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What Is Surf Guitar? (Guitar Lesson)


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Chris Liepe

What Is Surf Guitar?

What do you need to know to play surf guitar? What styles of music does surf draw from? How has surf music influenced other styles? How does technique play into playing in this genre? Answers to all of these questions and more are in this series! Dig in and have fun!

Taught by Chris Liepe in Surf Guitar seriesLength: 3:05Difficulty: 0.5 of 5


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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


skaterstuskaterstu replied on May 29th, 2016

Is this just limited to 6 lessons?

DarkShadesBillDarkShadesBill replied on January 4th, 2015

Great intro! It would be very helpful if you put links to any lessons on alternate picking that you recommend in the Supplemental section, since you said it was an important prerequisite. I'm looking forward to watching the rest in this series.

Surf Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Study the ideas and techniques of artists like Dick Dale, The Ventures and more! Learn how to create surf hooks, get surf tones, and make the information you already know on the guitar useful in the Surf genre!



Lesson 1

What Is Surf Guitar?

What do you need to know to play surf guitar? What styles of music does surf draw from? How has surf music influenced other styles? How does technique play into playing in this genre? Answers to all of...

Length: 3:05 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Surf & The Blues

If you know the blues, the song forms and chord progressions in surf music are going to make a lot of sense to you. If you are not that familiar with the blues, that's ok! We go over the similarities in...

Length: 13:15 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Surfin' & Strummin'

Starting with some of the background layers that are present in some surf songs, you'll learn about two different ways to approach the guitar in a rhythmic context similar to a track performed by the Ventures....

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Ice That Arm

Fast alternate picking with thick spring reverb and strange sounding scales is the first sound people think of when someone mentions surf guitar. This lesson breaks down the alternate picking component...

Length: 15:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Make It A Double Harmonic

That classic "Miserlou" sound that seems both haunting and enchanting is explained and broken down in this lesson with a scale that most people never even think to learn. It's called the Double Harmonic...

Length: 10:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Bring It Home To E

Take what you learned about the double harmonic scale in the key of C from the last lesson and apply it to the good old open E. Practice it on the low E and the high E with a click track and with the backing...

Length: 8:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud JamPlay.com instructors.

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