FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
ABOUT SHOPPING, OUR CDs, &
1. Is buying safe through Your
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you can. We understand Your concerns. You can order by mail
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Order, we ship within 48 hours of receipt of the order excluding holidays. For
1-2 CDs, we ship with first class mail. With more, we ship using US Postal Priority.
Because it's coming from Hawaii, it can take 3-5 days.
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6. What happens if my CD arrives
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7. Can I buy more
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When you buy CDs direct from us using PayPal
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give you great value and savings! These are listed
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page! If you plan to order more than 10 CDs, please contact
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When ordering through CDBaby
If you buy more than one of any of our CDs, You will receive a 10%
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them by priority mail.
I would like to be a bunch of CDs for gifts for family and friends.
Can I get a discount? Sure can! We appreciate
your help in spreading the aloha of ki ho'alu (slack
key) around the globe! What a wonder-full gift you are planning for
your loved ones. Just contact us to let us know how many CDs you require,
when you need them, etc. We'll work out a good value
for you. Email: email@example.com 1-808-826-1469
9. Where can I buy other CDs by
Doug & Sandy McMaster? When you
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form that includes all the CDs.
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1. Is there duplication
of songs between the CDs?
No. Each is unique, all traditional style slack key. The live studio release
Green Flash Slack Key does have songs from all of our CDs plus 5
unique songs. The Hanalei Tradition II - LIVE CD is a live concert and
of course, songs are from a variety of CDs.
2. Are the ocean sounds
Yes. We've recorded Hanalei Bay, Kauai and Kepuhi Bay, Molokai live
with digital recording equipment. IN MY HEART, Hanalei Tradition, and Green Flash Slack Key CD do not have
the ocean or Hanalei River in the background.
3. Are the CDs
Yes. Except where noted. Hanalei Tradition II - LIVE is a concert CD
so you get the full ambience of the concerts... even a few cock-a-doodle doos from
our community center rooster, recently named 'Bob' by one of our guests.
Slack Key Story is an audio documentary
which has Sandy telling the story of slack key in excerpts along
with 17 tracks of music. Feel Better Music is a guided relaxation
CD and has the soothing sounds of Hanalei Bay, slack key guitar,
and Sandy's voice guiding you gently into full relaxation.
4. Are there
multiple guitar parts?
No, with the exception of when Doug and Sandy play a duet on guitars.
Doug records each song 'live' from beginning to end... no editing,
no overdubbing, no patching.
Still have a
question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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SLACK KEY FAQ
1. What is
Hawaiian slack key guitar?
Ki Ho'alu -- Hawaiian slack key guitar, is a fingerstyle guitar
artform created by Hawaiians in the late 1700's when guitars were first
introduced to Hawaii. The traditional form combines altered tunings
and a method of self-accompaniment (thumb plays rhythm and fingers
play melody) to make music that is soft, sweet, and very soothing.
2. How did guitars
come to Hawaii?
The popular story is that three Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) were
hired on contract to come to Hawaii and teach the Hawaiians how
to manage cattle. Mexican longhorn cattle had been introduced as
a gift to Kamehameha I in the 1700's. The first two Mexican cowboys arrived in
1781 in Lahaina, Maui. Around the same time, three Mexican cowboys
were brought to the Big Island. These cowboys taught the Hawaiians
the Hawaiians to manage cattle. When they returned to their families on the mainland,
they gave their guitars to their Hawaiian friends. The Hawaiians
didn't know the chord fretting positions on the guitar neck or how
to tune the strings relative to each other... so they loosened the
keys (tuners) until the strings sounded nice strummed open... and
then because there were only a few instruments and none to accompany,
they created a technique of self accompaniment described earlier.
3. When did singing
become a part of the music?
Before the guitars arrived and slack key was created, there were
only percussive instruments and chant (3-5 note monotone range).
Original slack key was used to accompany hula and chant. It was
primarily a solo instrumental style. Singing came to the islands
with the missionaries in the mid 1800's. Singing began to be added
to the music of Hawaii in the 1870's. It became popular in
the early 1900's when the 'entertainment' industry began. Slack
key was always a family tradition. The style was contemporized with
other instruments, singing, foreign rhythms and chords to make it
palatable to hotels, lounges, and other entertainment venues. In
particular, the proprietors wanted music the visitors could dance
to, similar to music on the mainland yet with a Hawaiian flair.
Some even brought music teachers from the mainland to train the
Hawaiians in western music and music theory. The
traditional style of slack key was kept in the families and would
sometimes be played after the venues closed.
4. How many tunings
are there in slack key?
To my knowledge, no one really knows. Over 75 tunings have been
with about 25 being fairly common.
Many families, including our own, have special family tunings
that are rarely shared. In the old days, if you came upon someone
playing slack key and they didn't know you, they would stop playing
and even de-tune the instrument so that their family music and tunings
would remain exclusive to the family.
5. Is a special
instrument/guitar needed for slack key? No.
Slack key can techniquely be played on any stringed instrument. Nylon
stringed guitars are beautiful for slack key although steel strings
are more convenient for playing in many tunings. This is due to the
memory of the nylon string. After retuning, it will try to reshape itself
to the original tuning causing the instrument to go quickly out of tune
on the next song. Today there are special instruments that are designed
just to be played in a slackened tuning. They are called baritone guitars.
Their neck is slightly longer and the design allows the soundboard to
receive enough tension and vibration even in the slackened tuning to
create the most beautiful sounds and frequencies.
6. Can you play
slack key on the ukulele?
Certainly. Sandy does. She plays in a particular slack key tuning
for rhythm and uses another for fingerstyle slack key ukulele (GCEG
instead of standard ukulele tuning GCEA).
7. Why is slack
key so endangered?
This artform was only passed on within families... from an elder
master... to a chosen child. So much was lost when a master passed
on without having found the apprentice to carry the tradition forward.
Slack key, in it's traditional form, is a lifetime commitment to
learning, playing, and creating. Getting your fingers and thumb
on the same hand to do two different things (thumb playing rhythm
and fingers playing melody simultaneously) is not easy and so many
players become frustrated by the learning curve. When you change
to a new tuning, all the relationships of the notes on the neck,
the chords, the harmonies, the bass notes... all changes... and
it's like learning a new instrument. This is much more difficult
than learning new songs and techniques all in the same tuning. One
final reason is that slack key, in the old style, is less commercially
acceptable for radio, hotel, lounge and other entertainment formats
which means it's not financially lucrative for young players starting
out. It's much easier for them to quickly learn and play modern
forms of music and get paying gigs.
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