Aloha Waikiki’, a Hawaiian Style Song.


Aloha Waikiki !

Aloha Waikiki
photo by Jerry George

Play guitar to an old-time, tin pan alley style, new Hawaiian song, Aloha Waikiki.

 Returning from a holiday in Hawaii, I am always inspired by their music to play guitar [ and ukulele & Hawaiian lap steel guitar ].

aloha waikiki, girl with uke Listening to live Hawaiian music is simply a treat. It differs from what we most often listen to. There are many wonderful guitarist in and from Hawaii. Some are playing traditional guitar but also there are wonderful ‘slack key’ guitar players [ such as Keola Beamer ].

I would be remiss if I failed to mention amazing ukulele players [ i.e Jake Shimabukuru ] and Hawaiian lap steel players [ like Bobby Ingano ]. Please do not deprive yourself of the opportunity to hear them live if you can.

Due to space I mention only these top players, but there are many more. So, please, conduct your own search about these instruments and players.


Mahalo MLP-100 electric lap steel It is not just the players, but the music itself that inspires. So, I planned to post a nice fingerstyle arrangement of ‘Aloha Oe’ in tribute. However, it is copyright protected. So, instead, I composed a Tin Pan Alley style Hawaiian song to post this month.

My title for the song is Aloha Waikiki. Originally written for ukulele, it is transcribed here for guitar. [ Standard tuning with guitar tablature and chord accompaniment. ] I haven’t explored single note melody playing among the topics covered so far in this blog. So, this is a good time to do so. This song makes extensive use of chromatic melody. The tab makes reading guitar music easier. Play the melody with alternating ‘i’ and ‘m’ fingers or with alternating up and down plectrum [ pick ] strokes

Accompany the melody with other instruments if you want. Mostly, have fun with it. If you are unfamiliar with a chord shown, look it up.  No harm done if you leave out the diminished 7th chord.

 Here are some useful chord apps.

Also, if you need help with changing chords smoothly and in time check out this video. This example uses the G and C chords, but the process is the same with any other chord combinations.

So, here is Aloha Waikiki. [ Turn off auto-play feature. ]

For a standard and larger page view use this link for Noteflight*, Aloha Waikiki‘. You can view, listen, and change tempo for playing along with the music. The lyrics are not shown, as they are not necessary for our purposes here.

Also, here is a pdf version to download and print. * We Wish You A Merry Christmas - pdf.Aloha Waikiki.

Woodie 39chrysler_imperial_aplanalp_rf_sm*Study notes:

1.The entire melody is playable on the highest four strings of your guitar. This is because it was originally written for tenor ukulele, a four string instrument.

2. Where the fourth fret [4] is indicated on the tablature play that 4th string F# with the left hand little finger. Unless you play left-handed, then the right hand little finger.

3. Tacet is shown as a performance instruction. It means do not play. It refers to the chord[s] for that measure. Stop chording where tacet is indicated and resume chording with the beginning of the following measure.


 guitar capoGuitar Tips: Put your capo on just behind your guitars’ fifth fret. Now, your tuning, low to high, is A,D,G,C,E,A.  A common tenor ukulele tuning is G,C,E,A. See the relationship. All the fingerings for chords and melody are the same, but the note and chord names are different. Therefore, C chord becomes F, a ‘g’ note ‘c’, and so forth.

[ Any capo will do, my favorite is made of wood and tensions with nylon string around a violin peg. I do not see anyone using those anymore, but it still works for me. Not broke, not fixing it, not replacing it. ]

My tenor ukulele with roses.

 Guitar Trick: Now, play ‘Aloha Waikiki’ with exactly the same fingering as for guitar, but capoed at the fifth fret. You will hear what it sounds like pitched for a tenor or concert Uke. 

Hey, you might not have known it, but if you can play guitar, you can play ukulele. When you try a concert or tenor ukulele, play something you know on guitar. It will sound good, but pitched 5 chromatic tones [ frets ] higher than you usually hear it. Getting used to ‘thinking ukulele’ that is the difficult part. [ Different note and chord names for the same forms that you already know from guitar. ]

I hope you have fun with the song and play your guitarAs always, thanks to all my subscribers and readers. 

Author info: Jerry George,
I live in Phoenix, OR and author a blog for guitar players at . Visit my google plus page at Jerry George.

Please participate. Your comment is important!