Salomila in a New Way

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

If ever there was a modern slack key classic, it would be Salomila. My usual Hawaiian music CD source,, lists 10 different recorded versions and I know there are more than that out there some where. I included the song on my Kaleponi CD, I’ve used it in two videos, and it’s my standard song when I need a demo tune for the Homebrewed Music blog. Now I’ve done another video of Salomila but this video is full of new stuff.

I’m using a new to me guitar, a Martin OM-18V that I am really enjoying. I’m using a new microphone, the big red Avantone CK-40 large diaphragm stereo mic. And I’m playing in a new to me tuning called D Wahine.

Over 50 slack key tunings have been documented, Dancing Cat Records provides plenty of technical information in their Dancing Cat Slack Key Since I began trying to learn slack key I’ve spent all my real playing time in variations on the open G tuning we call Taropatch. Sometimes I drop the low pitched string an extra step for a C tuning, sometimes I lower all the strings a whole step to make an F tuning. One very Hawaiian tuning is made by lowering the middle G string one half step to an F sharp, resulting in a Wahine tuning. Some folks suggest that a tuning like this is the oldest of slack key tunings.

But for the last few years I’ve been curious about D Wahine, an old tuning that’s only been recorded a few times. I’ve been fooling around with it with very little success until just recently but the time I invested has finally begun to pay off and I’ve been coming up with some arrangements of some of my favorite tunes. Salomila is the first one I’m willing to play in front of people in this tuning.

If you’d like to hear some other songs in the D Wahine tuning I’ve found YouTube versions of Nani Hoomanao by Ray Kane and Hiilawe by Haunani Kahalewai (in this clip she has tuned all the strings down one whole step to sound in the key of C). Ozzie Kotani included three songs in D Wahine on his wonderful CD, Hoihi (Respect).

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2015 at 9:34 pm and is filed under Videos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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    I have recorded a CD called Kaleponi, all solo acoustic slack key instrumentals, mostly traditional pieces, a few originals.


    You an buy a copy of the CD or download the tracks at CD Baby.

    If you prefer, you can download individual tracks or the whole album from iTunes as well.

    The complete liner notes and back cover notes of Kaleponi are available here.