How to Play Surfer Girl by The Beach Boys

Hey, how’s it going this is Jon McLennan with Guitar Control,  I want to teach you how to play a song called “Surfer Girl” by The Beach Boys. I’ve always been a Beach Boys fan, I used to have their greatest hits CD that I always listened to it had like 20 of their famous tracks on it and this was on there and I also used to play this song when I was a kid on piano it was like in some beginner book that I had with my piano teacher, so I’m going to take you through the chords. It’s going to have all the parts of all the different sections and the chord shapes that I’m using written out we’re going to talk a little bit about how to bring out the melody


The intro starts like this and next is  into the verse we’ve got sort of a 12-8 kind of groove so I’m thinking six beats on each chord and I’m go to D, F sharp minor, B minor, F sharp minor, then G, E minor, and then A is going to get all 12 beats so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, then I do this little walk-up which leads you into the verse so let’s try that intro together 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

So we’ve got an A section and let me just run through the chords, so I did D to B minor 7 that’s like a B minor with the pinky off and I’m playing from the 5th string down G play all six strings and then A from the 5th string down F sharp minor 7, you could do a number of ways I do like this kind of just one finger barring four strings d7 and then G, this is my favorite part G to the G minor then we’re back to D, B minor 7, B minor 7. This is going to be in the in the tab, these chord shapes but I’m thinking again two chords per measure of 12-8 so that means that I’m going to count six beats on each chord. So I’m going 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, so G, A minor at the end of those kind of combining the melody a little bit so if you want to add a little bit more strumming you can always do that count.

Maybe I’ll add the bass line in there – one thing I’m also accenting 1 and 4 so okay so let’s play the intro into the A section, first time we do this then repeat back to the verse, the second time we’re going to go D and we’re going to G and the D and the D7. This is like a classic second ending you’ll hear a lot of tunes in a second ending to A section. What I like to do is to go to D and kind of walk up, something like that. So that’s D up to G back down into D then I take the roux and go walk it down to a D7, so one more time that second ending, let me back up I’ll play the two bars right before that 2nd endings there. It’s the d7 that leads us into the bridge or the B section so that’s how you play the intro and the first section.

Let’s move on to the next section, we’re on that D7 and we’re going to lead into the bridge and back to the first part, so I am on D7 and I lead into a G to A, D, B minor 7, G, A, D, and then a D7 so that’s the first half.

The second half goes G, A, D, B minor 7 then slide, E7 all 6 strings it’s like an E chord with the middle no doubt and then and then I do that walk back to the 1st section. Play the whole bridge for you it sounds like this one E7, now I think on the original version and modulates up a half-step what I like to do is modulate up a whole-step so I go to the key of E, so if I did that I would come out of the bridge and I would go like this so that would be basically taking that chord progression up a whole-step so one thing you’ll notice that I started to get in there is I was bringing out the melody a little bit like if you wanted to play this solo guitar which by the way on YouTube there’s a version of Bill Frisell playing this that’s really awesome you should check out and you could hear anything he does it and drop D but you can see what the chord shapes that I shows you even if we just take the verse for example so same exact chords but what I’m doing is I’m finding that melody in I’ll just use the simple chords again and I’ll show you so B minor 7, G, A, F sharp minor little baby chord that melody note D7 so I might take a chord like D7 and then I’ll alter it see to get the melody nose G, G minor, more times so that’s a good exercise for you to work on it.

First learn the chords and then try and find the melody note in the chords and bring it out and then you have like a little solo guitar version you could play nice work I hope this lesson helps you out and inspires you makes you want to pick up the guitar and play every single day this is such a great instrument for more information be sure to check out guitar and don’t forget to subscribe on our YouTube Channel and we’ll see you in our next video lessons, thanks for watching.


How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


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