4 Beginner Ukulele Songs Using 4 Basic Ukulele Chords

4 Beginner Ukulele Songs Using 4 Basic Ukulele Chords

Here are four very easy favourite songs to play that a beginner ukulele player can perform right away. We will only need 4 essential ukulele chords to do it! You won't need ukulele chord charts, complex chord progressions, barre chords, tabs or anything else other than the basic ukulele information in this post. This is a free ukulele resource for newbie uke players to learn some of their favourite songs.

The Four Essential Uke Chords

All of these songs are fun to play and use only four very easy ukulele chords: A minor, C, F, and G7. In music theory, these are the I - VI - IV and V7 chords of the C major tonality or key.

You will need to tune your ukulele to GCEA for our ukulele chords to work. See our article on tuning a ukulele if you are looking for guidance.

4 basic ukulele chords

Pro Tip #1: Note that the ukulele strings in green (in our ukulele fingering diagrams above) are open strings. It's imperative that you ensure your fingers aren't touching these strings or the strings and chord won't ring.

Pro Tip #2: When putting your fingers down ensure that your fingers are curved and the fingertip is towards the uppermost fret. This will make the strings with fingers implicated ring better.

C Major

To play this chord, simply put your ring finger on the third fret of the first string. You can use the index finger, but using the ring finger makes it easier to move to other chords. In music harmony, we would call this chord the tonic or I chord of C major.

Ukulele C major chord with fingering diagram and open string indictations


A Minor

To play an A minor chord, place your middle finger on the fourth string, the second fret. In musical harmony, we'd call this the submediant or VI chord of C major.

Diagram of an A minor ukulele chord with fingering and open string indications

F Major

F major is a two-note chord. Put your middle finger on the fourth string, second fret like an A minor, and then add the index finger to the third string at the first fret. In music harmony this chord would be called the subdominant or IV chord.

Diagram of an F major ukulele chord with fingering and open string indications


In musical harmony, we'd call G7 the dominant or the V7 chord of C major. To play this one, place your index finger on the second string at the second fret. The middle finger goes on the second fret of the fourth string, and then the ring finger goes on the third fret of the third string.

Pro Tip #3: Try substituting a G chord for the G7. The G major chord will still sound great and it’s easier on your hands. Additionally, you can decide in different pieces where the G major or G7 chord should go. You're already making artistic choices about harmony!

Diagram of a G major ukulele chord with fingering and open string indications

Now we can play almost any popular song on the uke! Do remember we are greatly simplifying things here and our versions of these famous ukulele songs are meant for uke players at the beginning of their journey with little or even no experience. See our article on ukulele strumming patterns to get more creative and artistic.

4 Easy & Fun Ukulele Pop Songs | Let's Get Started

1. Stand By Me by Ben E. King

Chords: C major, A minor, F major, G7 or G major

This truly great song is easy because it has a familiar rhythm. The intro is a little tricky, but you can just strum the chords and dive right into the song.

Chords and Lyrics to Stand by Me for Easy Ukulele in C major

2. Hey, Soul Sister by Train

Chords: C major, A minor, F major, G7 or G major

When “Hey, Soul Sister” came out, fans everywhere wanted to become ukulele players.

3. I’m Yours by Jason Mraz

Chords: C major, A minor, F major, G7 or G major

“I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz is actually quite difficult to learn in the original key. That is until you transpose it to the key of C, and then it’s a breeze!

Part 1 Words and lyrics to I'm Yours for Easy Ukulele in C

Part 2 Chords and Lyrics to I'm Yours for Easy Ukulele in C

4. Ho Hey by The Lumineers

Chords: C major, A minor, F major, G7 or G major

There are lots of fun shouts and stomps in this ukulele song and it’s super easy to play along with the original.

Chords and Lyrics to Hey Ho for Easy Ukulele in C

Anyone can learn how to play the ukulele but having a teacher means that you can develop your list of ukulele songs faster and learn more complex ukulele techniques to improve your playing. Stay tuned for more ukulele songs in future articles by Leonard Cohen, Bob Marley, Kamakawiwo Ole, Bruno Mars & Vance Joy.




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