Great Songs to Play on the Ukulele
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Great Songs to Play on the Ukulele

Choosing songs to play on the ukulele can be time consuming, when you'd rather be playing. Here are some songs to play, based on skill level and style to help you get off to a quick start.

Whether your a beginner to playing the ukulele, and so want to find simple, but effective songs to play, or already an accomplished player, you may find trawling for hours through the Internet or music books boring, and prefer to have some great ukulele songs handed to you on a plate. If so, here are some suggestions for you, based on ukulele player skill level, and style.

Intermediate skill level

# Fly Me to the Moon, by Bart Howard. This is a great tune, suitable for crooners and people who enjoy the music style of Frank Sinatra and Jamie Cullum. A couple of chords are bit tricky if you aren't used to playing them. But once you have tried a few times your fingers soon learn where they should be.

# Pennies from Heaven, by John Burke and Arthur Johnston, is slightly more difficult, but well worth learning. Its style is similar to the first song on the list.

# St Louis Blues, by W.C.Handy, is great if you like the blues. It's not difficult to play, and by moving your fingers on, and then off of chords as you strum, you can produce your own unique sound while you sing along.

# Dream a Little Dream, by the Mamas and Papas, just lends itself to the sweet tones of the ukulele.

# Tears in Heaven, by Eric Clapton, is a beautiful song when played on the ukulele, and is often the reason people take up the instrument in the first place. Click on the link above for a lesson on how to play it, courtesy of The Ukulele Underground.

# I'm Yours, by Jason Mraz, perfect for the ukulele. Get a good strumming rhythm going and it will sound sweet.


# Down by the Riverside, traditional, has got four chords in it, so it probably won't be the very first song you play. However, it's pretty simple once you get going. Try playing it slowly, and then speeding up for fun.

# Happy Birthday, a useful little tab, and an easy song to play.

# Popeye the Sailor Man, by Sammy Lerner. This songs fun to play, particularly if you have children who want to sing along with you.

# Ukulele Lady has five chords, but they are mostly easy ones, honest. There's a plucked introduction, followed by chords and lyrics.

# Ukulele song for beginners. This is a YouTube video of a young ukulele beginner showing how easy it is to produce a fun sound when you haven't been playing long. He includes the chords and explains how to play the song.

# Wipeout. This songs simple, but takes some concentration to begin with. It's great if your learning to play because it involves moving up and down the fretboard, which is good exercise. Best of all it sounds impressive.

When choosing songs to play on the ukulele, remember to experiment. Changing the way you strum can alter the sound of the song, as can changing the tempo.



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Comments (9)

Very nice article with great links. Thanks again. I really liked your other article on choosing the right uke as well!

Ranked #6 in Music

Thanks Judith!

Thanks for the recommendations and videos. I have a uke that has just been sitting here for years. I'll remember this article for the future. :)

Ranked #6 in Music

Great. I've got my uke here by the computer. Whenever it's downloading or upgrading something I pick the uke up and play, often the songs above. It's worth taking it up again as a form of relaxing fun if nothing else.


Great choice of music and video choice here cheers!

Ranked #6 in Music

Thanks Stephen

This is outstanding work.

Nice work.

Nick@ Ukulele For Beginners

This is a great article and list of songs. I originally started playing the ukulele with Hawaiian music, but then moved onto Jason Mraz "I'm Yours". A great song, but it took some time to get used to the rythm and the strum pattern. Plus it has the famous E-chord!