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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink Slow Surf Songs

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Well, it's becoming obvious that I need to provide my band with some slower material and I'm looking for some inspiration. Please suggest some slower songs that succeed in keeping the listener's interest. Or are doing something unique that can't be achieved in a faster song. Please take the time to elaborate if so inclined.


Danny Snyder

aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party

Please check out our latest album FUTOURISM, it's a deluxe box set with original artwork from 10 artists and a bonus download sticker.

As a fellow "fast and loud" band member, I know what you mean. It's funny, we've played shows where people have raved almost exclusively about our slower stuff, most of which tends feel "draggy" just because of the relaxed tempo.

A few examples of songs that really do it right in my book:

Last Date - written by Floyd Kramer, I always think of the Los Straitjackets version off their live CD

Night Surf - The Diamondheads, a great slower tune with some tasty arpeggios setting up a beautiful melody

Pictures of your Girlfriend - The Infrareds, a nice, straightforward slower tune with a solid melody from another notoriously fast band

Supernova - The Nebulas, a solid rhythm part anchors the whole song, and the vibrato on the lead guitar, along with the tone, makes this one of those songs that gives me the chills.

Other than that, a lot of the Blue Hawaiians stuff is a good example, particularly "Experiment in Terror" which is on the Savage Night album - but any version of "Experiment..." is great. Also, the whole "Guitar Noir" album from the Aqua Velvets has a lot of cool surfy/spy/lounge type stuff on it.

Hope that helps - it's a start at least.


"Rell Sun Aloha" - Slacktone
"Quiet Surf" - Richie Allen & The Pacific Surfers

2 of my faves

Frankie in Frankie & The Pool Boys
Lazarus Longfellow in The TomorrowMen
DJ Frankie Pool Boy on North Sea Surf Radio
Phayrentz in Pollo Del Mar

Last edited: Dec 08, 2006 21:03:01

As a listener I really appreciate tempo changes from one song to the next. It gives the faster songs more power and makes the slower songs more interesting.

The Pyronauts do an instrumental arrangement of Surfer Girl that I think works really well, partly because everyone knows the melody and that gives them something to latch on to. Maybe instrumental versions of other familiar ballads is an idea you can use?


Quiet Surf
I also really like The Cocktail Preachers version of Enchanted Sea that appears on their "Exotic Moods of" CD.

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

albatross by fleetwood mac?? boderline surf music but i reckon it has the vibe.

langhorns version of the Quiet Surf was the first i heard, i really like that song.

Club Gabardino by langhorns starts of nice and slow then builds up.

The Endless Summer Theme by The Sandals....?

Midnight Oil have a surf instrumental tune from an early EP(Bird Noises) called Wedding Cake Island,
it is a mellow surf tune and you could find it online, or pm me and i'll email you a copy of it...

all the best

The Deoras have a nice surf version of "Since I Don't Have You" on the American Grafitti Revisited CD. It's really pretty and I think it would hold a crowd's attention because just about everyone knows the song (my wife is not much of a surf music fan, but loves this version).

On the same CD, Big Ray and the Futuras have a nice version of "I Only Have Eyes For You."

Last edited: Dec 08, 2006 19:25:59

I think "Surfer's Lament" is slow too, if I'm thinking of the right one.

You can't go wrong with Latinia--one of my personal favorites!


"Turn the knob to 10 and break it off!" -Baja Marty

Thanks for all the great responses. I'll have to dig up the songs that I don't have. Keep 'em coming, but remember I'm not looking for suggestions of covers to play, rather songs that I can learn from so I can compose my own.

Danny Snyder

aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party

Please check out our latest album FUTOURISM, it's a deluxe box set with original artwork from 10 artists and a bonus download sticker.

Oh...No covers! Embarassed

Both the Bambi Molesters and the Mermen (really) have cranked out lots of the most mellow songs, so they would be any easy starting point.

Here are a few from the "chill surf" playlist on my computer, which I think are toward the slowest end of the spectrum:
Bambi Molesters - Pearl Divin', The Breeze and I, Glider, Corazon de Loco Jorge
Mermen - Merry-Go-Round, Raglan, Sway, Sand, Slo Mo HVO, Abalone Daze
Django Twango - Sunset
Slacktone - Nocturne
Madeira - Crescent Moon, The Oasis
Space Cossacks - Jewel of Duende
Bitch Boys - Snowman
Most of the rest are from KFJC comps which, if you have any, usually tend to have at least one good slow song.

Good luck, Danny. Can't wait to hear your take. Man, when slow surf is done well, it can be the best. Cool

Here's a few that haven't been mentioned yet:

Huntington Cads - "Forbidden Shores"
Davie Allan - "Beyond the Blue"
Crossfires - "Fiberglass Jungle"
Bob Vaught & The Renegades - "Surfin' Tragedy"
Metalunas - "Terror in Space"
Surf Coasters - "Adventures in Paradox"
Fender IV - "Little Ollie"
Insect Surfers - "Polaris" (closer to midtempo, but it's a great tune)

For stuff on the more evil side of things, check out Dick Dale's "Angry Generation," the New Dimensions' "Big Soul Beat" and the Centurians stuff on the Surf War comp.

Oh, and the Wailers' "High Wall" and the Frantics' "Werewolf." Maybe not really "surf," but still really cool. And evil.


That was excessively violent and completely unnecessary. I loved it.

Is that 'Django Twango - Sunset' the same as the Galaxy trio's? I really like that one, its pretty gritty and sounds great. I really think Django Twango's have developed a great sound but they don't seem to play many originals unfortunately, same with the Dynamic Subarashii.

Surf in Seattle?

As suggested by wooza, The Bambi Molesters slow ones/ballads always get me. And they do Latinia taboot Smile I miss them so.



"Baja" as done by the now-defunct Japanese band The Surf Coasters is a good example of a slowed-down trad surf tune with a very different and innovative arrangement.

"Sleepwalk" by Santo and Johnny is a great example of a slow instro, and certainly could inspire some new material.

I second "Theme from Endless Summer," by the Sandals - a great slow surf tune.

Tempo, of course, is something you can play with - trying fast songs slow and slow songs fast can lead you down new creative roads.



For me,
Anything done in 6/8 time is automatically a winner.

Also, listening to The 'Verb's EP, their tune "When it Rains" is a great slow song. It's got most everything I look for in a slow tune.


Also, listening to The 'Verb's EP, their tune "When it Rains" is a great slow song. It's got most everything I look for in a slow tune.


That's just the song I thought of. Also, Fall of the Phoenix by The Reluctant Aquanauts is a great slow tune.

My favorites are:

Jerry Cole - The Bronze Surfer
Jerry Cole - Deep Surf
Jack Nitzsche - The Lonely Surfer
The Atlantics - Return Of The Dolphins
The Eliminators - The Lonely Sea
The Sandals - Wingnut´s Theme (slow version)


The Lively Ones - Paradise Cove


If you're looking for inspiration _ rather than tunes to cover _, I'd suggest that you do some genre jumping and check out how other musical styles embrace slow songs.

Andrea Bocelli's _ Con Te Partirò _ (Time to Say Goodbye) is a slow song that simply aches with beauty. I'd love to draw the response from an audience that he does with that song.

B.B. King has a tune entitled _ How Blue Can You Get _. He uses passion, humor, and mounting tension in the context of a slow song. That tune has worked for him for years.

Go to a rehearsal of a local barber shop group. Tell them that Kojack thinks you should hear On the Banks of the Wabash Far Away sung in 4 part harmony. They'll love you! That song has a simple melody that just won't quit.

I could go on (and suggest John Denver songs) but you get the idea. Try looking beyond the usual suspects and expose your ears to something new. Then bring it back, make it for your own and claim it for surf.

Have fun! Good Luck!


Last edited: Dec 10, 2006 11:41:57

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