Easy ukulele chords

Easy ukulele chords DEFAULT

Easy Ukulele Songs to Learn

Are you ready to learn some tunes using basic ukulele chords? The great news is, learning just a few ukulele chords means you can learn hundreds of songs on uke. Once you have your uke in hand, you’ll be cranking out tunes in no time. All you need to do is learn the basics, and get a few easy ukulele chords under your fingers.

What Basic Ukulele Chords Should I Learn?

To play the most songs, the most important basic ukulele chords to learn are C, D, G, and Em. These set you up to play a ton of songs, and each of them is easy to learn. Once you familiarize yourself with these chord diagrams, you can play any one of the easy ukulele songs here, including hits from Bob Dylan, Adele, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Here’s what those chords look like when written in a chord chart:

basic ukulele chords for beginners

To play the songs in this blog post, all you’ll need to do is learn the fingerings of four chords and get comfortable transitioning between them. 

How Do I Start Playing Uke?

Holding Your Ukulele

First, it’s time to pick up your instrument. Holding your ukulele, look for the headstock, neck, and body of your instrument. Were you able to identify each of these pieces? The headstock has 4 tuners on it. 2 on the left and 2 on the right. The neck has 4 strings and the fretboard. The body of your instrument has the soundhole, bridge, and saddle. 

The Right Hand

To hold your ukulele, in the perfect position, use your right hand to hold your ukulele where the neck meets the body. Using your right hand, bring your instrument to your chest. The back of the body of your ukulele should be held against your chest. You will notice the neck of your instrument is pointing to approximately 2pm. You should be able to support your ukulele with your right hand while you adjust the neck positioning. The neck should point towards the left side of your body. The saddle and bridge should be on the far right. 

The Left Hand

Using your left hand to make a pac-man shape. Bring the pac-man shape up to the neck of your instrument close to your headstock. Notice where your thumb and fingers are. Notice what position your wrist is in. Your wrist should have a natural rotation. Your thumb should be inline with your one finger. This is important to note. You will want to maintain this hand posture as you begin to move through various chord fingerings. 

String Names

Now that you have your ukulele held in the proper position, let’s take a look at the names of strings. With the neck of your ukulele on the left side of your body, look down. You should see 4 strings. The string closest to the top is called “string 4.” This string is also known as the G-string. The fourth string is tuned to G. 

The next string down is “string 3.” The third string is known as the C-String. This string is tuned to C. 

The next string down is “string 2.” The second string is known as the E-String. The second string is tuned to E. 

The bottom string is called “string 1.” This string is known as the A-string. The one string is tuned to A. 

It is important to note that when looking down at your strings, while in proper position, the number of the strings is in reverse order. String 4 is on top, string 1 is on the bottom. This will be helpful for you to know when you start reading tabs. 

Tuning Up

Now that you know the names of each string, it is time to tune your ukulele. We will tune the ukulele starting at string 4. This is the G-string. You will need a tuner. Your ukulele may have a tuner built in. If not you can use a tuner that attaches to the headstock. Another option is to use a tuner app on your smartphone. Holding the ukulele in the correct position, use your thumb of the right hand and strum down on the 4th string. Check your tuner. If the note you played is higher or lower than G you will need to adjust the tuner head attached to the G-string. 

To find the tuner head for the G-string, put your finger on the G-string. Follow the G-string to the top of the headstock. You will see what tuner the string wraps around. This is the tuner you will turn to adjust the length of your string. Once you’ve successfully tuned your 4th string to G it is time to repeat the process on the C-string. 

Pluck your C-string with your thumb. Check your tuner to see if the note played is higher, lower, or directly on C.  Adjust the correct tuner to get your C-string in tune. Continue the same process on the E-string and A-string. 

If your instrument is new, played often, or has old strings you may need to adjust your tuning more often. You should check your tuning before you play. After time you may be able to tune your ukulele by ear. This takes some practice but is great for when you don’t have a tuner handy. 

How to Play 10 Easy Ukulele Songs with 4 Chords

Some of the greatest compositions of all time have just three or four chords, but don’t let their simplicity fool you! We picked these 10 easy ukulele songs, so that you can experience the joy of playing the uke as quickly as possible. You can use these tunes as a launching pad to motivate you to practice and take your musical journey to new heights. Or, you can just sit back and enjoy just how far four ukulele chords can take you!

Learn the Chord Shapes and a Simple Down-Strum Pattern

Finger each chord carefully, making sure you’re sounding all of the notes clearly. To make sure of this, try playing each string individually and adjust your fingers as needed if you hear muted or muddy notes. Before you attempt to play any of these songs, first practice each chord with a down strum, using your right-hand thumb.

These easy ukulele songs are all in the time signature known as 4/4, meaning there are four beats in every measure, and each one of those beats is a quarter note. So, to prepare for learning these songs, play each chord four times. Start with the G chord, playing several measures of four consecutive down strums at a slow tempo. Then move on to the C chord, then back to the G chord, and then the D chord. Try tapping your foot as you play the chords, strumming each chord for four counts.

Though learning a single chord is easy enough, recalling different chord shapes and seamlessly switching between them takes some practice. Don’t worry if you find it frustrating to switch between different chords at first. Over time, you will build up your muscle memory and you won’t even need to think about where your fingers need to go.

Optional Rhythmic Strumming Pattern

Once you have that simple down strum and foot-tapping working, you can try this more interesting strumming pattern consisting of:

Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up

This pattern is fairly easy, though it might look harder than it is. Just break it down to an independent down strum to start off with, followed by 5 groups of Down-Up-Down, ending with Down-Up. You can either use your thumb or a felt pick. Please note: the down stroke (down strum) symbol most commonly used is: Π and the up stroke (up strum) symbol most commonly used is: ∨.

Looking for help transitioning between chords? Check out this helpful tutorial:

Now, Pick an Easy Ukulele Song!

Once you’re relatively comfortable moving from chord to chord, you’re ready to try playing one of the uke songs listed below. Remember to take it slow at first, and gradually increase the tempo as you get more comfortable. Don’t expect to play along with the recording right away!

In the beginning, it’s ideal to start with a song that you’re already familiar with. This will help you get the chord changes right and will allow you to sing or hum the melody as you play. You can then move on to more novel and challenging tunes!

1. “Blowin’ In The Wind” – Bob Dylan

Blowin’ In The Wind is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm 87

For the verse:G gets 2 beats. C gets 2 beats. G gets 4 beats. G gets 2 beats. C gets 2 beats. D gets 4 beats. Repeat. For the refrain: Every chord gets 2 beats, except the last G chord. The last G-Chord gets 4 beats. 

  • Verses: G, C, G, G, C, D, G, C, G, G, C, D
  • “The answer my friend” refrains: C, D, G, Em, C, D, G

2. “Brown Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison

Brown Eyed Girl is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm is 150

For the verse:The pattern is G-C-G-D. Each chord gets 4 beats. This repeats 4 times, followed by C-D-G-Em-C-D-G each for 4 beats each. Then, play a D-chord and sustain the chord. For the refrain: Play the D-chord for 8 beats.  Then play G-C-G-D-G-C-G-D each chord for 4 beats. This song is played verse, verse, refrain, verse, refrain

Verses: G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, C, D, G, Em, C, D, G

  • “Do you remember when we used to sing: ”sha-la-la-la-la-la-la” refrains: D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, C, D, G, Em, C, D, G

3. “22” – Taylor Swift

“22” is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm is 103

The verse of “22” is pretty simple. The pattern is G-D-C-D each chord gets 2 beats. 

The chorus is a little tricky. G-D-C-C-D-C-D-D each chord gets 2 beats. This repeats twice, then it’s back to the pattern of the verse. 

4. “I Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty

“I Won’t Back Down” is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm is 115

The verse of “I Won’t Back Down” is pretty simple. The pattern is listed below. The Em and D chord each get 2 beats. The G and C chord each get 4 beats.

The chorus is fun, but kinda tricky at first. Play a quick C-G-C as the chorus begins. Next play G-D and then G-C. Each of these chord changes is half of a beat. This means the C-G-C is a total of one and a half beats. You may have to listen a few times to hear timing correctly.

  • Verses: Em, D, G, Em, D, G, Em D, C, Em, D, G
  • Choruses: C, D, C, D, C, D, Em,, D, G, Em, D, G

5. “Someone Like You” – Adele

“Someone Like You” is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm is 68

The verse is pretty simple. The pattern is G-G-Em-C Each chord gets 4 beats. It is helpful to count each beat as 1e&a, 2e&a, etc… If you’d like to practice your finger picking, this is a great song to practice with. The fingerpicking pattern is 4,3,2,1. The pre-chorus is D-Em-C-C Each chord gets 2 beats. 

  • Verses, Choruses and Bridge: G, D, Em, C
  • Pre-chorus: D, Em, C, D, Em, C

6. “Your Mama Don’t Dance” – Loggins & Messina

“Your Mama Don’t Dance” is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm is 142

The verse has the following pattern:

G-C-G-G

C-C-G-G

D-C-G-G 

Each chord of the verse gets 4 beats. The chorus has the same pattern as the verse. The bridge is a little different. 

The pattern for the bridge is:

C-C-C-C

C-C-C-C

D-C-G-G

Each chord of the bridge gets 4 beats. This song is formatted as chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus.

  • Verses: G, C, G, C, G, D, C, G
  • Bridge: C, C, C, C, D, C, G

7. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Have You Ever Seen the Rain” is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm is 117.

The verses are: G-G-D-G each chord gets 8 beats. The chorus is: C-D-G-Em This repeats twice. Each chord gets 4 beats.  Followed by: C-D-G-G Each chord gets 4 beats. The format of this song is verse, chorus, verse, chorus, chorus.

  • Verses: G to D (for verses),
  • Choruses: C, D, G, Em, D C, D, G, Em, D——C, D, G, Em, D—–C, D, G

8. “Bring It On Home” – classic blues song recorded by countless artists

“Bring It On Home” is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm is 112 based on the Sonny Boy Williamson II rendition.

The verse and chorus of this song are the same format. Once you have the format memorized, this is a great song to practice soloing on. 

  • G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D

9. “This Magic Moment” – Jay And The Americans, Lou Reed, etc.

“This Magic Moment” is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm is 139. This is based on The Drifters version of the song.

The verse of the song is G-E-C-D. Each chord gets 8 beats. The chorus is Em-C-G-D. Each chord gets 8 beats. This song can also be counted in half time using a bpm of 70 

  • Verses: G, Em, C, D
  • Pre-chorus: Em, C, G, D
  • Choruses: G, Em, C, G, Em, G, Em

10. “Tougher Than The Rest” – Bruce Springsteen

“Tougher Than the Rest” is in 4/4 time. This means you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Four beats in each measure. The bpm is 99. 

The chord progression for the verses and bridge is listed below. This song is a little different from the rest of the songs on this list. The rhythm pattern for each chord is different. Meaning each chord is held for a different number of beats. You will have to listen to the words of the song and listen to when the chord changes along with each word. “Tougher Than the Rest” is not a difficult song, but it will require you to listen. Using a chord chart like one found on Ultimate Guitar would be very helpful.

Verses: G, C, D, C, G, D (for verses)

  • Bridge: Em, C, G, C, D, G, Em, C, G, C, G, D, G

Looking for more uke tunes? Here are 10 more easy ukulele practice songs for beginners.

Remember, listen to these songs as you’re learning and play along so you can hear where the chord changes happen. You can also look them up on a site like Ultimate Guitar, which shows where the chord changes occur relative to the lyrics of the song.

Why Learn to Play the Ukulele?

The ukulele is a beginner-friendly instrument that you’re never too young or old to try out. From the first time you pick up the uke, you’ll be amazed at just how accessible this instrument is. With just a few easy ukulele chords, you can play a variety of tunes that sound great and are fun to sing along with.

A few extra bonuses – the ukulele is affordable, portable, and has a warm, uplifting tone. If you think the ukulele is only fit for breezy tropical tunes, think again. You can use a uke for virtually any song, especially those originally written for the guitar. You’ll find that our list covers everything from folk favorites to pop anthems, and that’s just a small taste of what’s possible with this instrument.

If you don’t already own a uke, you can start by choosing from the three most common ukulele sizes for your first instrument: the soprano, concert, or tenor. They all use the same tuning, but the main difference is in body size (tenor is the largest). You should be able to purchase a starter uke for between $50 and $100.

Need some extra help mastering these ukulele chords and songs? Nothing beats working with a teacher one-on-one. Your uke teacher will give you a fun and engaging pathway to uke proficiency, so you can get a big sound out of this little instrument.

By taking online or in-person lessons with an experienced ukulele teacher, your skills will noticeably improve in a short period of time. With every lesson, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your musical goals. Search for a ukulele teacher today!

Jeff S

Jeff S. teaches ukulele and guitar lessons in Perth Amboy, NJ. He is both a songwriter and performer, and has taught music business and songwriting at various universities and music schools. Learn more about Jeff S here!

 

Photo by Victor Engmark

Jeff S.

Jeff S. teaches guitar,ukulele, speaking voice, songwriting and more in Perth Amboy, NJ, as well as online. Jeff has created and taught songwriting and music business classes at colleges, universities, and music schools throughout the country for many years.

Jeff S.
Sours: https://takelessons.com/blog/basic-ukelele-chords-easy-songs-beginners-z10

Basic Ukulele Chords For Beginners

Shorthand chord naming

Aside from chord diagrams, another popular way to learn the finger placement chords is to know their shorthand. Remember that the vertical lines on a chord diagram represents the ukulele’s four strings, G-C-E-A? And that a 0 on top of the diagram means an open, or unfretted string? Those principles are used in shorthand chord names.

Let’s take for example the C chord. As a review, this is made by putting your ring finger on the first, or the A string at the third fret. In shorthand the C chord would be 0003. This means that strings G, C and E are not fretted, but A is fretted at fret 3.

Another example is the C7 chord, which you make by putting your finger on the bottom or the A string at the first fret. In shorthand, C7 would then be 0001. Since it’s at the first fret, you would hardly need to use your middle, ring or pinky finger there, and it would be natural to use the index finger for fretting.

Other examples of shorthand chord names: A is 2100, G7 is 0212 and A7 is 0100.

Shorthand chord names are a good way to remember where a chord is fretted but you still have to determine which finger to use for fretting. Don’t worry – this will be easy enough to work out once you know how to make chords.

ukulele instrumentUkulele playing tips for beginners

  1. Take your time, don’t rush!

In each of your playing goals – playing faster, learning new chords, composing a simple melody – have patience with yourself and don’t rush. Muscle memory takes time to develop, especially in beginners hold an instrument for the first time. It’s normal and don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel like you’re not making any progress.

To track your progress and motivate you to keep playing, keep a daily practice log. Write down what you’ve accomplished for the day, say practicing chord transitions (moving from one chord to the next) between the C and F chord. If you can, record a video of yourself playing every day. We’re sure that your Day 30 video will show your improved your skills since Day 1.

Recording a video of yourself playing can also help you observe yourself and see what you’re doing wrong so you can make improvements.

  1. Maintain good form and posture.

Make sure you are sitting comfortably when practicing and you’re not slouching. Good posture also prevents unnecessary strain in your muscles and joints.

  1. Use a metronome.

Practice chords using a metronome (a physical one, an online metronome or a mobile app). Start with a slow pace then increase the speed or tempo steadily as you become more adept at playing chords.

For instance, play the F chord at 65 beats per minute (BPM) for 1 minute, then take 15-second break, then play the chord again. Repeat this twice before moving to the next chord. After playing the chords for 65 BPM, increase the tempo to 70 BPM, then 75 BPM, and so on. If the song your want to learn plays at 85 BPM, start with a slower pace and build up until you are playing the song at 85 BPM.

  1. Anticipate the next chord.

When you’re learning to play a song, it helps to listen closely so you can hear where the chord changes happen. When making chord transitions, it would help if you anticipate the next chord and prepare your fingers by hovering them over the strings they should fret.

Let’s take for example the C chord. When you play it, only your ring finger is fretting, leaving your index and middle fingers free. When you need to transition to an F chord from a C chord, you can prepare your index and middle fingers by hovering them over the strings they need to fret (E string at the first fret, G string at the second fret). This way, your fingers don’t have to travel far when you change chords.

  1. Do finger exercises.

If it’s your first time playing a string instrument, making the chords may feel awkward or uncomfortable to your fingers. To help you get used to playing, include finger exercises as part of your daily practice to increase the reach of your fingers and let you play faster and longer.

  1. Learn different strumming patterns.

Ukulele strumming patterns consist of various combinations of up strums and down strums. Strumming is another aspect of ukulele playing that can impact the sound and feel of a song, so practice different strumming patterns too. This is one example of a strumming pattern (D stands for down strum, U stands for up strum): D, D-U-D, D-U-D, D-U-D, D-U-D, D-U-D, D-U

Remember to strum with your wrist and not with your arm because moving your arm up and down repeatedly will tire you out quickly. It’s all in the wrist!

  1. Take breaks and allow yourself to develop muscle memory.

Allow your brain and finger muscles time to record your motor activity and make it easier for you to come back to the movement easily without that much conscious effort. This goes not only for making chords but for strumming as well.

  1. Hum the lyrics or melody.

If you’re learning to play a song, it would be helpful to hum along while practicing. This will help improve your strumming and keep the right timing while allowing you to get used to using your vocals. As you get better – you’re in tune, on time and can transition between chords easily, you can move on to singing the lyrics while playing effortlessly!

  1. Stay loose.

Another thing to love about the ukulele is that it gives off a relaxed and chill vibe. It doesn’t feel like a “formal” instrument like the harp or the cello. So when playing the ukulele, it’s best to stay loose and relaxed, not only in your fingers, wrists and arms but your entire body, especially your shoulders and your back. You can maintain good posture without holding yourself too stiffly, which can result in you getting tired quickly.

  1. Never stop learning!

Watch ukulele videos, listen to different music genres, play along with ukulele music, discover alternate fingerings – all of these contribute to you becoming a better ukulele player. Don’t stop with with just the basics; let your motivation drive you to learn more about playing the ukulele. Jam with your friends, try to compose your own song (or even a simple melody) – do whatever makes you motivated to learn and simply keep going!

I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty, Johnny Cash - Ukulele Tutorial

Easy practice songs for beginners

Here are some of the easiest ukulele songs for beginners. These songs use the chords we’ve listed above. Remember to start slow and have fun!

Songs using the ukulele chords G, D and C…

G D C ukulele chords

Blowin’ In The Wind (Bob Dylan)
Chords for the verses: G – C – G – G – C – D – G – C – G – G – C – D
When you get to “The answer my friend” parts, use these chords: C – D – G – Em – C – D – G

22 (Taylor Swift)
These chords just repeat throughout the song: G – D – C – D

Songs using the ukulele chords G, D, Em and C…

G D Em C ukulele chords

Someone Like You (Adele)
Chords for the verses, choruses and the bridge: G – D- Em – C
Chords for the pre-chorus: D – C – D – C – D

Tougher Than The Rest (Bruce Springsteen)
Chords for the verses: G – C – D – C – G – D
Chords for the bridge: Em – C – G – C – D – G – Em – C – G – C – G – D – G

I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty)
Chords for the verses: Em – D – G – Em – D – G – Em – D – C – Em – D – G
Chords for the choruses: C – D – C – D – C – D – Em – D – G – Em – D – G

Once you’ve got those songs down, you can try your hand at playing other beginner-friendly songs. There are plenty of ukulele tabs for these and other songs online – simply do a search to find your favorites!

      • Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole)
      • I’m Yours (Jason Mraz)
      • Let It Be (The Beatles)
      • I Do/Falling For You (Colbie Caillat)
      • Stay (Rihanna)
      • Save Tonight (Eagle Eye Cherry)
      • Hey Soul Sister (Train)
      • Just The Way Your Are (Bruno Mars)
      • Tears In Heaven (Eric Clapton)
      • Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
      • Leaving On A Jet Plane (John Denver)

We hope our ukulele chord explanation for beginners helped out. All that’s left to do is for you to pull out your uke and get practicing. Practice does make perfect after all!

Sours: https://www.knowyourinstrument.com/basic-ukulele-chords-beginners/
  1. The collective watermark
  2. Doodle racing
  3. Dark bahamut

Let’s be honest, you didn’t start learning the ukulele to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain.” But too often that’s what you’re stuck doing as a beginning ukulele player. It’s boring, and it’s a little bit discouraging.

Learning instruments should be fun, and none more so than the ukulele. After all, the ukulele is one of the easiest instruments to learn. And some of the coolest songs out there are also easy songs to play on the ukulele, even if you’re a complete beginner.

With just a few simple chords and basic strumming patterns, you can be playing popular tunes and fun songs on the ukulele in no time. In fact, you can play many fun ukulele songs with only four easy chords.

In this post, we go over a bunch of fun and easy songs to play on your ukulele, with just a few chords. And at the end, you can check out a mega list of even more easy ukulele songs for beginners (including uke chords and Youtube tutorials). With this page, you’ll be jammin’ on your uke in no time!

Jump to Songs

Don’t Have a Ukulele Yet?

No worries! Check out our useful guides for help choosing the right uke for you:

These Four Chords Will Help You Play a Ton of Fun Songs on the Ukulele​

The four chords you should start off with are C, A minor, F, and G. Here’s how to play them:

C,-Am,-F,-G-ukulele-chords

Three major chords and a minor chord. They look easy, right? C and A minor only use one finger, F uses just two fingers, and the G chord is a simple shape that many uke players find easy to make. If you’re a guitar player, you may notice that it’s the same shape as the D chord on your guitar.

With just these four chords, you can play a long list of 2, 3, and 4 chord ukulele songs. And we’re talking about popular, well known songs that you’ll actually want to play.

What About Strumming Patterns?

Many of the video tutorials for these songs below include tips on strumming patterns. But you can make your ukulele strumming as simple or as complex as you’re able to.

If you’re just starting out, try simply strumming one downstroke for each downbeat (when you tap out the rhythm of the song with your foot, a downbeat is when your foot hits the ground).

If you’re a little more experienced, you can try this syncopated strumming pattern that includes some upstrokes and strums on the upbeat (the numbers represent the downbeat and the ‘&’ symbols represent the upbeat):

1 & 2 & 3 & 4
D – D U – U D

​That should be enough to get you started playing these songs, but check out this great guide over at Ukulele Hunt for more strumming patterns and advice on strumming the ukulele.

Songs Using Only C, Am, F, and G​

These popular songs for ukulele use only the C, Am, F, and G chords. We’ve included a video tutorial and links to the easy ukulele tab for each song to help you get started playing them today.

Let it Be – The Beatles (C, Am, F, G)

The Beatles are one of the most widely recognized bands in history, and “Let It Be” is among their more popular songs. And it uses a simple chord progression that’s easy to play on the ukulele. 

“Let It Be” is a fun song to jam on as a beginner ukulele player. The progression remains practically the same the whole way through the song, so you don’t have to worry about changing up the progression part way through the song. And best of all, your friends can sing along right away!

Click here for the full chords.

I’m Yours – Jason Mraz (C, G, Am, F)

This early 2000s earworm by Jason Mraz is a super popular choice for beginner ukulele players, and with good reason. Unlike some of the other popular ukulele songs for beginners on this list, “I’m Yours” prominently features a ukulele on the actual record. This means that your version will sound very similar to the original. The strumming pattern is simple and consistent. You should be able to pick it up quickly just by listening to the song.

“I’m Yours” features a simple chord progression that is one of the most common in popular music –   I, V, VI, IV progression. And the original song is in the key of C, which makes it easy to play for beginning ukulele players.

Click here for the full chords.

All Along the Watchtower – Bob Dylan/Jimi Hendrix (Am, G, F)

“All Along The Watchtower” was originally released by Bob Dylan in 1967. Just six months later, Jimi Hendrix recorded the song and it became a smash hit. Regardless of which version you are more familiar with, this is a great beginner ukulele song to make your own (and with just three chords to boot).

The song repeats the same three-chord progression all throughout the verses and chorus. Instead of steady four bar changes, the G chord is more of a leading tone at the end of a phrase switching between the Am and the F. If you’re struggling with making the G chord stand out, practice just popping your fingers into the chord shape and popping off to try to get used to a quick switch.

Click here for the full chords.

Counting Stars – One Republic (Am, C, G, F)

OneRepublic has been turning out radio hits for almost two decades now. They continue to innovate and reimagine their sound to keep up with current pop standards. “Counting Stars” is a fun, uptempo song to bring to the ukulele because it offers a really different sound than the original recording. 

Ukulele lends itself to lighter pop songs really easily, but it can be fun to reinvent songs for the ukulele as covers. Since “Counting Stars” is built on a lot of production in the original recording, stripping it down to just the ukulele is a fun challenge. The song uses the same four chords in C that we’ve used for a lot of other fun ukulele songs for beginners, but you get to really try your hand at making this one your own.

Click here for the full chords.

Riptide – Vance Joy (Am, C, G, F)

Vance Joy has a great library of songs to cover on the ukulele, but his best known is definitely “Riptide.” This stripped down pop hit is fun to play because of the unique rhythm of the strums and chord changes. The chords are again our simple Am, C, G, and F chords so you can really focus on nailing the strumming pattern, since the chord shapes should come easy. 

Singing along to this one can be a bit trickier, if that’s your thing. The rhythm of the strumming and the vocals are just different enough that it can take a bit of extra work to get used to. Try practicing just the strumming along with the recording for a while, and then maybe try singing along with the recording if you find yourself struggling.

Click here for the full chords.

Down on the Corner – Creedence Clearwater Revival (C, F, G)

“Down On The Corner” by Creedence Clearwater Revival is a really fun and easy three chord ukulele song to groove on. The chords are simple for beginners, but the strumming pattern provides a bit of a challenge. But once you nail the pattern, it is a blast to strum out.

The groove is quick and involves some palm muting to really nail it. Palm muting is a common technique that you’ll want to get comfortable with. It helps create a percussive sound to the uke, and allows a lot of variety within the same strum patterns. All you are really doing is using your palm to push down on the strings in rhythm to “mute” the sound of the uke. Once you get the hang of this technique, it will take your playing to the next level.

Click here for the full chords.

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2 (C, F, G)

Legendary Irish rock band U2 has a deep catalogue of music to explore. Bono and The Edge have been churning out new music for decades now, and they don’t really seem to be slowing down. Theyhave plenty of tracks you can adapt to a ukulele successfully, but their popular 1987 hit “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is an excellent choice for beginners.

This laid back Grammy-nominated song can be played with just three chords all the way through, and they are once again our familiar friends, C, F, and G. U2 is known for their sort of sweeping buildup and pullbacks in intensity in their music. Try experimenting with how you can adjust your strumming to make this song capture that same buildup and pullback with just the uke.

Click here for the full chords.

Whistle – Flo Rida (Am, F, C, G)

“Whistle” by Flo Rida is another contemporary pop hit built on the same four chords as many of our other tunes. Am, F, C, G will take you a long way in playing pop music. You can have a lot of fun jamming on this song and changing up your strumming pattern between the verses and chorus.

Try practicing your finger picking on the verses to pull things back, and then turn up to bigger strumming on the chorus. All you have to really do for the finger picking on this one is roll your thumb down the strings one at a time in rhythm. Practice it slowly, making sure to give equal weight to each of the strings. No need to worry if you can’t whistle either! Try the melody on some “Doo doo doos.”

Click here for the full chords.

Soul Sister – Train (C, G, Am, F)

“Hey, Soul Sister” by Train is quite possibly the most successful pop song to not just feature a ukulele, but to be entirely driven by the ukulele. Just hearing those first few strums immediately sends you back to 2009 shouting along with the “heys.” Best of all, the song is fairly beginner friendly. 

The original recording is actually in the key of E major, and presents a few trickier chord shapes than the familiar ones in C. But, the song transposes easily to make it more accessible for beginner ukulele players. Just know that if you are trying to play along with the original recording, then the C, G, Am, F, chord progression will sound different than the chords on the record.

Click here for the full chords.

Someone Like You – Adele (C, G, Am, F)

Adele is well known for her-piano driven pop ballads, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a pianist to play her songs. Although this is a great easy ukulele song, “Someone Like You” features a haunting melody that offers a unique challenge for ukulele players. The original recording is built up of repeating sequences of notes called arpeggios. These arpeggios are when the notes of a chord are played individually from one to the next.

As you get more comfortable with these chords, you can experiment with finger picking arpeggios on your ukulele to more closely mimic the style of this song. But you can also have fun making it your own and playing it with your own unique strum pattern.

Click here for the full chords.

Cane Fire – Peter Moon Band (Am, G, F)

Peter Moon was a famous Hawaiian musician known for his diverse musical styling including Hawaiian, reggae, samba, jazz, and swing music. He may not be as big as The Beatles, but he was a master of the ukulele, and as such, his music is great for beginning ukulele players to study.

“Cane Fire,” is a soulful power ballad from the 1980s that sounds really complicated when you listen to it, but can be broken down to simpler components so that even a beginner can enjoy it. The whole song can be played with just three simple chords, but as you get more confident with it you can start to experiment with both the palm muting technique and the variations on the chords to change the tones.

Click here for the full chords.

One Love – Bob Marley (C, F, G, Am)

Bob Marley and the Wailers are reggae superstars, and their songs sound great on a ukulele. “One Love” is a feel good classic with a bouncy reggae sound you can totally capture on the uke. The chords are again simple, so you can really focus on the style of the song.

Capturing the light and bouncy quality of the track is what is most important for playing an easy ukulele cover of this song. Try using a palm muting technique to replicate the guitar’s bounce on and off the beat. The palm muting also helps create a percussive effect between strums so that you can try and capture the feeling of the steel drums in the background.

Click here for the full chords.

Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars (C, Am, F)

Bruno Mars is a modern day superstar with a crazy diverse catalogue of music. His debut album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans”, was made of a mixture of pop ballads and contemporary hip hop, including this smash single, “Just The Way You Are.” It catapulted him to international popularity in no time, and it is still a favorite amongst beginner musicians.

This song is catchy and simple for any level of musician. It can be played with just three chords from start to finish. This is a fun song and easy ukulele song to experiment with the tempo too. You can speed things up for a distinct pop feel or slow it down to capture a more melodic ballad.

Click here for the full chords.

Four Five Seconds – Rihanna (C, F, Am, G)

“Four Five Seconds” by Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney was a surprising collaboration project that really found its footing in the mainstream for a bit. This sorta acoustic, pop, hip hop tune is a light and fun one to play on the ukulele anytime.

This easy ukulele song for beginners uses just four simple chords, with slight variations between the verse, chorus, and bridge. You can keep a simple downstroke strumming pattern on the verses, but then add in some upstrokes on the chorus to pop things out a bit. In the bridge you’ll change the chord progression just a little bit by omitting the C major chord, so stay mindful of those changes.

Click here for the full chords.

All of the Stars – Ed Sheeran (F, C, Am, G)

Ed Sheeran is one of the most widely recognized contemporary singer songwriter pop artists in the world. He is best known for his detailed storytelling in his lyrics, often alongside acoustic guitar grooves that make for modern day classics every time. “All Of The Stars” is another prototypical Sheeran love song that is a fun and easy swing for beginner ukulele players.

Like many of Sheeran’s songs, this one has a pulled back verse that builds into a dramatic chorus and then pulls back again for the next verse. You can experiment with single strumming or fingerpicking on the verses to leave room for a more intense chorus when you get there.

Click here for the full chords.

Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men (Am, F, C, G)

Of Monsters and Men is a cool, Icelandic, indie rock group that managed to break into the mainstream with this 2012 hit. The original recording juxtaposes brassy blaring horns and relaxed single strum guitar sections to create an interesting journey for the listener and a great opportunity for a musician. 

On the ukulele, you can have a lot of fun playing with the different dynamic levels of this song. Try leaning harder into the chorus sections and pulling back on the verses. This easy ukulele song is great for practicing your dynamics and intensity. Once you get more comfortable with it, you can even try capturing that horn melody with some more complex fingering.

Click here for the full chords.

Stay With Me – Sam Smith (Am, F, C, G)

Sam Smith rose to stardom largely thanks to this powerful and emotional pop ballad. A lot of the power in this song comes from the vocals, which means that it is fairly manageable for beginner uke players who also fancy themselves a singer. 

There are a lot of ways you could approach this one. You could go for a sort of single strum pattern throughout, or you could try and up the intensity with a little bit more of a rolling strum pattern. Whatever you decide to do, you can really get into your feelings on this one and let the emotion guide your playing.

Click here for the full chords.

Red Red Wine – UB40 (C, F, G)

“Red Red Wine” was originally written and released by Neil Diamond in the 1960s. UB40 recorded a reggae cover of the song in the 1980s that went on to great success, particularly in the UK. Much like Bob Marley and The Wailers’ songs, this is another light and bouncy one that is tons of fun on the uke.

This ultra simple three chord ukulele song can be learned in no time. Practice bouncing on and off the chords to achieve that really light sound like the recording. You can also experiment with different strumming patterns, like alternating between a down, mute, up/down, mute sort of pattern. Something like that should amplify the bouncing feel.

Click here for the full chords.

Octopus’s Garden – The Beatles (C, Am, F, G)

Many Beatles records make great ukulele covers. The catalogue runs deep and some are a bit more intense, but “Octopus’s Garden” is exactly the kind of relaxed pop ballad that sounds excellent on a ukulele. 

The ukulele lends itself naturally towards light and joyful tunes. This song is definitely both of those, with more than a touch of whimsy thrown in. It keeps things interesting by switching up the chord progression between the verse and the bridge and the chorus, but still manages to be a simple song. This is a strong choice for someone who wants to keep things light while working on getting used to changing themes.

Click here for the full chords.

Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan (C, F, G)

“Blowin’ In The Wind” is a Grammy Hall of Fame song that has been covered dozens of times in many different styles. This classic “protest song” is led by an acoustic guitar and can be easily  brought over to your ukulele.

In the original recording, Dylan does a lot of complicated finger picking on the guitar. Once you start to get more comfortable with the chord shapes, you can experiment with some finger picking of your own and find a groove that works for you. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the original, just something that you feel effectively captures the spirit of the song, and most importantly, is fun to play on the ukulele.

Click here for the full chords.

One Day – Matisyahu (C, G, Am, F)

“One Day” is a bold pop ballad that feels very distinctly 2009. It is a little bit hip hop, a little bit indie, a little bit reggae, and features a lot of drama in the feel good build up from verse to chorus. And in true pop standard fashion, it is made up of a standard I, V, VI, IV chord progression making it super beginner friendly. 

The song’s variety comes entirely from the rise and fall of intensity, so this is where you should focus your efforts. Play around with different ways to build and pull back on the song to capture this. This song is a lot of fun to play around with on the ukulele.

Click here for the full chords.

Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival (Am, F, C, G)

This 1970’s rock classic is a beautiful and haunting song that many people believe to be about the Vietnam War. Though John Fogerty has since said that it was more about the turmoil happening within the band and the imminent departure of his brother from the group. 

Whatever the song is actually about, it is an awesome classic rock tune to cover on your ukulele. The original is emotional and a bit shouty, so try adapting it to be a bit more relaxed. The ukulele doesn’t lend itself as naturally to aggressive tones, so this is a fun one to play with really changing the original style into something new. It can still be equally as haunting, just in a bit of a different way.

Click here for the full chords.

Stand By My – Ben E. King (C, Am, F, G -OR- G7)​

Just about everyone is familiar with “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King. The popular chorus has been played and sung along to for decades and is a popular cover for beginner musicians. The original record is guided heavily by the bass track, but you can easily adapt it to a fun ukulele riff. 

This song is built on a classic 60’s pop rock structure. The I, VI, IV, V chord progression was hugely popular with artists of that time and this song fits it perfectly. The chord changes walk down to the next chord using leading tones at the end of the second bar. This is something to work up to, but you can get started with just the easy chords right away. The G chord works just fine, but if you’re looking to spice things up, you can add in a G7 chord instead.

G7 another easy ukulele chord that’s good to know. It’s a simple variation on the G chord shape:

g7 ukulele chord

7th chords add a jazzy feel to any tune. But, you can always play a normal G chord instead.

Click here for the full chords.

Songs Using a Few More Easy Chords

These next songs are also easy to play, but they throw a few new chords into the mix. Learn these chords, and you’ll be able to play some of the best songs to play on the ukulele.

Those chords are E minor, D, D7, and A. Here’s how to play them:​

Em,-D,-D7,-A ukulele chords

The D7 chord uses a barre, which means that you lay your first finger straight across the strings. This might take a little practice, so if you’re having trouble playing it you can always play a regular D chord instead.

And now for the songs!

I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons (Am, G, C, F, Em)

Mumford and Songs quickly gained recognition for their banjo folk rock style and have gone on to tremendous success. But you don’t have to be a banjo player to enjoy strumming away at their tunes. “I Will Wait” is a fun challenge for beginner ukulele players.

This song involves five chords instead of the usual four or three on the list. The Em chord shape might take a little bit of time to get used to, but it is definitely manageable with some practice. The real trick to focus on in this song is crafting a strum pattern that captures that uptempo folk feeling and nailing those sharp chord changes.

Click here for the full chords.

Love Me Do – The Beatles (G, C, D)

Another Beatles classic for you to try your hand at, this is a great three chord ukulele song for beginners. “Love Me Do” features a very memorable harmonica riff alongside some otherwise fairly simple instrumentals. You can nail this song with just three major chords, G, C, and D.

The D chord may be a new one for you, but it is super simple. Depending on the size of your fingers you may find it easier with one or two fingers. Try it different ways and focus on which way captures the best sound. It may not always be the most comfortable at first, but the sound is what’s important. After some more practice, it’ll start to feel more natural.

Click here for the full chords.

Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley (Am, C, Em, F, G)

Who could forget this timeless piano ballad? “Hallelujah” has become a standard for the contemporary ukulele player because it is beautiful and just complex enough to stay interesting. You can play with some simple strumming, or take things to the next level with some simple finger picking. 

The song switches between a couple of different progressions, but they all are built on the same five chords. If you’re struggling to keep the progressions separate, try practicing them as separate pieces and then putting them together.

Click here for the full chords.

Otherside – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Am, F, C, G, Em)

When you think of easy ukulele songs, the Red Hot Chili Peppers probably may not be the first band on your mind. But they’ve got a couple of songs that sound great and are super fun to play on the uke, including “Otherside.” This five chord ukulele song is an awesome way to transition your uke playing into a grungier rock sound.

This is also an awesome song for duets, if you’ve got a friend who plays music. You can pick up on simple vocal harmonies just by listening to the song, and depending on what instrument your partner plays, you can have a lot of fun with the instrumentation once you’ve got the basic progression down.

Click here for the full chords.

Heartache – One Ok Rock (C, F, G, Dm)

“Heartache” by One Ok Rock is a low key pop rock hit that translates perfectly for the beginning ukulele player. You can play it as uptempo or as slowed down as you want and it still sounds nice. The chords fall into a simple and repetitive I, IV, V, VI pattern, so once you lock that in, you don’t have to think too hard about them.

Try experimenting with playing this song with just single strums in the beginning and then increasing your intensity as you play. These pop rock power ballads are all about storytelling, and it is tough to build tension and excitement if you start the song at super high intensity without leaving yourself somewhere to build up to.

Click here for the full chords.

Let it Go – Frozen (Em, C, D, Am, A)

Every ukulele player should have a few Disney classics in their repertoire. This way you are always ready to entertain and impress a crowd of kids and families. While “Let It Go” from Frozen quickly became a bit overplayed, it is still a supremely popular and widely recognized tune that is a lot of fun on the ukulele.

This is another one that plays with dramatic build up and storytelling. Try to experiment with how you can turn up the intensity at the chorus and pull back on the verse to introduce some variety. This is a bit of a simplified version here, so that big dramatic middle section might sound a little different with just a uke, but you can totally make it work for you. Don’t get hung up trying to sound exactly like the full orchestration.

Click here for the full chords.

Sweet Home Alabama (D, C, G)

Rockabilly is another style that may not be top of mind on the ukulele, but this classic is easy, and tons of fun. “Sweet Home Alabama” is an iconic piece of American music and it is the same three chords for the entire song. 

The piano and guitar riffs of the original recording are a big part of the appeal, but there’s no reason you couldn’t bring your own ukulele flair to it. Once you get really comfortable with the chords for this one, you can play with adding some taps on your ukulele body for a pseudo percussion effect.

Click here for the full chords.

Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffet (A, D, D7, G)

Jimmy Buffett and the ukulele go together like Hawaiian shirts and the beach or cheeseburgers and french fries. His easy going, relaxed style translates excellently to the simplicity and joy of the ukulele. There are plenty of great places to start, but perhaps best of all is the tremendously popular “Margaritaville.” 

Playing “Margaritaville” on your ukulele takes you away to an island beach with a cold drink in your hand. Best of all, the chords are simple and remain constant throughout. So you can sing and sway and lose yourself in the music with all your friends. Try and accent the difference between the D and the D7 so you can really hear that subtle but important chord change.

Click here for the full chords.

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison (G, C, D, Em)

“Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison is a true rock classic that has managed to stand the test of time. The song first debuted in 1967 and holds a spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Something about that “Sha-la-la-la” riff is just so catchy and enticing. 

It is also amazing that such an acclaimed and memorable song is also such an easy song to play on the ukulele. Another four chord ukulele song for any beginner to knock out of the park. This time we’re following the I, IV, V, VI chord progression in the key of G. The Em can cause some stumbles with getting each finger in the right place quickly, so be sure to practice punching that chord on and off to get used to it.

Click here for the full chords.

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty (Em, G, D, C)

This 1989 Tom Petty anthem is a simple and effective song that can be stripped down to a powerful ukulele cover. The strumming pattern is a fun groove, but it is a little more complicated than some of the other tunes on this list. 

To really nail this song, you need to feel comfortable with your muting abilities. The verses alternate between two different themes, one using the C major chord and the other omitting it, so be sure to keep track of which section you are on. Then things change up again for the chorus, but still make use of these beginner chords.

Click here for the full chords.

Hakuna Matata – The Lion King (C, F, G, D, G7, Am)

If you only learn one Disney song on your Ukulele, make it this one. “Hakuna Matata” from Disney’s The Lion King is an absolute classic. The song, performed in the movie by Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba, is a snappy little earworm that never fails to lift people up.

This one is a bit more involved than several others on the list, featuring a total of six different chords and a few different themes. Practice each theme carefully, and then string them all together. It can be challenging to remember which progression comes up with which theme, but take it piece by piece and you’ll have it in no time. You can have a lot of fun playing with the intro and the bridge as well, taking your time through those spoken parts.

Click here for the full chords.

Leaving on a Jet Plane – John Denver (G, C, D)

John Denver is an awesome story teller who managed to create interesting and memorable songs using very simple structures. “Leaving On a Jet Plane” falls neatly into Denver’s iconic style and is friendly for beginner ukulele players. You also get to practice your D chord shape.

A neat and consistent strumming pattern will help you ease into the cool and rhythmic vibes that Denver creates in the original recording. You can practice the strumming pattern independent of the chords by just placing your fingers over the frets and focusing exclusively on the strumming pattern. Lots of beginner uke players ignore practicing their strumming and just focus on chord shapes, when really both are equally important.

Click here for the full chords.

2 Bonus (Slightly More Complicated but Still Easy) Songs for the Ukulele

These last two songs are a little more complicated to play, but they’re also some of the most fun songs to play on the ukulele. 

Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show/Darius Rucker (G, D, Em, C -OR- A, E7, F#m, D)

This fiddle-led country classic is a ton of fun to play on the ukulele. “Wagon Wheel” bounces along so easily that it’s hard to play without a smile on your face. The chord progression alternates between the first line and second line, so just keep close attention to which part you are on so you don’t get confused.

Most tutorials will tell you to play Wagon Wheel using G, D, Em, and C like you would on a guitar. And that’s perfectly fine to do, but it’s actually much easier to play on the ukulele using the chords A, E7, F# minor, and D. 

We’ve already gone over most of those chords, but here’s how to play E7 and F# minor: ​

E7,-F#m ukulele chords

However you decide to play it, Wagon Wheel is a great song that’s a lot of fun to play on the ukulele!

Click here for the full chords.

Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Am, C, D, Dm7, E7, Em, F, G)

This is one of the most famous songs for ukulele out there, and it’s the song that starts a lot of people out on their ukulele journey.

And it’s actually not that difficult to play. Over the Rainbow uses all the chords we’ve gone over so far, with the addition of D minor 7. Here’s how to play this chord:

Dm7 ukulele chord

This is a great song to tie everything together and reinforce all the new chords you’ve learned. And get ready to have a blast playing all the easy ukulele songs on this list!

Click here for the full chords.

Mega Song List (with uke chords, tab, and Youtube tutorials)

Categories UkuleleSours: https://acousticbridge.com/easy-ukulele-songs-for-beginners/
Ukulele Lesson 1 - Absolute Beginner? Start Here! [Free 10 Day Course]

At BeginnerGuitarHQ, we mainly aim to teach you everything we can about guitars. However, sometimes we branch out into the world of similar instruments. The bass, the mandolin, and in this case, the ukulele. The brilliant thing about the ukulele is that it is so easy to learn; small, portable and cheap, its often chosen before a guitar just to get a feel for fretted instruments.

In this important guide, I’ll talk you through 20 easy ukulele songs you can learn as a beginner ukulele player.

Did you know that many popular ukulele songs only really use four chords? The four most common ukulele chords are C, F, G and A Minor.

These beginner ukulele songs are easy to learn and you can master them by learning a few basic ukulele chords and strumming patterns.

>> TIP: If you are looking for a comprehensive ukulele course that can take you from beginner to pro quickly, we highly recommend Uke Like the Pros (20% discount with our link)

If you’re looking to learn ukulele, then look no further…

Contents

Getting Started with Easy Ukulele Songs

The main thing to remember about a ukulele, is that it really is quite easy. As they’re so small, you can get a grasp of the frets pretty quickly, and they’re easy to hold and strum, plus you don’t need to learn how to play with a pick.

However, they’re certainly more restrictive than a full guitar. It’s much rarer to play lead lines and solos on a ukulele, so you might find yourself restricted to accompanying your voice with chords. If that’s your thing, then go for it!

There are a lot of songs that can be translated to the ukulele, lending themselves well to playing in that bouncy, bright way all ukulele players love. I’ve combined some famous bangers with lesser known tunes, while also trying to give you a mixture of more plucked/fingerpicked pieces and strummed, chordal pieces.

Before you get started on these easy ukulele songs for beginners, make sure to check out our guide on how to transfer your guitar skill to the ukulele.

The Beatles- Let It Be


Let It Be chords

The Beatles might well be the most famous band of all time. Their unique blend of simplicity with unfathomably catchy melodies and mesmeric arrangements have teleported their music to the forefront of human musical achievement. Taking all of what makes The Beatles down to its very core shows them at their most exposed, with most of their catalogue delivering incredible poignancy.

Ukulele covers of Beatles tracks are obviously very common, with ‘Let It Be’ seeming to have become one of the favourites. The simple repetitive chorus melody combined with incredibly easy chords make it a great one for beginner ukulele players to have a crack at.

All you need for this one is your C major, G major, A minor and F major ukulele chords. Consult our guide for ideas on how to actually play these chords, and then go ahead and give it a go. I’ve attached a little score that will help you out when you get to the chorus, so pay attention to exactly where I’ve put each chord in relation to the lyrics, and then you’ll know when to change chord too.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Jason Mraz- I’m Yours

‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz is an interesting track for the beginner ukulele player, as it overcomes the main issue ukulele playing brings. Typically, you’ll hear a thick textured, well-arranged track played by a whole band and note how powerful and big it sounds. The ukulele takes away from this, and leaves you with a much less satisfying sound, even if seems more playful and easy. ‘I’m Yours’ was written for ukulele anyway, so these chords will immediately provide you with the perfect sound to play the song.

If you want to play this in the key of the original Jason Mraz track, then place your capo up on the 4th fret. The chorus of the track (the bit that everyone should recognise) is made up of just four simple chords: G, D, Em, C. It’s an easy pattern to learn, because each chorus simply corresponds to one bar of music. On the word ‘I’, play the G, on the ‘-tate’ part of the word ‘hesitate’, move to D, and so on.

If you’d like to explore this Jason Mraz track more, take a look here.

Vance Joy- Riptide

This upbeat track is another fun one to play, because it works really well with that bouncy, simple ukulele tone, plus the rhythms and strumming patterns are really easy to get a hang of.

As soon as you’ve placed your capo on the first fret, you can sit back and exclusively use the simplest chord sequence in all of music. Other than two uses of F major, this track is exclusively built on A minor, G major and C major, three of the easiest ukulele chord shapes and arguably the most common chord sequence in pop music.

The chord changes are quite intuitive, so it shouldn’t take you long to figure out when to change to a different chord. However, the biggest tip I can provide if you’re looking to replicate this song with accuracy, is to really emphasise the 2nd and 4th beat of each bar. That bouncing accent is what keeps the track sounding so funky and upbeat throughout, and you really want that sound to punch through in your ukulele cover as well.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Train- Hey Soul Sister

This is another example of a track where you already have a nice advantage in making your cover sound great. ‘Hey Soul Sister’ might well be the most famous song played on ukulele. That opening four chord strum is probably the most iconic moment of the song, so I’ll talk you through that and leave you to discover the rest of the song for yourself.

Much like the track above, only the simplest chords playable on ukulele are found here: C, G, Am, F. These are the four chords Axis Of Awesome use in their ‘Four Chord Song’. That’s how common the sequence is. Of course, use out guide again if you need reminding how to form these chords.

The strumming pattern is what gives this introduction its unique sound. Make sure you really hit that opening C chord hard on the first beat of the bar, before keeping the syncopation of the strumming and the emphasis of each chord change at the top of your priorities list.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Justin Beiber- Love Yourself

A much more modern example comes from Justin Beiber himself. Beiber might not be known for his ukulele heavy tracks, but writer of this particular track, Ed Sheeran, is certainly known for a tendency towards folk composition. Make sure to capo the 4th fret, and then prepare for the most chordal complexity than we’ve seen so far in this guide.

While C and Am are still present in this sequence, the tune also throws in a D minor. To form this, you’re going to want to use your 2nd finger to hold down the 1st fret of the 1st string, and your 3rd finger to hold down the 2nd fret of the 4th string. It also uses a G/B chord, which is basically the G shape (which you’re already familiar with) but with the B note as the lowest note in the chord.

Depending on how you play the chord, make sure the lowest note in your shape is a B natural, that way you achieve the clear descending scale that Sheeran intended to create in this track.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Adele- Someone Like You


Someone Like You Ukulele Chords

The slow, soulful performance of Adele doesn’t really work when taken to the ukulele. The high frequency response of ukulele strings takes the all-important depth out of the track, and its lower quality timbre reduces the seriousness behind all of Adele’s tracks. This is why I encourage you to put your own spin on ‘Someone Like You’ when you play it.

As the picture attached shows, Adele uses G, D, Em and C in the chorus. These are all easy chords, with Em arguably being the easiest to replicate on ukulele because it is technically exactly the same shape as a guitar Em.

Anyway, use this simplicity to your advantage. Maybe play the track quickly, with a syncopated strumming pattern that completely changes its tone. Maybe give is a staccato, off-beat reggae vibe. Just avoid playing it with the seriousness of the original, because trust me, it just doesn’t work.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

James Blunt- You’re Beautiful

James Blunt hasn’t exactly had a hit for a while. Back in the day, ‘You’re Beautiful’ and ‘Wisemen’ were receiving radio airplay daily, but he seems to have fallen off a little in recent years. That doesn’t stop ‘You’re Beautiful’ from being a great ukulele-ready track.

Luckily for you, we’ve returned immediately to four chord simplicity. F, G, C and Am are all you need for this one, and you can even chuck on a capo if you need to.

In terms of strumming patterns, something strangely effective for ‘You’re Beautiful’ is a simple single strum on each chord. For example, in those opening moments, strum your C chord once, then go straight into the line “my life is brilliant”. Then when the word “brilliant” is over, hit that G chord and sing “my love is pure”. It works the whole way through the song, though you might want to build the texture up a little towards the end.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole- Over The Rainbow

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (try saying that five times faster) was one of the first to bring the ukulele to the forefront of his music. The Hawaiian man died in 1997, but not before releasing a few albums of beautiful Hawaiian, ukulele-led music. Any of his tracks are worth having a go at, but his cover of ‘Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World’ is what has seen him go down in history. He recorded the track in one clean, raw take and gave us an incredible piece to cover.

In order to play the incredibly catchy chorus, you’ll need C major, E minor and F major. Strum the C during the entirety of the word “somewhere”, before moving to E minor for “over the rainbow”. Hit your F major as soon as you sing the word “way” and then the C once more when you move to the word “high”. Carry on like that and you’ll be able to grasp the whole song in no time!

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Bob Marley- One Love

Finally we’ve reached a song that allows you to break out some brilliant reggae style ukulele strumming. Because this song is so uplifting and summery, the ukulele tone actually matches its happy, feel good vibe really well, so you don’t need to worry about the instrument not being full enough.

The only chords you need throughout this track are: A, E, D and F#m. They also happen to be strummed in one of the easiest ways possible without a single change. Simply give a firm upstroke on the 2nd and 4th beat of every bar, changing chord where necessary.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Ed Sheeran- The A Team

One of Ed Sheeran’s earliest famous tracks, ‘The A Team’, also works really well on the ukulele. Having said that, you’re going to need to expand your harmonic repertoire a little. Amongst the simple G, Em and C chords littered throughout, you’re also going to have to leave Cadd9, A7sus4 and Am7.

For Cadd9, leave the 2nd and 4th strings completely open, then place your 4th finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string, and your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string. For A7sus4, you’re going to need a lot more dexterity. Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string, your 4th finger on the 4th fret of the 3rd string, your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string and your 5th finger on the 5th fret of the 1st string. Finally, Am7 requires you to place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string, your 4th finger on the 4th fret of the 3rd string, and then barre the 3rd fret of strings 1 and 2 using your 3rd finger.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

10 More Easy Ukulele Songs

We just covered the first 10 easy ukulele songs. After you are done with them, here are another 10 easy ukulele songs for you.

Sam Smith- Stay With Me


Stay With Me chords

As the attached image shows, Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ is quite an easy track to pick up. While it has got those pesky Am7 chords we just learned throughout its verse, it is mostly just built on F, C and G.

This is another one that might be a little too emotionally charged to resonate particularly well on the ukulele, so maybe shake things up a little and add some speed or interesting strumming patterns to give it life and allowing the amusing sound of the ukulele to actually transform this song into something amusing.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Of Monsters And Men- Little Talks

This slow, simple track is a great tune to learn if you’re craving forming a duet. There are two lead vocal parts that can be shared, and because the chords are so simple throughout, you can easily both play the ukulele accompaniment at the same time with no real issues with staying in time or performing anything that requires complex unity.

The key of this piece is Bb, so in order to replicate it as accurately as possible, you’ll want to use a capo on the first fret in order to use the chords I’ll be explaining to you. Making things nice and easy, this is yet another song that uses just Am, G, F and C chords.

The opening verse is built on single chordal strums that will take almost no practice to get a hang of. Simply hit the Am chord as soon as you sing the “I don’t mind…” lyric, then the F as soon as you sing the word “walking” and the C on the word “old”. Making things even easier, you can hold this C chord for two bars, so you don’t even have to change chord until the next phrase.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Bob Dylan- Blowing In The Wind

This is the third and final song on this list that doesn’t really work if you trying replicate it with accuracy on the ukulele. It is a poignant, emotive and classic track which has endured through generations since one of the greatest songwriters of all time first released it all the way back in 1963.

Maybe give it an edge with some of the reggae-style strumming patterns we looked at earlier, or if you’re looking to take your ukulele playing to the next level, you could even try adding some chordal extensions in order to give a jazzy feel to your rendition. The opening line (“how many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man”) is probably the most famous part of the song, so that is the specific piece of the song we’ll touch on here before you look at it in more detail.

The pattern this opening section follows is a simple G-C-D, G-C-G. The rhythm of this is particularly easy to pick up on, so it should be a case of simply listening to the track and placing your chord changes well. One tip when approaching this is to really get used to that change between C and D major. It’ll come naturally eventually, but for a total beginner, getting this fast movement to sound natural, smooth and slick is often a challenge.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Mumford And Sons- I Will Wait

As this song is a bouncy, upbeat piece of folk-pop by nature, not a lot needs to change in order to keep the tone of the track consistent. The main thing you need to remember when giving this one a try is to keep your strumming pattern fast, upbeat and in-time, so that the power of the chorus remains just as strong as on the original recording.

The chorus is very simple and easily to get a hold of. For the entire line “I will wait I will wait for you”, you can just keep that C major chord ticking over. The change to Em and G that comes after both happen when there are no lyrics being sung. This makes this track particularly good for those who may struggle with changing chord while they’re trying to sing at the same time.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Jeff Buckley- Hallelujah


Hallelujah chords

The Jeff Buckley version of the Leonard Cohen classic has made it to this list simply because it is slower and thinner in texture, therefore allowing translation to ukulele to make a little more sense.

While each of the chords present in this track are pretty simple to get used to playing, the biggest challenge you face here is that of memory. The verses don’t really stick to one simple, repeating chord sequence. The first two lines alternate quite easily between C and A minor, but line three moves to F major, before changing between G and C twice.

A key feature of this chord sequence is the word painting: we’re playing in C major (in this example), so the fourth interval of the scale is F, and the fifth is G. When these words are sung (“it goes like this, the fourth, the fifth”) make sure to move to the correct chords when the words are sung. Similarly, the “minor fall” moves to the A minor chord, and the “major lift” returns to the major chord of F. The final line of the verse introduces an E7 in the middle of a G and Am, so make sure you become familiar with how to make that chord.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Van Morrison- Brown Eyed Girl

‘Brown Eyed Girl’ is probably the biggest hit from the moody old blues rocker, Van Morrison. Annoyingly, its most recognisable part is quite difficult to replicate on the ukulele, so you’ll have to rely on your singing and ability to hit the right chords and the right time.

The chord sequence during the “sha la la la” section of the chorus is a simple one: G, C, G, D. The syncopated rhythms mean that you’ll have already hit the G major chord before the “la” begins, so just give the track a listen in order to work out where the changes happen.

One more thing; there is a D7 chord right at the start of the chorus. To play this chord, you’re going to want to make your standard D major chord (2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string and 4th finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st string) and move your 4th finger up a string. This will leave that 1st string open (adding the C to the D major chord).

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Coldplay- Clocks

Coldplay are known for their sad, emotionally resonant tracks. ‘Clocks’ is no different. It might work quite well for you to use this particular track as a way to practice your fingerpicking technique.

The chords for the chorus aren’t too hard: D, Am and Em, so use it as a way to practice an important ukulele chordal technique. Form the chords exactly as you would if you were strumming them, and then choose your approach. You could simply form a pattern that takes you from the lowest note of the chord and works its way up, or you could form your own alberti bass type sequence, which alternates the lowest note with the highest note, and the middle note of a triadic chord. Playing any of these patterns slowly and smoothly will give you a great, convincing accompaniment for your rendition of the track.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

The Cranberries- Zombie

The Cranberries’ classic track ‘Zombie’ was recently recreated by American metal band Bad Wolves, so whichever track you want to use as your inspiration is up to you. Adding the power of the metal version might be an interesting challenge to pull off on ukulele but it’s up to you.

The chorus is built on a sequence of Em, C, G, D/F#. It is simply to get a hang of where the chords change, so your biggest challenge here is to get the hang of keeping that F# at the bottom of your D major chord. This way, the descent from G major, to D/F#, to E minor is really clear and makes the choice of chords work exactly as they should.

If you’d like to explore this track more, take a look here.

Bruno Mars- Lazy Song


Lazy Song chords

As our chordal guide above shows, ‘Lazy Song’ is a simple track to translate to ukulele. Acting as one of Bruno Mars’ breakout hits, the tune is upbeat and uplifting, and matches the high frequency, playful tone of the ukulele exactly as it should.

As in the original Bruno Mars track, the chords should be played with a funky, off-beat reggae style. So for example, in that opening chorus, you’ll want to hit an up-stroke on the word “I”, and as such emphasising the second beat of the bar. The same emphasis should be felt on beat four of the bar, which in this first line falls on the word “don’t”.

As a whole, this is another really simple track to get the hang of. You don’t really need anything more than your G, D, C and Am chords. The only chords you might want to take a look at are the Bm chord which appears during the pre-chorus, and the B7 that shows up in the final line of each chorus.

If you’d like to explore this Bruno Mars track more, take a look here.

The Beatles- While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I left this one until last as it has a very different vibe to everything else on this list. Rather than simple chords for beginners, the ukulele version of one of The Beatles’ most melodically brilliant tracks is as perfect and beautiful as it is incredibly difficult.

Jake Shimabukuro’s version of the song is available to view here, and if that isn’t enough to inspire you to pick up a ukulele and give it a try then I don’t know what will.

The introduction can be learnt fairly easily, and will give you a very satisfying piece of fingerpicked ukulele to show off with, but as this tab shows, the playing at the end is exceptionally difficult and is only playable by those at the absolute top of the ukulele game. Maybe that’ll be you one day…

Easy Ukulele Songs in 20 Hours

Need some convincing that you can master these easy ukulele songs? Watch this Ted Talk by Josh Kaufman to see how he learned most of these easy ukulele songs for beginners in 20 hours:

Mastered the Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners?

If you have already mastered these beginner ukulele songs and are looking to challenge yourself further, consider a comprehensive ukulele course that can take you from beginner to pro quickly. We highly recommend Uke Like the Pros (20% discount with our link).

In Conclusion

The ukulele is a good choice for a beginner. If you’d found yourself picking up these easy ukulele songs for beginners quickly, then maybe try and take your skills further? Learn some more difficult ukulele songs and impress people by mastering an instrument that is normally used until a guitar replaces it.

Having said that, if you found these easy ukulele songs for beginners too simple and were looking for a challenge that can be played on guitar (thus creating a much more satisfying timbre) then maybe you should look to moving your newly formed skills over to an actual guitar.

Categories How to Play GuitarSours: https://beginnerguitarhq.com/easy-ukulele-songs/

Ukulele chords easy

Before we jump into the chords you should make sure you're learning on a quality instrument. We've got an easy to use guide, to help you find the perfect uke for you in this article. Here are a few products we recommend you add to your gig bag before you rock out on these chords.

If you begin on a cheap uke, you won't sound as good, which can be disheartening. We understand that if you are a beginner ukulele player, it may seem like a better decision for your wallet to not invest in high-quality ukulele. In the end, however, saving a few dollars on a beginner uke may make you more frustrated due to the lack of quality! You may find that you cannot quite hit the correct notes or that it is “always” going out of tune! The last thing you want is to strum a few chords and have to re-tune again. Waste of time! Loss of patience!

Let's get started! We start with our fingers. On the diagram below, you'll see that we have each finger numbered. Use the diagram to easily identify which fingers need to go where on your ukulele strings. ​We won't be using the thumb, so just remember the digits from 1 to 4.

Where do I put my fingers?

Uke chord charts have four vertical lines that represent the four strings of your ukulele. If you’re familiar with playing guitar, you may notice that reading a uke tab is very similar to reading a guitar tab! The first vertical line on the chart displayed above can be your thickest string, which is usually your G string.

chords for ukulele
uke tab

The first string, however, is not always a G string, and it’s also not always your thickest string. A ukulele can be tuned in many different ways such as the re-entrant method. Depending on the tuning that you use, the order of the strings may be different. Because many ukuleles use the re-entrant method, the thickest string is commonly the C string, not the G.

Musician’s Tip: If you are right handed and fingering with your left hand, and playing with G-C-E-A tuning as pictured above, the G-string will be closest to your nose. When you don't hold down on any frets, this plays an G note or an open fret.

Be aware that the chart goes in sequential order starting with G and moving from the C (third string), to the E (second string), and last but not least to the thinnest string: the A (first string).

Re-entrant Tuning Method: Explained!

Although standard ukulele tuning is very popular, so is the re-entrant method. Standard ukulele tuning is very common for soprano, concert, and tenor ukes. In fact, only tenor and baritone ukuleles are not commonly tuned using the re-entrant method.

So, what is the re-entrant tuning method? If you are using re-entrant tuning that means that your strings will not run from low to high. Soprano ukuleles are tuned using the re-entrant method for example. Soprano ukuleles are a popular choice for beginner to amateur ukulele players because it is easy to get used to the size of the soprano ukulele. It is also important for beginners to start to understand chord structure on a soprano ukulele. If you start on a soprano ukulele, you may find that it is not as hard for you to reach new chords.

What do all these symbols mean?

Luckily, these uke chords only have two important symbols. The easiest and most used symbol is the black circle, which means to fret a note. Here, we'll also put the number of the finger which you use.​​

common ukulele chords

An open string will be a white circle on a uke chart. The open strings are the notes at the top of the chart, G,C,E,A. A funny way to remember the order is by saying: Get Crazy Every Afternoon. If that's not a life motto, I don't know what is! Having these memorized will help you remember your finger placement.

Understanding Symbols for Ukulele Chords!

You may also need to understand one quick note about ukulele chords! If you are a complete novice it is important to understand that a capital M, means a MAJOR chord, and a lowercase m, means a MINOR chord.

For example, CM means C major. Cm means C minor! We hope that clarifies any confusion before you get started reading about how to play uke chords!

Learning to Play the Easiest Ukulele Chords!

Many people learn ukulele chords in musical groupings that will help them play songs. Although it is your decision in what order to learn the chords, learning them in alphabetical order can be a good way to start. A lot of uke books will teach you chords in the key of C first, and afterward, the books will teach you other keys.

We would like to introduce the first set of uke chords to you in a way that will help you to learn the easiest chords first. Then we will introduce some harder chords a little later. The first chords we are going to explain are C major, C minor, C7, A major, A minor, and A7. Prepare to bask in the glory of the easy C chord, but unfortunately not all the chords are this simple!

To play the C major chord (CM), simply place your ring finger on the A string on the third fret. To play the C minor chord (Cm), stay on the same fret and either use three fingers, or use a barre chord again on the C, E and A strings (the second, third, and fourth strings). This C minor chord is played on the 3rd fret, although there are other versions of the C minor chord that you can learn later! For now, we recommend that if you’re a complete beginner, you try just using three fingers for now and leaving the barre chord for later! Let’s give C7 a try! C7 is another piece of cake! Place your first finger on the ​first fret of the A string. That’s all!

To master the A major chord, place your index finger (first finger) on the first fret on the C string and your middle finger on the second fret of the G string. Voila! You’ve learned the A chord. A minor looks very similar to the A chord. If your hand is already in the position of an A major chord, you only need to remove your index finger from the first fret. Now you should only have your second finger on the G string on the second fret. That’s A minor!

A7 is also extra easy for you to learn! Just place your first finger on the first fret of the C string. ​ The good news is that you may be able to learn A and C chords pretty quickly, especially if you are already familiar with playing other stringed instruments.

ukulele c chord
c minor ukulele
c7 ukulele chord
a ukulele chord
a minor ukulele chord
a7 ukulele chord

Let’s Learn the Ds, Fs, and Gs!

The next set of easiest chords is D, F, and G! We’ll get to B’s and E’s yet, but now let’s learn F major and F minor.

To hit the F chord, you have to reach over the other strings to fret. Keep the C and A strings open with your first finger on the E string on the first fret and your second finger on the G string on the second fret.

You'll have to do a bit of a stretch to play the F minor (Fm) chord. ​Your first two fingers stretch between the G and E strings on the first fret, then your ring finger hits the A string on the third fret.

​The D chord will use your three fingers sequentially on the second fret of the G, C, and E strings. The Dm chord is very similar to playing the F chord. You just need to add your ring finger (third finger) to the C string on the second fret.

The G chord will use all three fingers placed very close together.​ It may feel like your hand is going to cramp up, but with practice, your muscles will get used to it. Your first finger will hit the C string on the second fret, your second finger will also be on the second fret, but on the A string. The ring finger is placed on the E string on the third fret.

f ukulele chord
f minor ukulele chord
d ukulele chord
d minor ukulele chord
g ukulele chord

What About B? How Can I Play the B Chord?

You'll find that B major is a little tricky to play, but luckily you won't have to play it too often. It's important to know how to play B though and have it saved in your back pocket should the opportunity arise.

You'll notice that playing the B chord requires you to use a barre chord! Thankfully, you will not need the B chord in many songs, but it is good to learn anyway. When you play a barre chord you'll use the same finger to fret multiple strings. In other words, when you play a barre chord you have to press down several strings at the same time. ​Barre chords are usually achieved by laying your index finger flat against the strings. But, unlike the B chord, there are some tricky ones that require other fingers to fret the strings.

To play the B chord, fret the E and A strings on the second fret with your first finger. Place your second finger on the third fret on the C string and also your third finger on the fourth fret on the G string. If the B chord is a little hard for you, try some other chords first and come back to the B chord another day.

b ukulele chord

Perhaps more important than the B chord is the Bb (B flat) since it appears frequently in folk songs. First, check out the image of the chord below so you have an idea of what it looks like.

To play a Bb you will need to be able to play a partial barre chord. To support your hand, place your thumb on the back of the neck of your uke, and then press down on the last two strings using your index finger on the first fret. Your wrist should be lowered in order for you to reach two of your remaining fingers (your second and third finger) across the fretboard. You will press down on the third fret on the first or ‘G’ string with your third finger. You will also press down on the second fret on the second or ‘C’ string with your second finger.

It’s a little tricky to master this chord, but you’ll need it for many songs, and it is often used for songs on the ukulele in the key of F. If the Bb chord is still troubling you, try learning the Gm7 chord first, which is very similar to a Bb chord. A Gm7 is the same as the Bb flat, expect that you remove your third finger from the first string on the third fret. In a pinch, you can use the Gm7 instead of the Bb until you learn the Bb better!

b flat ukulele chord
gm7 ukulele chord

Mastering the Tricky, but SUPER Important E Chord!

One thing that can help you hit the E chord is by working on your reach and flexibility in ​your fingers. You can achieve this by including finger exercises in your daily warm up. This will not only increase your finger reach, but allow you to play longer and faster!

When playing the E chord, start with your first finger on the G string on the first fret. Then place your second finger on the A string on the second fret. Your third finger will cross over the strings to hit the C string on the fourth fret. ​ This is not only one way to play the E chord, but it is also the easiest.

e ukulele chord

The standard, commonly used E chord can look a little different. You may often see the E chord pictured as a barre chord. For example, you may see the following image of an E chord in a song book:

alternative ukulele e chord

This version of the E barre chord will require you to barre the G, C, and E strings on the fourth fret with one finger and place your first finger on the A chord on the second fret. Alternatively, you can also decide to use all three of your others fingers to hold down each string, rather than playing a barre chord. Although this strategy may work initially, eventually it will be important to learn to play this chord as a barre chord!

There are still other ways to play the E chord, but it is crucial that you learn at least one way to play an E chord if you want to play the ukulele! There’s simply no way to get around it!

How Do I Play Other Minor Chords?

You already know how to play a few easy minor ukulele chords, but there are a few more important minor chords for you to learn! In general, minor chords create softer sounds, whereas major chords sound strong and happy. Don't dismiss the minor chords though. They can add a moody sound to your tunes. Let’s look at Bm, Em, Gm,

Bm is a toughy! You’ll need to use the barre chord we learned in the B chord a few minutes ago. You will barre the C, E, and A strings on the second fret with your first finger. You also need to place your third finger on the 4th fret on the G string! Although this chord is not the first chord you’ll probably learn, you may need it later on!

Up next we've got Em and Gm. If you’ve already conquered Bm you have nothing to fear from these minor chords! To get the Em chord down, you'll need to use your first three fingers and reach over the strings to fret. ​Start with your first finger on the A string on the second fret. Your second finger will be E string on the third fret. Lastly, your third finger will be on the C string on the fourth fret.

The Gm chord is played with your first finger on the A string, first fret. Your second finger will be on the C string on the second fret, and the third finger on the E string on the third fret.​

b minor ukulele chord
e minor ukulele chord
g minor ukulele chord

How do I play the 7th chords?

The 7th chords add a groovy vibe to your music. They are very common in blues and jazz songs and are indicated by the number 7 after the letter name. You can add a little soul to your tunes with these 7th chords! The 7th chords are relatively easy to learn. You’ve already had a brief intro to 7 chords when you learned A7 and C7 in the beginning of the article!

The B7 chord is a little more complicated than A7 or C7. Use a barre chord on the G, E, and A strings on the second fret. Then add your middle finger on the C string, third fret.

D7 is somewhat similar to B7. You'll use another barre chord on the G, C, and E strings on the second fret with the first finger. Then add your middle finger down on the A string on the third fret and you've got it!

b7 ukulele chord
d7 ukulele chord

We are onto the last three ukulele chords for beginners that we will cover. F7 is going to be one of the most difficult chords, but you've come this far, so we know that you can do it! Add a little extra practice to these three and you'll be rocking it! F7 is just like the F chord we learned earlier, but you'll add your third finger on the C string on the third fret.

Hit the E7 chord with your first finger on the G string on the first fret. Your second and third fingers will both be on the second fret, but on the C and A strings, respectively. ​

Last but not least, G7! Place your first finger on the E string on the first fret. Your second finger will reach over the E and A strings to the C string. Place your second finger on the second fret. Also, your third finger will be on the second fret as well but on the A string. ​

e7 ukulele chord
f7 ukulele chord
g7 ukulele chord

Ukulele Chord Progressions

Of course, if you’re a musician already, you may know that some chords just sound better together than others! For example, Am, C, Dm, and A7, which are all chords you’ve learned in this brief how-to article can be played together. Try also A, D, and E7 together. If you know what chords go together you can start to create your own songs, and not just play the songs of others. A sign of a true musician is one who can compose and create their own music!

Another set of chords that will blend well together is Em, G, C, and D. These chords are excellent together on both the ukulele and the guitar! Or try B7, Em, Cm, and G together! As you play more on the uke, you’ll learn to develop your own style!!!

Chord Transitions

If you’re a beginner to the uke, don’t forget to take your time. Don’t stress yourself out on becoming a world-renown ukulele musician overnight. You also need patience to build muscle memory.

To help you to get started try learning chords transitions between G and C. When you are playing a G chord, press your fingers firmly on the strings. Try practicing moving your ring finger (third finger) from the third string on the third fret, back one string to the fourth string (A string) on the third fret. You will need just this one movement and just this finger to transition to a C chord. Next you need to hover your other two remaining fingers above their original positions from your G chord. Congratulations you’ve just learned how to change from a G to a C chord!

Next you need to hover your other two remaining fingers above their original positions from your G chord. Congratulations you’ve just learned how to change from a G to a C chord!

Confused? Take a look at the two chords one more time:

g major ukulele chord
c uke chord

Let’s try to learn one more! G to F! If you are trying to move to an F chord from a G chord, your index finger (first finger) will need to move to your third string (the E string). Then your middle finger moves up to the first string (G string) on the second fret. Lastly you will need to hover your remaining finger (third finger) that you haven’t moved, which you do not need for the F Chord.

f uke chord

There you have it! You can now play the beginner and a few other intermediate ukulele chords. You also have the tools to start making your own music and begin learning chord transitions too! You are on your way to mastery! Keep up the hard work and bookmark this page so that you can return to it when you need a refresher.

Tips for Beginners

  • Invest in a top quality ukulele. Cheap ones will be difficult to keep in tune and won't hold up with regular wear and tear.
  • Always make sure your instrument is in tune. It will be impossible to sound amazing if you're off key.
  • Learn how to read uke tabs.
  • Spend some time learning basic strumming patterns.
  • Take your time while learning. If you try to hurry through it, you could be memorizing things incorrectly.
  • Have fun! It may be hard to motivate yourself to practice if you don't enjoy playing the ukulele. Try learning your favorite songs.
Sours: https://coustii.com/ukulele-chords-beginners/
Perfect - Ed Sheeran - EASY Ukulele Tutorial - Chords - How To Play

75 Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners

Perfecting your uke strumming and chording techniques require a sandbox of fun, easy music. Which is why three or four chord easy ukulele songs totally rock!

Lots of people like to make lists and link to songs that are popular on the uke. But, of course, “popular” is not the same as “easy.”

Which is why most of these collections are not particularly useful and possibly frustrating. Some lists actually include quite difficult songs! (More on that at the very end.)

The ukulele is regarded as one of the easier instruments to start playing and with COVID-19 keeping folks cooped up, it’s more popular than ever.

Since that means lots of beginners searching the web and the fact that truly easy uke songs can be hard to find if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, I put together some favorites that are fun to play and I often teach my students.

Easy ukulele songs for beginners: The Criteria

This is just my opinion of what an easy song should be, but all songs on this page:

  1. Have four or less chords in the whole piece
  2. Use chords that require no more than three fingers
  3. Don’t use barres (or need a capo)
  4. Can generally be played by most beginners without too much struggle

So with those criteria in mind, let’s jump in and look at the songs. They are separated by genre with some of my top picks highlighted at the beginning of each section.

Before we get going, if you want really simple two-chord songs, check out my page of tunes that only use F and C7 (two of the easiest uke chords).

Top 5 Easy Pop Ukulele Songs

With popular music where it’s at today using simple chords, it’s easier than ever for a beginner to strum recognizable songs on their ukulele. Pick a favorite here and click through to the chords to get started.

Counting Stars

By One Republic

Chords: Am, C, G, F

A modern classic of driving pop music, Counting Stars translates to ukulele surprisingly well.

Because of the nature of its repeating chord pattern, be sure to vary your strumming styles between sections so the song has some give and take. Even a simple down, down strum works wonders here.

Counting Stars chords

I’m Yours

By Jason Mraz

Chords: C, G, Am, F

Still a huge hit all these years later! I’m Yours is actually in a super hard ukulele key. But it’s next door neighbors with a super easy key so these chords below are easy for even a beginner uke player to strum.

I’m Yours chords

Riptide

By Vance Joy

Chords: Am, G, C

One of the ukulele’s most popular current songs, Riptide rocks a low baritone sound and a bordering-on-out-of-control strum to rock through bizarre lyrical scenes.

The chords are very easy, but the strum is a little tricky. Because I’m nice I included a detailed write up on it here:

Riptide ukulele chords and strumming pattern

Uptown Funk

By Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars

Chords: Dm, G, F

Here’s a serious earworm with some easy chords. Uptown Funk follows an interesting dorian sound along with its groovy beat if you’re getting bored of more traditional sounding chord progressions.

Uptown Funk chords

Whistle

By Flo Rida

Chords: Am, F, C, G

Here’s a club-banging tune with a repeating chord progression through the whole thing.

Whistle chords

More Pop Songs

  • Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke (G, D)
  • Cut My Lip – Twenty One Pilots (Em, D, A)
  • Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine (G, Am, Em, F)
  • Foundations – Kate Nash (C, F, Am, G)
  • Hello – Adele (Em, G, D, C)
  • Ho Hey – Lumineers (C, F, G, Am)
  • Into the Wild – LP (G, Em, C)
  • Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett (D, G, A)
  • Poker Face – Lady Gaga (Em, C, G, D – use D instead of D/F#)
  • Stay With Me – Sam Smith (Am, F, C, G)
  • Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 (Dm, G, C)
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens (F, Bb, C)

Top 5 Easy Rock Ukulele Songs

With its roots in the blues, rock and roll has its fair share of songs with easy chords. This is the largest section and includes oldies to punk.

All Along The Watchtower

By Bob Dylan/Hendrix

Chords: Am, G, F

Of all the songs I personally play at my shows, All Along the Watchtower is one of my favorite ukulele songs for beginners. Its minor mood with the descending/ascending chord progression is a total win.

And since Bob and Jimi set the bar with their raspy and legendary “bad” voices, it’s a great tune to start singing on if you haven’t tried before.

All Along the Watchtower chords

Down On The Corner

By Credence Clearwater Revival

Chords: C, F, G7

An oldie, but goodie about jamming music in the street by CCR. Learn to pick the intro guitar part in addition to strumming the chords.

Down On The Corner chords

Octopus’s Garden

By The Beatles

Chords: C, F, Am, G

One of Ringo’s finest moments with the Beatles, Octopus’s Garden is a fabulously fun and well-written song. It’s also a perfect ukulele strum-along!

With minor sections and rhythmic breaks it’s fun to jam out on and create variations.

Octopus’s Garden chords

Still Haven’t Found (What I’m Looking For)

By U2

Chords: C, F, G

Still Haven’t Found is a total sleeper. Who would have thought that it is based on such easy chords? Because of The Edge’s tricky effected guitar work it sounds much more complex.

So get out a delay pedal and strum along!

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For chords

I Won’t Back Down

By Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Chords: Em, G, D, C

A study in chugging rock from the late Tom Petty, I Won’t Back Down has a fun push-pull rhythm that shortens the time spent strumming some chords and lengthens others.

With a steady downstrum and some nimble changes you’ll be rocking your uke like the Heartbreakers!

I Won’t Back Down chords

More Rock Songs

  • All the Small Things – Blink 182 (C, G, F)
  • Bad Moon Rising – CCR (D, G, A)
  • Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol (G, D, C)
  • Evil Ways – Santana (Gm, C, D)
  • Float On – Modest Mouse (C, Em, Am)
  • Hand in my Pocket – Alanis Morissette (G, C, F, D)
  • Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles (Am, G, F, E7)
  • Hound Dog – Elvis Presley (C, F7, G7)
  • Hunger Strike – Temple of the Dog (C, F, Am, G)
  • I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers (D, G, A)
  • La Bamba – Ritchie Valens (C, F, G7)
  • Love Me Do – Beatles
  • Mustang Sally – Wilson Picket (C, F, G – strip 7ths for easier version)
  • Oye Como Va – Santana (Am, D7 – Use Am instead of Am7)
  • Run-Around – Blues Traveler (G, C, Am, D)
  • Save Tonight – Eagle-Eye Cherry (Am, F, C, G)
  • Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd (D, C, G)
  • Surfin’ USA – Beach Boys (C, F, G7)
  • This Too Shall Pass – OK Go (C, F, G)
  • Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon (D, C, G)
  • What’s Up – Four Non-Blondes

Top 5 Easy Country/Folk Ukulele Songs

A Horse With No Name

By America

Chords: Em, D

One of several two-chord gems on this list, Horse With No Name is almost as easy as they come. The chart shows some more advanced chord voicings, but just use Em and D in the place of the fancier Em9 and D6/9 or Dmaj9.

Horse With No Name chords

Achy Breaky Heart

By Billy Ray Cyrus

Chords: A, E7

Country songs are often very simple – great for covering on easy uke! Billy Ray Cyrus’s hit is no exception. Use E7 instead of E for a much more manageable version.

Achy Breaky Heart chords

Jambalaya

By Hank Williams

Chords: C, G7

One of the top easy ukulele songs on this list, Jambalaya is the perfect first tune for a total newbie. It’s also a fabulous opportunity to make a local parody and change the lyrics to reflect your hometown.

Jambalaya chords

Leaving On A Jet Plane

By John Denver

Chords: C, F, G

I’m partial to Justin Young’s version (above), but the original follows the same chords and both get huge mileage from just three chords.

Leaving on a Jet Plane chords

Ring of Fire

By Johnny Cash

Chords: G, C, D

A classic from Mr. Cash, Ring of Fire is a great, simple song to play on your ukulele. Try adding 3rd double stops and learn the picking riff!

Ring of Fire chords

More Country/Folk Songs

  • All I Have to Offer You is Me – Charlie Pride (G, C, D)
  • Day-O (Banana Boat Song) – Harry Belafonte (D, A7)
  • Desolation Row – Bob Dylan (D, G, A7)
  • I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You – Tom Waits (C, F, G)
  • The First Cut is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow (D, A, G – use A instead of Asus4)
  • This Land is Your Land – Woody Guthrie (D, G, A, D7)

Top 5 Easy Reggae Songs

Reggae often uses easy chords, but since it relies heavily on a syncopated skank strum it can be difficult for beginners to play. If you’re a strumming wiz who wants to drill on some easy songs, reggae is your jam.

One Day

By Matisyahu

Chords: C, G, Am, F

Certainly one of the most powerful songs on this list, One Day is more of a pop song than reggae, but Matisyahu IS modern reggae in my mind.

Take note of the progression. With these four chords in this order you can play LOTS of songs.

One Day chords

One Love

By Bob Marley

Chords: C, F, G, Am

While the chords aren’t too hard, Bob’s tricky timing is a good challenge for those that want a little more.

One Love chords

Red, Red Wine

By UB40

Chords: G, C, D

A great three chord repeating progression to practice your chanking on, Red, Red Wine delivers a mellow vibe and a bubbly message.

Red, Red Wine chords

Three Little Birds

By Bob Marley

Chords: A, D, E7

A seriously legendary feel-good reggae song, Three Little Birds is likely one of Bob’s most well-known compositions. Change the E to an E7 for an easier variation.

Three Little Birds chords

What I Got

By Sublime

Chords: D, G

Though not a heavy reggae song, Sublime is such a renowned reggae band that What I Got sort of has to go here. It’s only two chords and some attitude.

What I Got chords

Traditional

These songs are a part of North American culture. They are some of the most well-known tunes to be found anywhere.

You Are My Sunshine

Chords: C, F, G7

You Are My Sunshine chords

Amazing Grace

Chords: C, F, G7

THE beautiful gospel song.

Amazing Grace chords

Happy Birthday

Chords: C, F, G7

If there’s one song that any musician in North America should know it’s Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday chords

Other Traditional Songs

Top 5 Easy Island Jams

“Island” music can be a lot of things, but to me, living in Hawai’i, it means contemporary local music that sits somewhere between traditional Hawaiian and either reggae or mainstream music.

These are awesome tunes for chilling out and jamming at mellow events where a little island flavor on the uke can make things a little more tropical.

Shine On

By John Cruz

Chords: C, G7

With just two chords, John Cruz really wrote the perfect easy ukulele song. The catchy melody, simple chord changes, and gentle vibe makes for a fun strum along whether you’re a beginner or advanced player.

Shine On chords

Cane Fire

By the Peter Moon Band

Chords: Am, G, F

Peter Moon’s legendary song about growing pakalolo (marijuana) in the cane fields is probably out of reach in picking department. But the chord structure is a piece of cake and the minor key is fun for jamming on and a great place to begin trying your own lead improvisations.

Cane Fire chords

Heartache

By One Groove

Chords: C, F, G

One of my favorite songs of all time in the Jawaiian (Hawaiian reggae) genre, One Groove keeps it simple with a repeating reggae chord pattern. For those who want more of a challenge, you can try picking the intro lead.

Heartache chords

Island Style

By John Cruz

Chords: C, F, G7

In his anthem of life in Hawai’i, John Cruz captured a Hawaiian style feel while keeping the words contemporary.

This is usually the very first easy ukulele song I teach complete beginners. It’s super simple and musically satisfying. Little effort for a really fun sound with lyrics anybody can sing and play (even if you don’t know what “lomi salmon” is).

Island Style chords

Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u

By Olomana

Chords: C, F, G7

This song is about the area of Kahalu’u on the island of O’ahu. It’s a very nostalgic song that all the old timers love.

With such easy chords the Hawaiian refrain is probably the most challenging part for most people!

Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u chords

More Island Jams

  • Country Road – Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga (C, Dm, Am)

Top 5 Easy Hawaiian Songs

These are songs in Hawaiian language. If you can get a grasp on basic pronunciation, Hawaiian music is a beginning ukulele player’s paradise.

There are many, many Hawaiian songs that follow the same exact chord progression (order).

E Huli Makou

By David Chung

Chords: F, G7, C7

A great simple ukulele tune and also one of the easiest songs to learn to hula.

E Huli Makou chords

Haleakala Hula

By Alice Namakelua

Chords: C, F, G7

A rousing song for Maui’s majestic mountain, easy chords can be made difficult by the speed!

Haleakala Hula chords

I Kona

By James Kelepolo

Chords: C, G7

One last fabulously easy ukulele song with two chords that is more of a vocal showcase song. If you’re a comfortable singer, give the falsetto style a try!

I Kona chords

Kaulana Na Pua

By Ellen Prendergast

Chords: C, F, G7

Kaulana Na Pua is a song of resistance and support for our late Queen, Lili’uokalani.

Kaulana Na Pua chords

Koke’e

By Rev. Dennis Kamakahi

Chords: C, F, G7

A modern classic by the late Rev. Dennis Kamakahi about the Kalalau area on Kaua’i.

Kokeʻe chords

If you want even more ideas for some easy uke songs, there is a great collection on Uke Hunt arranged by chords used. It’s a clever way of seeing how learning just a single chord can allow you to play a ton more songs.

A Tip on Learning New Songs:

Work on one aspect at a time. It really helps to break a song down by chords, strum, and vocals.

If you try and do everything at once you’re going to struggle. Get familiar with the chords first – look them up (if you need a chord chart, click here), write them down, learn to finger them. Then take a look at a simple strum without trying to hold chords. Then sing through the song without trying to play.

Once everything is easy separately, start adding pieces together – strum (muted) and sing or strum and hold chords. Then try and do it all at once. The idea is to get everything running on autopilot in one form or another. If you are trying to play it all at once with brute determination and thinking power, you might be able too, but it will feel way harder than it should.

Two Songs That Aren’t Easy (But are on Other Lists)

There are a certain number of famous songs that get thrown onto other easy song lists because they’re well known. But this doesn’t mean they are a great song for beginners.

The reason you won’t find these here is because I’m an ukulele teacher. I’ve taught and continue to teach these songs to beginners and wouldn’t dream of including some of these in a uke 101 class:

  • Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole (Tons of chords with shifting patterns)
  • Hey Soul Sister by Train (Recorded in a hard key and with a fast strum that will just confuse beginners. You CAN transpose it, but often the magic is being able to play along with the recording)

You might also like:

More song chords
Easy ukulele tabs

Sours: https://liveukulele.com/songs/easy-ukulele-songs/

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