Hawaiian Steel Guitar

A Simple Chord Based Tutor For Learning Steel Guitar Played With a Sliding Steel Bar.

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The Strings are picked with the fingers of the right hand, the first and second strings
are picked with the 1st and 2nd fingers, the third, fourth, fifth and sixth strings are picked
with the thumb. The above is the Hawaiian method, but a more simple and effective method
is to use the thumb in picking the 4th 5th- and 6th strings, the 3rd string with the Ist or
index finger, the 2nd string with the 2nd finger and the Ist string with the 3rd finger.
Do not use the little finger as a guard by resting it on the Sound Board of the^Guitar
as it detardes effective fingering. In a very short time by resting the upper part of the
wrist on the lower edge of the Guitar you will acquire the gage of the positions of the
fingers to pick the strings.
The hand is held in a curved position striking the strings with the ball ends of the
fingers over the Sound Hole. As a general rule brass or nickle thimbles are used on the
fingers and a brass or tortoise shell thumb pick. By using these thimbles and thumb picks
a more brilliant tone is produced.
The Steel Guitar is generally tuned to a high pitch to get the brilliant effect and for
the benefit of those that have played the regular Guitar in the Spanish key with the 3r-d
string tuned to G. All that is necessary is to tune the Guitar one whole note higher this
making the following Hawaiian method of tuning under which the instructions in this book
are given.
Tune the 3rd string to A in unison with A (above Middle C on the piano) or to an "A"
tuning pipe or fork, then press 3rd string down on 4th fret and tune 2nd in unison (C#)
then press 2nd string down on 3rd fret and tune 1st string in unison (E) then tune 4th
string in unison with Ist string one octave lower (E), then 5th string in unison with 3rd
string one octave lower (A), then 6th string in unison with 4th string one octave lower (E).
Making as follows :
Sit on a straight chair with both feet on the floor, chair must not be too high, lay
Guitar on lap with head or finger-board at the left hand. The top end of the Guitar toward
the finger-board resting against the inside of the left leg, the lower part of the body of
the Guitar resting on the right leg pressed close to the body.