Hawaiian Guitar

Hawaiian Guitar The Hawaiian, or steel, guitar is a metal-stringed adaptation of the European instrument that is played by stopping the strings with a metal bar.

The steel guitar, an instrument invented by a Hawaiian teenager named Joseph Kekuku, isn’t just notable for being wildly popular, but for how it influenced various genres of American music. After inventing the Hawaiian steel guitar in his high school dorm, Kekuku became a world-touring guitar soloist. The instrument is played on the lap, and the guitarist plucks the cords instead of strumming them while running a steel bar over the neck.

Before its soft, lilting sound became inseparable from music in the American South, the steel guitar captivated listeners in Hawaii, who were living through one of the most tumultuous chapters in the islands’ history.