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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Musician »

Permalink Settle a bet (and/or ease my mind)..."Surf Rider" and "Banzai Pipeline" questions

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Not asking for/needing tabs (I know how to play them). This is more of a musical/ear and general curiosity question, and I figure someone - or several someones? - from a site like this would have the solid scoop! I'm kinda doubting/questioning my ears on these two little things...

1) "Surf Rider" by The Lively Ones:
After the intro motif (A, G, F, E), when it does that little walk-down coming off the E chord before heading into the Am-based main riff, am I hearing that walk-down correctly as E, D, C#, B > Am (as opposed to E, D, C, B > Am). Does anyone play a C# in that walk-down, or am I just hearing things? It seems most folks on YouTube play the C natural, but it sounds off to me. Just curious what all the serious, longtime (and better than I'll ever be) guitarists here play.

2) "Banzai Pipeline" by The Astronauts
That opening "punch" chord that the rhythm guitar hits throughout the main verses (I play this song in Bb)...do you guys play that as a first-fret Bb "power chord" with a low F in the bass?
Sixth string: first fret (F)
Fifth string: first fret (Bb)
Fourth string: third fret (F)
That's what it sounds like to me, and that's how I/we play it. Is that "right"? I think this is one of the coolest songs ever...it just rumbles and rolls.

It's funny that I can figure out stuff like "Mar Gaya" (18,000 key changes, down-tuned E string, etc.) and "Dark Eyes" (the brisk Spanish-y sounds runs and flourishes, tremolo picking, etc.) with no problem whatsoever, but little things like the above (the placement/usage of 1-2 notes, or how things are "stacked") can puzzle me and make me think my ears are falling off.

Last edited: Feb 14, 2015 20:22:10

pscates wrote:

1) "Surf Rider" by The Lively Ones:
After the intro motif .. Does anyone play a C# in that walk-down, or am I just hearing things?

You are correct. Both Surf Rider and the original Spudnik play C# in measure 8.

2) "Banzai Pipeline" by The Astronauts
That opening "punch" chord that the rhythm guitar hits throughout the main verses (I play this song in Bb)...do you guys play that as a first-fret Bb "power chord" with a low F in the bass?

Our band does not play that tune, but it sounds like the 5th on the bottom to me too.

Last edited: Feb 14, 2015 22:11:44

I believe the reference to Banzai Pipeline is actually for Kuk.
These 2 songs were reversed in their labeling - a well-documented gaffe.
Kuk is the cool instrumental.
Banzai Pipeline has the vocals where they actually sing the title in the lyrics.

Yeah, I think this sounds close, too...and probably would be the best arrangement for a two guitar band.
(palm-muted)
e
B
G
D 3
A 1
E 1

Lorne (Shake_n_Stomp)
Mai Tai Surf: https://www.facebook.com/maitaisurf/

formerly of The Hang-Ten Hangmen: https://www.facebook.com/HangTenHangmen/

Last edited: Feb 15, 2015 08:25:12

If you listen to the Henry Mancini version of "Banzai Pipeline" (he wrote it, correct?), it's the same song/melody as The Astronauts instrumental above.

Check it out...

You 100% sure on this, or are you just monkeying with a newbie? Very Happy

pscates wrote:

If you listen to the Henry Mancini version of "Banzai Pipeline" (he wrote it, correct?), it's the same song/melody as The Astronauts instrumental above.

Check it out...

You 100% sure on this, or are you just monkeying with a newbie? Very Happy

I stand corrected. Thank you for straightening me out on that. I was perpetuating what others on the interwebz - not familiar with Mancini's composition - assumed. It seemed like a logical assumption and I bought into it.
So, the Astronauts must have made a mistake along the way or that they felt like including the lyric "Banzai Pipeline" when they wrote "Kuk" and did not actually include the word "Kuk" in their lyrics...and it's doing my head in...and then they played Mancini's "Banzai Pipeline" as Mancini wrote it. Weird. Need another coffee...

Lorne (Shake_n_Stomp)
Mai Tai Surf: https://www.facebook.com/maitaisurf/

formerly of The Hang-Ten Hangmen: https://www.facebook.com/HangTenHangmen/

Last edited: Feb 15, 2015 10:22:02

No worries. I'm just glad I seem to be playing the chord right. I like that Mancini version as well. It's a completely different feel and vibe, but it's still very cool. It's the original, so it kinda has to be!

Anyone have guitar tabs for Banzai Pipeline?

See THIS thread

Insect Surfers
The Tikiyaki Orchestra
Surfer Joe
Fiberglass Jungle - Surf Radio

I was looking for some tabs like this:
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/the-ventures/bumble-bee-twist-power-2718669

https://od.lk/s/OV8xNzYzMDQyMTBf/Bumble%20Bee%20Twist-tabs.doc

You can see it being played by the Surfrajettes here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytuoo-WYo58

Last edited: Aug 16, 2020 18:56:19

In "Surf Rider" that is a C# in the walkdown, which is the major third of the A chord. It's always stuck in my ear as "wrong" b/c the song's A section is in A minor, not major. Yes, I know the B section's in A major, but the A section is what what the walkdown is intro-ing toward. When I play the song I just can't bring myself to play it, I play a C natural. Just MHO...

Last edited: Aug 19, 2020 18:11:06

Thanks for all the replies/input. I used to do the C natural thing, but for several years now I do the C#. It's come to sound "right" to me. I knew I was hearing that. 99% of people I see playing it on YouTube do the C natural thing.

Both work, but the C# gives it a little twist (which is what caught my ear, and triggered this thread to begin with, years ago).

Last edited: Sep 19, 2020 19:32:09

Toynbee wrote:

Anyone have guitar tabs for Banzai Pipeline?

That main opening lick is easy enough.

The extended solo that kicks off a little ways into the song...it you noodle around that 6th-fret box/blues/Chuck Berry position with a few passing notes slurred in at times, it's all doable from mostly that one position. I never play it the same way twice, but what I do play is super close to the Astronauts recording...I try to hit all the highlights and good parts. It just keeps rolling along and I've never broken down a note-for-note take on it (I'm sure I will some day), but just doing that 6th-fret stuff gets you 85-90% there.

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