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With the Riptide Chords, You Can Play Thousands of Easy Songs on Guitar and Ukulele

Table of Contents

You'll need a capo.

For guitar and ukulele.

Tips and tricks for guitarists.

Beginner to advanced.

It's easier than you think.

Putting it all together.

Part 1

How to Play “Riptide” by Vance Joy

Vance Joy (45670341855)Riptide was released in 2013 by Australian singer-songwriter, James Keogh (aka Vance Joy).

It became a viral sensation due to its catchy melody and rhythmic strumming.

And because the Riptide chords are pretty easy, it's a perfect song for beginners on the guitar and ukulele.

What Key Is Riptide In?

How to Use a Capo

What Are the Chords for Riptide?

Ukulele Riptide Chords

Guitar Riptide Chords

F Barre Chord Tips (for Guitarists)

I've written a much longer article on how to play the F chord on guitar - specifically the barre version. It's a very in-depth resource. And it also introduces a clever practice technique that'll help make the learning process easier.

Below are 5 tips from that article.

1. Bony Part of the Finger

2. Move the Capo Higher Up

3. Use Thinner Guitar Strings

4. Lower the Action

5. Practice on an Electric

If the F barre chord is still too hard, don’t give up just yet.

Below are 2 more options.

Option 1: Alternate Fingerings for F Major

Option 2: Try Fmaj7 Instead

What Is the Riptide Strumming Pattern?

Vance Joy (39613897725)Riptide's strumming pattern is instantly recognizable. It’s got a rhythmic groove that keeps the song upbeat – even though the lyrics are a bit melancholy.

That strumming sequence is below. But if you’re a beginner, this pattern can be tricky. So I’ve included 2 easier versions as well.

The good news is that the Riptide strumming pattern basically repeats throughout the whole song.

There are a few parts that slow down. But if you can master the first bar, you're pretty much set.

Advanced Pattern

Watch video below - starting at 9:53.

Intermediate Pattern

Pattern starts at 1:13 in the next video.

Beginner Pattern

Strum pattern starts at 2:16 in the next video.

How to Play the Riptide Solo

ACL Music Festival 2015 Overview (Austin, Texas, 2015-10) (22116140030) (cropped)In the second half of the song (right before the bridge) is a short riff.

It’s 100% optional. But it's pretty easy. And if you wanna play the entire tune from start to finish, learning this solo is worth it.

Below are tabs and video tutorials - for both guitar and ukulele.

If you've never seen a tab before, read this.

On the Guitar

Guitar Riff Tab

Guitar Riff Video

On the Ukulele

Ukulele Riff Tab

Ukulele Riff Video

Riptide by Vance Joy: Music & Lyrics

On to Part 2.

Let's see what you can really do with the chords to Riptide.

Part 2

Taking It Beyond the Riptide Chords

Not bad.

You just turned 1 song into 47 – without learning any new chords.

And that's just scratching the surface.

There are literally thousands of tunes that use the Riptide chords – Am, G, C, and F.

And with the Chord Genome Project's free search engine, finding them is both fast and easy.

Just type in the chords you know. And seconds later – Voila!

You have a clickable list of songs from around the Web.

... All of which use your exact chords.

Try it yourself (below).

But definitely come back.

You'll learn how to turn those 1,000 songs into 4,500.

How to Search Songs by Chords

Click on the orange button below and do a search of the Riptide chords – Am, G, C, and F:

Welcome back.

Hopefully, you got some solid hits.

And because you know the chords already, those songs are all easy wins.

But we can make this list even larger.

Turning the Riptide Chords into Thousands of Easy Songs

You already know that you can play any 4-chord song that uses…

We started Part 2 by searching those exact chords. And we got 1,000+ hits.

But if you put a capo on the 1st fret, you can play Riptide – plus any other song that uses…

So if you do a search of those 4 chords, you’ll find even more music.

And if you put a capo on the 2nd fret, you can play all 47 songs in the Axis of Awesome video – plus any other tunes that use…

Stand back for a second. And think about what you've just done.

You learned the chords for 1 song.

But you unlocked 4,500+ new tunes in the process.

That's a PHENOMENAL return on investment.

Each songs has a different melody, tempo, and strumming pattern. And it'll take time to clean them up.

But they're all playable with the same 4 chords.

Try it out now.

What Songs Can I Play
with the Chords I Know?

To find out, use the Search tool below.

Search Songs by Chord

Add your chords to the search bar below.

Type chords here or import from My Library


You’ll Become Addicted to Playing Again


Learn how to overcome the biggest hurdle(s) holding you back.


Tired of playing the same songs?

Take the chords to that tune and run a search. You’ll see tons of music you could be playing instead.

For example, here's a Sample List of Classic Rock songs with G, C, D, Em.

Plug in your own chords, genres, and decades, and you'll NEVER be bored again.

It's impossible.

Better still, you'll pick up your instrument more often - and hold onto it a little longer every time.

And that's the secret to improving - i.e. time spent with your craft.


My progress is slow and painful.

When you're frustrated, it means you're trying to play music you're not ready for yet.

Here's a better approach:

  • Run a search of all the chords you're comfortable with. You'll see a massive list of songs that use those exact chords.
  • This list represents your comfort zone. But it's only a starting place. You'll eventually grow tired of those songs and be ready for slightly harder music.
  • When you're ready to "improve," try adding a Wildcard to the chords you already know. You'll see a huge collection of songs that are just outside your comfort zone. Every tune is literally one chord away.

If you can establish a baseline and add just one more chord (and then another) - you'll NEVER be frustrated again.


Playing just isn't fun any more.

In the beginning you wanted to play. Now you feel like you should play.

Music has become a chore. And it no longer brings you joy.

The secret lies in finding that Goldilocks Zone of music that rewards and challenges you.

When you have instant access to hundreds (if not thousands) of songs that all use chords you know, you won't be able to put your instrument down.

And when you add a Wildcard, you'll see thousands of songs that are well within your reach.

Follow this simple formula, and you'll become addicted to playing again - guaranteed.


I don't know enough chords yet.

You need at least 3 chords to run a search. And with those chords, you can do a LOT of damage.

For example, here are sample lists of 3-chord songs with G,C,D and A,D,E and C,F,G and DGA.

If you don't know any chords yet, start here. You'll see easy tunes with 1, 2, and 3 chords (for your instrument). And you'll be playing music in no time.

Once you know 3 (or more chords), come back here and run a search.


I don't know what to do next.

That's easy to fix.

Add whatever chords you know to the search tool above. You'll see a huge list of songs with those exact chords.

Start there and enjoy yourself.

Then, ask for the Next Best Chord and run a new search.

You'll see even more amazing songs - all of which are 1 chord outside your comfort zone.

Rinse and repeat.

To see what that looks like, here are INTERACTIVE examples for Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, and Banjo.


It really hurts when I play.

Callouses on the fingertips are normal. And your arm will get tired from strumming all day. But if you start to feel muscle or nerve pain - STOP.

Never play through pain.

In fact, using my site will only make things worse (the whole point of the Chord Genome Project is to get you addicted to your instrument).

It sounds like reverse psychology, but it isn't. I absolutely want your money and would love for you to stay onboard for a long time. But that won't happen if you're sitting on the sidelines (temporarily or permanently) nursing an injury.

Rest. Recover. Then come back.
  • Add a Wildcard Chord, and you’ll see songs slightly ABOVE your skill level.
  • This is the Goldilocks Zone - i.e. music that is both challenging and rewarding.
  • Stay in this Zone, and you’ll constantly improve (and have fun in the process).

"Finding songs that have only the chords I know is HUGE for a beginner."
- Jason S

"Its a great idea. In 25 years of playing in bands (I'm a drummer) I've never seen this concept before."
- Dan P

"Easy access to songs you can play at your level....whatever that level is."
- Nico

How to Find Easy Songs Quickly

  • Start typing any chord until you see it in the dropdown.
  • Clicking that chord will add it below the search bar.
  • You need at least 3 chords to run a song search.