In this article we will show you easy ukulele songs that are the best to learn for beginners.
As a beginning ukulele player you may not have had any music theory training possible. You may not realize that nearly all the songs you like only have a handful of chord progressions.
As you practice and play more you will start to see these patterns, but for now just know that with four chords you can play thousands of songs. And the easiest four chords to play on the ukulele are C major, A minor, F major, and G major.
All the fingerings for these chords should be practiced as soon as possible. These will be the chords you encounter below and in most beginner ukulele lessons.
Not only do beginner songs have to be easy but they also need to be rather well-known, first time musicians need something they recognize when starting out. If you can hear the song in your head, it will make it easier to find a good groove and strum.
We have picked a few different eras of music and genres to make sure we find the best simple ukulele songs for those who are new to this awesome instrument.
1. Feelin Alright
Now this hit by Traffic and later Joe Cocker only has two chords, which makes it seem like an easy ukulele song right? Well it is two simple chords, but sometimes it is hard to do a little variation with fewer chords.
This entire song you mainly switch back and forth between C7 and F7, which are a little different than your normal C and F major. You don’t even need a tutorial for this hit. Just turn the Traffic version on and play C7 and F7 as you hear them switch.
Now the reason a tutorial does help is to show you some variation in your playing. Like extra notes and flourishes that will break up the monotony of those two chords. (Sometimes players use both the F and F7).
In general the blues and early rock is made up of very easy chords and blue notes, it’s the feeling put into the song that makes it sound great. With a little practice this blues piece makes a great beginner ukulele song.
2. You Never Can Tell
This is another easy ukulele song with only two or three chords depending on how you play it. Many know this tune from the scene in Pulp Fiction when John Travolta and Uma Thurman dance.
The cool thing about this popular song is that it is great for beginning and advanced players both! As a new player you can simply switch back and forth from a C to G, or you can add a G7 in before switching back to C. Those 7th chords go great in rock remember!
And once you have the basic chord changes down you can start adding in extra notes and riffs to spice it up.
This is such a great ukulele song for beginners because it shows how much you can do with a few chords and the right strum.
3. You’re Beautiful
This easy song for the ukulele uses our four main chords mentioned above. Notice depending on the order of C, Am, F, and G it will affect how the song feels.
If you are just starting out you can play these chords with simple strums and sing along. As you get better you can follow tabs or add in flourishes like the video shows.
Sometimes an Em chord is used, which is not easy but good practice. You will find occasional discrepancies in chords across sites and tutorials.
Sometimes as a beginner you can cheat your way around these harder chords until you get better. Or if you are a talented singer you can just fix missed notes with your voice!
4. One Love
Bob Marley and reggae music in general sounds great on the ukulele and usually those songs are very easy. Here we have the chords C, G, F, Am repeating the entire time and with a simple ukulele strum.
It’s not the key of the original “One Love” recording, but as a beginning uke player the key of C is always easier. Once you have the basics of this tune down you can start adding in some fingerstyle playing and flourishes.
It is such a good beginner ukulele song that you can add it to your performance repertoire right away!
5. Wagon Wheel
This is not just an easy to play ukulele song, but a requirement for all musicians. In some college towns it is the law to play a cover of this song every night!
Ha! Joking aside, the reason it is so very popular is because it is simple to play and sing. And of course the best key of this song for ukulele is C.
We once again have the four simple chords of C, Am, F, and G. The verse and chorus slightly alter the order but it is still a super easy ukulele song.
Just be careful as “Wagon Wheel” and “Hallelujah” are so overplayed you may get a heckler or two!
6. Love Story
Taylor Swift writes a ton of four chord songs that are usually easy ukulele songs for beginners. This particular tune is a great example for the familiar chords it starts with and then the new ones it ends on.
She starts out using the same C, Am, F, and G that you are used to by now. But at the end she raises the key from C to D. This is good as you will learn new chords and it will prepare you for transposing songs.
When she moves to D she is still playing the same chord degrees, just one step higher. This may not make sense at the moment, but as you get better these little music theory facts will start to come together.
7. Hungry Heart
While Bruce Springsteen may not have written this hit on the ukulele, it still makes for an easy ukulele song.
If you notice it uses a D minor chord along with the C, Am, and G. Now you will quickly notice that the D minor is really just the F major with one more finger down.
So if you know how to play the F, the Dm will be a breeze. And like many of the easiest ukulele songs these chords repeat over and over until the end of the song.
The progression is easy and the singing not too difficult, making this a popular song amongst beginner players.
8. Monster Mash
Now you can play C, Am, F, and G all day if you wish to stay in the key of C. But let’s face it, you will have to branch out. And one way to do that is to play in the key of G.
“Monster Mash” uses the chords G, Em, D, and C which are the same scale degrees, just like how Taylor Swift switched keys above (moving to D instead of G).
Try playing this song as G-Em-C-D or as C-Am-F-G. It will sound very similar, yet slightly different. Congrats! You are learning music theory!
And while you’re at it, this chord order is known as the doo wop progression. You can play nearly any doo wop song with that sequence; they are all very simple ukulele songs.
Looking at the initial chords of this timeless John Lennon classic may give you a little scare. But don’t worry, most of the fingerings are simple and they move in a very easy order (you already know the Dm!).
Yes there is an E7 in this song! If you don’t know yet the E major chord is the dreaded nightmare of many ukulele players, or at least for those that don’t practice. The E7 is just a little easier than the E major, so this is a great way to ease into the E!
After all you can’t play the same four chords all the time, so you need to keep moving beyond C, Am, F, and G! The Beatles have many hits that are perfect and easy to play on the ukulele.
Now that you have learned some of the easiest ukulele songs, don’t forget to start trying more chords and keys. Try not to stay in C, Am, F, and G all the time.
The best practice for ukulele is really just to sit and play songs as often as you can. Look up the chords or video tutorials and just play.
When you come across an unknown chord, you just look it up! Take your time on your chord changes and make sure they are clean sounding.
Before you know it you will be great at playing the ukulele and have quite the vast knowledge of tunes! Just start with easy ukulele songs for beginners and slowly work your way into more advanced music!