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16 Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners
Posted on February 11, 2022
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When you start learning how to play the ukulele, it’s important to have some great songs for practicing. Having a collection of fun songs to play is a great way to stay motivated and develop fluency with chords. To help you get started, we’ve collected 16 great and easy ukulele songs for beginners.
These songs are great for more skilled players as well and learning more songs to play is always a good way to get better at playing an instrument, no matter how easy the songs may be. All of the songs are in the Yousician song library. With Yousician you can also learn to play different versions of the same songs that fits your skill level. If fingerpicking and melodies feel too much of a challenge, you can start by learning just the chords of a song.
How to pick an easy ukulele song?
Before diving deeper into the list of songs, let’s look at a few things that may be useful when looking for easy ukulele songs. One thing to make playing much easier for beginners is having a song with easy ukulele chords. In addition, there shouldn’t be too many chords used in the same song. In case you haven’t already, go and read our guide where we introduce some basic ukulele chords that you’ll be needing in many of the songs on this list as well.
Another thing that can make learning new songs more difficult is if they use a capo. Barre chords are another thing that most beginners struggle with. That’s why it’s better not to start with songs requiring the use of a capo or barre chords. In case the song you’re trying to play is at a faster tempo, you can always slow things down at first. After you’ve mastered the song at a slower tempo, gradually work your way up to full speed.
Beginner ukulele songs
Next we’ll introduce 16 songs we think are great for adding to your song repertoire. Although most are suitable for beginner ukulele players, there are a few more challenging songs thrown in as well. The songs focus on the most essential basic ukulele chords, but may have some surprises in them. These include both major and minor chords.
The list also includes a variety of songs written both for the ukulele and other instruments. You can find links to these easy ukulele songs and learn to play them either with chords – or with tabs, in case you want to play melody instead.
Riptide – Vance Joy
The first song in our list of easy ukulele songs is ‘Riptide’ by Vance Joy. This popular ukulele song uses four chords that are easy to remember: Am, G, C and F. ‘Riptide’ by the Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy was originally released in 2013 and has become hugely popular among uke players around the world. The popularity among ukulele players shouldn’t come as a surprise as the song is written for and performed with a ukulele, unlike many other songs that have been recorded with a guitar, piano or some other instrument.
Happy birthday – Traditional
If there’s one song you might need to perform at some point during your uke playing career it’s probably ‘Happy Birthday’. Luckily, everyone’s favorite birthday song is easy to play and even a beginner can pick up an ukulele to play ‘Happy Birthday’ at a party. What more is there to say about ‘Happy Birthday’? It’s a song most people are sure to know and sing along to, so make sure to add it to your repertoire of ukulele songs.
Hey there Delilah – Plain White T’s
Once you can play the basic ukulele chords with ease and want to step up your playing, try ‘Hey There Delilah’ by Plain White T’s. What makes this song a bit more challenging to play on ukulele are some of the chords. In addition to the familiar D, G and A chords, the song includes the F#M and Bm chords. In case you want a song with a barre chord (Bm), ‘Hey There Delilah’ is a good one to try.
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
‘I’m Yours’ by our friend Jason Mraz is another great song and can be played both with the basic ukulele chords C, G, Am, F and D, as well as with some more advanced chords, including barre chords. We recommend you try first with the simplified version before taking up the challenge and playing with more advanced chords. ‘I’m Yours’ was originally written for and performed with a ukulele, so it’s the perfect song for any uke player to learn.
‘I’m Yours’ is not the only Jason Mraz song to learn on ukulele. Make sure to also try songs like ‘93 Million Miles’, ‘Have It All’ and ‘I Won’t Give Up’ by Jason Mraz to learn on ukulele. These Jason Mraz songs for ukulele will introduce some more advanced ukulele chords and advanced strumming patterns once you have moved past the beginner stage.
Jingle bells – Traditional
Feeling festive? No matter the time of the year, it’s a good time to grab your ukulele and learn how to play this Christmas favorite. ‘Jingle Bells’ is not only a popular holiday song most people know, it’s also fun and easy to play. For a fun sing-along in the Christmas spirit you can learn the simple chords (G, C, D and A) and chord progression of ‘Jingle Bells’ or play the melody.
Sweet home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Okay, maybe Alabama isn’t known for it’s mellow ukulele tunes, but this Southern rock classic can be turned into a great ukulele rendition as well. All you need are some of the basic ukulele chords, a simple chord progression and you’re ready to strum along to an ukulele cover of ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.
Santeria – Sublime
A good challenge for ukulele chord transitions is ‘Santeria’ by Sublime. You’ll be also getting a good introduction to challenging ukulele chords like Bb major and the D minor. This ska rock song by Sublime was released in 1997 but still remains a popular song to learn on ukulele.
idontwannabeyouanymore – Billie Eilish
Playing this song by Billie Eilish might actually be easier than reading the song’s title. Okay, maybe not, but the song has a slow tempo and an easy chord progression. The only challenge for beginner uke players might be the Em chord. So make sure to get familiar with the chords before starting to play.
Banana pancakes – Jack Johnson
Although ‘Banana Pancakes’ by Jack Johnson requires you to be familiar with a bit more than just the basic chords, such as G7, this tune should be playable by beginners too. This laid back track is great for both guitar and ukulele, so make sure to add this one as well to your arsenal of easy ukulele songs.
Brown eyed girl – Van Morrison
Not originally written for the ukulele, Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ is still a great easy ukulele song. The song’s chorus with lyrics like “Sha-la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la tee-da” make this song easy to sing along to as well, even if you’re strumming ukulele chords at the same time.
Last christmas – Wham
Some of the ukulele chords of ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham may be a bit more exotic than the more basic minor and major chords used in many of the other ukulele songs on this list. However, once you get the hang of less basic chords such as Bm, A7sus4 and A7, this well-known pop song is one that’s definitely going to get any Christmas party started.
Fur elise – Ludwig van Beethoven
‘Fur Elise’ by Ludwig van Beethoven was definitely not an ukulele original, but is a great tune to put your ukulele playing skills to the test. Try learning the melody for ‘Fur Elise’ but make sure to start off slow before picking up the pace. One way to do this is with a metronome.
Scar Tissue – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers is among the favorite bands of many ukulele players. Sadly the ukulele isn’t included in the band’s usual lineup. However, there are still a lot of songs that even beginner ukulele players can learn by the band. Once you’re familiar with some minor chords, go ahead and give ‘Scar Tissue’ a try. The song uses the D minor and E minor chord, for instance, in addition to many of the basic ukulele chords you’re probably familiar with already.
Redemption song – Bob Marley
Although the ukulele isn’t a typical instrument to be used in reggae, ‘Redemption Song’ by one of reggae’s pioneer’s Bob Marley is still a song that fits the instrument well. The calm tempo and mostly simple chords make ‘Redemption Song’ great for beginners to learn as well.
Ain’t no sunshine – Bill Withers
‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ by Bill Withers is a good song for some fingerpicking practice and learning minor chords. Don’t let the moody and sad lyrics fool you, this song is a lot of fun to play, whether you’re using chords or playing melody.
Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye (feat. Kimbra)
Some chords, such as the barre chord Bb, may make this early 2010s’ hit song a bit more challenging for beginners. However, the song uses only three chords, so once you got them memorized, give this track a try. The other two ukulele chords used in ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ are C and Dm.
More easy ukulele songs for beginners
These ukulele songs should be enough to last you for a while as you expand your repertoire of songs to play. However, if you want more, some other fun ukulele songs for beginners and advanced players alike include ‘Aloha Oe’, ‘House of the Rising Sun’, ‘Photograph’, ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’, ‘Free Bird’, ‘Dog Days Are Over’ and ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’, just to name a few.
Learn beginner ukulele songs with Yousician
Do you want more easy ukulele songs for beginners? Or perhaps you’re no longer a beginner and want to learn new techniques and level up your ukulele playing skills. Then check out Yousician and our interactive ukulele lessons. In addition to these great ukulele songs you can find loads of more tunes to play and learn. Just take a look at the list of ukulele songs that you can play with Yousician here.
Whether you want to use chords and sing along to your favorite tunes or practice your fingerpicking skills, there are plenty to choose from in Yousician’s song library. You can also find many songs for advanced ukulele players as well. So start playing and have fun!
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