Introduction:

If you want to learn easy ukulele songs popular with a lot of people, or if you’re just searching for some easy ukulele songs for kids, you’ve come to the right place! You may have checked out our Riptide ukulele tutorial already, and if you can play that song, you’re probably ready for more fun songs to play on the ukulele.

In this article, we are going to show you how to play 6 different ukulele songs, including ukulele chord charts that show you how to play ukulele chords.

Additionally, we will give you a list of additional 15 songs that you can play with similar chords, bringing us to a total of 21 easy ukulele songs.

Before we do a rundown of the easiest ukulele songs, we will show you a good way of learning, practicing and memorizing any song you want to play.

You can do this by applying our guitar learning method to ukulele because they are very similar instruments.

 

Ukulele Song Learning guide:

The first part to mastering any song is tuning your ukulele correctly. Keep in mind that the chords in this lesson are used on tenor, concert and soprano ukulele. Baritone ukuleles use a different tuning, but most chords are playable in both tunings, so just look them up and you will have no problems adjusting the songs to your instrument.

Stringed instruments need to be tuned properly before you start playing. This will enable you to play the correct notes. To tune a ukulele, turn the tuner knobs on the headstock of the uke to tighten or loosen the strings.

This is best done with a chromatic clip-on tuner which are affordable and precise tuners for ukuleles, guitars and other stringed instruments.

All instruments that belong into the guitar family can be used to play a nearly endless number of chords. The most simple ones are often called open position chords and are often refered to as “beginner chords” because they use unfretted, open strings.

This means that you can usually play the with ease, sometimes with only one or two fingers. Let’s do a recap of the most important open position chords for the ukulele that we will also need for our lessons:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LImSua8m2-E

As for practicing songs in general, you could follow our ACE Method for learning songs on guitar and apply it to ukulele. For the in-depth explanation of the method, you can take your time and check out our ACE Method article.

In short, ACE stands for Analysis, Confrontation and Exportation. The first part of learning a song on a stringed instrument like the ukulele is analyzing the chords that need to be played and listening to the song to get a feel for the whole tune. It requires concentration, listening and the ability to recognize basic ukulele chords.

Using your own notebook to keep track of the chords needed or printing out chord sheets can be a useful tool to memorize all the chord shapes.

Easy Ukulele Songs

The second part is the confrontation, which means that you should try to play the song on your own. To do this, split up the song into different sections like verses and choruses.

Try repeating each part a few times before moving on to the next one. Use what you’ve learned in the first part to remember the chord changes. Verses and choruses often use different chords, so remembering both parts is equally important.

The last step is the exportation of the song. After you have synchronized both hands and learned individual parts in the first two steps, it’s time to remember the whole song from the beginning to the end and practice along with the song.

If you can do that with little effort after a few tries, you’ve managed to learn a ukulele song!

Our Riptide article is a good start. If you’ve missed out on that one, you can read it here! After learning one or two songs, the process of the ACE method will become more automatic.

You will be able to learn songs easier and faster. But what songs should you start with? We have a few suggestions!

EASY UKULELE SONGS

Easy Ukulele Songs

1. OASIS – SONGBIRD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjOc-S9QYRQ

It really doesn’t get much easier – Songbird is a song that uses only two chords, but it is powerful and addicting to play. The best thing is that you can easily pair it up with other instruments and a singer.

The only difficulty is that the song is a little bit faster. Make sure to correctly count how many times each chord is played and practice the song slowly at first. You will build speed and confidence over time, so don’t worry about that too much.

You can use different strumming patterns for this song, but even a straight-forward down/up alternation works great. The chords that you will need for this piece are G Major and E Minor.

For theory lovers, “Songbird” was composed in the key of G major using common time at 132 beats per minute.

There is also a “Demo Version” of this song with a slightly overdriven guitar. That version is great if you have an electric ukulele.

Chords needed: G Major; E Minor

A |—–2—–|—–2—–|

E |—–3—–|—–3—–|

C |—–2—–|—–4—–|

G |—–0—–|—–0—–|

 

Chords Over Lyrics

2. CRANBERRIES – ZOMBIE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy7xLqvIvMU

Zombie is a protest song by the Irish rock band Cranberries which uses a total of four differentchords, but the song is fairly slow compared to some more upbeat tunes, which will allow you to remember and change the chords with ease.

When practicing the song, make sure to practice each of the chord changes individually until you can do them effortlessly . Trying to remember and switch between all four chords right away will be too much of a challenge for most beginners.

All four chords are easy open chords, but they have very different fingerings. Because the song is fairly slow, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Try using a strumming pattern that will allow you to change the chords more easily, for example by avoiding upstrokes before the chord changes.

This great tune is popular with both bassists and guitarists, which means that you will easily be able to perform the song with your bandmates. “Zombie” is composed in the key of E Minor with a tempo of 84 beats per minute.

If you want to play the solo, too, an electric ukulele is recommended, but not necessary.

Chords needed: E Minor; C Major; G Major; D Major

A |—–2—–|—–3—–||—–2—–|—–0—–|

E |—–3—–|—–0—–||—–3—–|—–2—–|

C |—–4—–|—–0—–||—–2—–|—–2—–|

G |—–0—–|—–0—–||—–0—–|—–2—–|

 Chords Over Lyrics

3. BON JOVI – WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mvxDa57o0w

Here we have a song that you will want to get back to when you get better, but you can start practicing it right away. The picking intro to this legendary rock piece requires a lot of practice even from more advanced players, but the chords in the verses and choruses are quite easy.

For this song, we are using the standard D, C and G chords, but we’re also going to add in the F chord. For this piece, you will need to get good at switching between chords fairly fast. The easier change is the one from C to G, while the change from F to D is a bit harder.

If you feel adventurous and want to learn the intro, try using a plectrum. There are many in-depth guides on how to use a pick correctly, so make sure to check them out.

Chords needed: F Major; C Major; G Major; D Major

A |—–0—–|—–3—–||—–2—–|—–0—–|

E |—–1—–|—–0—–||—–3—–|—–2—–|

C |—–0—–|—–0—–||—–2—–|—–2—–|

G |—–2—–|—–0—–||—–0—–|—–2—–|

Chords Over Lyrics

4. TRAIN – HEY, SOUL SISTER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVpv8-5XWOI

Here we have a song that you will want to get back to when you get better, but you can start practicing it right away. The picking intro to this legendary rock piece requires a lot of practice even from more advanced players, but the chords in the verses and choruses are quite easy.

For this song, we are using the standard D, C and G chords, but we’re also going to add in the F chord. For this piece, you will need to get good at switching between chords fairly fast. The easier change is the one from C to G, while the change from F to D is a bit harder.

If you feel adventurous and want to learn the intro, try using a plectrum. There are many in-depth guides on how to use a pick correctly, so make sure to check them out.

Chords needed: F Major; C Major; G Major; D Major

A |—–0—–|—–3—–||—–2—–|—–0—–|

E |—–1—–|—–0—–||—–3—–|—–2—–|

C |—–0—–|—–0—–||—–2—–|—–2—–|

G |—–2—–|—–0—–||—–0—–|—–2—–|

Chords Over Lyrics

5. BRUNO MARS – JUST THE WAY YOU ARE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACEyJDbRZg

Just The Way You Are is a more modern take on traditional R’n’B love songs. The song is in the key of F Major and it uses only three chords throughout the whole song, but one of them is a bar chord. The Bb Major (or A# Major) is similar to the B Major chord used in our previous song.

Again, the only tricky part should be the change between this bar chord and the open chords – the change between F and D Minor is easy.

All of the chords are played for 8 counts – and that’s basically the whole song! Try pairing it up with a keyboardist to get additional variations and bass notes into the mix. Many keyboard players are good singers, so if you can’t sing on your own, you can leave it to your partner.

Use some relaxed strum pattern and incorporate some dead notes or gentle, percussive hits to the resonator to give an additional rhythmical value to the song.

Chords needed: Bb Major; D Minor; F Major

A |—–1—–|—–0—–|—–0—–|

E |—–1—–|—–1—–|—–1—–|

C |—–2—–|—–2—–|—–0—–|

G |—–3—–|—–2—–|—–2—–|

Chords Over Lyrics

6. GREEN DAY – TIME OF YOUR LIFE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=961p-lYjOjI

Here we have an acoustic song that uses four common chords. The chords are the same as in Zombie, although they are played faster and in a different order. This will force you to get really good and efficient at changing chords.

Whenever you’re trying to switch chords, lift your fingers only as little as you need to. With faster songs like this, this is especially important. The good thing is that this song features open chords.

The open strings will continue to vibrate even after you raise your fingers and that gives you a little bit of time to re-adjust them into the right position.

While the song uses only four easy chords, there are multiple different chord changes involved. This is a little bit challenging for total beginners, but if you keep on practicing, you are sure to succeed.

Chords needed: E Minor; C Major; G Major; D Major

A |—–2—–|—–3—–||—–2—–|—–0—–|

E |—–3—–|—–0—–||—–3—–|—–2—–|

C |—–4—–|—–0—–||—–2—–|—–2—–|

G |—–0—–|—–0—–||—–0—–|—–2—–|

Chords over Lyrics

Additional Easy Ukulele Songs:

There are hundreds of songs that you can play by utilizing only open chords. Some songs use only one or two harder chords and changes.

If you have managed to play at least half of the songs we provided, then you will be able to play the following songs, as well:

7) Starsailor – Silence Is Easy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujXquJy_qOc

8) Alyssa Bonagura Make My Own Sunshine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_4UY_zHbS4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTFRfFKBl2U

10) Bruno Mars – Count On Me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YpgQsfjEDY

11) Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4fFFczWK0c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-XFBOiRLkc

13) The Cranberries – Animal Instinct

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD-_C_h5YgI

14) John Lennon – Imagine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSwFAFImFK8

15) Billy Ray Cyrus – Achy Brakey Heart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsX0Cfw9unM

16) U2 and BB King – When Love Comes To Town

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8e04XzI-D8

17) Katy Perry – Hot And Cold

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p5LY-H6NxQ

18) David Bowie – Heroes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztmf7wniioc

19) Alice in Chains Nutshell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5BdeG0UIrw

20) Manu Chao – Welcome To Tijuana

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6w1BlxjxOw

21) Eminem – Lose Yourself

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb0FeqxzH7o

CONCLUSION

If you’ve managed to learn a few of these songs, then you’re the on the right way of learning them all. Don’t forget to keep on practicing and give it your best!

Remember to keep your ukulele clean and tuned for good intonation and change the strings every few months so that your songs sound bright and crisp.

Some of these songs would sound good on a baritone ukulele, as well. If you don’t have a baritone ukulele yet, then you might want to get one. Our method of learning songs can be applied to this type of ukulele, as well.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our lessons and that you’ve added a few songs to your set list.

21 Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners in 2018
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