Beginner uke players can learn these songs quickly by dissecting each song into its component parts: chords, strum, and vocals. Focus on one aspect at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
1. Don’t Stop Me Now
Queen is back on top thanks to the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, but even before its release a scientific study had ranked their 1979 hit “Don’t Stop Me Now” as the most powerful song to make you feel good. This power stemmed from beats per minute, scale of the song composition and chord usage as well as lyrics by Freddie Mercury who encouraged people to live life to its fullest, leaving behind anything holding them down, and soar upwards towards starry skies.
It has always had the power to energize and engage listeners, but in recent years its popularity has skyrocketed exponentially. Top Gear viewers recognized it as their “Best Driving Song” in 2005; McFly then used it in their hit cover version a year later on British charts; later still it gained even greater notoriety when featured in their UK chart topping performance by McFly the following year. Since then it’s seen steady popularity on karaoke circuits while featured this year as part of commercials for Toyota, Silk almond milk Amazon (Camila Cabello lip-syncs her version)!
“Don’t Stop Me Now” has long been one of Queen’s signature songs, yet what may surprise some is its modest success upon its original release in 1978 – only reaching No. 86 on the Hot 100 here and No. 9 over in Britain! However, since its introduction as part of their live shows with Adam Lambert at lead vocals. It has now become an anthem to their legacy!
2. Radio Ga Ga
Radio Gaga by British rock band Queen was written and released as one of its biggest hits in 1984, written by drummer Roger Taylor and about how more people were turning away from radio to television as their source for music and entertainment. Narrator feels that television offers many more choices while radio has become overcommercialized with songs that repeat themselves constantly.
David Mallet directed a music video for this song which includes footage from 1927 sci-fi silent film Metropolis that depicts an advanced, mechanized society; additional clips come from other movies and TV shows of that time period.
Radio Ga Ga is one of the Queen songs with an intricate chord progression that changes keys frequently, making it more challenging than some others on this list. Once you understand its chords though, you can make this song sound fantastic!
The original title for Radio Gaga was “Radio Ca-Ca,” inspired by a phrase Felix Taylor used when criticizing radio (“radio, caca!”). Over time, however, its title was changed to more accurately reflect its subject narrator’s affinity with radio. The song went on to become a worldwide success with various artists covering it; indeed, it even managed to reach number one on the UK Singles Chart!
Upbeat popular songs with simple chord structures are ideal for beginning ukulele players looking to start learning the instrument. Not only will these tunes make learning the instrument easy and enjoyable, they will help develop into more proficient ukulele players over time.
3. Killer Queen
Killer Queen was one of Queen’s earliest hits and early indication of their distinctive sound. Contrasting with the hard rock sounds found on Sheer Heart Attack and Another One Bites The Dust, Killer Queen offers light yet airy cabaret-inspired sounds; featuring Freddie Mercury’s brilliant singing voice; this song showcases Queen as a group through lyrics written collectively rather than just by Mercury alone. Additionally, this single marked the first instance where all band members contributed lyrics rather than just Mercury alone writing them for one track!
While some fans might prefer Bohemian Rhapsody, I much prefer Killer Queen for its quirky energy and operatic sound that stands out in an otherwise pop music landscape at that time. Though lighthearted in tone, Killer Queen still proves Queen’s power from day one.
This song depicts a high class prostitute; however, some theories indicate it could also refer to the band itself. One line from its lyrics states this is so; “She’s a killer queen with gunpowder and gelatine / Dynamite with laser beam / Guaranteed to blow your mind anytime.”
Killer Queen is an enjoyable tune to learn on ukulele, no matter its theme. With practice and dedication it becomes simple to master this tune and add personal flair by altering certain chords or adding open strings in chord progressions to give a bluesier sound – creating unique tunes in the process and diversifying your repertoire!
4. We Will Rock You
21 years after it first premiered on London stage, this legendary rock musical returns to West End theatres!
We Will Rock You is an award-winning jukebox musical featuring Queen’s iconic discography. Over 20 million people worldwide have seen it! It features world-class singers and actors that bring Queen’s songs to life for audiences worldwide.
Original recorded in summer 1977, Brian May created We Will Rock You as a way of engaging fans more with Queen shows. It features minimal guitar soloing; instead the drum beat is achieved using body percussion (for instance the so-called kick drum line can actually be found by feet stomping on a wooden floor and handclaps), making this song one of Queen’s signature tracks and a fixture at arena and stadium events around the globe.
Five’s only chart-topping single in the UK reached number 4 on Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 in Germany; both versions featured vocalists Freddie Mercury and John Deacon who had since passed away by the time Five released its cover version in 2000.
Queen’s “Queen Song in G” provides an ideal exercise for beginning ukulele players in G. The chords are simple, making this piece easy to pick up quickly; timing should be carefully observed: verses should be sung slightly faster than choruses if necessary – if this causes difficulty try slowing the tempo instead; Queen played this song live during their 1979 album Live Killers as well as later released expanded edition of News of the World with faster rendition.
5. We Are the Champions
Queen has made history with this song for decades and this hit song cemented their position amongst one of the greatest bands ever. Mercury uses his lyrics to paint an accurate picture of what champions think like, while alluding to their band and its struggles along their road to success; likening gaining success as something similar to serving time in prison.
This song is an ideal one to learn on the ukulele as its not too difficult and can be quickly picked up. Plus, performing live is always exciting as this upbeat tune draws audiences in!
Over the years, this song has been covered by various artists including Pink, the cast of Glee, Green Day, Katy Perry and Liza Minnelli at a tribute concert to Freddie Mercury. Additionally, its popularity can be found in movies such as 1984’s Revenge of the Nerds; more recently in 2020 Brian May and Roger Taylor released a version dedicated to honoring frontline workers during coronavirus pandemic with proceeds going towards World Health Organization.
The ukulele is an amazing instrument to learn, making learning it incredibly accessible for virtually anyone. Beginner-friendly songs featuring easy chords and upbeat rhythm are ideal for beginner players looking to improve their ukulele skills and master these songs will certainly make learning much more enjoyable!