Looking for some easy songs to play on your ukulele that are quick to learn? Great! We have put together this list of 10 songs that are easy to play just for you! The songs on our list sound awesome, and only use 2-3 chords, so they are easy to play and quick to learn.
While you can find many other lists like this out there, most of them have the same list of songs and include things like the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Row Row Row Your Boat. There is nothing wrong with these songs, but we wanted to bring you something new, something a little more interesting, with a wider variety of songs from different genres and eras.
So let’s get started!
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
Let’s start off by jumping straight into the deep end. Uptown Funk probably isn’t the first song you would think of when trying to decide what would sound good on a ukulele. But you would be surprised! This 2014 hit by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars is all about the rhythm, and ukuleles are great for rhythmic strumming.
The entire song uses only two chords:
Dm7 and G7
Now, while that Dm7 chord may look intimidating at first, don’t worry! You can always mute/skip the A string. To mute, simply have the edge of your first finger (pointer) – on the 1st fret of the E string – touch the A string so no note sounds when you play the A string. Alternatively, simply strum only the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings when playing the Dm7 chord.
For the strumming pattern, the song uses a variety, but a good one to start with is DU D D. Try playing the DU D D strumming pattern once on Dm7 and once on G7 and you should start to hear it!
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
Jumping back to 1977, Dreams by Fleetwood Mac has a very different feel to it than Uptown Funk, but also uses only two chords for the entire song.
To play Dreams, you will need only the F and G chords.
Pretty easy huh?!
For the strumming pattern, I like to use DD UU DU.
With these two chord songs, the nuance often comes in the vocals and how they change as the song goes on. If you’ve mastered the chords and the vocals on this one and are looking for more, you can try spicing it up a bit by changing from F and G to Fmaj7 and G6 from time to time.
Horse With No Name – America
America’s Horse With No Name is yet another 2 chord classic.
Chords needed are Em and D6/9 (don’t let the name discourage you!):
The song uses a slightly different strumming pattern for each chord.
For Em, play D DU UDU, then for D6/9 play DUDU UDU.
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Alright, to play Sweet Home Alabama, we need 3 chords, but the good news is they are all chords you are probably already familiar with!
Chords needed are D, C and G.
For the strumming pattern, we’ll just use D D D U for each chord, and we play D for one round, C for one round, and G for two rounds of this pattern. That’s it!
Levitating – Dua Lipa
Let’s jump back to the present with this hit song by Dua Lipa from 2020. The entire song is played with just 3 chords in a pattern that never changes.
Chords needed are Bm, Em, and Gbm.
The pattern for Levitating is Bm, Gbm, Em, then back to Bm. For the Strumming pattern, let’s try D UT D, with the T representing a ‘tap’. A tap is where you simply tap the ukulele string with your right hand instead of strumming. When you do this, no chord is heard, but it adds a rhythmic beat to the strumming pattern.
If you have trouble with the B minor bar chord, you could try playing it in the key of Am instead of Bm. To do this, play Am, Em, Dm, and back to Am.
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
Ring of Fire takes only 3 chords! In fact, it’s basically the same as Sweet Home Alabama.
Chords needed are C, D7 and G.
The progression of these chords is a little more complicated than some of the previous songs, so I recommend you look up some tabs.
For the strumming pattern, check out this video from Terry showing how to play Ring of Fire on the Baritone:
Read more: 10 Basic Ukulele CHords For Beginners
For this traditional sea shanty, we need just two chords.
Chords needed are C and Dm.
The key with this one is the quick change from Dm to C and back to Dm when they say “ear-ly in the morning.”
Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
Chords needed are A, E, and D.
For the verse, try strumming each chord just once, or using a constant DUDUDU pattern, then for the chorus try DDDDDD.
Hound Dog – Elvis
Chords needed are C, F and G.
Strumming pattern is DD UU DU
Wild Thing – The Troggs
Chords needed are A, E and D.
[insert E chord here for the version with 2nd fret A string and 4th fret E,C and G strings]
Strumming pattern is D D for A, DD for D, D D for E, and DD for D. Notice that some of the downstrokes are closer together and some have more space between.
For more lessons on chords, techniques, and songs to help you along on your own uke journey, make sure to check out our site www.ukelikethepros.com. We offer you a bunch of great ukulele content that comes hand-in-hand with an awesome ukulele community that will support you in this journey.