Play Guitar The Hawaiian Way (Feb, 1940)

Just what I’ve been looking for. A way to play without any of that tedious practice stuff. And who would have guessed the Oahu School of Music would be located in Cleveland?

HAWAIIAN GUITAR- Learn to play this EASY. SHORT CUT WAY, right in your own home. No tedious practicing. No special talent necessary. Have fun. Be popular. Surprise your friends. Get “on the air.” Make money teaching others. Hundreds of our students now successful in orchestras teaching, radio. You can do the same.
“How to play the Hawaiian way” tells all about this quick,
fascinating method. Write today. OAHU SCHOOL OF MUSIC, 2114 Payne Ave., Cleveland, Ohio

  1. Brad Bechtel says: July 18, 20062:19 pm

    The full story of the Oahu Publishing Company of Cleveland, Ohio, may be found in “The Hawaiian Steel Guitar and Its Great Hawaiian Musicians” edited by Lorene Ruymar and published by Centerstream Press. Oahu sold music lessons and guitars from 1926 on; the company was closed in 1985.

  2. Anita Knight says: March 7, 200810:22 pm

    Der Sir, My mother learned to play the Hawaiian electric guitar back in 1939 by an old Hawaiian named Kilani. She did not know music notes and he taught the Oahu numbers method. Her guitar was named “Old Kraftsman”, and I think it was sold by Sears and Roebucks. She used 2 finger picks and a thumb pick, and a metal bar.
    I still member how beautiful she could play. By the way, she played by ear before the lessons.
    Anita Knight

  3. Hazel Bentley says: May 26, 20084:06 pm

    I am 62 years old. As a teenager. I learned to play Hawaiian guitar using the Oahu publishing company method. I put the guitar aside for over 40 years. I am in the process of re learning what I had let lapse. I am using the Oahu lessons that I kept. I have tham all in good condition and they are once again my learining tools. I have found a teacher who knows the guitar and is helping me with the theory. he was amzed to see that I had kept everything. His first comment to me was that he could help me but I would have to find an instruciton book and music. WHen I advised thaa tI had everything , he was amazed. The Oahu Publishing cOmpnay msuic and instructions are once again teaching me the art I thought I had lost. I am grateful.

  4. Linda Krolik says: July 14, 20088:36 pm

    I have inherited my Fathers Hawaiian guitar. It is an electric double head with legs. It has Oahu, tolano console on it. Its body is a white pearl. I know my Father owned this around 1960 or 1961, and he bought it used. I haven’t been able to locate any information on this guitar. I have a lot of music, and lessons from the U.S. School of music copyright 1955. Please let me know any information you have, or where I can find it. Also, I was taught to play by my Father years ago, and would love to play again, but I am getting a light shock off the strings. My husband is not? The amp is a Valco tube, that is probably as old as the guitar. Do I need to replace the amp?
    Any help you can give me is most greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance,

    Linda Krolik

  5. Rod Whitlock says: August 20, 20082:35 pm

    I have an old Oahu “Parlor” square neck guitar that needs an Oahu pyramid bridge and an Oahu pair of tuners. Anyone know where I might find these?

  6. Harold Masten says: October 4, 20087:11 pm

    I am 81 years old and recently I started to play my steel guitar from the OAHU guitar course I studied back in the late 40’s I am suprised at how much I remember. It’s a lot of fun, I’m glad I saved the lessons.

  7. Daniel Manring says: December 29, 20086:22 pm

    I learned to play hawaiian guitar by the Oahu method in about 1947. I would like to get copies of the lessons or the music used for the lessons if someone still has copies of them. I would be willing to pay a reasonable price for same.

    Thank you


  8. Harold Masten says: January 15, 20097:53 pm

    To Dan I could help you with the Oahu lessons I have most of them maby I can copy some of the to get you started

  9. John Miles says: January 27, 200912:08 pm

    Linda K.,
    You do not need a new amp, but you MUST get your old one serviced. There are parts that go bad (capacitors) that NEED to be replaced. Not expensive. I don’t know where you live, but if you ask at a music store for the phone number of a good amp tech, you should get your amp to him. If one of these parts fails completely, it can very easily destroy your fine old amp. I have an Oahu amp that has been serviced, and it’s wonderful!

  10. Kirk Smith says: October 4, 20091:06 am

    I have 59 of the Oahu Advanced Harmony Note Course P.T. Series books. I could part with them if I knew what was reasonable.

  11. Larry Leroy McFall says: March 22, 20105:18 am

    As many youngsters of the day, I also took Electric Steel Guitar lessons using the Sheet Music from the Oahu Publishing Company. I started lesson in and around 1947 when I was around 7 or 8 years old. My dad had been in the Navy during WWII and of course, spent much time in Hawaii and become a lover of Hawaiin Music ( Who’s not!). Dad bought my a Montgomery Wards outfit and with that and his desire to hear me play Hawaiin music, I learned from the “Oahu Music Influence”.

    I still play and resist getting hooked up with the pedal for I am affraid that I wouldn’t go back to the 6 string unmotorized bare back model. However, I did build my own 6 string double neck with legs and I like tuning one to E7 and the other to C6.

    I would like to have my ole Oahu Publishing Company Music Sheets today for it was a joy to just have them close. But as many good things, they are long lost loves that if I new where to get a few, I would love to purchase them. Especially the Oahu E7 Lesson Series.

    Larry L.

  12. chris cornett says: July 21, 20104:19 pm

    I have an Oahu solid body electric six string single pickup guitar. 1-19656. Can anyone tell me anything about it? chris cornett

  13. John Limbach says: August 10, 201010:00 am

    I would like to acquire the Oahu Advanced Harmony Note Course PT series. Either complete or numbers 10 thru 67.

    If you have some you’d like to part with, contact me at

    [email protected]


    John Limbach

  14. Barbara A Berg says: December 31, 20109:55 am

    I took lesson when I was 14 on my lap steele guitar, I have music from the Oahu Publishing Co. is there any way I can obtain more sheet music, number only. My instructor in Worcester Ma. was amazing! I only took lessons from him for a year but learned lots. I’ve been playing this past year with my old guitar and amp from the late 50’s, would love to get my hands on more music!

  15. Barbara A Berg says: April 16, 20113:02 pm

    Hi its Barb again, I am still trying to find music by number for my Hawaiin lap steel, I have about 30 sheets of music in number. I am trying to learn notes, but in the mean time would love more music I can play. You can contact me by email [email protected]. Would appreciate some info on who could teach Hawaiin guitar here in the State of Washington?

  16. Larry Leroy McFall says: May 30, 20112:48 pm

    Still playing the steel guitar after sixty some years I find that few youngsters take it up many of us did in the late 40s and 50s. I guess with the pedal model dominating the scene, many do not want to haul around a truck load of equipment to play a few songs.

    The steel playing is still a lot of fun for me and I try to play a few songs everyday. I have laid down my own backing and try to organize a new song every month however, just as soon as I get one organized and the arrangement the way I want it, I seem to forget the ones I had done before.

    I guess it all comes with age!

  17. John Billings says: May 30, 20113:00 pm

    Many of you might enjoy the Steel Guitar Forum. It has a section for “Steel Without Pedals,” that is very informative, and well attended! There are many more courses available now. You’ll fimd links to many wonderful sites, and a lot of wonderful music. Plus tips and advice.
    Here tis;

  18. Georgene Sstanley Slepin says: September 3, 201111:16 am

    My father, Harry G. Stanley, founded the Honolulu School of Music, the Oahu Publishing Co. and the International Music League. He had regional and national conventions for guitar bands sometimes accomodating 5,000 students with their bands. His national conventions took over Soldiers Field in Chicago and Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Stanley started in Michigan in 1926 and later moved to Cleveland, Ohio. He wanted to make playing easy for children and therefore the numbers system was developed whereby one could play a song within half an hour and then progress into musical careers or pleasant family times. He believed in keeping children off of the streets and was involved in the Cleveland Christian Children’s Home where he supplied music, instruments and teachers. Mr. Stanley was not a musican, but a man with a dream that came true for many children and adults. He had over 400 guitar studios during the 1930’s and 1940’s and published a magazine called “Music”.

  19. Toronto says: September 3, 20117:40 pm

    Georgene – thanks for adding that information – it’s always interesting to hear about the people being the stories and ads here.

    He sounds like an interesting sort who really wanted to help people.

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