from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Of a style of Hawaiian music played by fingerpicking an acoustic guitar that has been tuned to any of various open chords.
Andy Summers of the Police, the master of ceremonies, introduces the first contestant -- Makana, who blends country finger-picking with the slack-key style of his native Honolulu.
Nate Chinen explains the controversies behind the Hawaiian music category, which in its seven years of existence has been dominated by one man, Daniel Ho, and his albums of slack-key guitar.
This phrase comes from the Hawaiian term ‘ki hoʻalu,’ which translates as ‘loosen the (tuning) key.’