Easy Ukulele Songs For Beginners: 4 chords for 30 songs

Ukulele

easy ukulele songs

It is important as a budding musician to learn the easy things first. Not only will you make noticeable progress faster but you'll enjoy the journey too. We would never recommend a beginner to try to play a song with 12 different chords, or ask them to fingerpick, or even to play an advanced strumming pattern. It is setting them up for failure. 

We like to teach four chords to start with to start to unlock a lot of popular songs. Once these four are mastered you can start to learn one or two more as they come up in songs. By the time you know 10 chords you'll look like an advanced Luthier to most people! 

Know what song you want to learn, use the Quick Navigation to jump right to that section of the article! 

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Like this list? Check out our 8 Tips To Learning the Ukulele Quickly! 


The 4 Chords You Need

We recommend you start off with 3 basic chords and add the fourth later. The 3 super simple basic chords are Am, C, F. With these chords you'll be able to play many of the songs on this list (and a number that we didn't have space to include!). 

A Minor

Ukulele A Minor Chord

C Major

Ululele C Chord

F Major

Ukulele F Chord
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Pretty easy right? The C and A minor chords require a single fret to be held down, and the F chord simply requires you to add the 1st fret of the E (2nd) String to the A Minor chord. 

The G chord involves 3 fingers, but most players find the chord shape to be simple and easy to learn. 

Guitarist will recognize the shape of the G chord as the same as that of a D Major chord on a six-string guitar. 

G Major

Ukulele G Chord

If you want to explore the rest of the Major, Minor and 7th Ukulele chords, there is a full list with diagrams at UkeGuides. 


Easy Ukulele Songs For Beginners

Now that you know the 4 chords you need we want you to remember a few things. When learning a song start by simply strumming 4 down-strokes per bar. If that is too difficult simply play one down strum, but make sure you are tapping your foot to keep time! 

1. Riptide - Vance Joy
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2.  Birdplane - The Axis of Awesome  

You may not recognize this song by the name, or even the band, this is definitely a one hit wonder for most people.

The tab we've linked to actually asks for a standard Amajor chord at one point during the song. We recommend playing with the Am until you're comfortable playing the major chord, then adding the level of difficulty! 

3. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
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Don't have a Ukulele to play yet? Check out our Guide to Great Beginner Ukuleles!


4. Love the Way You Lie - Eminem ft. Rihanna

There was a time when you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing this haunting, powerful song. If you can sing Rihanna's part, or know someone who can, this is an amazing ukulele tune to play!

5. Soul Sister - Train (C,G, Am, F)
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6. Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry  

This song is just simply FUN to play. 4 chords, quick changes, a lot of down strums, a mixture of hammer-ons and string muting give this song an amazing sound. 

Now, we'd recommend you start with a nice slow easy pace for the down strums, get your chord changes down, then increase the difficulty! You will be able to play this song and have fun all the way from beginner to advanced! 

Want More Help Learning The Uke?


ArtistWorks has an amazing video learning series from Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel that we highly recommend! 

7. Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
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8. It's my Life - Bon Jovi

A huge hit from an 80's hair band with this electric hit song from 'after their prime'. We love playing this anthem on both the Ukulele and the guitar. 

9. Stay - Rihanna
10. Self Esteem - The Offspring

Every time we play this on the ukulele we have to chuckle. This ballad of teen angst sounds pretty funny on the happy little uke. 

If you're goal is to turn heads, get a few laughs, and play something that no one else at the gathering would think to play, then you could do a lot worse than this jam. 

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11. All of the Stars - Ed Sheeran 
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12. Pokerface - Lady Gaga

Oh, Gaga. What can we say. Everyone knows who this pop superstar is and her music is something you simply can't avoid in the last 10 years. So what do you do? We went with it, learned to play her biggest hit, and are perfectly happy with our decision!

Is 4 chords too many? Check out 8 songs that only require 2 chords

13. The Hanging Tree - Hunger Games
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14. Don't Stop Believing - Journey

We admit it, we love this song... who doesn't? The best part is that you can play it with four chords and a fairly easy strumming pattern. It's also a huge crowd-pleaser that everyone will be able to sing along to

15. All Along the Watchtower - Bob Dylan/Jimi Hendrix
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16. She Will Be Loved - Maroon Five

We are going to warn you... you won't be able to sing this song like Adam Levine. He has such a unique voice that it's just not going to happen. That doesn't mean you can't make this tune song great on a ukulele though! 

Just a note, the Tab specifies playing an Fmaj7 chord. Play the F, we think it's right (and in our opinion it sounds better than the 7th chord too! 

17. Counting Stars - One Republic 
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18. Let it Be - The Beatles

Our first (but not last!) offering from the legendary band that turned the world electric. One of their most famous songs, it's been covered and played more times than any of us could venture to count. Why not add your name to the list? 

19. I Still Haven't Found what I'm Looking For - U2  
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20. Down Under - Men at Work

This was the #4 song for the year 1983 as voted by Billboard music. Obviously a gigantic hit, and one that gained popularity worldwide. Starting in Australia, then moving to Canada before finally finding it's way to the United States. 

21. Leaving on a Jet Plane - Jonh Denver 
22. Complicated - Avril Lavigne

A song about the, lets say, shady side that people can have, it is much more cheery when played on a ukulele. This is also a song that you can find much more difficult tabs for. Start simple, then work your way up! 

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23. Octopus's Garden - The Beatles
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24. Kids - MGMT

This song has a soft spot in our hearts as it was included in one of our favorite snowboarding videos, ever. It's also fun to play because the original is an electronic pulsing song that many may not picture being played on a Uke. 

This is a song that the tab wants you to switch up the chords for the chorus and if you want to play to the record version that's true, but as a beginner keep the verse pattern for the chorus so you can play the entire song!

25. Whistle - Flo Rida
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26. Double Rainbow - The Gregory Brothers

This is a pretty silly song that is almost guaranteed to put a smile on the face on anyone who is listening. It's also one that most people know but wouldn't expect to hear, so it's got a goofy shock factor to it too!

27. Cane Fire - Peter Moon Band
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28. Paparazzi - Lady Gaga

Another monster hit for Lady Gaga, paparazzi is a fun song to play to give a little crap to anyone who always seems to be following you around with a camera. Yes, we all have those friends! 

29. Heartache - One Groove 


30. One Love - Bob Marley 

Last but not least. A song that needs no introduction buy surely every musician should know, the amazing "One Love", by Bob Marley

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​Like our list? Did we miss a song that can be played with the four beginner chords we've listed? Please, post below and we'll add to the list!