59 Easy Ukulele Songs Beginners Can Pick Up Fast

Easy Ukulele Songs For Beginners

Today I'm going to give you some easy ukulele songs you can start learning right away.

Learning the ukulele is a lot of fun. And, while method books can be a great source of information, playing through their beginner examples is often tedious and boring.

Wouldn’t you rather be learning your favorite songs? Well, the truth of the matter is that you probably can. You don’t need to wait to get started.

All you need are a few basic chords and strumming techniques to be able to play most songs (though you might need to figure out the rhythm yourself).

So, let’s look at some easy ukulele songs beginners can pick up fast. Just make sure you've got an easy to use beginner ukulele and you're good to go.

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“With or Without You” by U2 (D, A, Bm, G)

Find the “With or Without You” lead sheet here

“Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows (Am, F, Dm, G, C)

Find the “Mr. Jones” lead sheet here

“Save Tonight” by Eagle-Eye Cherry (Am, F, C, G)

Find the “Save Tonight” lead sheet here

“Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down (Bm, G6, A)

Find the “Kryptonite” lead sheet here

“What It’s Like” by Everlast (Dm, F, C)

Find the “What It’s Like” lead sheet here

“When I Come Around” by Green Day (G, D, Em, C, Am)

Find the “When I Come Around” lead sheet here

“3AM” by Matchbox Twenty (G, Cadd9, D, Em)

Easy ukulele tabs

Find the “3AM” lead sheet here

“Fly Away” by Lenny Kravitz (A, C, G, D)

Find the “Fly Away” lead sheet here

“Wild Thing” by The Troggs (A, D, E)

Find the “Wild Thing” lead sheet here

“Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” by Green Day (G, C, D, Em)

Find the “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” lead sheet here

“…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears (Bm, Gb, D, Em)

Find the “…Baby One More Time” lead sheet here

“Genie In A Bottle” by Christina Aguilera (Am, G, F, E7)

Find the “Genie In A Bottle” lead sheet here

“Never Let You Go” by Justin Bieber (F, Am, G)

Find the “Never Let You Go” lead sheet here

“Creep” by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm)

Find the “Creep” lead sheet here

“The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World (D, A, G)

Find the “The Middle” lead sheet here

“Closing Time” by Semisonic (G, D, Am, C, Bb)

Find the “Closing Time” lead sheet here

“California Gurls” by Katy Perry (F, Bb, C, Dm, G)

Find the “California Gurls” lead sheet here

“I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas (G, C, Em)

Find the “I Gotta Feeling” lead sheet here

“Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty (G, C, C/B, D)

Find the “Free Fallin’” lead sheet here

“Wonderwall” by Oasis (Gbm, A, E, B, D)

Find the “Wonderwall” lead sheet here

“Hey Ya” by Outkast (C, F, G, Am)

Find the “Hey Ya” lead sheet here

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana (Am, D, C, F)

Find the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” lead sheet here

“Smooth” by Santana ft. Rob Thomas (Am7, E7, Dm7, Em7, Am)

Find the “Smooth” lead sheet here

“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan (G, D, Am7, C)

Find the “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” lead sheet here

“End Of The Line” by Travelling Wilburys (D, A, G)

Find the “End Of The Line” lead sheet here

“Spiderwebs” by No Doubt (Bb, F, Gm, Eb)

Find the “Spiderwebs” lead sheet here

“Red, Red Wine” by UB40 (Db, Gb, Ab)

Find the “Red, Red Wine” lead sheet here

“The Joker” by Steve Miller Band (F, Bb, C, C7)

Find the “The Joker” lead sheet here

“Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd (D, C, G)

Find the “Sweet Home Alabama” lead sheet here

“Viva La Vida” by Coldplay (F, G, C, Am, Bm)

Find the “Viva La Vida” lead sheet here

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash (C, D, Am, G, F)

Find the “Hurt” lead sheet here

“Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child (Cm, Ab, Fm, Bb, Ebm)

Find the “Say My Name” lead sheet here

“Yellow” by Coldplay (C, G, F, Am, Gm)

Find the “Yellow” lead sheet here

“Something In The Way” by Nirvana (A5, F5)

Find the “Something In The Way” lead sheet here

“Born In The USA” by Bruce Springsteen (C, F)

Find the “Born In The USA” lead sheet here

“Lively Up Yourself” by Bob Marley (C, F)

Find the “Lively Up Yourself” lead sheet here

“Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus (A, E)

Find the “Achy Breaky Heart” lead sheet here

“Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction (G, A)

Find the “Jane Says” lead sheet here

“Blurred Lines” by Robbin Thicke ft. T.I. & Pharell (G, D)

Find the “Blurred Lines” lead sheet here

“Paperback Writer” by The Beatles (F, C, Am7, C7)

Find the “Paperback Writer” lead sheet here

“Break On Through” by The Doors (Em, D)

Find the “Break On Through” lead sheet here

“Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles (C, Em, Em7, Em6, Cmaj7)

Find the “Eleanor Rigby” lead sheet here

“House Of The Rising Sun” by The Animals (Am, C, D, F, E)

Find the “House Of The Rising Sun” lead sheet here

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (D, A, G)

Find the “Bad Moon Rising” lead sheet here

“A Horse With No Name” by America (Em, F#m)

Find the “A Horse With No Name” lead sheet here

“Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum (A, C, D, E)

Find the “Spirit In The Sky” lead sheet here

“Ring Of Fire” by Johnny Cash (G, C, D7)

Find the “Ring Of Fire” lead sheet here

“Leaving On A Jet Plane” by John Denver (G, C, D)

Find the “Leaving On A Jet Plane” lead sheet here

“Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison (G, C, D, Em, D7)

Find the “Brown Eyed Girl” lead sheet here

“The Scientist” by Coldplay (Dm, Bb, F, Fsus2, C)

Find the “The Scientist” lead sheet here

“Love Me Do” by The Beatles (G7, C, G, D, F)

Find the “Love Me Do” lead sheet here

“Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum (F, Am, C, Em, G)

Find the “Need You Now” lead sheet here

“The One I Love” by R.E.M. (Em, D, G, Am, C)

Find the “The One I Love” lead sheet here

“Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton (G, D, C, Em, G7)

Find the “Wonderful Tonight” lead sheet here

“Stay With Me” by Sam Smith (Am, F, C, G)

Find the “Stay With Me” lead sheet here

“Have You Ever Seen The Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (C, G, F, Am)

Find the “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” lead sheet here

“Zombie” by The Cranberries (Em, C, G, D)

Find the “Zombie” lead sheet here

“Otherside” by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Am, G, C, G, Em)

Find the “Otherside” lead sheet here

“Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol (A, E, D)

Find the “Chasing Cars” lead sheet here

What Qualifies As An Easy Song For A Beginner To Pick Up?

Best Song To Learn Ukulele With

If a song had more than five chords in it, I didn’t include it here. Three- to four-chord songs are relatively easy, and interestingly, most pop songs don’t have more than four chords.

I admit that some of the songs on the list are harder than others, but that’s only because they are in different keys, and when you look at the overall chord structure of each song, you’ll see that they are quite simplistic.

If certain songs are giving you a hard time, then either come back to them later or try playing them in the key of C or G, and you will find they are considerably easier.

Is It True That Most Pop Songs Can Be Played With Only 3 Or 4 Chords?

Yes. This is not an exaggeration. The odd pop song has six or more chords, but usually they only have three to five chords, as seen above.

With that in mind, if you want to be able to play in different keys, learning four chords isn’t enough.

But there is a certain convention or formula most songs follow, and that’s that they use these chords:

I – IV – V – vi

In the key of C, those roman numerals become the chords C – F – G – Am.

In the key of G, those numbers become G – C – D – Em.

If you haven’t learned this in your studies yet, don’t worry, you will. If you’re working with a teacher, ask them to explain it. If you’re working through a method book, keep going and you should find it. And, if you’re learning entirely online, Google additional teaching material.

Throughout this guide, we’ve looked at songs in various keys. If you find some are too difficult, feel free to skip over them for now – you can always come back to them later.

Then How Come My Playing Doesn’t Sound Like The Song?

There can be a lot of reasons for this. Let’s cover the most common:

  • Your strumming is off. It may take a while for you to figure out the exact rhythm or pattern to play the song to. Listen carefully and try to imitate what you hear. You could also try imitating the drums.
  • You’re in the wrong key. With some songs, to play in key, you may need to tune down or even use a capo to get it to the correct pitch. Seek additional resources online if you’d like to play along with a specific song but don’t have the correct chords.
  • The lead sheet/tab is inaccurate. For better or for worse, this does happen. In most cases, the interpretations you find should be close, however, and with a bit of tweaking, you can probably make them sound better. You can also go looking for other tabs.
  • The chords are too generic. In many songs, you aren’t necessarily hearing the same old “zombie chords”. The musicians have deliberately put their own spin on the chords to keep them interesting. Don’t worry, assuming you’re in the right key and keeping up with the changes, you still get a passing grade. Eventually, you’ll want to learn how to add more color to your chords.

Everything takes time, so don’t get frustrated, and keep practicing. Sometimes, all you need to do to get good at a specific song is to keep working at it.

When I was first learning guitar, I found there were plenty of things I couldn’t do or didn’t understand how to do. Then, as my lessons progressed, I found myself able to pick up more and more songs. You will probably find the same thing as you continue to improve.

How Do I Strum The Ukulele?

Learn these ukulele songs

Although you can play a ukulele with a guitar pick, you’ll find most players intermediate and above play with their fingers.

As a beginner, you can begin by using your thumb, but I would encourage you to graduate to your index finger as soon as possible.

Eventually, you will want to learn how to strum with all your fingers, but you don’t need to work on that until later.

So, here’s a video lesson that shows you how to strum with your index finger – where to position your finger, how to keep loose and get a clear sound out of your instrument (you can also learn basic strumming patterns just by following along):

What’s important to understand is that most songs are in 4/4 time, meaning there are four beats per measure. Typically, the kick lands on 1 and the snare on 3. In that sense, music is both mathematical and methodical.

Strumming patterns generally fit within the context of a four-beat structure. A chord progression, however, can unfold over many bars of music.

So, for example, if a song has a C – Am – F – G chord progression and each chord lasts a bar, it would look something like this:

| C | Am | F | G |

Where each bar is worth four beats.

Easy Ukulele Songs For Beginners, Final Thoughts

Easy Ukulele Songs Beginners Can Pick Up Fast

From beginner to intermediate, you should now have plenty of songs to keep you occupied while you’re improving on the uke.

Keep in mind that being great at any instrument – even the ukulele – takes a lot of hard work, time and patience. So, don’t give up and keep practicing.

If you can’t play the above songs yet, don’t worry – if you stick with the process, you will learn how!

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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