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Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners

Posted on February 11, 2022

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 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 can be found in the Yousician song library. With Yousician, you can also learn to play different versions of the same songs that fit your skill level. If fingerpicking and melodies feel too much of a challenge, you can start by learning just the chords of a song.

Which ukulele chords should I learn first?

Most easy ukulele songs use only a few basic chords and simple strumming patterns. The more minor and major ukulele chords you know, the easier it will be to learn new songs. Consider learning at least the following chords first, and then start expanding your repertoire of other more advanced ukulele chords as you progress.

  • C major chord
  • G major chord
  • F major chord
  • D major chord
  • A minor chord
  • E minor chord

How to pick an easy ukulele song

Before diving deeper into the list of songs, let’s look at a few things that can help you find easy ukulele songs to learn.

As a beginner learning new songs, try looking for ones that use only easy ukulele chords. These are primarily so-called open chords that require only one, two, or three fingers to play on the ukulele fretboard.

One 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 that require the use of a capo or barre chords. In case the song you’re trying to play is 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.

The number of chords used in the song matters as well, even if the song uses only chords that are quite simple. Remember that all of them can be a challenge if there are too many of them; 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 need in many of the songs on this list as well.

16 easy ukulele songs for beginners

Next, we’ll introduce 16 songs we think are great to add 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 for both 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

Vance Joy
The first song on 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 a 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

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 the 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. If you want a song with a barre chord (Bm), “Hey There Delilah” is a good one to try.

I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

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 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 the ukulele. Make sure to also try songs like “93 Million Miles,” “Have It All,” and “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. 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, but 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

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Okay, maybe Alabama isn’t known for its 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 and a simple chord progression, and you’re ready to strum along to a ukulele cover of “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Santeria – Sublime

Sublime
A good challenge for ukulele chord transitions is “Santeria” by Sublime. You’ll also get a good introduction to challenging ukulele chords like Bb major and D minor. This ska rock song by Sublime was released in 1997 but still remains a popular song to learn on the ukulele.

idontwannabeyouanymore – Billie Eilish

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. Make sure to get familiar with the chords before starting to play.

Check out some other Billie Eilish songs for the ukulele as well. These include Billie Eilish hits such as “ocean eyes” and “watch.”

Banana pancakes – Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

Although you need to be familiar with a bit more than just the basic chords to play “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson, 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 to your arsenal of easy ukulele songs.

Brown eyed girl – Van Morrison

Van Morrison
Not originally written for the ukulele, Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” is still a great easy ukulele song. The 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

Wham
Some of the ukulele chords of “Last Christmas” by Wham may be a bit more exotic than the 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 definitely going to get any Christmas party started.

Fur elise – Ludwig van Beethoven

“Für Elise” by Ludwig van Beethoven was definitely not a ukulele-original, but it is a great tune if you want to put your ukulele-playing skills to the test. Try learning the melody for “Für 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

Red Hot Chili Peppers is among the favorite bands of many ukulele players. Sadly, the ukulele isn’t a part of the band’s usual lineup. However, there are still plenty of songs that even beginner ukulele players can learn by the Chili Peppers. Once you’re familiar with some minor chords, give “Scar Tissue” a try. The song uses the D minor and E minor chords, in addition to many of the basic ukulele chords you’re probably familiar with already.

Some other great Red Hot Chili Peppers ukulele songs for beginners and more advanced ukulele players include “Californication,” “Under the Bridge,” and “By the Way.”

Redemption song – Bob Marley

Bob Marley

Reggae is a great musical genre to practice ukulele chords and strumming patterns for both beginners and pros. “Redemption Song” by one of reggae’s pioneers Bob Marley is an essential track to learn. The calm tempo and mostly simple chords and strumming pattern make “Redemption Song” fun and simple to play.

Ain’t no sunshine – Bill Withers

Bill Withers

“Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers is a good song for 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 the melody.

Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye (feat. Kimbra)

Gotye

Some chords, such as the barre chord Bb, may make this hit song from the early 2010s 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 last you for a while as you expand your repertoire of songs to play. However, if you want more, there are plenty of other fun ukulele songs to learn as well. Also remember that in addition to learning your favorite popular ukulele songs, you can try learning a ukulele version of a tune that was not originally written for the ukulele in the first place.

More pop songs with easy chord progressions

  • “Let Her Go” by Passenger
  • “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars
  • “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train
  • “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith
  • “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
  • “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
  • “Photograph” by Nickelback

Popular reggae songs to learn

When it comes to ukulele songs, reggae is one musical genre that has a lot to offer. Especially songs by, but not limited to, Bob Marley are worthy of every ukulele player’s time and effort to learn.

  • “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley
  • “Is This Love” by Bob Marley
  • “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley
  • “Aloha Oe” (Traditional)
  • “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin

Learn beginner ukulele songs with Yousician

Do you want even 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.

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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