Watch the King of Surf online guitar lesson by Jason Loughlin from Essentials: Surf Guitar
This study is in E major, however there are a couple twists and turns though that blur the sound of E major. In our first break from the E chord, we have a descending progression of Am, G, F, and E. This is strange because it implies E minor with the first two chords, but then seems to be harmonizing the E Phrygian dominant with the last two.
The next set of chords absolutely comes from the E Phrygian dominant chord scale. We're just alternating between E major and F major. Our turnaround alternates between B and C. So, you're probably asking yourself, "What the heck is going on with this progression?" It's borrowing from three keys: E major, E minor and E Phrygian dominant. I think it's super hip. Technically, I'm using tremolo picking, palm muting, and rakes through chords.