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Top 10 Ukulele Songs for Beginners

All of these songs only have three chords or less!

by Michael Vogelsang

Are you ready to learn some ukulele songs? If you’re just starting out on the ukulele, or even if you’ve been playing for a while, you should know that there is literally an endless number of songs that you can learn to play. And, regardless of what styles or genres you’re into, or whichever eras you prefer, it’s incredibly easy to find plenty of songs that interest you.

With that in mind, many popular and iconic songs that have spanned the decades are surprisingly simple to play, and several of these songs have only three chords or less, making them all the more quick and easy to learn on the uke.

So, in this article, we will list 10 of our favorite songs to learn on the ukulele that have three chords or less, as well as give you the chords you will need to know in order to play them. As with learning any new thing, especially if you are a beginner, be sure to take your time and, above all, make sure that you are enjoying your learning experience.

Easy Ukulele Songs:

 

Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett

It’s a classic song that’s perfect for the summer, and definitely, one that everyone can sing along to. Whether you’re at a backyard barbecue or a beach bonfire, this is a great song to have in your repertoire. The chords for Margaritaville are D, G, and A.

Hound Dog by Elvis Presley

This oldie has stood the test of time over the years as one of the all-time most recognizable songs in Rock ‘n’ Roll history. The King really nailed it with this one, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser no matter where you play it. The chords for Hound Dog are C, F7 and G7.

Lava by James Ford Murphy, Kuana Torres Kahele and Nāpua Greig

If you’re looking for something more modern to play, Lava from 2015 was initially released as part of the soundtrack for the film Inside Out, and is a very popular song to learn and play, especially among uke players. The chords for Lava are C, G7 and F.

Red, Red Wine by UB40

Another great summertime jam, Red, Red Wine is a terrific song with a brilliantly simplistic reggae vibe. Although it was originally written and recorded by Neil Diamond, UB40 put their own, unique spin on it. The chords for Red, Red Wine are G, C and D.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

This doo-wop song from 1961 has a mellowness that makes it great to play on the ukulele. Also, the very prevalent backup vocals and harmonies make it great for singalongs, and it’s a very quick and easy song to learn. The chords for The Lion Sleeps Tonight are C, F and G7

All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix

All Along the Watchtower is a classic rock song that can be mastered very quickly. Even though it was performed by one of the greatest guitar players in history, It’s much less complicated than you might think. The chords for All Along the Watchtower are A-minor, G and F.

Happy Birthday by Patty Hill and Mildred Hill

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Happy Birthday is the most recognized song in the English language. No matter your skill level, if you play the uke, you should definitely know this song. The chords for Happy Birthday are C, F and G7

What I Got by Sublime

Getting back to more modern music, What I Got is a massive alternative hit from the 1990s. Its laid-back sensibility and slower tempo make it a great choice for ukulele players, and the entire song only has two chords. The chords for What I Got are D and G.

Horse With No Name by America

Another two-chord jam, Horse With No Name doesn’t have any quick changes or tricky arrangements, making it very easy to learn. And, the “la-la-las” are fun to sing along to, helping to make it a solid choice for playing. The chords for Horse With No Name are E-minor and D.

Riptide by Vance Joy

Ending our list with a more modern song, Riptide was a huge hit that most likely inspired many people around the world to want to learn how to play the ukulele. It’s a very popular song for uke players of all skill levels! The chords for Riptide are A-minor, G and C.

Final Thoughts

No matter your level of skill or how long you’ve been playing, it’s always fun to learn new songs, new chords and different song structures. Fortunately, even though all of these songs are very well-known, they only have two or three chords to learn, making them all the more fun to play.

And, again, an important key to learning anything new is to take your time, start slowly and be patient. With a little practice, you’ll have these songs mastered and playing them confidently before you know it.

Also, be sure to check out our collection of online lessons, books, and our online store for all your ukulele needs.

Enjoy your playing!

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