Vance Joy: “When you write a great song you’re just like, ‘How did I do that?’ You get chills or the hair stands up your neck. That’s what keeps everyone going”

Vance Joy
(Image credit: Abigail Shii)

It’s rare for a new song to crack the list of essential beginner guitar tunes, but Vance Joy’s 2014 breakthrough single Riptide did just that. 

Hitting just as school ukulele orchestras were becoming popular, the uke-powered folk-pop number proved an ideal starting point for strummers of all ages. It made Joy not just one of the world’s most visible young guitarists, but also one of the major inspirations for new beginners. Vance is still pleased at the impact it’s had.

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Jenna Scaramanga

Jenna writes for Total Guitar and Guitar World, and is the former classic rock columnist for Guitar Techniques. She studied with Guthrie Govan at BIMM, and has taught guitar for 15 years. She's toured in 10 countries and played on a Top 10 album (in Sweden).