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date: 17 January 2020

Slack-key guitarlocked

Extract

A style of guitar playing and tuning originating in Hawaii in the 19th century. A variety of ‘open’ tunings are used, i.e. with the strings slackened from the standard guitar tuning to form an open major chord. The thumb of the right hand plays the bass while the other fingers play the melody and improvise, and the strings are fretted in the normal way with the fingers of the left hand. The enormous influence that this style had on guitar-playing technique in the USA is often underestimated. Another technique, in which the strings are fretted using a metal bar (a ‘steel’), led to the development of the ...

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