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The steel guitar was invented in 1885 by a young Hawaiian boy named Joseph Kekuku. There are variations of the story. However, most agree that Kekuku had a Spanish guitar resting on his lap, when he dropped a piece of metal on the surface of the strings. Immediately, he was captivated by the sound it produced and spent the remaining years of his life perfecting the style of playing. He traveled throughout the world spreading the sound of the steel guitar.


As years went on, the instrument and technique associated with it evolved. Different steel "bars" were constructed for playing the instrument. The most notable of these for Hawaiian players became the bullet-nosed style bar. In the 1930's Rickenbacher released the first ever electric guitar, which was a lap steel guitar dubbed the "Frypan". Soon companies made double-neck, triple-neck, and even quadruple-neck steels for players wanting to use multiple tunings.


Joseph Kekuku

Benny Nawahi

Sol Ho'opi'i

Jules Ah See

Barney Isaacs

Billy Hew Len

Hal Aloma

Dick McIntyre

Andy Aiona

Jerry Byrd

L.T. Zinn

Casey Olsen

Jeff Au Hoy

Bobby Ingano

Greg Sardinha

Alan Akaka

many more!

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