Jason Loughlin: professional guitarist and surf music educator | Photo: Loughlin Archive

Are you a surfer who can't live without music? Have you ever wanted to know how to play surf music on an electric guitar? Now you can. There's a new, straightforward online course waiting for your fingers.

A Brooklyn-based musician and record label owner developed an instructional surf guitar course that will help intermediate to advanced guitarists compose songs that sound like summer.

Jason Loughlin designed "Essentials: Surf Guitar," an online program with ten instrumental studies that cover the music genre, its influences, and evolution since it hit the airwaves in the 1960s.

The comprehensive guide is available through Truefire, and it is simple to follow and learn. Loughlin first plays each study for you, and then breaks it down note for note so that you can get it under your fingers.

"While surf music may have had its heyday back in the 1960s thanks to artist like Dick Dale, The Ventures, and The Beach Boys, the sound is not frozen in time," says Jason Loughlin.

Today, bands like Los Straight Jackets, Daikaiju, Los Twang, La Luz, and Man or Astro-man? are continuing the legacy of the surf music pioneers. Loughlin, for example, started his band Aquarium Solarium inspired by the sound of the surf.

"I've always been a fan and collected the records, but It wasn't until I started to write surf music that I felt like I had a valid perspective that was worth sharing. I wanted to present a course that covered surf music over the decades but also looked at the styles that orbited it."

The Ventures: a surf music band formed in 1958

"I think originally Truefire wanted a classic surf guitar course, but I agreed to do it only if I got to do it my way. I wanted to open student's ears to music that they may not have heard before and presented it in a way that no one was doing," adds the Floridian guitarist.

"It was either going to nosedive or connect. I was fine with it tanking because I believed in the material regardless and I knew people would discover its value eventually."

Jason Loughlin believes that "Essentials: Surf Guitar" is "a viable way to learn and grow as a musician. You are expected to go and do the work that I recommend if you want to get a lot out of it."

He says he has students that work hard and grow leaps and bounds in a short time and others put in a minimal amount of work and move at a much slower pace. It's a working partnership.

"I also want to say that the path to becoming good at any style can't be reached by just one approach. Private guidance, learning repertoire, writing, performing are all parts of the balanced diet."

"Essentials: Surf Guitar" can be downloaded for only $15.20 via Truefire. The course includes the following lessons: Coral Blunder, Rebel Twang, King of Surf, Sand Flea, Showdown on the Silver Sands, Sands of Waikiki, Forbidden Village, Surfer's Mambo, The Sea Generation, and Sci-Fi Surf. 

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