Top 5 Ukulele Songs That Only Require A Few Of The Most Basic Chords To Play

Here are a few songs that only require basic chords to play! These are great starter tracks and fun to jam out together with friends!

Ed Sheeran’s song utilizes the C, F and G chord progression throughout. Try playing around with strumming patterns to capture its light-bouncing feel.

1. Bruno Mars – “Just The Way You Are”

Bruno Mars is a modern superstar with an expansive catalog. His 2010 song, “Just The Way You Are”, is an inspirational tribute to self-love and accepting oneself for who they are.

This ukulele song includes some challenging chords, but with practice they will become easier to play. Rounding your fingers helps when playing at their tips as this will allow for smoother chord changes.

2. OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”

This lively song from a modern band requires five chords but has an accessible groove that beginners will find easy to pick up on. It makes an excellent opportunity to practice different themes as you play along, or double up with someone who also plays music!

OneRepublic’s 2013 hit Counting Stars is an amazing example of how beautiful even simple chord progression can sound, making this song irresistibly catchy for its listeners! Your friends will soon be singing along!

3. Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”

A standout pop song from 2009, this one works well on the ukulele due to its simple chord progressions. Take your time with practicing this piece at first before speeding it up as you become more adept at switching chords.

This contemporary singer songwriter classic is ideal for beginners looking to build up their singing repertoire by adding intensity through building into the chorus. Although some new chords are used, this song remains very beginner friendly.

4. John Fogerty – “I Won’t Back Down”

Chords don’t work on their own; to sound right they must be played within the context of a song. This classic rock tune fits that bill perfectly, using only four repeating chords with an easy “DD UU strum pattern.

Ed Sheeran is well known for his intricate storytelling lyrics and acoustic guitar grooves. This uptempo tune features both dramatic chorus sections as well as more laidback single-strum verse sections, creating an appealing contrast.

5. Leonard Cohen – “Hallelujah”

Though more challenging than some songs on this list, this song remains accessible to beginners. With only five chords and an easy strum pattern to learn, this tune should prove great success with beginners.

Cohen wrote the song over seven years and spent seven verses writing it, dedicating significant portions of each year as the number seven is symbolic in biblical references and often signifies holiness, perfection or completion.

6. Twenty One Pilots – “Stay With Me”

One of the great aspects of the ukulele is how easy it is to learn songs with basic chords, yet still sound great – this comes down to use, not chords themselves! Of course, chords themselves don’t make for great songs; rather they need to be used effectively within context in order to produce strong melodies and enhance emotional responses in each tune.

This innovative pop hit from 2009 utilizes A, C and G chord progressions with plenty of variation between verse and chorus to keep things interesting.

7. Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”

This relaxed song provides the ideal opportunity to hone your chord skills. Using C, F and G chords – as well as DDU for rhythm – this track uses our familiar C chord family as well. Be sure to finger each chord correctly so they sound clear.

Classic rock is a fantastic genre to learn on the ukulele, such as this tune by Creedence Clearwater Revival that uses simple chords and an uncomplicated strumming pattern.

8. OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”

Ukuleles lend themselves well to more upbeat songs, but it can also be fun reinterpreting rock classics as cover tunes. This laid back song provides an opportunity to work on chord progression while adding production value.

Beginners might find the strumming pattern on this piece challenging, but it is definitely worth their while to learn it! Simply use a steady D DU UDU pattern when changing chords!

9. Twenty One Pilots – “Stay With Me”

Southern rock may not be top of mind when considering playing ukulele, but this classic genre can be easily learned. It utilizes an easy chord progression of three chords while palm muting is also required, offering beginners a way to add some variety into their strumming patterns.

This song only requires three basic chords and can be played using a standard DD UD pattern, making it suitable for beginner musicians. Mellow yet energetic, this tune makes the ideal musical introductory tool.

10. OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”

OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” showcases an E ukulele chord. This 3-finger chord can be difficult to master for beginners; round your middle finger and play on its tip to avoid blocking notes and creating muted sounds.

Remember, chord charts show vertical lines representing strings and horizontal ones frets. By practicing each chord individually and building muscle memory, eventually you won’t even need one!