49 Easy Ukulele Songs For Beginners

Congratulations! You’ve purchased your first ukulele. Now, where do you begin? 

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Whether you’re planning to teach yourself to play the ukulele or attend lessons, learning how to play songs using a basic chord sequence will greatly help you along your way.

49 Easy Ukulele Songs For Beginners

Chords are an essential part of playing an instrument, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals as quickly as you can. 

But playing chords and simple songs can become very monotonous after a while, and may make you feel bored and unmotivated.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 49 easy ukulele songs for beginners to play. It includes a few rock staples, but you’ll recognize many of the popular songs here as well.

Read our handy guide to discover the perfect beginner song for you! 

Everything You Need to Know: A Brief Beginner’s Guide

What genre do you start with? What chords do you need to know? If you’re seeking an answer to either of these questions, we’re here to help you out. It can be quite difficult to find an easy song to start you off on your ukulele journey. But if you consider a few primary factors, the perfect beginner song will fall into your lap. 

Chord Sequences

Arguably the most important factor in determining what makes a great beginner ukulele song is the number of chords that you have to play.

You may not believe us when we tell you, but many songs consist of the same chords but just in different sequences and progressions. 

As a beginner, you don’t necessarily have to stick with simple 2 chord ukulele songs. It can be just as convenient to find a song that requires you to play up to 6 chords!

As a result, we have included a range of beginner-friendly songs for you to choose from. Whether you want to play using 2 chords or try a 5 or 6 chord song, there’ll be something for you in this list. 

Types Of Chords 

You should also look at the most common types of chords that are played on the ukulele.

Ideally, you should search for chords that require you to use fewer fingers and are closely shaped with each other. Some of the most frequently used chords in beginner-friendly songs include:

  • Am
  • Dm 
  • Em 

The majority of songs included in our list will primarily utilize these chords, but there may be a few unfamiliar ones once in a while. These won’t be too difficult to learn if you look them up.

You can also use a Capo to alter the key of the chords. This is a small accessory that can be attached around the neck of your ukulele.

Not only does this keep all the strings aligned on the same fret, but it also allows you to essentially change the functional tuning of your instrument. 

Strumming 

Play with a pick 

The first thing you need to do is learn how to correctly hold a pick. You should ensure that you aren’t holding the pick too tightly. Simply hold it between your thumb and your first finger, and relax your hand.

Proper technique is to hold the pick with a firmness that someone could gently tug the pick from your fingers, but not so loosely that you will be able to lose grip on the pick when you are playing.

As a beginner, it’s a good idea to purchase the thinnest pick you can find. This will create a great sound while also helping you get used to playing your ukulele.

Fingerpicking

Or, you could opt to use your fingers to create sound. If you choose this, it’s a good decision to keep the fingernails on your fretting hand trimmed down.

You might also want to use the pads of your fingers to play. We’d recommend trying out all methods to see what suits you best!

When you fingerpick, keep your hands loose, and try to stay as relaxed as possible. If you try to fingerpick feeling stressed, you may not be thinking clearly.

This could result in extreme discomfort or pain due to poor hand positioning. 

49 Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners

49 Easy Ukulele Songs For Beginnerss

The following songs are our picks for the easiest and most convenient songs to play like a ukulele novice. To make the process easier, you can break the learning process down into learning the chords first, and then working on your strumming pattern and finger position when you have gained a bit more confidence. 

We have included songs from a variety of genres with varied amounts of chords that you’ll need to play, so hopefully, you’ll find something you like. Starting with familiar songs can help to speed up the process of your learning. Also, feel free to watch tutorials to give you an extra helping hand!

1.Achy Breaky Heart — Billy Ray Cyrus

Chords: A, E7

For a beginner, country songs can be quite easy to play. Use E7 instead of E for a much more manageable version.

2.Truth Hurts — Lizzo

Chords: C, Am, G

You wouldn’t expect this song to sound great on the ukulele, but it does! With a simple strumming pattern, you’ll be playing this song in no time. 

3.Riptide — Vance Joy

Chords: Am, G, C 

Riptide consists of simple chords with an even easier chord progression. The strum can be quite tricky for a beginner at first.

4.Old Me — 5 Seconds of Summer

Chords: Am, C, Em

A catchy tune from Australian pop-rockers 5 Seconds of Summer, Old Me is a great track with a simple playing method. Play along with the studio recording to learn the strumming pattern.

5.Teenagers — My Chemical Romance 

Chords: A, B, E

This angsty tune from My Chemical Romance is every ukulele player’s dream. Though it uses only 3 main chords, you can experiment to your heart’s content. Its strumming pattern is quite easy but may take some getting used to.

6.Breakfast At Tiffany’s — Deep Blue Something 

Chords: A, D, G

It doesn’t match the original song exactly, but it’s a great beginner song. Feel free to experiment by transposing the chords when you’re more comfortable.

7.Ring of Fire — Johnny Cash

Chords: C, D7, G

Ring of Fire is a great, simple song to play on your ukulele. Try adding 3rd double stops and learn the picking riff to add a little something extra to the song.

8.Sweet Home Alabama — Lynyrd Skynyrd 

Chords: Dm, C, G

Make sure to emphasize the 3rd down strum of the chord progression to more accurately match the studio recording.

9.All The Small Things — Blink-182

Chords: C, G, F

If you’re a pop-punk lover or just generally love to jam out, this track by Blink-182 is the perfect segue into fluent ukulele playing. 

10.Somebody That I Used To Know — Gotye

Chords: Am, G, F

All you need to ace this song is a knowledge of basic chords and a grasp of how to produce a clean sound. 

11.All Along the Watchtower — Bob Dylan

Chords: Am, G, F 

This is a rock classic that has been popularized by Jimi Hendrix and is a great song to learn on the ukulele. Its chord progression is easy, and it makes for a pleasing sound.

12.Down On The Corner — Creedence Clearwater Revival

Chords: C, F, G7

An oldie, but goodie, about jamming music in the street. Learn to pick the introduction in addition to strumming the chords.

13.Hey Soul Sister — Train

Chords: C, G, Am, F

The uplifting melody of Hey Soul Sister will make learning to play the ukulele an enjoyable experience. It features a very easy chord progression with a simple rhythmic strumming pattern.

14.Dreams — Fleetwood Mac

Chords: Am, F, G

Simply switch between these chords (you’ll be playing more of the F and G chords than the Am) and that’s the entire song! Mix up the rhythm to keep the song sounding interesting.

15.I’m Yours — Jason Mraz

Chords: C, G, Am, F

I’m Yours is the perfect beach pop ballad and remains one of the most distinct and easy-to-recognize ukulele songs out there. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to play. Feel free to add your pops in once you become more familiar with playing the song.

16.Hallelujah — Leonard Cohen

Chords: C, Am, F, G 

Hallelujah is one of the most lyrically beautiful songs in existence. You can play it with variations of these four chords, but it can become complicated. Just have patience! Add a capo on the 1st fret to match the Jeff Buckley version. 

17.Little Talks — Of Monsters and Men

Chords: Am, F, C, G

If you’re seeking an upbeat pop song, we’d highly recommend this track by Of Monsters and Men. To stick with the original key, you should play with a capo on the 1st fret.

18.With or Without You — U2

Chords: C, G, Am, F

Aside from using four of the easiest ukulele chords, the progression doesn’t change the entire way through the song. That means that the song stays the same from the beginning to the end. 

19.Octopus’s Garden — The Beatles

Chords: C, Am, F, G

Octopus’s Garden makes for the perfect strum-along ukulele song! With minor sections and rhythmic breaks, it’s fun to jam out on and create variations.

20.Four Five Seconds — Rihanna

Chords: D, G, Bm, A

This 2015 hit is catchy, simple, and fun to play. Strum your ukulele with your thumb to control the volume of your playing. 

21.Counting Stars — One Republic

Chords: Am, C, G, F

This is relatively easy to play, although it does require a capo. Simply put your capo on the fourth fret to play along in the original key!

22.Stand By Me — Ben King

Chords: C, Am, F, G

Stand By Me has an easy chord progression. It has a very distinct rhythm, so try to emulate that as closely as you can. It’s great for singalongs if you can get it right!

23.Photograph — Ed Sheeran

Chords: C, Am, G, F

This slower track sounds great when played on the ukulele. The chords are easy to play, but the strumming pattern may take a bit of getting used to.

24.Ho Hey — The Lumineers 

Chords: C, F, G, Am

Indie music translates well to the ukulele. With its shouts and stomps,  Ho Hey is a perfect crowd-pleasing number to play at any party.

25.Rude — Magic

Chords: F, G, C, Am

Reggae songs are generally really fun to play on the ukulele. This pop-reggae song is no different. It’s relatively straightforward to play and is a great choice for a beginner.

26.Ocean Eyes — Billie Eilish

Chords: C, D, Em, G

Ocean Eyes is a soothing slow ballad. It translates extremely well to the ukulele and is a great choice if you want to learn to sing and play at the same time.

27.You Belong With Me — Taylor Swift 

Chords: Am, C, D, G

This Taylor Swift pop tune is as easy to listen to as it is to play. Strumming can be kept quite simple, but feel free to experiment if you wish!

28.Jar of Hearts — Christina Perri 

Chords: C, G, Am, F

Chords are easy to play and the strumming pattern is straightforward. The chords change every 2 beats.

29.Don’t Stop Believin’ — Journey

Chords: C, G, Am, F

Much like many of the songs on this list, Don’t Stop Believin’ uses four of the most basic ukulele chords. They change every 1 beat yet still make for an easy playing experience. 

30.You Are My Sunshine — Jimmie Davis

Chords: Am, C, Dm, F

This song has been re-recorded and translated into many languages since its debut in the 1940s. Over time, the gentle lyrics and soft melody of the chorus have become synonymous with a child’s lullaby. It’s easy to play and is a great way to familiarize yourself with the ukulele.

31.Some Nights — Fun 

Chords: Am, C, F, G

Some Nights is a great beginner-friendly song that will quickly get you used to change between chords. You’ll have lots of fun playing this piece!

32.Stay With Me — Sam Smith 

Chords: Am, C, F, G

If played correctly, this easy-to-play melody will sound great on your ukulele. It’s a great choice for kids and complete beginners. 

33.Breathin’ — Ariana Grande 

Chords: Em, G, C, D

This isn’t in the same key as the original song, but it’s a great start for a beginner. The song follows a simple chord progression. You should use single-down strums for the introduction.

34.One Love — Bob Marley

Chords: C, G, F, Am

One Love is a relatively easy song. All strums in this song are downwards, but it might initially be quite difficult to count them all. 

35.Have You Ever Seen the Rain — Creedence Clearwater Survival 

Chords: Am, F, C, G

This tune from CCR is a great way to begin your journey into playing the ukulele. Though the song has striking lyrics, its melody is fairly repetitive and simple, making it an excellent beginner song. 

36.Zombie — The Cranberries

Chords: C, D, Em, G

This track is one of the best beginner-friendly ukulele songs. With easy-to-play chords, a simple strumming pattern, and the option to occasionally play a short riff, it has everything you could want. 

37.Let It Be — The Beatles

Chords:  C, G, Am, F 

Though this is a Beatles classic, it makes for an excellent ukulele song. With simple chords and an easy-to-follow strumming pattern, you’ll be sounding like a pro in no time at all.

38.Creep — Radiohead

Chords: B, C, Cm, G

This creepily catchy song by Radiohead is quite easy to play. If you want to challenge yourself, feel free to do some fingerpicking. 

39.I Will Wait — Mumford & Sons

Chords: Am, Em, C, F, G

A great upbeat choice for a beginner. This song may sound fairly complicated, but it isn’t! Also, the Em chord may feel a bit unnatural at first, but you’ll soon get used to it.

40.Otherside — Red Hot Chili Peppers

Chords: Am, C, Em, F, G

This track from the Californian rockers is an ideal song to learn on the ukulele. You can even practice your fingerpicking skills with a short riff at the start.

41.Wonderwall — Oasis

Chords: A, C, D, Em, G

A classic staple for the acoustic guitar player, Wonderwall also sounds great when played on the ukulele. It features simple chords and a varied strumming pattern. Practice getting used to it.

42.Yellow — Coldplay 

Chords: Am, C, F, G, Gm

This is yet another great pop song to learn as a beginner. You don’t have to stretch too far to get a great sound, especially with such simple chords. 

43.All I Want — Kodaline 

Chords: C, F, G, Am, Dm 

All I Want is one of the more laid-back songs on this list. It has a slower tempo, to begin with, but it’s a great song to memorize. There are many play-along tutorials available online if you require extra guidance.

44.Fireflies — Owl City 

Chords: Am, C, Em, F, G

If it’s a party pleaser you’re after, this track from Owl City does the trick. Easy-to-play chords and a simple strumming pattern make this a great choice for a beginner!

45.Brown Eyed Girl — Van Morrison

Chords: C, D, D7, Em, G 

Brown Eyed Girl is a bit trickier than other songs on this list, but it is still fun to play. Though you will be using all five of the above chords, you can play most of the song with G, C, and D. 

46.Take It Easy — Eagles

Chords: G, C, F, D, Em, Am

One of the most chilled Eagles classics, Take It Easy is an instant crowd-pleaser. With an easy-to-follow chord pattern and straightforward strumming (seriously, just listen to the song and replicate it) you’re on your way to becoming a ukulele pro.

47.Wish You Were Here — Pink Floyd

Chords: Em, G, A, C, D, Am

Though there is some slight fingerpicking involved at the start, this Pink Floyd classic isn’t too difficult to learn. Feel free to whistle, hum, or sing along to the catchy chorus if you want!

48.Hotel California — Eagles

Chords: Am, E7, G, D, F, C, Dm

Hotel California is the ultimate rock track. Though it requires you to play a higher number of chords, it is still very beginner-friendly. It’s a great stepping stone that will put you and your ukulele skill set to the test.

49.Title — Meghan Trainor

Chords: A, Am, C, Dm, F, Gm

If you’re seeking the definition of an uplifting pop song, look no further! Though it may seem complicated, the chords and straightforward strumming pattern make playing this song an absolute breeze. 

Summary

Whatever song you choose, to begin with, make sure to keep on practicing! Soon enough, you’ll be taking your playing to the next level.

As long as you familiarize yourself with the fundamental ukulele chords, you can play any song! Granted, it may not sound exactly like the original studio recorded version, but you can replicate it by ear. 

David Williams
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