Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks (Chords/Tab)

Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks

I think it’s about time I did a song people actually want to play. I’ve had a few requests for a uke version of the riff so I thought I’d knock up the chords as well.

Uke Friendly Chords

Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks (Capo)

The original version is in the uke-unfriendly key of Fm. So it’s easier to do with a capo on the first fret as Sophie Madeleine does in her version. So you can use these chords with a capo. Or just as they are if you don’t mind being in a different key.

Suggested Strumming

For the strumming, you can follow the rhythm of the riff like this:

d – x u – u d –

Here’s how that sounds (played fast then slow):

Strum 1

Or, if you’re not into chnks, you can just replace it with a down strum:

d – d u – u d –

Strum 2

Twiddly Bits

This song is a good illustration of a quick and simple way of transferring (a few) guitar tabs to ukulele. If you look at the guitar version of the riff you’ll see the riff uses mostly the two lowest strings on the guitar: E and A.

So anything played on the E and A strings on the guitar you can play exactly the same on the E and A strings on the uke. The only problem is the D-string 1st fret which we can play on the A string at the 6th fret. That gives you this:

Relative to the capo it looks like this:

But if you prefer to play without the capo, it’s easier to play like this:

Which sounds like this:


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View Comments


  1. Litt November 24th, 2011 9:56 pm

    Awesome!!! Now I have something to do tomorrow while the wife is shopping on black Friday.

  2. Tina November 25th, 2011 4:36 pm

    this is utterly brilliant. and my parents are rather grateful that I’m back to constantly humming the same line over and over. thanks :)

  3. Marissa November 26th, 2011 12:32 am

    Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for the chords on the uke for Pumped Up Kicks literally EVERYWHERE. Easy notes too. :)

  4. Redmond November 26th, 2011 3:27 am

    Nnnnnoooooooooooo…… Now this song will never, ever stop being stuck in my head. How is it so catchy? Ugh. Damn you Woodshed… I’m obligated to learn the hell out of this

  5. Woodshed November 26th, 2011 11:44 am

    Litt: Ukeing > shopping every time.

    Tina and Marissa: You’re both very welcome!

    Redmond: I know! This one has ear-wormed me.

  6. DQ November 28th, 2011 4:14 am

    This is absolutely perfect, thank you so much!

  7. Woodshed November 28th, 2011 5:52 pm

    DQ: You’re welcome!

  8. Vincent November 30th, 2011 4:05 am

    I like how you said, “knock up the chords.”

  9. BasementRuthie November 30th, 2011 11:51 am

    Thanks! I’ve been looking for these chords. I learnt a capo’ed version on YouTube practically the same as what you have here, but it didn’t come with a printout, so this should keep me under control. Haha.

  10. shazzt January 22nd, 2012 3:31 am

    Thank you for this. I am a newbie and my kids think I am cool (well less uncool) now that I can play a song they have heard of.

  11. Woodshed January 23rd, 2012 9:49 am

    shazzt: Glad I could keep you in the loop!

  12. Leonidus February 25th, 2012 5:30 pm

    thanks woodshed, although my girlfriend got a bit annoyed because she’s been learning it on guitar for weeks and i just got out the uke and played it like that :D

  13. Skye February 26th, 2012 5:48 am

    This is awesome!
    Could you do more FTP songs? :)

  14. Woodshed February 26th, 2012 3:22 pm

    Leonidus: Always glad to help put guitarists to shame!

    Skye: Foster the People have done other songs?

  15. Skye March 9th, 2012 5:19 am

    Their album is called Torches. It’s fantastic.

  16. Romz April 4th, 2012 1:26 am

    I love how she totally missed the sarcasm.
    Anyway I somewhat of a rookie and this really helps!

  17. Woodshed April 6th, 2012 8:31 am

    Romz: Well I was being a bit mean about FtP!

  18. emeline November 2nd, 2012 2:51 pm

    ce site est tout juste extraordinaire

  19. Woodshed November 2nd, 2012 2:59 pm

    emeline: Merci!

  20. Reo August 7th, 2013 3:56 am

    good song

  21. Rachel August 24th, 2013 7:26 pm

    The fingerings for Fm and Eb in the version without the capo are much more complicated than they need to be and make the changes harder. It lowers the tone of the song a bit, but if you play the Fm as:


    and the Eb as:


    it makes the changes to Bb much easier (in my opinion).

  22. Woodshed August 25th, 2013 9:44 am

    Rachel: That makes the change to Ab way harder though.

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