Easy ukulele songs are not only fun to learn, but they are also quintessential favorites for entertaining guests or enjoying a relaxing afternoon.
Ukuleles may lack the melodic character of guitars, but they offer a distinct sound, nevertheless.
With only four strings to keep your fingers busy, a ukulele is perfect for string instrument beginners and seasoned guitarists who want a different tune to play.
Learning to play the ukulele is like child’s play – you only need to master several strokes and a basic understanding of ukulele chords (which are not that different from guitar chords).
In this article, we will look at ten easy ukulele songs for beginners to learn.
You can devote several minutes every day practicing these songs, and you will be more than ready to wow a small crowd.
Maui Chimes (Mike Hanapi, Legends of the Ukulele – Hawaiian Masters, 2007)
This song may not in your list of the easiest ukulele songs to play, but it is one of the most fun to learn.
Maui Chimes has a distinct pinging sound when played correctly, although it is unnoticeable if you strum the chords.
However, pick-strumming should still give beginner ukulelists the fun melody people love about this song.
Tropical Swing (Bobby Ingano, Songs of Aloha, 2015)
With its jazzy vibe and a distinct tropical island paradise twang, Tropical Swing is a song worth playing on the ukulele.
While the original song requires deft fingerstyle, one can get away with a simple strumming pattern.
However, seasoned ukulelists recommend learning the fingerstyle to make the song as authentic as possible.
Kawohikukapulani (Herb Ohta, Legends of the Ukulele – Hawaiian Masters, 2007)
This tender love song is fun to play on the ukulele and is a perfect piece to serenade a loved one.
The melody is soothing and the tempo is slow, making for a great lullaby.
A simple downstrum pattern is all one needs to play this song on the ukulele, although learning the fingerstyle will not hurt.
Lover/Lady of Spain (Nedward Ka’apana, Legends of the Ukulele – Hawaiian Masters, 2007)
Ned’s Lover/Lady Of Spain is a ukulele masterpiece that turns the diminutive musical instrument into a device with a guitar-like character.
It has at least 24 chords that can make newbie ukulelists give up easily.
However, the chords are effortless to execute, especially for people who are proficient with the fingerpicking method.
There are no strumming patterns, but a simple downstrum can give you the tune you need.
Analani’e (Barney Isaacs & Jerry Bird, Legends of the Steel Guitar: Past, Present & Future, 2006)
C, D, and A are the only chords you will worry about when playing Analani’e.
You already know that these three are open chords, requiring only three fingers on the ukulele’s first three frets.
Playing Analani’e is like preparing for a lovely serenade with its ballad-like melody and simple downstrum patterns.
Ukulelists can always fingerpick as they progress, giving the song a more loveable tune.
ѐ Liliu ѐ (Jessie Kalima, Holiday in Hawaii Luau Time, 2018)
With only two chords to worry you – G and D – e Liliu e is a must-learn for any beginning ukulelist.
Like many easy ukulele songs in this list, e Liliu e has a slow tempo that makes it super-easy for beginners to follow and learn.
The song is a tribute to Queen Liliuokalani, the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last monarch.
You can strum your ukulele or strive to learn the fingerstyle as you progress.
Beautiful Mahealani Moon (Joe Steppy DeRego, History of Hawaiian Steel Guitar, 2007)
Playing this beautiful Polynesian song is as straightforward as learning to strum the guitar strings down and slapping them to cut short the vibrations.
Beautiful Mahealani Moon has a slow tempo that can make it easy for beginners to follow the chord transitions and progressions.
While the final song requires several fingestyles, beginner ukulelists can always strum their hearts out.
Lulu’s Back In Town (Lyle Ritz, How About Uke? Ritz Plays Jazz Ukulele, 1957)
This song’s ukulele chords may seem intimidating, but one can transition from one chord to another with a simple finger movement.
It takes practice, though, especially if you want to nail the fingerstyle in a solo performance.
Lulu’s Back in Town is a 1935 Al Durbin-Harry Warren creation, covered by many artists, including jazz bassist Lyle Ritz.
Ritz’s rendition turns Lulu’s Back In Town into a jazz standard for the ukulele, relying on the instrument’s unique tonal qualities and fingerplay style.
Hilo March (M.K. Moke, Hilo March, 2006)
With only four ukulele chords (C, F, B, and E) played throughout the song, Hilo March is another ukulele song you can master in minutes.
Hilo March also has G and D towards the song’s latter parts, but these are open chords that are never a problem to execute.
Hilo March has an upbeat tempo that requires deft fingers, although beginners can always opt for a straightforward down-and-up strumming pattern.
M.K. Moke’s ukulele cover of this Hawaiian classic is an excellent starter piece for beginning ukulelists.
Aloha ‘Oe Blues (David Burrows, Legends of the Steel Guitar: Past, Present & Future, 2006)
A quintessential ukulele song, Aloha ‘Oe Blues is more than 140 years old, written by Hawaii’s last ruling monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, in 1878.
Many 20th-century artists covered the song, including Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Les Paul, and Johnny Cash.
Johnny Cash has a simplified version of this ukulele classic, transposing the chords into A, B, E, and Gb.
The intro requires a combination of fingerpicks and strumming, although one can get away with down strums only.
It also helps that the song has a slow tempo, making for effortless chord transitions.
Guitarists can master the song in minutes, while absolute beginners can play the song after a few sessions.
Some of these easy ukulele songs require fingerstyle mastery to sound like the original.
However, beginner ukulelists can always start with basic strumming patterns until they master the chord transitions.
By then, they can start learning the various ukulele playing techniques to give these songs an authentic sound and vibe.