Do you know approximately 1.6 million ukuleles were sold in the USA alone in 2019? The statistics are enough to show how much ukuleles are getting popular day by day.
Well, the reason behind the popularity is simple, ukes are fun and easy to play. We will say, a mood booster. Learning a ukulele takes time for sure, but after some chords and strumming, you can have great fun.
Today, we are here to share with you 10 best ukulele songs to play on the ukulele. The songs we have added in the list are interesting, somehow challenging but also worth and rich. We will add a mix of songs keeping in mind the skill level, genre and moods of readers. We also have added tutorials of each song that will give more insights about the chords used in each song.
Every song has made to here for a reason and is rest assured that you will get nothing but goodness after reading this article. Before diving into songs, check the necessary preps before starting a practice session.
A few tips before practising ukulele songs:
- Before practising, ensure your ukulele is well-tuned. If not, then make the necessary changes.
- If you are planning to sing as well during your practice sessions, then we suggest you make and follow a proper vocal warm-up routine.
For this, you can check many online guides and consult professionals. It is crucial to prepare your voice for singing during long sessions. Now, you have understood some basic tips, so let’s explore the best ukulele songs.
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1. Somewhere over the Rainbow–Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Either you are a rookie uke player or you have been jamming with the ukulele for a couple of years, we bet that you must have heard about this song. Every list of best ukulele songs to play is incomplete without this song.
Yes, we are talking about Somewhere Over the Rainbow from Israel. Let us tell you that this song did not only made Israel famous but many people learned about ukulele through this song too. This song is one of the easiest songs to learn on the ukulele.
The song is considered a masterpiece because Israel has added his magic to the song. Israel took famous songs of his era and added his magic and made them masterpieces forever. To learn this song, you will need time, but after learning this song, you will have explored different chords and strumming patterns.
If you have explored a little bit ukulele before, this song deserved to be mastered. After mastering this song, we will highly recommend you to try other songs of Israel because he was a true master of the ukulele.
2. Trouble- Never Shout Never
Our next song on the list is “Trouble” by Never Shout Never. It is a great song to sharpen your ukulele playing skills.
This song is quite different and easy to learn as well. When it comes to strumming patterns and chords, the song is easy. But if you are thinking to play and sing the song at the same time, then it is a challenging one.
We said this song as a challenging one because of the changes in verses and tempo going against the rhythm of the song. Learning this song will take some effort and time, but believe us it worth it. When you will learn to play this song effortlessly, you will have fun and feelings of accomplishment. The keys are patience and baby steps. Take a slow start with the basics.
At the beginning of the song, a single chord is used that later converts into a full strumming pattern. If you are facing difficulty to play and sing the song at the same time, learn and practice the rhythm first. After mastering the rhythm, you can add singing slowly according to your pace.
In the end, we will say that this song will teach you patience and will force you to explore your vocal limits. But it’s a perfect deal at the end of the day.
3. Hallelujah- Leonard Cohen
Hallelujah written and sung by Leonard Cohen in 1984 is another very famous song for different reasons. Later many singers such as John Caley and Jeff Buckley were inspired to do this song in their ways.
We have added this song to our list for two simple reasons.
The number one reason is that you can enjoy this beautiful song in different situations. Secondly, it is a perfect song to play on your uke. Playing this song with the ukulele is a different experience and we are sure every Leonard Cohen fans will love this performance.
You might be thinking about how it will help you to master your uke skills? Well, the answer is rhythm and different chords. This song starts with low intensity and starts getting intensified when we progress in the sound. Initially, you have to go softly and slowly then you will pick up the pace and intensity.
Although it seems very easy and simple to raise your sound in a linear fashion, it is a quite challenging drill. While practising this song, you will find that sometimes you are going with the high intensity when you were supposed to go low and vice versa.
To master this song, you will need patience and consistent practice. Learning to use the right intensity at the right time takes time like any other skill on the earth. But at the end of this, you will have sharpened your uke skills. This is one of the reasons that this song makes to the top songs to learn on ukulele.
4. Hey Soul Sister- Train
Are you looking for a pop-rock song to play on your ukulele? If yes, then you must try Hey Soul Sister by train. It is simply a happy song to cheer your mood up. You can play this song with your ukulele using five chords.
It is one of the best songs to learn on ukulele because you don’t need to be a ukulele expert to play this song. Either you talk about its strumming pattern, chords or progression, all are easy and not that much challenging. You might be thinking that how this song will help you then to enhance your ukulele skills. Well, the challenging part is strumming your uke while singing this tune.
If you are into playing the ukulele only, then this is an easy song. In case, if you want to sing this too, then it is a challenging or difficult song. With this song, you have to push the limit of your voice and hit high notes as the original song was sung in high tones.
This challenge discourages many people to try to this song, but remember that music does not flow from instruments only. It is your voice too that adds magic to it. Our final say is that trying this song while challenging your vocal limits is a tough and hard task but it worth your effort and time.
5. Blank Space- Taylor Swift
Well, not only Taylor swift need any introduction but her romance with the ukulele is not a secret anymore. Taylor plays with simple chords and turns them into amazing songs that are played by her millions of fans on the repeat.
We have added her song “Blank space” on our list. Why this particular song? Keep reading to explore further.
You may have never considered this song as one of the best ukulele songs but it has made it. This ukulele song is quite famous and is mostly played by the younger ukulele crowd. This song is highly recommended for beginners because it is easy to play.
Its tune is happy for sure, but through your vocals, you can add emotions of your choice. Either you sing it is a positive vibe song or a bit blue song, it sounds great to ears in both ways. You can also show your magic and add your creativity to a strumming pattern. The tutorial we have added here also uses the standard strumming pattern like many other covers of this song.
We love this song because “Blank space” gives you space to infuse your art into it.
Hello is the song which did not only take the music world to storm but also made Adele an international music star. Adele’s powerful voice and the lyrics of the song are the major factors behind the success of this huge hit.
Enough details of the song? Ah, let’s talk about what it has got for ukulele players.
This song is another favourite song among the uke players and it gives you an incredible result when played on the ukulele. The song goes with the ukulele very well. As we told you that it is Adele’s voice that gives the momentum to this song so, you can play this song on almost every instrument.
The song is a great choice for beginners as it is easy to learn and follows a simple strumming pattern.
If you want to give it a pop feel, you can play it faster. To have a feeling of a beautiful ballad, play it slowly. It is all up to you how you want to strum. We have included this song here because it will sound great eventually no matter how you sing the song.
If you have got a powerful voice like Adele, more power to you. And if not, still, the song will sound great. Overall, Hello by Adele is one of the great ukulele songs to play.
7. A team- Ed Sheran
Ed Sheran has given us so many reasons to love him– his amazing music and powerful life story are few of them. His music inspires many youngsters to start their musical journey and his life challenges motivate many people to keep trying.
For Ed Sheran fans, the song “A team” is a perfect choice to learn and play on the ukulele. It is one of the best ukulele songs to play because it contains more chords than the other songs on our list so far. Don’t worry most of the chords used in this song are simple ones.
The best thing about this song is that it has a lot of room for experimentation. You can make it an easy song or a complicated one, it all depends on how you spice things.
As far as strumming is concerned, again either you can go with the standard strumming pattern for ukulele or can show your creativity. It is a nice song but there are certain places where you have to dial things down. In the end, we will say this is one of the great ukulele songs for learning and entertainment purposes.
8. Tears in Heaven- Eric Clapton
As life is not all about happiness but a mix of sorrows and happiness. We experience a mixed set of emotions and feelings and the music gives sound to our feelings. So, it’s time to explore a song showing us the other side of humans.
Tears in Heaven was originally sung by Eric Clapton after the death of his young son Conner. The beautiful melody sung in the memory of Conner helped in healing many people out there grieving their losses.
A perfect song to play when you are sad and don’t want to repress it but express it.
When it comes to playing this song on the ukulele, we would say it is not very easy to play but not difficult either. All you have to do is play simple chords but you have to put extra effort into the bridge. Sometimes, you may feel that it is a challenging song, but it will polish your skills eventually. If you love tunes having deep meaning, you will appreciate and enjoy this.
9. Tonight You Belong To Me- Patience and Prudence
Are you planning to go on a date in the coming days? To make this moment beautiful, if you are looking for a romantic song to play on your ukulele, you have hit the jackpot.
Even if you are a professional ukulele player, you must have played this song in any phase of your career. Let’s talk a little bit about how this sweet tune became famous. Originally, this tune was written somewhere in 1920 and was used in the movie Jerk sung by Steve Martin. Later this song made its comeback in the 1950s and 1960s when a sister duo, Prudence and Patience sang it again.
This song is perfect to play on your ukulele and make your moments perfect. If you have got a friend who can do vocals for this song, then it would be perfect. You can make your events perfect with this light and romantic tune.
It is a very basic uke song and highly recommended for beginners. It uses basic chord patterns and strumming pattern. Waiting for what? Give a try to this song and you won’t regret.
10. I’m Yours- Jason Mraz
Last but not the least, we have a modern and ukulele song “I am Yours” by Jason Mraz. It is one of the best ukulele songs we have recently.
This song is pretty simple and easy and you don’t need to be a ukulele guru to play this song. If you are a beginner then with some effort, you can enjoy this song on your ukulele. The singer has kept things pretty basic and moulded the song according to modern standards. Many people love this song because of its simplicity and the vibe.
If we talk about chord progression, it is simple, somewhat close to today’s pop music. Its strumming pattern is very simple and you have got a lot of areas for experimentation. It is perfect for you if you want to master the skill of playing the ukulele with singing at the same time. This song is a great deal to perfect your skills and come up with your creativity.
We are done with our list of 10 best ukulele songs to play. In this list, we have added some evergreen songs along with modern hits. We have tried to keep the list diverse according to your skill level, mood and the music genre you love.
To become a perfect ukulele player, all you have to do is to get out of your comfort zone. Consistently practice songs and then gradually move to some challenging tunes. The more you will practice, the more you will learn.
While learning ukulele, don’t be obsessed with perfection to the extent that you miss the fun part. Well, remember this was the fun for which we started playing the ukulele in the first place. If you feel not playing the ukulele, take a break and then start it again. As you will gain more ukulele skills, then you will easily understand and play more challenging tunes. And it will take time.
We are hopeful that 10 best ukulele songs will help you with enhancing your ukulele skills and having fun. We hope you found this article interesting and helpful. Which song from this list is you are already playing or never heard about it. Let us know. We would love to hear from you.
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