Photo of author

What are Good Songs for Ukulele

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and “Riptide” by Vance Joy are excellent choices for ukulele. These iconic tunes strike a balance between simplicity and melodic charm, making them ideal for ukulele players.

Uplifting and playful, the ukulele is the perfect instrument for both beginners and seasoned musicians. Its light sound and portability have made it a favorite for casual play and professional performances. Popular songs that translate well onto the ukulele often feature simple chord progressions and catchy melodies, such as “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.

Whether you’re looking to strum along to the classics or modern hits, songs like “Lava” from the Pixar short film of the same name or “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train add variety and a touch of joy to any ukulele player’s repertoire. Enjoying the gentle strumming of a ukulele brings a little sunshine to any setting, making these songs a go-to choice for musicians of all levels.

What are Good Songs for Ukulele


The Lure Of The Ukulele

The gentle strumming of a ukulele often brings bright images of sandy beaches and serene oceans. Known for its cheerful tone, the ukulele captures hearts with its simplicity and versatility. Its inviting sound creates an unmistakable allure, enticing people of all ages to pick it up and play. From seasoned musicians to complete beginners, the ukulele offers a unique blend of fun and accessibility that few other instruments can match.

History Of The Ukulele In Popular Music

The ukulele, jumping into the spotlight in the early 20th century, has claimed its fame across various music genres. Originating in Hawaii, this small instrument quickly sailed across the sea to mainland America. There, it became a staple in jazz, folk, and even rock music. Artists like Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and Jason Mraz have showcased the ukulele in chart-topping hits, securing its place in the halls of music greatness.

Why The Ukulele Is Ideal For Beginners

Learning an instrument can be a daunting task, but the ukulele stands out as a friendly starting point. Its small size makes it easy to hold and play, even for little hands. With just four nylon strings, it’s gentle on the fingers and simple to strum. The ukulele’s basic chord structures encourage quick learning, allowing beginners to play full songs after just a few lessons. This ease of play, coupled with the joy it brings, makes the ukulele an ideal first step into the world of music.

  • Compact and portable: Take the ukulele anywhere.
  • Fewer, softer strings: Play without sore fingers.
  • Simple chords: Master songs quickly.
  • Affordable: An economic choice for new players.

Starting Simple: The Best Ukulele Songs For Beginners

Embarking on your ukulele journey means starting with songs that make strumming fun and easy. The best ukulele songs for beginners keep things simple but are immensely rewarding. Perfecting these will quickly build your confidence and skill level.

Mastering The Basics With Four-chord Songs

Four-chord songs are perfect for beginners. They allow you to practice chord transitions smoothly. Here’s a list to start you off:

  • Riptide by Vance Joy
  • I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
  • All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor

A table of chords used in these songs helps you visualize what you need to learn:

Song Chords
Riptide Am, G, C, F
I’m Yours G, D, Em, C
All About That Bass A, Bm, E, F#m

Practicing these chords strengthens dexterity.

Popular Tunes To Get You Strumming

Popular tunes resonate with listeners and are great for practice. Here are beginner-friendly picks:

  1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  2. Love Me Do by The Beatles
  3. Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley

These songs often feature repetitive strumming patterns. They aid muscle memory and improve timing.

Genre Showdown: Versatile Picks For Your Playlist

Genre Showdown: Versatile Picks for Your Playlist

Strumming the ukulele brings a smile to anyone’s face. It’s time to dive into the genres that best suit this joyful instrument. From the warm embrace of folk tunes to the rhythmic sway of island melodies, your ukulele playlist can be a melting pot of musical delights. Let’s explore the top genres that make the ukulele sing!

Folk Melodies And The Ukulele

Folk music and the ukulele are a match made in heaven. The gentle plucking complements the storytelling nature of folk. Here are some classic and modern tunes to add to your collection:

  • “Riptide” by Vance Joy – A modern folk anthem for ukulele lovers.
  • “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen – A deeply moving and widely-covered song.
  • “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel – A melody that lingers long after the song ends.
  • “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver – A sing-along favorite across generations.

Catching The Island Vibe With Reggae And Hawaiian Tunes

Embrace the soul of the islands with these playful and laid-back tunes:

Song Title Artist
“Is This Love” Bob Marley
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
“I’m Yours” Jason Mraz
“Three Little Birds” Bob Marley

These songs showcase the ukulele’s versatility. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, these tunes will bring joy to your heart and rhythm to your fingers.

Sing Along Hits: Great Ukulele Songs For Parties

Ukulele parties sparkle with laughter, chords, and choruses. Bringing people together, a ukulele’s gentle twang makes every tune catchy and danceable. Whether you favor toe-tapping oldies or modern chart-toppers, the right ukulele songs transform a good party into a great one. Let’s explore the quintessential sing-along hits that will make your next party unforgettable!

Crowd-pleasing Favorites: Oldies But Goodies

Time-honored classics unite the crowd. These tunes carry nostalgic vibes that get everyone singing. With easy-to-learn lyrics and simple chords, they’re perfect for ukulele strumming. Consider these unbeatable oldies:

  • “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  • “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
  • “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
  • “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
  • “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz

These songs have stood the test of time and continue to delight audiences at any gathering.

Modern Pop Tracks Arranged For Ukulele

For a taste of current hits, the ukulele does wonders. It brings a fresh spin to today’s top tunes. Your guests will enjoy the familiar melodies reimagined with a ukulele twist. Check out these modern essentials:

  1. “Riptide” by Vance Joy
  2. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
  3. “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber
  4. “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran
  5. “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic

Modern pop hits on the ukulele encourage a fun, contemporary atmosphere. They’re sure to keep the party lively!

Advanced Ukulele: Songs To Showcase Your Skills

Advanced Ukulele: Songs to Showcase Your Skills can elevate your playing to new heights. Once you have mastered the basics, it’s time to challenge yourself with more complex tunes. These tracks will not only impress your audience but also sharpen your technique. Delve into intricate instrumentals and songs with complex strumming patterns to display true mastery over your ukulele.

Instrumental Pieces For Seasoned Players

Seasoned players often seek out instrumental pieces that focus on the ukulele itself. These songs can showcase your ability to play complex melodies and harmonies. Here’s a list of pieces that will flaunt your advanced skills:

  1. “Ukulele Variations” – A composition that tests your fingerpicking precision and tempo control.
  2. “Flight of the Bumblebee” – This classic requires fast fingers and expert handling of the fretboard.
  3. “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on Ukulele” – These arrangements push your plucking and strumming skills.

Complex Strumming Patterns In Popular Music

Popular music often has songs with unexpected strumming challenges. Here are some popular tracks with complex strumming patterns to test your rhythm and coordination:

  • “Riptide” by Vance Joy – Offers a catchy rhythm that’s fun yet challenging.
  • “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin – Known for its changing tempo and strumming patterns.
What are Good Songs for Ukulele


Creating Your Own Soundtrack: Tips On Song Selection

Picking the right songs for your ukulele can be a delightful journey. It’s like crafting a personal soundtrack that resonates with your style and emotions. Whether you’re serenading a loved one or adding a festive touch to a party, your ukulele setlist should reflect the occasion’s vibe.

How To Tailor A Setlist For Different Occasions

Every event calls for a unique ambience. Choosing the perfect ukulele songs can elevate any gathering.

  • For a romantic evening: Select mellow and soft melodies.
  • Birthday parties: Peppy and joyful tunes fit well.
  • Relaxing at home: Opt for calming and soulful numbers.

Think about your audience. Kids enjoy lively and simple songs. Adults might prefer classics with a twist. Adapt your playlist to the age group and mood.

The Art Of Ukulele Song Arrangement

Arranging a song for the ukulele involves creativity and understanding of music. You can start with the basic chords and structure.

  1. Start with the original song’s key and tempo.
  2. Adjust the chords to match the ukulele’s tuning.Keep it simple for easy play.
  3. Practice the transitions. Smooth chord changes enhance the flow of the song.

Try re-imagining songs in your unique style. Speed up a slow song or slow down an upbeat one. Experiment with strumming patterns for a fresh sound.

Song Aspect Tip
Chord Progression Keep it comfortable, yet interesting.
Rhythm Align with the mood of the lyrics.
Style Make it yours with a signature twist.
What are Good Songs for Ukulele


Frequently Asked Questions For What Are Good Songs For Ukulele

What Song Should I Play On The Ukulele?

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is an excellent song choice for ukulele players of all levels, offering a melody that’s both recognizable and delightful to perform.

What’s The Easiest Song To Play On A Ukulele?

The easiest song to play on a ukulele is “Riptide” by Vance Joy, utilizing simple chords and a beginner-friendly strumming pattern.

What Is The Most Popular Song Played On The Ukulele?

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole is the most popular ukulele song. It features a melodic, easy-to-play version that resonates with ukulele enthusiasts worldwide.

What Taylor Swift Songs Use Ukulele?

Taylor Swift’s song “Fearless” features the ukulele. It’s known for its lighter, folksy sound within her discography.


Embarking on a ukulele journey transforms with the right playlist. Whether you’re a beginner or an enthusiast, a medley of easy tunes and classic melodies can elevate your play. Remember, the best ukulele songs blend simplicity with joy, creating resonance that transcends skill levels.

Keep strumming, and let each chord carry a piece of your story.

Leave a Comment