Difficulty: Level I
Length: 6:28
Wipe Out Wikipedia pageWikipedia page
Wipe Out music videoArtist website
Wipe Out music videoMusic video
With our guitar tutorial on Wipe Out, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • Alternate picking

Wipe Out is a really energetic song that’s pretty easy to grasp hold of. As you can see, this guitar lesson will give you a chance to practice alternate picking across adjacent strings, which is a skill you MUST master to advance as a guitarist.

You’ll be using alternate picking in every song you play, so don’t take it light-heartedly. Many guitarists pick up the bad habit of picking only downwards, which is just bad practice as it limits the speed of your picking, and will make the timing more difficult as well.

Once you can play this song, try playing it with a friend who can play the drums, or use the backing track provided. Wipe Out has a really energetic drum solo (which is actually a simple drum cadence), which sounds great even by itself, but even more amazing when combined with the electric guitar. My students agree that this is one of the easiest, yet most enjoyable beginner guitar lessons that they learn on our website.

Wipe Out song details

Wipe Out was originally recorded by The Surfaris in 1962, who became world-famous thanks to this single, as it is one of the most remembered instrumental songs of all time. The song was later covered by numerous artists, including the Beach Boys.

This guitar lesson is not the original version, but a lower-pitched cover. The original song is played in the key of C one octave higher than our guitar lesson. I chose this version since it has a bass guitar feel to it, which makes it slightly more interesting in my opinion.

If you don’t live by the beach, you might not know that the term "wipe out" refers to when a surfer falls off of his surfboard. The cracking sound at the beginning of the original song is meant to imitate the sound of a surfboard breaking.

Wipe Out awards and chart rankings

  • Hot 100: #2 (1963)
  • Hot 100: #16 (1966)

If you want to refine the skills you learned in Wipe Out, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:

Download tabs for Wipe Out

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Download backing track for Wipe Out

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