Surf Guitar

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Chris Liepe

Study the ideas and techniques of surf artists like Dick Dale, The Ventures and more!

6 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

84% Appoval

107 of 116 of our members have given this their approval.

Tabs & Info

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Full Course Breakdown

Learn how to create surf hooks, get surf tones, and make the information you already know on the guitar useful in the Surf genre!


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!

3:05 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

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 this lesson and so you can learn about two different genres at the same time!

13:15 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


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.

12:19 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


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 of that sound.

15:34 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


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 scale.

10:46 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


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 track! Get familiar with the sound and try writing your own melody or hook.

8:23 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

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  • Greeley, CO
  • Playing since 1995
  • 312 lessons at JamPlay
Portland native Chris Liepe first played piano, which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. As a fan of bands like Soundgarden, Collective Soul, and U2, he was inspired to start singing, songwriting, and helping others in their musical endeavors.

After moving to Colorado with his family, Chris began gigging, recording, and teaching in a number of music stores and out of his apartment until he decided to pursue music full time. He completed his Bachelors in Music Technology and started working at 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.

Chris Liepe owns and runs his own recording and teaching studio in Colorado. You might even hear his vocals featured in theme music for dozens of daily radio programs and commercial jingles airing around the country.
Reviews & Feedback 84/100 with 116 ratings

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WOW!!!! These last couple of lessons have given me some great things to work on, and to inspire me to use a metronome, and to drill extensively on 16th note patterns, at higher speeds, with the "harmonic minor", and "double harmonic minor" scal


Excellent explanation of scales to chords! I've heard that B7 pentatonic scale called the Hindu pentatonic before and also heard it is a favourite of Jeff Beck! THANKS!!


Great Lesson About Surf Guitar .... :)


I like the genre! Thanks for bringing this to JamPlay!


Liked the music theory added in too, it's not just the fingering. Love getting both of them.


Lovin it


start. Personally I don't want to see 30 seconds of something that I probably won't be able to do for years as an opening but he settled in well for me at least. I'll be back. Thank you