The ukulele is slowly gaining popularity as an instrument that is inexpensive and easy to learn in comparison to several other string instruments like the guitar or the violin. The ukulele has become people’s go-to instrument when starting and deciding to learn an instrument, especially when the player believes in self-learning or online learning.
Another reason for the ukulele’s popularity is portability. Due to its small size, it is easy to carry and takes little to no extra space. So you can just pop it into your suitcase without wondering whether it'll fit or whether you’ll be able to put in something else along with the ukulele.
So, if you are also one of the people trying to learn this beautiful instrument, here are 7 easy to play songs you can practice with:
1. Someone Like You by Adele
We will start our list with none other than Adele. Her iconic songs keep playing on repeat after just one listen and I think we all know her voice is something straight from our dreams. However, don’t fret people, if not the voice, we can surely learn to play her songs and this one is perfect to start your ukulele journey with. Adele uses G, D, Em, and C in the chorus. These are fairly easy chords to learn, with Em probably being the easiest because it is the same as a guitar’s Em. Use the simple chords to your advantage and learn this tune.
2. Riptide by Vance Joy
This is a song that you may or may not know by name, but we assure you that you’ve probably heard it at least once in your life. Starting from its catchy tune to the quirky lyrics, everything about this song makes you want to learn its composition. So, pick up your ukulele because this is the next tune you need to learn on your instrument. After placing your capo at the first fret, this song has the simplest chord sequence which is the most common in pop music: E minor, G major, and C major. Keep the 2nd and 4th beat of each bar in mind and you’ll pretty much know the whole song.
3. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber
This song by Justin Bieber may be pop iconic but don’t forget that it was written by Ed Sheeran, who is known for writing compositions much easier to strum on strings. Keep in mind to capo the 4th fret for this ensemble. The main chords are C, Am, and D minor. To play this tune, use your second finger to hold down the first fret of the first string and your third finger to hold down the second fret of the fourth string. It also uses the G/B chord which is the G shape with the B note as the lowest on the chord.
4. The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars
If you’re feeling the same as this song's dominant mood but want to keep the motivation high and keep on learning new songs and playing the ukulele, then this is your next choice of song. We don’t want you to feel discouraged on a day when you're learning something new, and this song by Bruno Mars will bring back all the enthusiasm. The chords you need to know for this song are G, D, C, and Am on repeat. Bm and B7 form another set of chords included in the pre-chorus and final lines of each chorus respectively. Play this tune in a funky, reggae style and you’ll get the hang of the song.
5. Zombie by The Cranberries
When you think or even search for The Cranberries, "Zombie" is probably the first name that comes up. Written as a commentary of the atrocities faced by the people during World War 2, "Zombie" is an amazing song with all the more amazing compositions and vocals. Learning an original metal song will be a new challenge for you to take up and it can be the next step in your path. The chorus is built on the chords Em, C, G, and D/F#. The biggest challenge to conquer in this song is to get that transition to F# on point at the bottom of the D major chord.
6. Hey, Soul Sister by Train
A major advantage of this particular song is that it may be one of the most famous songs to be learned on a ukulele. Therefore, you have plenty of videos that you can explore until you get to the one perfect for you. The chords used for this ensemble are C, G, Am, and F. These are the only four chords used in the whole song, with no exceptions. So, if you aren’t sure which song to choose as your first one, this is the one. The strumming pattern is what you need to focus on in this song. Also, make sure to pay attention to the C chord during the opening to make it sound perfect.
7. Stay with Me by Sam Smith
"Stay with Me" brings out all our underlying emotions and the belief that singing is our hidden talent. This song is pretty easy to learn, the major chords being F, C, and G, with some Am chords in between. This is a song that is so emotionally charged that you can add your vocal talents to the ensemble and it'll just compliment the song. This song also allows some transformations and originality, so if you think it is too basic for your tastes then you can always add your modifications to liven the song up.
So this is the end of one list of the countless songs you can learn on the ukulele, and now hopefully you have the motivation to begin with your first song. We suggest you start small, take up an easy song, and strum it to perfection. Then, if you think ukulele is your calling and would like to pursue it as the instrument of your choice, then don’t forget to check out our live courses to learn everything about ukulele and advance your musical knowledge.