Sol Hoopii and “Hula Blues”

Here is a little video which demonstrates how I believe Sol Hoopii played this tune, specifically on his earlier acoustic recordings in the A Major tuning. One of the devices that Sol used most frequently is open strings–in this case, in bars 3 and 4 of the head, Sol utilizes

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Shaping Fingerpicks to Suit Your Playing Style

It is often a topic of conversation among newer players of the difficulties in getting used to wearing fingerpicks. For some players, it is nearly impossible to get comfortable with these new appendages. For me, it was a little different. When I started becoming serious about playing, I was playing

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Old Steel Guitar Chord Charts (in various tunings)

While cleaning out my studio/library, I came across these cool chord charts that were published back in the 1940s. A friend of mine had given me these photocopies years ago, and I thought I would share them with the world before they are lost forever. These charts can be very

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Harmonic Mechanisms for Steel Guitar

Back in the late 1980s, I was lucky enough to have a guitar lesson with Mike Stern. I would also see him play fairly regularly and have a talk over a cup of coffee (Sheridan Square Diner (r.i.p.) ). Mike recommended a book to me by a guitarist whose name

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Conversation with Henry Bogdan, Part 1

Henry Bogdan is one of the few players of the modern era who has embraced the National Tricone resonator as his main instrument. His playing with The Moonlighters was particularly influential (especially to myself) in the resurgence of traditional string bands featuring ukulele and steel guitar, and with the Moonlighters

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Buddy Emmons “Gentle On My Mind” solo transcription

Someone on the Steel Guitar Forum posted a link to this great solo by Buddy Emmons on John Hartford’s “Gentle On My Mind.” I’d never heard it before, but it knocked me out, so I sat down with it and transcribed it before bed. Took me an hour or so–it’s

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