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The Wichita, Kansas-based musician had an electric Hawaiian A-25 (frypan, lap-steel) and a standard electric Spanish from George Beauchamp of Los Angeles, California.
Brewer publicized his new instruments in an article in the Wichita Beacon of October 2, 1932 and through performances that month.
The earliest Hawaiian lap steel tuning was open A low bass, E–A–E–A–C–B–E.
The Lap steel guitar is not tuned in standard guitar tuning (E–A–D–G–B–E, low to high).
Rather, it is usually tuned to an open chord, often an extended chord like a 6th, 7th, or 9th.
It is said that, at the age of 7, Kekuku was walking along a railroad track and picked up a metal bolt, slid the metal along the strings of his guitar and was intrigued by the sound.
He taught himself to play using this method with the back of a knife blade.