All around the world, the humble ukulele’s popularity has sky-rocketed in recent years. No longer just the dominion of Tiny Tim, everyone from Bruce Springfield to Eddie Vedder has come to love this pocket rocket’s bright, jangly tone. They’ve even begun to replace the recorder as the weapon of choice for music lessons in many elementary schools.
So, you want to give it a try. But where to start?
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to pick up a few basic chords. And what better way to practice than by covering your favorite artist’s tracks? That’s why I decided to pick out some famous ukulele songs you can learn to set you on your road to ukulele stardom.
98 Famous Ukulele Songs You Can Learn (With Video)
Radiohead on the ukulele? That’s right! Amanda Palmer did it first, with her poignant rendition of this 1993 classic. Stripped of its heavy guitar riffs, when played on the uke, it gains a sweeter, and perhaps sadder, cadence. With just four chords, it’s a simple little ditty to start with and a great way to learn the ukulele.
Any Idioteque can do it…
This Uke’ An Play Radiohead: Uke’ An Play Series songbook contains everything a budding uke player needs for playing those favorite Radiohead songs. Containing “Creep,” “Fake Plastic Trees,” “Karma Police,” and more.
There’s a tune here for even the most casual fan. It has both chords and tabs, and a series of easy-to-read diagrams making it incredibly simple to follow. And what’s more, it’s a pretty reasonable price, too.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Any list of famous ukulele songs has to contain this sound of the islands. Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s iconic cover of this staple from the “Wizard of Oz” is the first track on anyone’s mind when they think of the ukulele.
With its laidback rhythms and straightforward progression of just seven chords, it’s a fun one to play. Especially while dreaming of lying in the sun, sipping on a Mai Tai.
The voice of Hawaii
Of course, a legendary tune like this deserves to be played on a special instrument. This Luna Great Wave Concert Ukulele fits the bill thanks to its awesome tone and stunning good looks.
Constructed from sturdy rosewood and mahogany, it displays a copy of Hokusai’s seminal painting “The Great Wave” proudly across its bodywork. It’s the perfect way to pay tribute to the greatest Hawaiian voice of our time.
Build Me Up, Buttercup
The Foundation of playing…
Up next is this fun little number. This joyful, old-school track suits the ukulele. Containing 11 different chords, there’s a little bit more to remember. So, it’s a good way for ukulele beginners to challenge themselves.
Dodie released a paired-down version several years ago that brought a more melancholic tone to the song. But when it comes to ukuleles, Julia Nune’s rendition is hard to beat. It retains the poppy, bouncy rhythm of the original, and her uke adds an uplifting, wholesome quality to this classic tune.
To get that happy, jangly sound, a uke needs an awesome set of strings. These D’Addario EJ87S Titanium Ukulele Strings should do the trick! Made for a soprano ukulele, they add a bright, upbeat tone to the instrument. They project the sound well, and D’Addario is a name you know you can trust.
Here Comes The Sun
Finger pickin’ good…
Most of the songs listed here so far are played with a strumming style. But what if you love listening to those finger-picking guitars? You’ll need to learn finger-picking on the uke, too.
This 1969 Beatles number is the ideal choice. Although it uses just seven basic chords, the playing hand needs to pick out a delicate pattern of notes. It’s more complicated than strumming but produces a fantastic sound and is a challenge for players looking to level up.
Pick me up…
Of course, playing like this is hard on the old fingertips, especially if you’re using metal strings. That’s where a set of guitar fingernails can come in handy. These National Guitar Picks (NP1-GP9) should do the job. Playing ukulele with a pick becomes a piece of cake with these useful stainless steel and plastic bad boys.
La Vie En Rose
Younger readers may be unfamiliar with Edith Piaf. However, for our list of famous ukulele songs you can learn, it deserves its place. Furthermore, thanks to Christin Milioti in “How I Met Your Mother,” a whole new generation has come to know and love this quintessential French standard. And good news! It’s a doddle to play and sounds incredible.
Lyrics filled with longing combine with the uke’s gentle tones to create a wistful song full of both regret and hope. The two complement each other beautifully, producing a completely different feeling to the more dramatic original. With a heady mix of majors and minors, this seven-chord ballad is perfect for those wanting to learn a few new finger positions.
Cut the chord…
But how do you learn all those different positions? An awesome book such as this Ukulele Chord Book is here to help. With over 300 chord variations and helpful diagrams, it’s a fabulous choice for both beginners and seasoned players. It’s a seriously handy option and won’t break the bank either.
Silly Girl by chloe moriondo
Feelings Are Fatal by mxmtoon
Party Favor by Billie Eilish
All I Want by Kodaline
Ocean Eyes by Billie Eilish
Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s
idontwannabeyouanymore by Billie Eilish
Lost Boy by Ruth B
Can’t Help Falling In Love by Twenty One Pilots
Riptide by Vance Joy
Love Story by Taylor Swift
Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations
Adventure Time Theme by Misc Cartoons
This Is Home by Cavetown
A Million Dreams by Misc Movies
Stay With Me by Sam Smith
July (feat. Leon Bridges) by Noah Cyrus
Someone To Lava by Misc Cartoons
The Judge by Twenty One Pilots
No Time To Die by Billie Eilish
Yesterday by The Beatles
We Are The Crystal Gems by Rebecca Sugar
Cups (When I’m Gone) by Anna Kendrick
Let Her Go by Passenger
House Of Gold by Twenty One Pilots
Mr Loverman by Ricky Montgomery
Hostage by Billie Eilish
Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood
Tonight You Belong To Me by Steve Martin
i love you by Billie Eilish
8 / eight by Billie Eilish
listen before i go by Billie Eilish
Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish
I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
Lovely (feat. Khalid) by Billie Eilish
Yellow by Coldplay
Happier by Ed Sheeran
Count On Me by Bruno Mars
What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Bellyache by Billie Eilish
More Famous Ukulele Songs
- Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore by Paramore
- Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra
- Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United
- Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
- Viva La Vida by Coldplay
- Love Like You by Rebecca Sugar
- Little Do You Know by Alex And Sierra
- She by dodie
- Sign Of The Times by Harry Styles
- Just A Friend To You by Meghan Trainor
- Heather by Conan Gray
- UWU by Chevy
- Boys Will Be Bugs by Cavetown
- Over The Rainbow / Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
- Sunflower by Sierra Burgess
- Prom Dress by mxmtoon
- Leaves From The Vine by Misc Cartoons
- We Don’t Believe What’s On TV by Twenty One Pilots
- The Story by Conan Gray
- Take Me To Church by Hozier
- Bubble Gum by Clairo
- Play Date by Melanie Martinez
- I Cant Stop Singing by Ross Lynch & Maia Mitchell
- Hey, Soul Sister by Train
- Shallow (and Bradley Cooper) by Lady Gaga
- Let’s Fall In Love For The Night by FINNEAS
- Devil Town by Cavetown
- we fell in love in october by girl in red
- City Of Stars by Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone
- Mystery Of Love by Sufjan Stevens
- The Scientist by Coldplay
- Fireflies (Fire Flies) by Owl City
- Wish You Were Gay by Billie Eilish
- Lemon Boy by Cavetown
- Remember Me Lullaby (coco) by Misc Cartoons
- Rainbow Connection by The Muppets
- The Moon Song by Karen O
- Level Of Concern by Twenty One Pilots
- You’ll Be Back by Misc Musicals
- Imagine by John Lennon
- When She Loved Me by Sarah McLachlan
- Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People
- I’m In Love With An EbyGirl by Wilbur Soot
- Edelweiss by Julie Andrews
- I Don’t Know My Name by Grace VanderWaal
- Watch by Billie Eilish
- Death Of A Bachelor by Panic! At The Disco
- Giant Woman by Steven Universe
- Lover by Taylor Swift
- Six Feet Under by Billie Eilish
Love the Ukulele?
We can help you satisfy your passion. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Luna Ukulele, the Best Lanikai Ukuleles, the Best Tenor Ukuleles, the Best Baritone Ukuleles, the Best Bass Ukulele, and the Best Electric Ukuleles you can buy in 2023.
You may also enjoy our detailed reviews of the Best Concert Ukuleles For Beginners, the Best Ukuleles for Kids, the Best Ukuleles for Beginners, the Best Ukulele Case, the Best Ukulele Straps, the Best Ukulele Capos, and the Best Ukulele Tuners currently on the market.
Famous Ukulele Songs You Can Learn – Conclusion
When it comes to popular ukulele songs that you can learn, the possibilities are endless. The mighty uke is such a versatile instrument it can lend itself to so many different musical styles. It’s not hard to see why it’s fast becoming one of the most popular instruments in the world.
I’ve only covered a small selection of songs that sound awesome on a ukulele. There are plenty more out there. There’s a song to suit every musician, whether they’re just starting or are ready to perform in public.
So, happy strumming, folks.