playing surf guitar

5 Beginner Surf Guitar Songs to Master

Surf guitar playing is a unique and exhilarating experience. Some players even claim surfing can help introduce the beginner to an improved calm state. So what sort of person would enjoy playing at a beach? You can find beginner surf guitar songs that will teach you all the tips and tricks you need to master the instrument with some research. You may place some emphasis on rhythm, while others may favor melody. How are beginners to surf guitar supposed to know which songs to play and which songs not to? The easiest way to find the songs you like is to listen to recordings of other guitarists.

Surf Guitar Songs For Beginners

Pipeline – Chantays

This song epitomizes the original style of surf guitar. Songs like this are especially challenging songs for beginners because of the rhythm pattern characterized by rapid strumming. The song has a familiar melody and a natural beach feel. The simplicity of the arrangement rewards the beginner surfer with an experience that is truly one of a kind.

Secret Agent Man – Ventures

Although this song is simple, it contains many opportunities for the advanced surfer to show off their skills. The surf guitar rhythm pattern this song uses is simple, but it requires some skill, especially for beginners, to master. The rhythm pattern includes many major chords played with an alternating bass pattern.

The Loco-motion – Surfaris

This song is perfect for the beginner surfer. Although it contains a little bit of distortion, the rhythmic pattern is simple, featuring mainly a few chords. The rhythm pattern creates a repetitive beat, which gives it a unique feel when combined with the distortion. This song is perfect for anyone who loves the beach and surfs.

Surfin’ Bird – Dick Dale

Although this song is more challenging than the above songs, it is still relatively easy to learn. Simple, standard chords dominate the surf guitar rhythm pattern. However, the tempo of the arrangement is still fast. As a result, beginners may find it challenging to keep up.

Show Me The Way To Go Home – Dick Dale

This song is perhaps the most excellent surf guitar song of all time. It contains a fantastic combination of chord changes and riffs. The surf guitar rhythm pattern provides a nice contrast to the quick, upbeat melody. This catchy rhythm pattern also lends itself to interpretation, and listeners have developed various riffs around the rhythm.


Learning to play surf guitar is fun and easy. All it requires is that you understand what the guitar rhythm pattern means. Once you know the guitar rhythm well, you are well on your way to becoming a master surfer. Rock on!

Be sure to check out these guitar duet songs for beginners too!