This infectious ukulele tune requires only four chords to play! Though you will need to learn some new inversions, they shouldn’t prove too challenging.
Once you’re comfortable with the chorus melody and chord progression, it’s time to write some verses! Keep in mind that not all verses need to end with a rhymed couplet; some could end with just two lyrics that do not need rhymed couplets at their end.
1. ‘Dancing Without Music’ by Bon Jovi
Anyone who has seen Bon Jovi perform live knows the power of their music. Jon Bon Jovi has become known as a musical icon due to his emotive lyrics and charitable endeavors.
This song exemplifies how the ukulele can convey many different musical emotions with ease. This melancholic ballad features an accessible chord progression and should take no time at all to learn on your ukulele.
This song only requires four simple chords and features an exciting strumming pattern DD-UUU-DDU that takes practice to master. Once your timing is spot-on, it sounds fantastic! We highly recommend playing this one at parties with friends – its infectious beat will get people moving! Additionally, its great for practicing chord changes!
2. ‘Take Me Away’ by The Beatles
A beautiful melancholic song by The Beatles written near their end-of-existence gives this elegiac tune its poignant reflective quality, making it ideal for solo ukulele playback. A wonderful example of how this instrument can encompass such diverse musical emotions.
Simply four familiar chords and an easy strumming pattern designed for singing along. A great way to build finger strength!
Ringo dials back his experimental drum break work for the third verse as the backing harmonies chant “Show Me Your Rain.” A brief high-triplet guitar vamp over bass notes ushers in the final chorus with Lennon showing his signature backward vocal technique before concluding the song.
3. ‘Green River’ by The Eagles
This song serves as an excellent demonstration of how the ukulele can be used to perform various styles of music, making it a fantastic instrument for beginners as it easily covers songs originally composed for guitar.
Adele has long been known for creating breathtaking music, and this song from her is yet another fine example of that fact. We can all take inspiration and guidance from her ability to combine beautiful vocals with emotive lyrics in her songs – something we all can admire and learn from!
This song uses only four chords and its strumming pattern is straightforward – downstrokes on every beat should make this easy for most people to pick up! Additionally, for added percussive effect you could also slap strings slightly harder on second and third downstrokes for a percussive edge.
4. ‘Stay With Me’ by The Beatles
Another classic, this song provides beginner ukulele players an accessible path to learning this instrument. Set to 4/4 time signature with each chord being played for four beats at once, this is one of few on this list that requires close listening skills and attention from you as a listener.
This song is an easy, reflective ballad to play and demonstrates how you can produce folky-sounding tunes on the ukulele. Much like its counterpart ‘Dock of the Bay,’ this uses only basic chords and strumming patterns and would make an excellent singalong tune – though a capo might be required in order to stay in key; but can be an ideal change from other more upbeat party songs on this list.
5. ‘Always On My Mind’ by Jimi Hendrix
It would be hard to find a song more emotionally charged than this one, based on an impressive minor chord progression that works really well when translated to the ukulele.
Band Of Gypsys as a whole lacks Hendrix’s trademark power, perhaps as a result of his preoccupation with creating melodies he wasn’t very adept at writing himself (which ultimately proved futile). An exception being Machine Gun’s rattling guitar solos that foreshadow Jimmy Page’s iconic “Stairway To Heaven”.
Hey Joe and Purple Haze are two other songs on this album which stand out.
6. ‘I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)’ by The Beatles
As one of the world’s most beloved bands, The Beatles made a profound mark on music culture. Credited with pioneering rock and roll, learning some of their hits is essential to learning rock and roll music itself – this particular tune boasts simple chord progression and can easily translate to solo ukulele performances.
Next is an iconic pop hit from Lady Gaga – “Just Dance”, which showcases her incredible vocal abilities and showcases that she is truly an extraordinary musician. This track can be easily learned with just four simple chords and an accessible strumming pattern; making this an excellent song to add some emotion into your playing!
7. ‘Wildflowers’ by The Beatles
This stunning track from The Beatles final album boasts a deep melancholic atmosphere. Utilizing four chords you may already be familiar with such as C, Am, F and G it makes this an engaging song to play; try either using strumming patterns or just playing down strokes on each chord for an engaging musical experience!
Chord diagrams may seem complicated at first, particularly if you are unfamiliar with them. But by paying attention to the thick line at the top of each chart – which represents where strings are held by the nut; vertical lines representing frets on each string; dots or numbers as indicators where to place your fingers to create chords.
If a fretboard shows a circle or an “O”, this indicates that string should be played open without fingered accompaniment – this is known as a barre chord.
8. ‘Jabbalaya’ by Hank Williams
This song is an enjoyable challenge and will demonstrate just how far four chords can take you! Plus, it sounds fantastic on a ukulele!
This song is relatively fast paced and its strumming pattern may initially prove tricky; however, with practice it will become much simpler. Simply remember to strum down on every beat!
This song is sure to get people singing along at parties! Watch as the ukulele player takes her own approach and adds subtle flourishes that give it its unique sound. Just be sure to take things slowly and practice strumming and singing separately so you can focus on perfecting both parts. That way, when it’s party time you can impress everyone!
9. ‘Summertime’ by The Beatles
An engaging rock song to sing along to, with just four regular chords that should be familiar, as well as an approachable strumming pattern that won’t take too long to master.
The Beatles are well known for their fondness of the ukulele and George Harrison played it several times from his second solo album Brainwashed. Additionally, George Formby was an enormous inspiration and in one of their Anthologie film clips you can hear George Formby himself play and sing ‘Rocking Chair in Old Hawaii’!
Written a month prior to The Beatles dissolving, this melancholic tune serves as an ideal demonstration of how ukulele players can create many forms of music with just four chords – making this song an indispensable addition to any repertoire!
10. ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by The Beatles
A great country-rock tune suitable for beginners on the ukulele! Using an easy chord progression that beginners will quickly master and a slow tempo that makes this song perfect for campfire jam sessions!
This song is one of our most well-loved selections and sure to please any listener who hears it! Using only four simple chords (D, A and a Bm barre chord – see our video lesson for an overview below left), with an easy strumming pattern it makes an excellent accompaniment.
What makes this song great can be difficult to pin down, but it is certainly worth learning. A beautiful ballad that conveys powerful emotional sentiments was written near the end of The Beatles’ career and displays their introspective and thoughtful side.