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Playing the Hawaiian Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar is played sitting down, with the body
of the guitar resting on your right thigh, and its neck resting
on your left thigh (Fig. 44). The guitar is slanted a little to the
left, which permits the left hand to move freely up and down
the fingerboard. The right elbow rests on the guitar, at its
The steel bar is held in the left hand between the first finger
and the base of the thumb. The first finger rests along the top
of the steel. When playing, it is placed lightly on the strings,
with very little pressure. The third and fourth fingers rest on
the strings behind the steel.
It is the pressure of the steel on a string that produces the
note you want. Where to place it to produce the different notes
is described in the next section.
On your right thumb you put the thumb pick (Fig. 42) and
on your right first and second fingers you put the two finger
picks. The first and second fingers are used to pick the first and
second strings. The thumb plays the remaining four strings,
moving down or away from you, and also plays chords, sweep-
ing downward across several strings.