Maui Steel Guitar Camp

Camp Information

The 2019 camp has been canceled. Please return to this website for information about future camps.


Why a Camp?

Inspired by the highly-successful Maui Steel Guitar Festival, the camp provides an opportunity for festival attendees to learn more about the instrument, its history, nuances, and various playing methods and techniques that distinguish it as a unique sounding instrument from other types of steel guitars. The camp is offered in the days preceding the Maui Steel Guitar Festival, allowing participants to enjoy a unique experience of first learning about the instrument, then enjoying the unique sounds and music of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar as it is played by steel guitar players from all parts of the world: local, domestic and abroad.

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No Experience Required!

The camp welcomes anyone with an interest in music and in learning more about the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Whether you have no playing experience at all, or if you are a beginning student with limited playing experience, or even if you are a seasoned or professional steel guiar player, the camp has something to offer you.

The camp's instructors are selected for not only their knowledge of the instrument and musical experience, but also for their ability to share their knowledge with anyone in an efficient and effective manner. You will definitely enjoy your learning experience!



You should bring your own steel guitar if possible since it's best to learn on the instrument you will be playing. If you are using a non-acoustic lap steel guitar, a small portable amplifier, preferably battery operated, is also desirable. If you do not have the recommended equipment, you may be able to borrow this equipment from friends or acquaintences. Loaner equipment may be limited or may not be available at the camp, so please check with the camp for further information if you cannot obtain equipment for yourself.

Camp Curriculum

Camp instructors will cover a variety of subjects. The curriculum assumes no prior knowledge or experience with the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. The following are among the topics that will be covered at the camp.


Steel Guitar Basics

Mechanics and design of the guitar, materials used and how it affects the guitar's sound, string spacing, number of frets, types of steel guitars - lap, console, pedal, acoustic.


Intermediate Topics

Vamps and fills, tablature and music notation.

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Advanced Topics

Guitar tone and hand position, muting techniques, playing harmonics, tunings and when to use them, what sets the Hawaiian style apart from other steel guitar styles, playing in the "Nahenahe" (sweet) style.

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Fills and "pa'ani" (solo) improvising

The "Learning by doing" method will be used to quickly bring camp participants up to playing comfort while using what they have learned at the camp. A Hawaiian song featuring the Hawaiian Steel Guitar will be given to camp participants as a class project to learn and play. Camp instructors will spend time with each camp participant to ensure their success.

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1296 Auwaiku St.
Kailua, HI 96734

Phone: (808) 375-9379