Riptide Ukulele Chords – Learn to Play in a Day!

This classic uke number by Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy has been wildly popular since it was released back in 2013.

It’s one of those easy uke songs that you only need three chords for, so it’s brilliant for beginners (there is a fourth chord, but that’s hardly used). It’s a lot of fun to sing to as well.

In this post, we’ll walk you through how to play it with aplomb!

Chords for Playing Riptide

These are the chord shapes you need, using standard tuning (G C E A). The intro, verses, and chorus all cycle through the Am, G, and C basic chords in the same order throughout (except for the F, which pops up half way through the song).

A Minor Ukulele Chord
G Major Chord
C Major Chord
F Major Chord

Strumming Pattern

The ukulele strumming pattern is pretty for the beginner too, simply D D UDU (down, down, up, down, up). The trick to this pattern is to keep your hand moving down and up, even when you aren’t playing any notes (a term that’s known as ‘ghosting’).

The original song clips along at around 155bpm, but don’t try matching that from the get-go. Start slowly and build up to those crazy speeds!Riptide strumming pattern

 

Finally, if the song doesn’t quite sound like the original, that’s because Vance Joy plays it in the key of A#m. You’ll need to add a capo at the first fret if you want to play along (or transpose the song one half step down).

Riptide Lyrics and Chords for Ukulele

Ok, enough talking. It’s time to grab your uke and give it a try. 

Intro: Am G C (x2)

Verse 1
[Am] I was scared of [G] dentists and the [C] dark

[Am] I was scared of [G] pretty girls and [C] starting conversations

[Am] Oh all my [G] friends are turning [C] green

[Am] You’re the magicians [G] assistant in their [C] dreams
 
 
Pre-Chorus
[Am] Ooh, [G] ooh, [C] ooh

[Am] Ooh, [G] and they [C] come unstuck
 
 
Chorus
[Am] Lady, [G] running down to the [C] riptide

Taken away to the [Am] dark side

[G] I wanna be your [C] left hand man

[Am] I love you [G] when you’re singing that [C] song and

I got a lump in my [Am] throat ’cause

[G] You’re gonna sing the [C] words wrong
 
 
Verse 2
[Am] There’s this movie [G] that I think you’ll [C] like

[Am] This guy decides to [C] quit his job and [C] heads to New York City

[Am] This cowboy’s [G] running from [C] himself

[Am] And she’s been living [C] on the highest [C] shelf
 
 
Pre-Chorus
[Am] Ooh, [G] ooh, [C] ooh

[Am] Ooh, [G] and they [C] come unstuck
 
 
Chorus
[Am] Lady, [G] running down to the [C] riptide

Taken away to the [Am] dark side

[G] I wanna be your [C] left hand man

[Am] I love you [G] when you’re singing that [C] song and

I got a lump in my [Am] throat ’cause

[G] You’re gonna sing the [C] words wrong
 
 
Middle Eight
[Am] I just wanna, I just wanna [G] know

[C] If you’re gonna, if you’re gonna [F] stay

[Am] I just gotta, I just gotta [G] know

[C] I can’t have it, I can’t have it [F] any other way

[Am] I swear she’s [G] destined for the [C] screen

[Am] Closest thing to [G] Michelle Pfeiffer [C] that you’ve ever seen, oh
 
 
Chorus X3
 
 
Outro
[C] I got a lump in my [AM] throat ’cause

[G] You’re gonna sing the [C] words wrong

Finally, here’s the original song for a bit of inspiration:

shares