(How To Play) Surfer Girl by The Beach Boys

“Surfer Girl” is a song written, produced and sung by Brian Wilson for The Beach Boys. It was released as a single and it then appeared on the 1963 album of the same name, Surfer Girl. The B-side of the single was “Little Deuce Coupe”. The single was the first Beach Boys record to have Brian Wilson officially credited as the producer.

Written solely by Brian Wilson, the song is his very first composition. The lyrics were inspired by Judy Bowles, Wilson’s first serious girlfriend whom he had dated for three and a half years. He explained the genesis of the song: “Back in 1961, I’d never written a song in my life. I was nineteen years old. And I put myself to the test in my car one day. I was actually driving to a hot dog stand, and I actually created a melody in my head without being able to hear it on a piano. I sang it to myself; I didn’t even sing it out loud in the car. When I got home that day, I finished the song, wrote the bridge, put the harmonies together and called it ‘Surfer Girl’.”

The song was based on a Dion and the Belmonts version of “When You Wish upon a Star”, which has the same AABA form. As a solo artist, Wilson later covered it for the tribute album In the Key of Disney (2011).

Surfer Girl is a great song for practicing strumming and learning time signatures. The time signature of this song is 6/8, which is common for ballad and some country songs. You will learn how to play the 6/8 signature in this video.

You also use a couple of barred and open chords, which will help you improve your chord-to-chord transition skills.

Surfer Girl by The Beach Boys

The chords that we will use for this song are:

  • D
  • Bm
  • F#m
  • G
  • Em
  • A
  • DM7
  • GM7
  • Gm6

Key Change:

  • Eb
  • Cm
  • Ab
  • Bb

Over to you

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