So, you’re curious about learning how to play fingerpicking songs on the ukulele! That’s great, because once you’ve learned this technique, your music sounds richer
and more complex. Many of the songs on our list include chords as well as fingerpicking, while a few rely on fingerpicking alone. Ready to play? Let’s get started!
1. “Moon River” by Henry Mancini
12 chords – C, Am7, F, Dm7, E7, Am, C7, Bb, D7, B, Em, G7
“Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s has 12 chords, but they’re not terribly difficult and the tempo is nice and slow. If you’re familiar with this song,
you’ll find that with just a little bit of practice, it’s fairly easy to finger pick on the ukulele. Keep on practicing and add in your own special touches when you’re ready!
Master the ukulele in 30 or less, Guaranteed!
- Great for the beginners
- Master Half Notes, Quarter Notes, and Eighth Notes
- Develop amazing right hand strumming technique
- Learn how to play in ‘time’ and keep a solid rhythm
- Memorize essential major, minor, and 7th chords
2. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
9 chords – C, Em, Am, F, G, G7, B7, A7, Dm
Just about everyone knows this famous Elvis tune. It’s slow and relaxed, making for easier chord changes and a lovely sound.
3. “Happy Birthday” – Traditional song
3 chords – C, F, G7
If there’s one easy ukulele fingerpicking song everyone should add to their repertoire, this is it! It’s very easy to play Happy Birthday on the ukulele – and if
you’re already familiar with these three easy chords, you’ll probably have it memorized in just a few practice sessions.
4. “Sound of Silence” by Paul Simon
5 chords – Esus2, D, Em, C*, G
You’ll be absolutely wowed by your ability to play Sound of Silence on the ukulele, as it sounds just spectacular despite being comprised of just 5 chords. This is a
very slow song to begin with, but slowing it down even more will help you bring all the notes together and familiarize your fingers with the pattern.
5. “Let Her Go” by Passenger
Don’t be afraid to learn how to play Let Her Go by Passenger on your ukulele! This song will probably take a while for you to put together, but it’s possible – even if
you’re a complete beginner. The key is to start slowly, learn a few notes at a time, and keep playing over and over, gradually adding a few more notes. You’ll be
astonished at the way this song sounds once you’ve got it down – and so will your friends!
6. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John
Play one note at a time until you get a feel for this beautiful Disney favorite. If you’d like to challenge yourself, you can try this more complicated version!
7. “Hey There Delilah,” by The Plain White Ts
5 Chords – D, F#m, Bm, G, A,
This fun version of “Hey There Delilah” uses a combination of chords and fingerpicking to create a wonderfully full, well-rounded sound. Hum along before you add your
vocals – it’ll help you put everything together. It’s worth noting that this song is a bit more complicated than some of the other easy ukulele fingerpicking songs
covered here, but that by playing slowly and practicing over the course of a few days, you can put it all together. It’s worth the effort!
8. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
All the action takes place on the first three frets in this easy ukulele fingerpicking rendition of Bobby McFerrin’s hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” This song is as much
about rhythm as it is about hitting all the right notes. If you’re feeling extra coordinated, you can add lyrics.
9. “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles
7 chords – G, C, D, A7, Bb, F, D7
Even though “Here Comes the Sun” was written way back in 1969, it’s still a favorite. This version combines lots of fingerpicking with some chords, which provide
backing for the lyrics.
10. “My Girl” by The Temptations
5 chords – C, F, Dm, G, G7
“My Girl” is another great song that brings familiar chords and fingerpicking together. The fingerpicking is very simple, making this one of the easiest arrangements on this list!
11. “Island Style” by John Cruz
3 chords – F, C, G7
See more on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5pSJvBdvtw
With just three basic chords, you can fingerpick Island Style on the Ukulele! Start slowly and familiarize yourself with the essentials. Once you’ve gotten the basics down, you can add more personality and soon, you’ll be playing it Island Style! It’s worth noting that the tutorial with John Cruz incorporates different chords; still, this arrangement gives you a great feel for the song.
12. “E Ku’u Morning Dew” by Eddie Kamae (Sons of Hawaii)
A, Bm7, E7 chords
See more on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ReH-ykAyyk
Again, the video tutorial for this song uses different chords – we recommend using them and reading along with the words on the music link! Both are correct; this is simply an example of how different artists interpret ukulele fngerpicking songs and create their own arrangements. Give it a try!
13. “Rose of Allandale” by Mary Black
5 chords – A, D, E, F#m, Bm
See more on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbeZZ98eRYA
Don’t let the F#m and Bm frighten you: A, D, and E are used throughout the majority of this song, so you won’t have to stretch too far outside your comfort zone to learn and play!
14. “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul, and Mary
6 chords – C, Em, F, Am, D7, G7
See more on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYci4uiHcco
Learn how to play Puff the Magic Dragon on the ukulele! We recommend learning the chords and the basic strumming pattern first, and then working in your own fingerstyle flourishes once you’ve got the basics down. The sheet music includes all the words to the song in case you don’t already know them!
15. “The Leaving of Liverpool” Irish Traditional song
3 chords – C, F, G
See more on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkovJzZBOmE
With only three chords, this version of “The Leaving of Liverpool” is one of the easiest ukulele finger style songs around. Still, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the tune by listening to different arrangements!
Getting Started with Easy Ukulele Fingerpicking Songs
While lots of ukulele fingerpicking songs combine strumming with fingerpicking, it’s important to note that fingerpicking involves plucking each string individually to
create a pleasant sound.
You’ll want to use your thumb for the G string, your index finger for the C string, your middle finger for the E string, and your ring finger for the A string. The
other distinction is that most fingerpicking is written as tab. Learn to read tab if you haven’t already, and you’ll be well on your way to fingerpicking easy songs on
Like learning any other new technique, consider taking a gradual approach so that what you’ve learnt sticks with you. Gradually build your knowledge and keep on
practicing. With time, you’ll find that fingerpicking feels like second nature. Aloha, and happy playing!