Once you’ve tuned up that ukulele, here are ten songs the beginner can play. Each song title is linked to an online video tutorial.

Bohemian RhapsodyFreddy_Mercury_Statue

Jake Shimabukuro A,E,C,G

Freddie Mercury planned to have this sound like an operatic piece from the beginning, long before any notes were penned, and it took three weeks to record and put together out of their many spliced sub-mix tapes.



Fix You

Coldplay C, Am, G, F

“Fix You” was written by Gwyneth Paltrow’s then husband, Chris Martin, and he wrote the song for Gwyneth when her dad died. It was played at Steve Job’s memorial event for Apple employees in 2011, and is sometimes played at ice hockey games.


Ingrid Michaelson AnnArborTheArkNov202008
Ingrid Michaelson Am, F, C, G

Everybody wants to love and to be loved, so just let the love begin — that’s what life is really about, according to Michaelson, in her song “Everybody,” from her “Maybe” album.

One Thing

One Direction C, G, Am

Sing this to the one you’re totally into, the one who’s got that “one thing.” This was one of One Direction’s early songs, straight from their debut album “Up All Night.”


Rihanna Am, F, Dm, G, C

Rihanna got her 24th top ten hit with this song back in 2013. The songwriter, Mikky Ekko, wrote in it about his fear of loving someone and then losing her.

You’re BeautifulJames_Blunt

James Blunt Am, F, C, G, Em

Released as a single on James Blunt’s album “Back to Bedlam,” this song made it to first place in the top ten in many countries. It’s Blunt’s best-selling single in his career to date, even though he said in 2014 that he hated the song! Maybe it’s because it was written to express how he felt about his ex — which can be tortuous indeed.

Stand By Me

Ben King Am, F, C, G

Believe it or not, this used to be called “Stand By Me Father,” and was inspired by an old gospel song called “Lord, Stand By Me.”

Call Me Maybe

Carly Rae Jepsen Em, C, G, D

Carly’s 2011 song was the first Canadian female artist to make it into the #1 slot on the US charts since 2007, and today it is one of the best-selling singles of all time. Justin Beiber heard the song on the radio when he was in Canada, and his manager, Scooter Braun, signed Jepsen up as fast as he could. That’s partly why the song became so popular so quickly.

All of the Stars

Ed Sheeran (8508827676)
Ed Sheeran Am, F, C, G

The first song on the soundtrack from “The Fault in Our Stars,” Sheeran wrote this as a happy, sad and hopeful song after someone has died.



The Hanging Tree

The Hunger Games Am, F

Sung by actress Jennifer Lawrence in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – part 1,” the song is used as a battle cry of the oppressed — remembering history and using it to fortify the resolve to stand strong against their oppressors.

Watch this guy play ten songs with four chords.

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