Of course a haole can play Slack Key!
It's possible for anyone to pluck a guitar string in a Slack Key kind of fashion.
But there's more to Slack Key than just the strings. Living remote from anything even resembling Polynesian, I have to make do. I'm not sure I look forward to meeting another 'real' slack player because, let's face it - I don't even know how to pronounce some of the songs I have learned (Salomila? - two years before I got that pronunciation correct).
Song history? Right! And don't even get started on kaona. I was playing slack key for a year and a half before I learned there were actually WORDS to some of the songs I was playing (Kaula 'Ili for instance)
So, yes. I can pluck the strings. I can even wear a Hawaiian shirt while I do it (see - who wears hawaiian shirts?). There is a whole lot more to the Slack Key experience than meets the eye. I try my best to do right by slack key, but what do I know?
The fact is, learning Slack Key by your self is a far different experience from learning in Hawaii from the hands of a master, I'm guessing. So I thought I'd talk story about the experience.
Be gentle. Remember, I'm just a haole.
You can send comments etc. to jim at haoleslackkey dot com