How to Play Popular Songs on Ukulele

With more accessible ukulele chords and strumming patterns than ever, learning to play the instrument has never been simpler for beginners. This collection of songs will teach you to play popular hits on your new instrument.

Four repeating chords and an easy DD UU strumming pattern are all it takes to master this Blink-182 classic, featuring inspirational lyrics that will bring it alive! A great choice for beginning ukulele players.

1. “Jingle Bells”

Although not strictly a pop song, this timeless Christmas tune is one of the first ukulele songs most beginners learn. All it requires are four basic chords and a basic strumming pattern to get started on playing your ukulele!

Fingerpicking techniques used by many uke players are ideal for practicing this tune, with its lyrics telling a jovial tale about two people riding together through snow in an open one-horse sleigh with bells hung onto its harness to avoid collisions at blind intersections before automobiles were ever invented. The title references these bells’ jingling sounds when pre-automobile era riders used these bells as protection.

Reggae classic, This song provides an ideal opportunity for beginner ukulele players as well as advanced musicians alike to practice basic chord progressions and strumming patterns, as well as offering an engaging challenge for those learning barre chords such as Bb major.

2. “Yesterday”

If you enjoy rock music, there are numerous songs you can learn on ukulele that fit this genre. While some require advanced chords, beginners can still easily play songs such as Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah”. For instance, this tune uses D, F#m, and Bm chords which may already be familiar to them.

Reggae music offers many easy ukulele songs to learn. Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” employs just four chords and an accessible strumming pattern for easy learning of this style of ukulele songs.

Hawaiian music can also be an excellent starting point. Songs like Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” provide excellent fingerpicking practice and lessons in minor chords; its chord progression runs C – F – G and its strumming pattern is D DU UDU; this pattern can easily be applied to other songs with similar chord progressions.

3. “Dancing in the Moonlight”

King Harvest’s timeless summer-infused ukulele classic “Ukulele Beach Party” captures the sound of beach nights perfectly. Easy enough for beginners to play and known for its relaxing charm on TikTok, Sherman Kelly had much darker influences when writing this track.

This song’s use of Am, C, and G chords make it ideal for beginners ukulele players. Additionally, its simple strumming pattern and D DU UDU chord progression make this piece suitable for learning the instrument.

Reggae songs tend to feature easy chords that make them ideal for ukulele players who wish to add some island flare to their events – just don’t forget your sunscreen!

4. “Redemption Song”

Sheet music for Bob Marley’s Redemption Song on ukulele can now be purchased here, featuring C, G and Am chords and an easy strum pattern suitable for beginners.

Dolly Parton’s soothing classic is also well suited to the ukulele, requiring only four simple chords for playing it beautifully. Perfect for events where island music adds something special.

Riptide by Vance Joy is another ukulele song with just a handful of easy chords; making it an excellent choice for players of all skill levels to perform live or jam along to on radio shows or concerts. Use an up-diamond (UD) strum to match its beat; for added assurance before performing it live onstage use Roadie 3 virtual tuner to check that tuning is correct before beginning to play live.

5. “Ain’t No Sunshine”

Sydney Sweeney shared her connection to Bill Withers’s 1971 hit “Ain’t No Sunshine.” A classic soul tune, it contains no specific details but remains very moving because of this lack of specificity.

Four simple chords repeat throughout this song, while its regular DD UU UDU strumming pattern makes this an excellent ukulele tune for beginners. Sing along to it to help improve dexterity and stamina! This song’s easy melody also encourages singing along, providing another means of strengthening both dexterity and stamina while playing.

Bill Withers was 31 when he composed “Heartbreak Song”. Still employed at an airline parts factory producing toilets for Boeing 747 aircraft, his rendition features Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass guitar and Al Jackson Jr on drums; its message of heartache and loss are conveyed effectively through its lyrics.

6. “Bad Moon Rising”

The ukulele is an easy and engaging instrument to play for both children and beginners, due to its compact size and four strings. Furthermore, its chord shapes tend to be simpler than on its counterpart guitar making learning songs simpler.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song is an ideal example. The tempo is relaxed and its chord progression simple enough for players of any level of experience to play along easily – not to mention being an engaging way to practice strumming patterns!

If you want to up your ukulele game, try learning songs with more intricate chords like those found in reggae music – like Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” featuring Bm and F#m chords. Also consider transposing oldies from guitar-friendly keys into those more suitable for the ukulele using Yousician’s interactive lessons on ukuleles.

7. “Zombie”

Ukulele can be an ideal way to play many popular songs that feature two or three chords, including songs from 1970s-2000s rock/pop and traditional country. Their relevance will depend on whether these tunes remain timeless.

Play this Blink-182 song using G, D and Em chords by using an easy strumming pattern – dudu. A steady strumming pattern works for both verses and chorus.

Plain White T’s song, “Hey There Delilah,” requires more advanced ukulele chords; nevertheless, playing it on this instrument is relatively straightforward; just use a DD DUDU strumming pattern for this mellow and upbeat track.

8. “Three Little Birds”

This timeless classic uses an accessible set of chords that’s simple for even beginner ukulele players to learn. Strumming slowly and steadily like you would an acoustic guitar will soon have this one under your fingers!

This song offers four simple chords for beginners looking to explore ukulele music. To play it yourself, this mellow tune requires C, G, F and Am chords in a DD UD pattern for verses and DDU UU strumming pattern for chorus.

The ukulele has quickly gained in popularity over recent years and with good reason: this unique instrument requires just four easy-to-memorize chords to cover an extensive repertoire of popular tunes! Playing ukulele makes for an exciting musical challenge that adds something unique and enjoyable to performances and shows.

9. “Blood on the Tracks”

Blood on the Tracks remains one of Dylan’s most captivating albums to this day, never fully explained or explained away by anyone, not even himself. Some speculate it may contain references to Chekhov stories while others suspect it’s meant as a message to former flames; either way it remains one of his most potency works ever recorded.

This iconic Beatles tune requires four simple chords and a straightforward strumming pattern, featuring regular DD UDU chord changes during verses before switching to single strums in chorus.

Leaving on a Jet Plane is an upbeat and fun song ideal for new ukulele players to start learning the instrument. Simply learn three chords: C, F, and G and practice strumming quickly alternating up-strums with down strums until you achieve rhythm. For more beginners-level tunes like this one check out our list of beginner songs here.

10. “I’m Yours”

Bob Marley made this timeless reggae classic famous with this soothing track, featuring simple chords and an easy strumming pattern. Its slow tempo and its alternation between C, F, and G chords provide beginners with an ideal opportunity to practice their strumming abilities as they learn how to transition between these notes smoothly.

The ukulele has quickly grown in popularity over recent years, and it’s easy to understand why: this playful instrument is easy to learn, portable, and relatively affordable; plus it provides an outlet for expressing yourself creatively while having fun with friends! This article specifically discusses how to play popular songs on ukulele; whether you’re just beginning your uke journey or want to step it up a level, keep reading – soon you’ll be strumming your way to playing all your favourite tunes!