Ukulele Pop Songs Book

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You can find the 99 most liked songs of UkuTabs right here on this page. UkuTabs is your true source to find chords and tabs for all of your favorite songs. Ukulele players all over the world have direct access to UkuTabs its large and completely free song archive which is constantly being updated with new songs. B Fingernails 4 STRUMMING Traditionally, strumming on the ukulele is a fluid rotation of two motions:. A down and outward pluck with the pad of your right thumb (generally on the G or C string). A downward motion using your right hand fingernails over the high strings (generally on the C, E, and A strings). TWO CHORD SONGS - HOW TO USE THIS BOOK. People starting to play the uke will often want to start with the simplest of songs ie. Those that do not require many chords. There are lots of well known songs that only require two chords and there is a list on the following page but the chords are written in. Song title tags; 0. Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG) Beatles' Songbook: Beatles, Songs: 1. Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG) Children's Songbook: Songs, Children's music, Various. The Ukulele from the Beginning Pop Songbook (Red Book) is a great collection of 16 favorite pop songs, specially chosen and arranged for younger players (primary to early secondary school-age). The songs are simplified, and annotated with easy chord symbols, strumming and picking patterns.

Perfecting your uke strumming and chording techniques require a sandbox of fun, easy music. Which is why three or four chord easy ukulele songs totally rock!

Lots of people like to make lists and link to songs that are popular on the uke. But, of course, “popular” is not the same as “easy.”

Which is why most of these collections are not particularly useful and possibly frustrating. Some lists actually include quite difficult songs! (More on that at the very end.)

The ukulele is regarded as one of the easier instruments to start playing and with COVID-19 keeping folks cooped up, it’s more popular than ever.

Since that means lots of beginners searching the web and the fact that truly easy uke songs can be hard to find if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, I put together some favorites that are fun to play and I often teach my students.

Easy ukulele songs for beginners: The Criteria

This is just my opinion of what an easy song should be, but all songs on this page:

  1. Have four or less chords in the whole piece
  2. Use chords that require no more than three fingers
  3. Don’t use barres (or need a capo)
  4. Can generally be played by most beginners without too much struggle

So with those criteria in mind, let’s jump in and look at the songs. They are separated by genre with some of my top picks highlighted at the beginning of each section.

Before we get going, if you want really simple two-chord songs, check out my page of tunes that only use F and C7 (two of the easiest uke chords).

Top 5 Easy Pop Ukulele Songs

With popular music where it’s at today using simple chords, it’s easier than ever for a beginner to strum recognizable songs on their ukulele. Pick a favorite here and click through to the chords to get started.

Counting Stars

By One Republic

Chords: Am, C, G, F

A modern classic of driving pop music, Counting Stars translates to ukulele surprisingly well.

Because of the nature of its repeating chord pattern, be sure to vary your strumming styles between sections so the song has some give and take. Even a simple down, down strum works wonders here.

I’m Yours

By Jason Mraz

Chords: C, G, Am, F

Still a huge hit all these years later! I’m Yours is actually in a super hard ukulele key. But it’s next door neighbors with a super easy key so these chords below are easy for even a beginner uke player to strum.

I’m Yours chords

Riptide

By Vance Joy

Chords: Am, G, C

One of the ukulele’s most popular current songs, Riptide rocks a low baritone sound and a bordering-on-out-of-control strum to rock through bizarre lyrical scenes.

The chords are very easy, but the strum is a little tricky. Because I’m nice I included a detailed write up on it here:

Uptown Funk

By Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars

Chords: Dm, G, F

Here’s a serious earworm with some easy chords. Uptown Funk follows an interesting dorian sound along with its groovy beat if you’re getting bored of more traditional sounding chord progressions.

Whistle

By Flo Rida

Chords: Am, F, C, G

Here’s a club-banging tune with a repeating chord progression through the whole thing.

More Pop Songs

  • Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke (G, D)
  • Cut My Lip – Twenty One Pilots (Em, D, A)
  • Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine (G, Am, Em, F)
  • Foundations – Kate Nash (C, F, Am, G)
  • Hello – Adele (Em, G, D, C)
  • Ho Hey – Lumineers (C, F, G, Am)
  • Into the Wild – LP (G, Em, C)
  • Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett (D, G, A)
  • Poker Face – Lady Gaga (Em, C, G, D – use D instead of D/F#)
  • Stay With Me – Sam Smith (Am, F, C, G)
  • Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 (Dm, G, C)
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens (F, Bb, C)

Top 5 Easy Rock Ukulele Songs

With its roots in the blues, rock and roll has its fair share of songs with easy chords. This is the largest section and includes oldies to punk.

All Along The Watchtower

By Bob Dylan/Hendrix

Chords: Am, G, F

Of all the songs I personally play at my shows, All Along the Watchtower is one of my favorite ukulele songs for beginners. Its minor mood with the descending/ascending chord progression is a total win.

And since Bob and Jimi set the bar with their raspy and legendary “bad” voices, it’s a great tune to start singing on if you haven’t tried before.

Down On The Corner

By Credence Clearwater Revival

Chords: C, F, G7

An oldie, but goodie about jamming music in the street by CCR. Learn to pick the intro guitar part in addition to strumming the chords.

Octopus’s Garden

By The Beatles

Chords: C, F, Am, G

One of Ringo’s finest moments with the Beatles, Octopus’s Garden is a fabulously fun and well-written song. It’s also a perfect ukulele strum-along!

With minor sections and rhythmic breaks it’s fun to jam out on and create variations.

Still Haven’t Found (What I’m Looking For)

By U2

Chords: C, F, G

Still Haven’t Found is a total sleeper. Who would have thought that it is based on such easy chords? Because of The Edge’s tricky effected guitar work it sounds much more complex.

So get out a delay pedal and strum along!

I Won’t Back Down

By Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Chords: Em, G, D, C

A study in chugging rock from the late Tom Petty, I Won’t Back Down has a fun push-pull rhythm that shortens the time spent strumming some chords and lengthens others.

With a steady downstrum and some nimble changes you’ll be rocking your uke like the Heartbreakers!

More Rock Songs

  • All the Small Things – Blink 182 (C, G, F)
  • Bad Moon Rising – CCR (D, G, A)
  • Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol (G, D, C)
  • Evil Ways – Santana (Gm, C, D)
  • Float On – Modest Mouse (C, Em, Am)
  • Hand in my Pocket – Alanis Morissette (G, C, F, D)
  • Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles (Am, G, F, E7)
  • Hound Dog – Elvis Presley (C, F7, G7)
  • Hunger Strike – Temple of the Dog (C, F, Am, G)
  • I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers (D, G, A)
  • La Bamba – Ritchie Valens (C, F, G7)
  • Love Me Do – Beatles
  • Mustang Sally – Wilson Picket (C, F, G – strip 7ths for easier version)
  • Oye Como Va – Santana (Am, D7 – Use Am instead of Am7)
  • Run-Around – Blues Traveler (G, C, Am, D)
  • Save Tonight – Eagle-Eye Cherry (Am, F, C, G)
  • Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd (D, C, G)
  • Surfin’ USA – Beach Boys (C, F, G7)
  • This Too Shall Pass – OK Go (C, F, G)
  • Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon (D, C, G)
  • What’s Up – Four Non-Blondes

Top 5 Easy Country/Folk Ukulele Songs

A Horse With No Name

By America

Chords: Em, D

One of several two-chord gems on this list, Horse With No Name is almost as easy as they come. The chart shows some more advanced chord voicings, but just use Em and D in the place of the fancier Em9 and D6/9 or Dmaj9.

Achy Breaky Heart

By Billy Ray Cyrus

Chords: A, E7

Country songs are often very simple – great for covering on easy uke! Billy Ray Cyrus’s hit is no exception. Use E7 instead of E for a much more manageable version.

Jambalaya

By Hank Williams

Chords: C, G7

One of the top easy ukulele songs on this list, Jambalaya is the perfect first tune for a total newbie. It’s also a fabulous opportunity to make a local parody and change the lyrics to reflect your hometown.

Leaving On A Jet Plane

By John Denver

Chords: C, F, G

I’m partial to Justin Young’s version (above), but the original follows the same chords and both get huge mileage from just three chords.

Ring of Fire

Ukulele Pop Songs Book 1

By Johnny Cash

Chords: G, C, D

A classic from Mr. Cash, Ring of Fire is a great, simple song to play on your ukulele. Try adding 3rd double stops and learn the picking riff!

More Country/Folk Songs

  • All I Have to Offer You is Me – Charlie Pride (G, C, D)
  • Day-O (Banana Boat Song) – Harry Belafonte (D, A7)
  • Desolation Row – Bob Dylan (D, G, A7)
  • I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You – Tom Waits (C, F, G)
  • The First Cut is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow (D, A, G – use A instead of Asus4)
  • This Land is Your Land – Woody Guthrie (D, G, A, D7)

Top 5 Easy Reggae Songs

Reggae often uses easy chords, but since it relies heavily on a syncopated skank strum it can be difficult for beginners to play. If you’re a strumming wiz who wants to drill on some easy songs, reggae is your jam.

One Day

By Matisyahu

Chords: C, G, Am, F

Certainly one of the most powerful songs on this list, One Day is more of a pop song than reggae, but Matisyahu IS modern reggae in my mind.

Take note of the progression. With these four chords in this order you can play LOTS of songs.

One Love

By Bob Marley

Chords: C, F, G, Am

While the chords aren’t too hard, Bob’s tricky timing is a good challenge for those that want a little more.

Red, Red Wine

By UB40

Chords: G, C, D

A great three chord repeating progression to practice your chanking on, Red, Red Wine delivers a mellow vibe and a bubbly message.

Three Little Birds

By Bob Marley

Chords: A, D, E7

A seriously legendary feel-good reggae song, Three Little Birds is likely one of Bob’s most well-known compositions. Change the E to an E7 for an easier variation.

What I Got

By Sublime

Chords: D, G

Though not a heavy reggae song, Sublime is such a renowned reggae band that What I Got sort of has to go here. It’s only two chords and some attitude.

Traditional

These songs are a part of North American culture. They are some of the most well-known tunes to be found anywhere.

You Are My Sunshine

Chords: C, F, G7

Amazing Grace

Chords: C, F, G7

THE beautiful gospel song.

Happy Birthday

Chords: C, F, G7

If there’s one song that any musician in North America should know it’s Happy Birthday.

Other Traditional Songs

  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands (C, G7)
  • (Oh, My Darling) Clementine (G, C, D7)
  • She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain (G, C, D7)

Top 5 Easy Island Jams

“Island” music can be a lot of things, but to me, living in Hawai’i, it means contemporary local music that sits somewhere between traditional Hawaiian and either reggae or mainstream music.

These are awesome tunes for chilling out and jamming at mellow events where a little island flavor on the uke can make things a little more tropical.

Ukulele From The Beginning - Pop Songs (yellow Book)

Shine On

By John Cruz

Chords: C, G7

With just two chords, John Cruz really wrote the perfect easy ukulele song. The catchy melody, simple chord changes, and gentle vibe makes for a fun strum along whether you’re a beginner or advanced player.

Cane Fire

By the Peter Moon Band

Chords: Am, G, F

Peter Moon’s legendary song about growing pakalolo (marijuana) in the cane fields is probably out of reach in picking department. But the chord structure is a piece of cake and the minor key is fun for jamming on and a great place to begin trying your own lead improvisations.

Heartache

By One Groove

Chords: C, F, G

One of my favorite songs of all time in the Jawaiian (Hawaiian reggae) genre, One Groove keeps it simple with a repeating reggae chord pattern. For those who want more of a challenge, you can try picking the intro lead.

Ukulele

Island Style

By John Cruz

Chords: C, F, G7

In his anthem of life in Hawai’i, John Cruz captured a Hawaiian style feel while keeping the words contemporary.

This is usually the very first easy ukulele song I teach complete beginners. It’s super simple and musically satisfying. Little effort for a really fun sound with lyrics anybody can sing and play (even if you don’t know what “lomi salmon” is).

Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u

By Olomana

Chords: C, F, G7

This song is about the area of Kahalu’u on the island of O’ahu. It’s a very nostalgic song that all the old timers love.

With such easy chords the Hawaiian refrain is probably the most challenging part for most people!

More Island Jams

  • Country Road – Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga (C, Dm, Am)

Top 5 Easy Hawaiian Songs

These are songs in Hawaiian language. If you can get a grasp on basic pronunciation, Hawaiian music is a beginning ukulele player’s paradise.

There are many, many Hawaiian songs that follow the same exact chord progression (order).

E Huli Makou

By David Chung

Chords: F, G7, C7

A great simple ukulele tune and also one of the easiest songs to learn to hula.

Haleakala Hula

By Alice Namakelua

Chords: C, F, G7

A rousing song for Maui’s majestic mountain, easy chords can be made difficult by the speed!

I Kona

By James Kelepolo

Chords: C, G7

One last fabulously easy ukulele song with two chords that is more of a vocal showcase song. If you’re a comfortable singer, give the falsetto style a try!

Kaulana Na Pua

By Ellen Prendergast

Chords: C, F, G7

Kaulana Na Pua is a song of resistance and support for our late Queen, Lili’uokalani.

Koke’e

By Rev. Dennis Kamakahi

Chords: C, F, G7

A modern classic by the late Rev. Dennis Kamakahi about the Kalalau area on Kaua’i.

If you want even more ideas for some easy uke songs, there is a great collection on Uke Hunt arranged by chords used. It’s a clever way of seeing how learning just a single chord can allow you to play a ton more songs.

A Tip on Learning New Songs:

Work on one aspect at a time. It really helps to break a song down by chords, strum, and vocals.

If you try and do everything at once you’re going to struggle. Get familiar with the chords first – look them up (if you need a chord chart, click here), write them down, learn to finger them. Then take a look at a simple strum without trying to hold chords. Then sing through the song without trying to play.

Once everything is easy separately, start adding pieces together – strum (muted) and sing or strum and hold chords. Then try and do it all at once. The idea is to get everything running on autopilot in one form or another. If you are trying to play it all at once with brute determination and thinking power, you might be able too, but it will feel way harder than it should.

Two Songs That Aren’t Easy (But are on Other Lists)

There are a certain number of famous songs that get thrown onto other easy song lists because they’re well known. But this doesn’t mean they are a great song for beginners.

The reason you won’t find these here is because I’m an ukulele teacher. I’ve taught and continue to teach these songs to beginners and wouldn’t dream of including some of these in a uke 101 class:

  • Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole (Tons of chords with shifting patterns)
  • Hey Soul Sister by Train (Recorded in a hard key and with a fast strum that will just confuse beginners. You CAN transpose it, but often the magic is being able to play along with the recording)

You might also like:

More song chords
Easy ukulele tabs

6ths Sense Video Course

Double-Stop 6th Harmonies for Ukulele

An intermediate-level video course about diversifying your lead playing.
$24.99

Ukulele tabs are the easiest way to learn to pick a song. With just fours lines and some numbers, anybody – even if you don’t read standard notation – can make sense of uke tablature.

Below is a large collection of free ukulele tabs for a number of different skills and styles. They are all created (and in a couple cases, vetted) by me with an eye for detail and accuracy.

Rock/Pop Ukulele Tabs:

These songs can often be found elsewhere, transcribed for guitar, but not necessarily arranged or tabbed for ukulele. My uke-specific interpretations follow.

Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen

Carlos Santana

Europa

Carlos Santana (Lead transcription & chords)

Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue

The California Ramblers (Solo Arrangement)

Jump

Van Halen

Moondance

Van Morrison†† (Lead sheet)

Puff The Magic Dragon

Peter, Paul, and Mary (Lead sheet & solo arrangement)

Stairway to Heaven

Led Zeppelin (low G – Guitar parts)

Tennessee Waltz

Bonnie Raitt and Norah Jones (Lead sheet)

Ukulele/Hawaiian Instrumentals:

The songs found here mostly feature ukulele as the lead instrument. As such, most tunes are from Hawaiʻi-based artists I grew up listening to and emulating.

To me, these are Hawaiian ukulele “standards,” if not by song then by style. If you want to study the Hawaiian sound, this is the section for you.

Beachwalk

Herb Ohta Jr. (Note-for-note transcription)

Body Surfing

Ohta-San (Note-for-note transcription)

Glass Ball Slack Key

Brittni Paiva/Herb Ohta Jr. (Note-for-note transcription)

Ledward Kaapana Slack Key Ukulele Tribute Medley

MIDI File Etude for Slack Key Ukulele

Little Rock Getaway

Da Ukulele Boyz (Note-for-note transcription)

Olinda Road

HAPA (Note-for-note transcription

Pahala We Go

Herb Ohta Jr. & Daniel Ho (Note-for-note transcription)

Pandanus

The Peter Moon Band (Note-for-note transcription)

Sand Castles

Herb Ohta Jr. (Note-for-note transcription/Solo arrangement)

Song For Shelly

Brad Bordessa (Note-for-note transcription)

Together

Herb Ohta Jr. (Note-for-note transcription)

Ukulele Boogie

Brittni Paiva (Note-for-note transcription)

Hawaiian:

General purpose Hawaiian songs with lyrics are filed here.

E Ku’u Morning Dew

Eddie Kamae (Low G – Solo Arrangement)

Lovely Hula Hands

Troy Fernandez (Note-for-note transcription)

Somewhere Over The Rainbow/Wonderful World

Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole (Solo Arrangement)

Jazz/Bossa:

All of Me

Frank Sinatra/Ella Fitzgerald (Solo arrangement)

Misty

Erroll Garner (Solo Arrangement)

Reggae Ukulele Tabs:

King Without a Crown

Matisyahu (Note-for-note transcription)

Soundtrack/Themes:

Jeopardy

Merv Griffin (Lead sheet)

Star Wars: Main Theme/Vader’s March

John Williams/Uke Duke (Note-for-note transcription)

Folk/World:

Csardas

Brittni Paiva (Note-for-note transcription)

The Leaving of Liverpool

Traditional (Solo arrangement)

Rose of Allandale

Mary Black (Solo arrangement – low-G)

Streets of London

Ralph McTell (Solo arrangement – low-G)

Since so many of the folk songs people make ukulele tabs for are in the public domain, it’s pretty easy to find high quality, professional transcriptions. (Other genres are always at risk of being taken down on copyright grounds.)

Ken Middleton is as effective an arranger as anybody and has a collection of free bluegrass and Celtic style tabs available. He’s also published a few eBooks of transcriptions.

Classical:

PDF Minstrel provides a selection of great classical ukulele tabs.

Traditional:

Happy Birthday

Melody tab and song chords

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Lead sheet

You Are My Sunshine

Solo Arrangement

Christmas:

Mele Kalikimaka

Bing Crosby/Jimmy Buffett/Don Ho/Blue Hawaiians/etc… (Lead sheet)

Credits:

  • – Tab by Herb Ohta Jr.
  • †† – Tab by Jeromy Renynolds
  • – Tab by Glenn Reither

These ukulele tabs are in PDF format created with Guitar Pro, Powertab, or good ol’ Microsoft Word.

Ukulele popular songs book

Ukulele tabs marked with “lead sheet” are Guitar Pro transcriptions of the melody, words (if applicable), and chords.

Fingerstyle “solo arrangement” tabs shown below include the melody interlaced with the chords, intended to be played by a single player and imply harmony and lead simultaneously.

These are my own interpretations, not necessarily a transcription of a specific performance. I try to keep them as simple as possible because I feel that it’s easier to add your own flavor than to sift through someone else’s style.

Note-for-note transcriptions” are ukulele tabs of a specific recording and transcribed as accurately as possible.

What is an Ukulele Tab?

Tablature (or “tab” for short) is a simple system of notating music. It uses numbers on lines to represent the frets and strings of an ukulele.

The main advantage of a tab over a piece of standard music notation is that there is very little learning curve. If you can count you can play from a tab.

Each tab system is made up of four horizontal lines:

As you can see by the string names on each line, the top line represents the A-string and the bottom line represents the G-string. The C and E-strings sit between.

Think of it as rolling the uke out and down flat on your lap.

Ukulele Club Free Song Books

Numbers placed on the lines show which fret to press down and are read left to right. (“0” means open string.)

This shows the open strings being plucked one at a time from the top string down.

The above example is all played on the A-string: 3rd fret, 5th fret, 7th fret, 3rd fret.

Anytime you see numbers stacked vertically you should play them simultaneously as a chord. Here’s a C:

For much more, check out this guide to reading tab for better understanding the lines, numbers, and symbols.

Where to Find More Ukulele Tabs

Free Tabs

Some of the best transcriptions you can find anywhere are from Dominator. We’ve been working together to create a current index for his excellent work here:

There are lots of user-sourced tab sites that get a ton of traffic, such as the massive ukulele-tabs.com and even massive-er ultimate-guitar.com.

While you can find almost any popular song on these sites, be aware that the quality of these tabs vary with the skill of the transcriber. Especially on Ultimate-Guitar, the star rating system can help you find the most accurate version.

A lot of ukulele tab sites copy/paste songs from elsewhere on the internet. Besides adding no additional value to the web and plagiarizing someone else’s work, if they’re incorrect, these tabs get perpetuated.

That said, there are lots of really great sources of free ukulele tabs out there!

My other favorites for top-notch transcriptions are:

  • Ukeeducation.org – A large collection of simple chord melodies.
  • Ukulele Hunt – Al Wood does a good job covering riffs and intros/outros for a lot of pop/punk/rock songs. They usually include video examples/tutorials.

Premium Tabs

If you have some cash to spend on buying a book of uke tabs, there are more options every day.

Since licensing popular music is a huge pain in the neck for small operations, you’re probably going to find most books of mainstream tablature printed by a major publishing house. Hal Leonard has put the most effort into expanding their ukulele lineup (and includes transcriptions for Jake Shimabukuro’s latest albums), but Alfred also has some options.

Independent artists are also publishing some of their work. Daniel Ho has a couple books of tablature and Daniel Ward has Arpeggio Meditations For Ukulele.

Other Tab Articles/Resources

Here are some links to information regarding how to read tab and other related articles.

Converting guitar and high/low-G tabs to the tuning you play in – How to shift the numbers around so you can play a tab that isn’t necessarily meant for your tuning.

How to Figure Out Songs – Being able to ear out a song is a very valuable skill. Here are some tips for DIY songs.

How to Read Ukulele Tabs – Ukulele tabs aren’t hard to figure out, but you need to know what you’re looking at to make sense of them.

Blank Tab Sheets

Create your own ukulele tabs! Quickly notate the notes to a song, picking part, chord sequence, arpeggio, scale, etc…

Use the standard notation version for relating notes on the fretboard to their pitches as they appear on the staff. Great for notating fingers on tab and note duration on the staff.

6ths Sense Video Course

Easy Ukulele Songs

Double-Stop 6th Harmonies for Ukulele

An intermediate-level video course about diversifying your lead playing.
$24.99