Steel Trappings

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Camp Class of 2017

Steel Guitar Camp Helps Develop Playing Skills

May 3, 2017 • Addison ChingFestivals and Conventions

Nineteen steel guitarists with varying degrees of experience spent two days with professional steel guitar masters Alan Akaka and Greg Sardinha at the Third Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Camp, perfecting their playing knowledge and techniques on the Hawaiian steel guitar. Among the camp's enrollees were a few steel guitar students from the University of Hawaii Maui College's Institute of Hawaiian Music and several repeat guitarists from previous camps.

Alan Akaka with camp participants

Participants were separated into two groups. A beginning group received intimate tutoring from Greg Sardinha who helped them become more familiar with their instruments. Greg covered such topics as bar position, picking, and timing. While Greg worked with the beginners, Alan spent time with those more experienced players, covering such topics as how to play fills and how to play harmonics or chimes.

Studens work with Greg Sardinha

A library of typical fill patterns was provided to these students, as well as information about when to play fills in Hawaiian music. The group was given tablature for five different Hawaiian songs to help the camp participants develop skills in group playing, "pa'ani" (solo) playing, and fill timing. The fills provided to the students begin on different beats within a measure and it was up to the students to figure out what fill they wanted to play and when to insert it into the piece. Greg's beginning group was integrated into Alan's group for the final musical selection to give the beginners a live playing experience.

The instructors agreed that this year's camp was the most successful so far, as evidenced by the playing quality of the class. Camp participant Rebecca Woo posted on Facebook, "I'm so glad I decided to attend and will be back for future events. I took away new learning tools and had the opportunity to see and hear some of the best steel players on the planet."

Next year's camp is tentatively scheduled for April 11-12, 2018.

Photo Credits: All photos pc-Addison Ching.
Photo 1 - The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Camp Class of 2017.
Photo 2 - Camp Instructor Greg Sardinha with the beginning steel students.
Photo 3 - Camp Instructor Alan Akaka assigns music to the more experienced steel guitar players.

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HIMELE is a Hawai'i non-profit corporation that supports music enrichment and education for people of all ages. Our purpose is to educate, promote, and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.