become an intermediate-advanced player through Greg Horneís Complete Ukulele Method. I really want to learn some Hawaiian songs and techniques that build off all that Iíve learned. What are the best sources/books for this? Iíve purchased so far Bruddah Is and Jake songbooks but Iím hoping thereís more!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarednye View Post
    I have become an intermediate-advanced player through Greg Horne’s Complete Ukulele Method. I really want to learn some Hawaiian songs and techniques that build off all that I’ve learned. What are the best sources/books for this? I’ve purchased so far Bruddah Is and Jake songbooks but I’m hoping there’s more!
    Take Skype lessons from Bryan Tolentino. He's THE Hawaiian-style 'ukulele player these days and is kind enough to do lessons when he has a chance.

    Pekelo's books come to mind, but I don't know a whole lot about them.

    At the risk of ruffling some feathers, I'll go out on a limb and say that you can't just jump in and "play" Hawaiian music and expect it to sound right. It is so much more about the feel than the notes and techniques. You have to hear it and play it for a while before it's "right."

    Funny story: my friend and fabulous bassist/guitar player backed me up at a recent gig. He's part Hawaiian, his uncle is a local performer. But he listens and plays primarily shredder math rock. We practiced beforehand and he could barely figure out the "easy" Hawaiian songs! I figured it would be a no-brainer, but I was wrong! It was so cute that he's such a great player, but his precise technical playing didn't help very much at all when trying to capture the nahenahe sound.

    I'd save the money you might spend on books and buy albums. Namely these to get started: Paradise by Hui 'Ohana, Tropical Storm and Cane Fire by Peter Moon Band, Best of Ka'au Crater Boys, Jus Press Vo. 2 by Led Kaapana. And listen, listen, listen.

    YMMV, of course.
    Brad Bordessa
    Webmaster of Live 'Ukulele.com
    Admin for The Ukulele Way

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately, there is only a single volume of the Pekelo books available, he came up with a 2nd volume but has none left. The first is excellent beginner fingerpicking book, at least in my very limited opinion. You can drop him a note @ pekelosbooks@gmail. When I turned up empty on that I picked up Hawaiian Uke Songbook. It's has chords and melody, unfortunately there is no recording to hear how the songs should sound so you need to pay attention to the timing. It may be fairly basic if you've been at this for a while, much of it is pretty challenging to me. You can see on eof the songs here https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title...-music/1731567 There are some easier and some harder then the single example.

  4. #4
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    Agreed with others, what's helped me most aren't books, but listening and watching. Out in Maui earlier this year I was talking to one of the guys from the Slack Key Show and he told he the Hawaiian way is to really focus more on learning by watching, and I think that's been really helpful personally.

    On Spotify I listen to a lot of Herb Ohta Jr, Troy Fernandez, and Led Kaapana. All have different styles and cool things you can learn from. Same goes for YouTube, all have some really fun moves to pick up on when you watch them play. Herb's style is great for learning chord melody, classic Hawaiian tunes, classic vamps, classic chord sequences beyond C G7 F, things like that. Troy is great for learning a real fast picking rolling style and I am learning great ways to double up on notes and pick in cool patterns. Watching Led has helped me see new ways to use thirds and sixths and slides and use the third and fourth strings for runs, not just the first.

    Agreed on some of the other great music suggestions above too, Hui Ohana and Ka'au Crater Boys are awesome. Really generally just listening to more Hawaiian music, even slack key guitar with no ukulele like Sonny Lim or Led or Kimo West or others, has been really helpful.
    Last edited by El Viejo; 12-29-2017 at 09:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    The "Hawaiian Style Ukulele" books, vol 1 through 3, are still available form Ukulele PuaPua. http://gcea.com/index.php?route=prod...ory&path=68_70
    They have scored music with chords, playing tips and CDs so you can hear the songs.

    I agree that hearing the music is important to the process. The easiest songs to play for me are the ones I heard on the radio while growing up.
    Last edited by kkimura; 02-02-2018 at 11:56 AM. Reason: speling
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  6. #6

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    The "Hawaiian Style" books are good. In addition to the players listed in the other responses, you have to listen to Eddie Kamae and his work with the Sons of Hawaii. All the great Hawaiian players respected Uncle Eddie.

  7. #7
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    Aloha my name is Seth I had this same question... I just recently came across Aaron Crowell of hawaiimusicschool.com He does a lot of Hawaiian music. I just signed for the
    free trial... And so far I really like it!

    www.hawaiimusicschool.com

  8. #8
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    He Mele Aloha is a good book for hawaiian songs.....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippie Guy View Post
    Take Skype lessons from Bryan Tolentino. He's THE Hawaiian-style 'ukulele player these days and is kind enough to do lessons when he has a chance.
    I second this (also second Brad's suggestion that you purchase some listening material). I had the pleasure of a face-to-face lesson with Bryan once, and it really opened my ears.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by padlin View Post
    Unfortunately, there is only a single volume of the Pekelo books available, he came up with a 2nd volume but has none left. The first is excellent beginner fingerpicking book, at least in my very limited opinion. You can drop him a note @ pekelosbooks@gmail. When I turned up empty on that I picked up Hawaiian Uke Songbook. It's has chords and melody, unfortunately there is no recording to hear how the songs should sound so you need to pay attention to the timing. It may be fairly basic if you've been at this for a while, much of it is pretty challenging to me. You can see on eof the songs here https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title...-music/1731567 There are some easier and some harder then the single example.
    Pekelo died in 2011 at the age of 51. Thought it should be noted.

    http://www.staradvertiser.com/2011/0...ma-dead-at-51/

    I sing one of his songs called Waikiki. It's not the same as that famous movie version. When someone asked me about Pekelo it prompted me to do an internet search and I discovered he was no longer living.
    I have heard that his books are great.
    KoAlana Sapele Concert -- now known as the KoAloha Opio
    Mainland Mahogany Concert - my knockabout jam ukulele
    Mahalo Pineapple Soprano -- the one that started it all
    Kala Travel Soprano -- tiny profile with BIG sound
    Blue Frog Maple Soprano - Beautiful sonorous sound cannon

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