50 Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners - Musician Authority (2023)

Table of Contents
50 Easy Songs On the Ukulele 1. Riptide by Vance Joy 2. Over the Rainbow by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole 3. I’m Yours by Jason Mraz 4. Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley 5. Hey, Soul Sister by Train 6. All of Me by John Legend 7. Hakuna Matata by Disney Music 8. Count On Me by Bruno Mars 9. Imagine by John Lennon 10. You and I by Ingrid Michaelson 11. Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi 12. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift 13. Lava by Disney Music 14. 7 Years by Lukas Graham 15. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen 16. Marry You by Bruno Mars 17. Scar Tissue by Red Hot Chili Peppers 18. Breezeblocks by Alt J 19. Sunday Morning by Maroon 5 20. Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye 21. Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine 22. House of Gold by Twenty One Pilots 23. Gone, Gone, Gone by Phillip Phillips 24. Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s 25. Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People 26. I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab for Cutie 27. Somewhere Only We Know by Keane 28. Closing Time by Semisonic 29. First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes 30. When I Come Around by Green Day 31. Grow Old With You by Adam Sandler 32. Creep by Radiohead 33. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley 34. Ho Hey by The Lumineers 35. Big Me by Foo Fighters 36. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong 37. Let It Be by The Beatles 38. Big Rock Candy Mountain by Harry McClintock 39. I Walk The Line by Johnny Cash 40. Hotel California by the Eagles 41. You Are My Sunshine by Johnny Cash 42. Amazing Grace 43. Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers 44. House of the Rising Sun by The Animals 45. Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard by Paul Simon 46. Down on the Corner by Creedence Clearwater Revival 47. Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton 48. La Vie En Rose by Cristin Milioti 49. Stand By Me by Ben E. King 50. Mad World by Gary Jules Conclusion FAQs Videos

Ever wanted to learn the ukulele but didn’t know where to start?

Don’t worry. Learning ukulele is easy, and you can get started today.

This list recommends 50 easy ukulele songs that are best for beginners who are just starting to learn the instrument.

Break into the world of the ukulele with these selections that are fun to play and easy to learn.

Note: please be sure to have your ukulele in tune. I regularly usethis tuner available on Amazon50 Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners - Musician Authority (1).

50 Easy Songs On the Ukulele

1. Riptide by Vance Joy

“Riptide” is Vance Joy’s hit single from 2013. This upbeat song is said to be a coming-of-age love story.

It has clever lyrics full of metaphors and pop culture references, making it well-liked among critics and fans.

It’s also one of the easiest songs to play on a ukulele. It only has four chords: Am, G, C, and F.

You’ll only need to play the first three chords in the same order throughout the intro, verse, and chorus. The F chord will then appear later in the song.

2. Over the Rainbow by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole

“Over the Rainbow” is a ballad originally written for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. It was sung by actress Judy Garland when she played Dorothy Gale.

Although the song was first released in 1939, Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole’s cover of the song in the 90s made it a lot more popular worldwide.

Unlike the original version with a soft and bittersweet melody, IZ’s stripped-down rendition is more upbeat with his signature ukulele.

You can recreate his sweet ukulele sounds by learning to play its simple chords. You will only need to play the chords C, F, G, Em, and Am.

3. I’m Yours by Jason Mraz

Ask any player about the most accessible song to play on the ukulele. They’ll likely suggest “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. It’s a ukulele beginner staple for a good reason.

The chord changes in this song are not too fast, and its pacing is easy for you to follow.

This song also has the most popular combination of four chords in the ukulele: C, G, Am, and F.

Just play those chords over and over, and you’ll be able to play a lot of other songs that use the same chord pattern.

4. Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley

One of Elvis Presley’s best songs of all time, this tender ballad is about not being able to resist love.

It was originally recorded for his movie, Blue Hawaii, but its longevity made it one of the most iconic romantic songs.

It’s also a popular wedding song played as the bride walks down the aisle.

It has since been covered by many other artists, such as Twenty One Pilots, who sang it with a ukulele.

There’s a total of seven chords, but they’re not too tricky to play.

5. Hey, Soul Sister by Train

“Hey, Soul Sister” is Train’s most commercially successful single.

It was from their 2009 comeback album Save Me, San Francisco. This ukulele song was also the best-selling single of 2009.

It has super catchy riffs and melodies that make it easily recognizable even years down the line.

The song only has four chords. To make the song easier to play, you can transpose it down four steps. You can then play it with C, G, Am, F.

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If you want to play it as close to the original sound, you can play it untransposed. Although it’s not easier to play, you can treat it as your introduction to newer chords.

6. All of Me by John Legend

This is one of John Legend’s most popular songs. It was a top-charting song in different countries and was awarded an 8x Platinum RIAA certification. He wrote this love song with Toby Gad after being inspired by his then-girlfriend Chrissy Teigen. They shot the music video just before their wedding in 2013.

The song is mainly piano-driven, but you can easily play it well on a ukulele. You’ll only use five chords: Em, C, G, D, and Am.

7. Hakuna Matata by Disney Music

From the animated feature The Lion King, “Hakuna Matata” is the theme song of Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba. The legendary Elton John composed the music, while Tim Rice came up with the lyrics. “Hakuna Matata” is a catchphrase used in the film, which means “no worries” in Swahili.

It’s an upbeat and catchy song that’s also simple to play on the ukulele. Just play it with the five chords F, C, G, Am, and D. You can play it with the strumming pattern: D-D-U-U-D-U.

8. Count On Me by Bruno Mars

This song is from Bruno Mars’ debut album Doo-Wops And Hooligans. It’s primarily influenced by reggae, featuring a laid-back groove and tropical vibes. The music style reflects the singer’s Hawaiian background.

An acoustic guitar mainly drives the song. This makes it fitting to be played on a ukulele, especially since it is an upbeat, beach-bound tune. Play this song with the six chords C, Em, Am, G, F, and Dm, which are all beginner-friendly.

9. Imagine by John Lennon

John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a beautiful ballad about hope. The lyrics evoke a vision of unity and peace in the world. It’s a gentle protest song against the Vietnam War at the time of its release. After Lennon released the song in 1971, it has since become a timeless anthem sung worldwide.

A beginner can easily play this song with only six chords: C, Em7, F, Am, D, and G. Don’t be intimidated by the number of chords to use since these are all simple to play.

10. You and I by Ingrid Michaelson

The song “You and I” is short, breezy, light-hearted, and supported by nothing more than a ukulele, at least until the last part.

The chords are pretty simple and ideal for beginners. These are C, Am, G, F, and G7. When Ingrid Michaelson performs the song live, she uses the less common variations of the F and Am chords. But feel free to play the song using the variations you know best if you find that tricky.

11. Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi

On the piano-oriented ballad “Someone You Loved”, Capaldi sings about a lost lover who has walked out on him. He tells her he misses the feeling of being loved by that person.

The chords used in this sad love song are C, G, Am, F, and Dm. This song makes for a great introduction to fingerpicking since the picking pattern is fairly simple. The easy chords also allow you to focus on your picking hand.

12. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

“Shake It Off” is a dance-pop tune that encourages listeners to put aside their small worries. It was written by Taylor Swift and produced by Max Martin and Shellback.

An upbeat song about overcoming negativity, its lyrics talk about how Swift is not worried about what people think of her image. This fun song is surprisingly easy to play on the ukulele. It only has four chords: G, Am, C, and D.

13. Lava by Disney Music

This beautiful ukulele song is from Pixar’s short movie of the same name released in 2014. The 7-minute short film tells the story of a lonely volcano named Uku.

Lava is a very simple song to play. The chords are easy, and the strumming is pretty relaxed. There are just three chords, and you should easily recognize them if you’ve played the ukulele before. The three simple chords are C, F, and G7.

14. 7 Years by Lukas Graham

The Danish band Lukas Graham made a hit song, “7 Years”, reflecting their lives and wonders about growing up. It was a viral single in 2015.

In this song, you’ll only be using four chords: Em, G, C, and D. These are all pretty easy to play. Its piano intro also converts well on the ukulele. Try playing the piano intro part while following a ukulele tab if you want to learn how to fingerpick.

15. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen

You’ve likely heard this viral pop hit from 2012. People uploaded countless videos of themselves lip-syncing to the catchy tune. It also inspired many image memes with funny twists in the lyrics.

The song is excellent for beginners to learn because the chords are in the same order throughout the whole song. The chords are G, Em, C, and D. Just try mixing up your strumming patterns to keep it interesting.

16. Marry You by Bruno Mars

This one is from American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars’s debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010). Here, Bruno is so in love with this girl that he doesn’t think about marrying her right then and there.

Because of its theme about spontaneous marriage, it has frequently been used as a proposal song. You can play an easy version of the song with the chords F, Bb, and Gm.

17. Scar Tissue by Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Scar Tissue” is the first single from Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication album released in 1999. The lyrics describe the struggles of addiction, specifically the journey to sobriety. The metaphor of scar tissue was a clever way to represent healing. It won a Grammy award for Best Rock Song in 2000.

This song features a mellow guitar intro and several slide guitar solos throughout. Although it sounds like pro guitar work, it’s actually easy to convert on the ukulele. It only has two chords, F and Dm. Learn this if you just want an easy song that’s fun to play in front of an audience.

18. Breezeblocks by Alt J

“Breezeblocks” by British indie electronic band Alt-J was the band’s first big hit. It was released from their debut album, An Awesome Wave. The song is about a desperate man’s attempt to win over his lover again.

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It is a good ukulele song for a beginner since it only uses three chords: F, Am, and Dm. You will only need to play it with some variation to nail the entire song. But if you just simply want to play it in a basic manner, that’s okay too.

19. Sunday Morning by Maroon 5

“Sunday Morning” from Maroon 5’s debut album Songs About Jane is an upbeat pop-rock jam. It’s about how you can’t get a person out of your mind. It’s a perfect song that describes how everything else is pointless unless you’re with someone who matters the most.

This is an excellent beginner song since you’ll only need three chords: F, G and C. It’s effortless to play. Add that with a couple of techniques like chunking; then, you’ll be left with a beautiful tune that’ll make you sound like a pro.

20. Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye

Gotye recorded “Somebody That I Used to Know,” featuring Kimbra, in 2011. The song was a global success, and it became the signature song of both singers. The emotional song is about a relationship that has come to an end. The lyrics talk about the pain of being left behind in the relationship while the other person is caught up in a new life.

You only need three chords to play the entire song: Dm, C, Bb. These are not precisely beginner chords, but you can quickly nail them with a few practices. For the strumming pattern, you can use D-D-U once for every chord.

21. Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine

“Dog Days Are Over” is an indie-pop song by the English rock band Florence and the Machine. It was the band’s first big hit in the U.S. and the U.K. after being released as a single for their debut album Lungs. You’ll hear the beautiful sounds of the harp as Florence sings about finding happiness and not believing when it finally comes.

It’s one of the perfect songs for ukulele beginners since the chords are pretty simple. You’ll only need to play the four chords G, Am, Em, and C.

22. House of Gold by Twenty One Pilots

If you want to play songs driven by ukulele, then you’ll want to try out “House of Gold” by Twenty One Pilots. This alternative folk song has a memorable melody against stomping drums, which Tyler Joseph dedicated to his mother.

This song is straightforward to play on the ukulele. It only has a little extra chord break, and the strumming is a little fast. Just listen to the song intently while you are playing it. You’ll quickly realize that it’s easy to go through.

It also might help that Tyler was once a beginner in the ukulele. When he explained his insights on the song in 2013, he told the Rock Sound magazine that he purchased a ukulele without even knowing how to play it. After he learned a few chords, the rest is history.

23. Gone, Gone, Gone by Phillip Phillips

The song “Gone, Gone, Gone” is recorded by Phillip Phillips. He rose to fame after winning the 11th season of American Idol in 2012. After releasing his coronation song “Home”, the best-selling song in American Idol history, he followed it with a catchier folk-rock anthem. “Gone, Gone, Gone” was released as a single for his debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon.

This folk song is fun to play on the ukulele. You’ll need to play five chords, but those are all relatively simple. Although it has stompy marching-band beats, chanty choruses, and winsome guitars, it’s a beginner-friendly song for those interested in learning the ukulele.

24. Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s

“Hey There Delilah” is a hit love song of Plain White T’s released in 2006 as a single for their album All That We Needed. It’s about a long-distance relationship where the singer sings directly to his lover Delilah about their future plans. Although a real-life Delilah inspired the song, the singer never had a relationship with her.

You can play the easy version with the five chords C, Em, Am, G, and F. Play it with a slow strumming pattern when you’re just starting. “Hey There Delilah” is also a great song to master if you want to learn fingerpicking. Although it won’t sound exactly like the original songs, it will still be pretty close.

25. Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People

Foster The People had a massive hit with “Pumped Up Kicks” from their 2011 album Torches. Despite the bouncy melody, Foster uses this song to mask the dark meaning of the song.

This indie-pop song uses only four chords, and you’ll find it easy to sing along with as you play. The chord progression never changes, making it easy for ukulele beginners to keep up with the beat. None of the chords is difficult, so even if you’re new to playing, you can quickly nail this song.

26. I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

“I Will Follow You into the Dark” was written by the band’s frontman, Ben Gibbard, and released from their fifth album Plans in 2005.

Even on a concept album whose central theme is death, this acoustic ballad is a tender and moving song about the transcendental power of love, even in the face of death. The simple chords needed to play in the song are Dm, F, Bb, Am, C, A, and Bbm.

27. Somewhere Only We Know by Keane

Keane’s song “Somewhere Only We Know” describes a secret place where the singer and his loved one feel happy and express their love for each other. It was written by Tim Rice-Oxley, the piano player for the band. He said that the song is about drawing strength from a relationship with someone.

The song is pretty simple to learn and a great place to start if you’re interested in fingerpicking. The chords used here are G, A7sus4, Am, D, Em, Bm, and C.

28. Closing Time by Semisonic

“Closing Time” is Semisonic’s most famous song written by Dan Wilson. The lyrics talk about the closing of a bar while everyone else is leaving. Many people took the song literally, being played at bars when it’s time to pack up. However, drummer Jacob Slichter said the anticipation of fatherhood inspired the song.

You can play this rock song easily with only five chords: G, D, Am, C, Bb. Start with simple strumming patterns, then move towards plucking the riffs or string muting.

29. First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes

When you first meet your lover, it can feel like you’re starting a new life. This sentiment is the exact premise of Bright Eyes’ “First Day of My Life”, released in 2005. The lyrics tell about the feeling of falling in love and beginning a new meaningful relationship. This iconic love song is also popular at weddings.

You can play an easy version of this song using a set of seven chords. It’s not too tricky to play since these are only simple chords that beginners can quickly learn. The chords for the song are C, E7, Am, F, G7, D7, and G.

30. When I Come Around by Green Day

Green Day recorded “When I Come Around” for their first major-label album. The song is lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s account of him missing his girlfriend, Adrienne Nesser. The song was his way of expressing his frustrations with being on the road and not being with her.

The chord progression for this song is G, D, Em, C, which are all really simple chords on the ukulele. You can get comfortable playing two down strums on each chord.

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31. Grow Old With You by Adam Sandler

This is the iconic song from the film The Wedding Singer, released in 1998. Robbie Hart (played by Adam Sandler) wrote “Grow Old With You” for Julia (played by Drew Barrymore). While on a plane to Las Vegas, Robbie sings the song through loudspeakers after discovering that Julia is also on the same flight. Sandler and Tim Herlihy wrote this song.

It’s a stripped-down track, so it’s also easy to play on the ukulele. It uses six simple chords: C, Dm, Em, G, C7add9, and F.

32. Creep by Radiohead

This iconic song tells the story of a socially awkward guy who follows a woman he’s attracted to. Ultimately, he lacks the nerve to speak to the person.

This massively popular Radiohead song is simple to play on a ukulele. The chord progression throughout this song remains the same, making it easy to remember. The progression is G, B, C, and Cm which you’ll just play repeatedly. You can try using the strumming pattern D-D-U-U-D-U.

33. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley

Bob Marley wrote the song “Three Little Birds” in 1976 and included it on his album Exodus. With a memorable chorus, this song about overcoming adversity is said to be inspired by a Jamaican proverb: “Every little thing’s gonna be all right”. Many people think that lyric is the song title because of its repeated use.

It only takes three simple chords to play this catchy song on a ukulele. Play it with the chords A, D, and E, which are easy to master as a beginner.

34. Ho Hey by The Lumineers

This song was the breakthrough hit for The Lumineers. It was created by Schultz and Fraites as a kiss-off to disinterested concert-goers. They wanted to incorporate shouts into the song to get the audience’s attention. That goal was a success because the melody is extremely catchy.

It’s a fun song to play on the ukulele because of the shouts, stomps, and chorus perfect for singing along. The best part is that it has simple chords: C, F, Am, G.

35. Big Me by Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl wrote this love song for his first wife, Jennifer Youngblood. It has only six chords, which convert pretty well from guitar to the ukulele.

The chords are C, Am, G, F, C7, and E minor. They’re pretty easy to play, but if you’re an absolute beginner, E minor may be a little challenging at first. The good old strumming pattern D-D-U-U-D-U sounds pretty good on this heartfelt song.

36. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

You can imagine that people must have clung to songs about hope during times of war, just like the classic “What A Wonderful World”. Bob Thiele and George David Weiss wrote this song in 1968 during the Vietnam War. The songwriters dedicated it to those who lost their loved ones and the Vietnamese children who had to start a new life in a foreign land.

This iconic song is also easy to play on the ukulele. It may not be as simple as other songs with only three to four chords, but it can help you practice some new chords that are still easy to play. You will need to use seven chords: C, Em, F, E7, Am, G7, A7.

37. Let It Be by The Beatles

“Let It Be” is one of The Beatles’ many iconic ballads. It was written by Paul McCartney when he was inspired by his mother, Mary, who died when he was young. Overall, it’s an upbeat song loved by many.

It uses some of the most common combinations of chords in music, making it a great song to play for beginners. It’s also an excellent song to choose if you want to play something many people will recognize.

You can play the songs with only four chords: C, G, Am, F. It has different chord progressions throughout the intro, verse, and chorus. Make sure to memorize them.

38. Big Rock Candy Mountain by Harry McClintock

“Big Rock Candy Mountain” is a famous American folk song telling of a hobo’s idea of paradise. Harry McClintock wrote the song in 1895, basing it on his youth hoboing through the United States.

Since its release in 1928, many other artists have performed and recorded it. It was later rewritten as a children’s song, but with the verses reordered and words changed to remove mild references to alcohol and the like. You can easily play this folk song with only three chords: C, F, G. It’s simple to play and fun to sing along with.

39. I Walk The Line by Johnny Cash

“I Walk the Line” is a classic American country song written by Johnny Cash. It was recorded in 1956 as a promise to remain faithful to his first wife, Vivian, while he was on the road. The rhythm in the song is based on the “freight train” rhythm that you’ll often hear on other Johnny Cash songs.

The song is straightforward, with only three chords needed to play it: C, F, and G. After learning these, you’re already on the path to mastering the most popular chord progression in modern music.

40. Hotel California by the Eagles

Released in 1977, “Hotel California” is considered the band’s most famous song. The lyrics are about the Eagle’s interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles. This classic won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Its long guitar coda was also voted as the best guitar solo of all time in 1998 by the readers of Guitarist magazine.

To play this easy ukulele song, you’ll only need to learn seven basic chords: Am, E7, G, D, F, C, and Dm. The chord pattern is different between the verses and chorus, so memorize its order when you play them. For beginners, just play it with a simple rhythm following the song’s beat.

41. You Are My Sunshine by Johnny Cash

The song has maintained popularity since Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell first wrote it in 1939. It has been covered countless times and is considered one of the most popular songs in American music.

Johnny Cash’s version of “You Are My Sunshine” is one of the most popular interpretations of the song. For a folk song that has been adapted into multiple children’s games and musical anthologies, his take on the song sounds deep and dark. You can easily play this song on the ukulele with only four simple chords: C, C7, F, G7.

42. Amazing Grace

“Amazing Grace” is a Christian hymn written by English poet and clergyman John Newton in 1779. It is a very popular hymn, particularly in the United States, that it’s already considered an icon in American culture. You’ll often hear this song in various secular settings and even marketing campaigns.

It takes only three chords to play the song: C, F, G7. If you want to challenge yourself more, it’s a great beginner song for when you’re learning how to fingerpick. This song works well at a slow pace, so there’s no need to rush in playing.

43. Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded “Otherside” for their album Californication. It was inspired by the death of former band member Hillel Slovak, who died in 1988 from a heroin overdose. This song is a metaphor for addicts’ struggles when they try to get back to everyday life.

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It’s easy to play on the ukulele. Just the five chords of Am, F, C, G, and Em can already make you play the entire song.

44. House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

It’s a traditional English ballad, but it first became famous as an African-American folk song. Texas Alexander first recorded it in the 1920s, then followed by several other artists. The most successful commercial version was the rendition of The Animals in 1964.

It’s a classic beginner’s song that you’ll frequently find on guitar tutorials. To play it on a ukulele, you’ll just need five chords: Am, C, D, F, and E. There’s a lot of repetition in this one. It doesn’t even have a chorus. It has an intro, a total of six verses, some interludes, and an outro.

45. Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard by Paul Simon

“Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard” is a song from Paul Simon’s 1972 self-titled album. It’s about two boys (“Me and Julio”) who get into trouble for some unknown illegal activity.

When “Mama Pajama” finds out what the boys have done, she reports their wrongdoing to the police station. The two are apprehended. But, when a local priest intervenes and intercedes on their behalf, the two are released. Play this song with only five simple chords: G, C, D, A, F.

46. Down on the Corner by Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Down on the Corner” is a track off of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fourth studio album. This song is about a fictional band called Willy and the Poor Boys, who play on street corners. They cheer people up in exchange for nickels.

This classic song has simple ukulele chords. The best thing is that the original recording uses those same easy chords. This hit from the 60s only contains the chords C, F, and G7. It’s a perfect song for beginners who are just starting to learn the ukulele.

47. Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton

“Tennessee Whiskey” is a famous country love song written by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove in the 80s. This became Chris Stapleton’s breakout solo hit when he performed his rendition of the song at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards with Justin Timberlake.

This bluesy ballad is about the intoxicating power of love. Playing it on the ukulele only needs three simple chords: A, Bm, and Asus4. Try playing it with the strumming pattern D-D-U-D.

48. La Vie En Rose by Cristin Milioti

“La Vie en Rose” is the signature song of famous French singer Édith Piaf in 1946. A ukulele version of this tune became popular because of Cristin Milioti’s rendition of the song on the TV show How I Met Your Mother.

Cristin’s version is very simple, and it’s the perfect song to play for beginners. The chords used in the song are G, Gmaj7, Em, Am, D, D7, Dsus4, and C. Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of chords you’ll need to play. These are simple and beginner-friendly chords. You can use the strumming pattern D-D-U-U-D.

49. Stand By Me by Ben E. King

This song is inspired by the spiritual hymn “Lord Stand By Me”. It was initially performed by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King in 1961. More than 400 other versions have been made since.

This simple, classic tune is a breeze to play on the ukulele. It’s fun to sing along while you strum, and there are only four chords in it. None of them is difficult at all. The chords are C, Am, F, and G7. The pattern is the same throughout the song.

50. Mad World by Gary Jules

“Mad World” is a song by the British band Tears for Fears, released in 1982. In 2001, Michael Andrews and Gary Jules covered the song for the soundtrack of the film Donnie Darko.

This song has just four chords that aren’t too tough to play: G, D, A, and Em. It is mainly repetitive, with only three parts to learn: the verse, the pre-chorus, and the chorus. Only the verse needs all four chords. The pre-chorus only uses three chords, while the chorus uses two.


You’ll learn easy ukulele songs faster if you practice as much as possible. And there’s no better place to start than with songs you already like. The musical genre doesn’t matter. Just start with songs you think you will enjoy learning.

If you’re still looking for ideas in the future, come back to this article of easy ukulele songs for beginners. This list is vast, and there’s something here for everyone.

Michaela Melo

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Michaela Jyra Melo is a freelance writer, music obsessive, and professional content creator with a passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge with the world. Michaela is a music lover first and foremost. She's passionate about new music and artists, but she also loves to dig into musical instruments and equipment. Michael studies communication at the University of the Philippines. When she's not writing or listening to new music, she can be found reading on her Kindle or traveling somewhere new with friends.


What is the easiest song to play on a ukulele? ›

8 Easy Ukulele Songs You Can Learn In One Day
  • With or Without You – U2.
  • Stand By Me – Ben E. King.
  • One Love – Bob Marley.
  • I'm Yours – Jason Mraz.
  • Soul Sister – Train.
  • Three Little Birds – Bob Marley.
  • Count on Me – Bruno Mars.
May 13, 2022

What are the 4 basic chords for ukulele? ›

To play the most songs, the most important basic ukulele chords to learn are C chord, D chord, G chord, and Em chord. These set you up to play a ton of songs, and each of them is easy to learn.

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Perhaps the most famous of the 10 most famous ukulele songs.

What is the easiest Billie Eilish song to play on ukulele? ›

To play “Ocean Eyes” on ukulele, you only need to know four basic chords that are easy for beginners to learn. Learn “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish on ukulele here.

What is a famous song that uses ukulele? ›

The Undeniable Usefulness of the Ukulele
  • Train – "Hey, Soul Sister" ...
  • Colbie Caillat – "I Do" ...
  • Jason Mraz – "I'm Yours" ...
  • Paul McCartney - "Ram On" ...
  • Taylor Swift – "Fearless" ...
  • Ingrid Michaelson – "You and I" ...
  • Panic at the Disco - "I Have Friends in Holy Spaces" ...
  • Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole - "Somewhere over the Rainbow"
Jun 13, 2018

What are the 5 most common ukulele playing mistakes? ›

  • Strumming From The Elbow. Almost every beginner strums from the elbow. ...
  • Not Checking Notes. ...
  • Flat Fingers. ...
  • Not Keeping Your Strumming Arm Moving. ...
  • Tensing Up. ...
  • Bonus Tip: Tap Your Foot.
Aug 31, 2021

Do they play ukulele in Hawaii? ›

The most familiar Hawaiian instrument is the 'ukulele, a small type of guitar. The instrument was probably introduced to Hawai'i in 1879 by Portuguese settlers from Madeira who brought with them a small guitar called the braguinha.

What are the 4 famous chords? ›

The famous four chords used in many pop song progressions are the I, V, vi and IV chords of a major key. The roman numerals represent the numbers of the major scale we begin a chord from (1, 5, 6, 4) so in C major this would be C, G, Amin, F or in G major it would be G, D, Emin, C.

Do you strum all 4 strings on A ukulele? ›

When strumming the ukulele, you typically play all four ukulele strings at the same time with your right hand, using a downward motion. This is called a ukulele strum. Make sure you keep your hand relaxed, don't tense up and strum from the wrist.

How can I learn ukulele fast? ›

7 Tips to Learn to Play Ukulele Faster
  1. Develop the habit of tuning your ukulele before playing. ...
  2. Maintain Form and Good Posture. ...
  3. Learn the Top 5 Most Popular Ukulele Chords. ...
  4. Take Breaks and Repeat. ...
  5. Use a metronome to play in time. ...
  6. Hum Song Lyrics While Playing Slowly. ...
  7. Sing While Playing Basic Strumming Patterns.

What famous singers play the ukulele? ›

Without further ado, here are the top 10 Artists You Didn't Know Play Ukulele.
  • Taylor Swift. ...
  • George Harrison. ...
  • John Lennon. ...
  • Steven Tyler. ...
  • Cyndi Lauper. ...
  • Pete Townshend. ...
  • Johnny Marr. ...
  • Eddie Vedder.
Feb 18, 2020

Does Elvis play ukulele? ›

Elvis Presley built a legendary career around his unforgettable voice, but it wasn't his only instrument. What instruments did Elvis play? He played guitar, bass and piano, and often toyed with instruments like the drums, accordion and ukulele.

Why is ukulele so easy? ›

The ukulele is easier to learn than the guitar and other stringed instruments like the mandolin. Its soft nylon strings are gentler on your fingertips and don't create finger pain like guitars do. The small size reduces wrist tension because the notes are reachable without stretching.

Is playing the ukulele a hobby? ›

Learning to play the ukulele is not only a hobby for the present, but also for the long-term. In only a few lessons, you learn just about everything you need to know about playing thousands of songs available on the web.

Is ukulele a happy instrument? ›

Whatever the limit the ukulele reigns as the “world's happiest instrument ” laughs Hanner. “Steve Martin used to say you couldn't sing a sad song on the banjo. Imagine singing 'pestilence suffering pain' on that instrument ” he says. To Hanner and many others the same is true for the ukulele.

How often should you change your ukulele strings? ›

Since most nylon strings have a lifespan of 1-2 years, the general rule is to change your strings when you start to see signs of wear, fraying, discoloration, or loss of tone. Changing your strings is also good if you are looking to experiment with the different ukulele tones or sounds.

Does playing ukulele hurt your wrist? ›

Sometimes we're having such fun playing, that we forget the time and play for too long and possibly in an awkward posture. Also, if we are generally stressed in other areas of life, this may create tension in the body, and this may result in sore fingers or a sore wrist or shoulder when we play ukulele.

Why not use a pick with a ukulele? ›

Playing with a hard pick makes your uke sound less like a uke and more like a guitar—a cheap, tiny one at that. If that's what you want, just play a guitar, OK? You Can't Pick & Roll. With a pick, you miss out on all of the uke's wonderful strumming possibilities.

What do you call a ukulele player? ›

A person that plays a ukulele is called a ukulelist.

What do Hawaiians call a ukulele? ›

The ukulele (/ˌjuːkəˈleɪli/ YOO-kə-LAY-lee; from Hawaiian: ʻukulele [ˈʔukuˈlɛlɛ], approximately OO-koo-LEH-leh), also called a uke, is a member of the lute family of instruments of Portuguese origin and popularized in Hawaii.

Is it OK to wear Hawaiian shirts in Hawaii? ›

The short answer is: absolutely. Many Hawaiians and locals wear aloha shirts (aka “Hawaiian” shirts) practically every day including at work, parties, dinner, or just a casual BBQ. They're everywhere. In fact, a nice button-up collared aloha shirt is considered formal wear in a lot of places on the islands.

Who is the fastest ukulele player? ›

Jake Shimabukuro (born November 3, 1976) is a Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso and composer known for his fast and complex finger work.

Is the ukulele worth learning? ›

YES! The ukulele is a great first instrument because it only has four strings, frets make it easy to play in tune, and it is easy to play lead lines or rhythm parts on any song. Don't make beginner mistakes! Read on to see what your first steps should be as a new player trying to learn the ukulele FAST!

Which ukulele sounds most like a guitar? ›

The baritone size is great for all skill and experience levels, but especially for those with large hands and fingers. The baritone ukulele has the deepest, fullest sound with the most low end, sounding similar to an acoustic guitar.

Does Billie Eilish use ukulele? ›

Eilish's ascent to pop stardom started with the ukulele, the first instrument she learned to play and write songs on, making this an ode to her humble beginnings in the music world.

What size ukulele does Billie Eilish use? ›

It's a 15-inch scale-length concert uke, built in sapele, with an open-pore satin finish.

What is the saddest sounding chord? ›

Minor is the place to start if you want to convey sad emotions and this chord progression can be used to create a depressing feeling with the music. It's hard to sound happy when you just use minor and diminished chords.

What is the hardest chord to learn? ›

The six-string F chord is one of the hardest standard chord shape to play on the guitar. When many people try to play the F chord on guitar (and often succeed), it's with far too much struggle and effort than is actually necessary. Even extremely influential guitarists can have a hard time with barre chords.

Should I play ukulele If I can't sing? ›

There's no need for you to be a good singer when playing the ukulele; you can simply pick up the instrument and start your musical journey. The best thing about the ukulele is that it's easy to learn!

What song has easiest chords? ›

1. “I Wanna Be There” by Blessed Union of Souls. This song has just three simple and major chords: G, C, and D. These are probably the easiest chords to learn first on the guitar, and once you have them, you can already learn how to strum a song.

Is ukulele beginner friendly? ›

It's Easy to Learn

Its soft nylon strings are gentler on your fingertips and don't create finger pain like guitars do. The small size reduces wrist tension because the notes are reachable without stretching. Plus, it only has four strings, which makes chord shapes and scales easier to learn.

Is ukulele good for brain? ›

Music Benefits the Brain

While learning the ukulele, your brain is actively trying something new, which forces it to focus, concentrate, create and problem solve. Plus, during practice, you are continuously dealing with memorizing patterns as well as repetition, which are some of the things that keep the brain nimble.

What 4 chords are in every song? ›

They use the same four chords: I, IV, V, and vi, which are probably the most common chords in all of pop music. Because of this, they all sound somewhat similar; the difference is in the order of the chords.

What are the 3 chords in every song? ›

The I (tonic), IV (subdominant) and V (dominant) chords (primary triads) together encompass all seven tones of the tonic's major scale. These three chords are a simple means of covering many melodies without the use of passing notes. There are tens of thousands of songs written with I, IV and V chords.

What should I learn first on ukulele? ›

The C chord is the first chord that you should learn on the ukulele. To do this, place your 3rd finger (ring finger) on the 3rd fret of the 1st string. Next, with your right hand, simply strum downward for now (more on strumming patterns later). You can use your thumb or the nail of your first finger.

What type of ukulele should a beginner start with? ›

The soprano ukulele is perfect for beginners as it is the 'normal' type of ukulele that most players start out with. The soprano ukulele has a bright yet soft tone and is the best beginner ukulele for those who want that classic uke sound.

What age is ukulele for? ›

Most music experts recommend introducing the guitar or ukulele to kids aged six and older. By that age, motor skills, dexterity, and finger strength crucial to playing these instruments will typically be developed in a child.

What are the 4 types of ukulele? ›

The most common types of ukuleles are soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. Some manufacturers make other sizes and shapes, such as the smaller piccolo or sopranissimo models, bass ukuleles, banjo ukes, or the novelty pineapple shape (usually in soprano size).

How much should a beginner spend on a ukulele? ›

In general, you should expect to spend between $50 and $150 on your first ukulele, and take the time to look for a trusted brand. Brands like Lanikai and Cordoba are known for their relatively inexpensive instruments for those who are entering their first round of ukulele basics. Ukuleles come in many shapes and sizes.


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