So the guy in the comic is George Kahumoku Jr., one of the grandmasters of the art of Hawaiian Slack Key. The song in particular that inspired this is “Moloka’i Slide”.
A lot of Mr. Kahumoku’s stuff is slower and meditative, but the simple steady rhythm makes it an easy pace to keep and the feeling… the feeling. When this song came on, I was running into the sun, it was cold and I wanted to stop. Then that first riff started and I just smiled. I must have looked like a madman, red face, panting furiously, but grinning ear to ear. The song powered me through.
Another great is Ledward Ka’apana.
He’s a master of technique and flair. His philosophy on learning to play was simple: “Just Press”. He said he was so afraid to make mistakes, his dad would tell him, “No matta’, jus’ press.” And look how good he is now.
We’ll all screw up, but gotta keep learning and don’t stop. This is what I see with my running and really everything I’ve been trying to do: no matta’, jus’ press.