You might think you need a whole host of chords to be able to start playing your first ukulele song, but in fact there are plenty of Ukulele songs with just two chords that are great for beginners and more advance players too.
If you’ve ever looked at a song book of progressive rock or complicated jazz fusion then you’ve probably seen a sea of chords, many of whom only appear in a couple of songs, some of which can’t even be found on online chord dictionaries and a skattering of regular chords thrown in just for good luck. It might almost make you want to give up from the sheer obvious knowledge kassam between where you are now and where you’d need to be to play the song but fear not. Not every song requires diminished chords, in fact there are plenty which you can play on your ukulele with just two common chords (though not jazz fusion pieces unfortunately).
Take the classic “London Bridge is falling down”, there is a version of this song which only requires two chords to play [C and G7], similarly Mary had a little lamb can be played with only two chords as well. [A word of warning, some songs can be simplified to be only two chords, this misses out some chord changes which lead to a change in the quality of the song.]
Obviously learning a song with only two chords is great for a beginner as it means you can focus on getting the limited number of chords right and not have to remember a whole range of chords. It also lets you focus on other aspects of your playing such as strumming, rhythm, muting, and even singing.
Similarly, two chord songs can actually be great for more advanced players. Many masters return to focusing on the very basics and fundermentals of a skill and by using a two chord song it drives you to make the absolute most out of those two chords. Perhaps you want to work out a solo to play over the top? Or change the rhythm at different parts to signal a change.
So two chord songs are brilliant for everyone, beginner and advance players alike.
If you’d like some two chord songs to learn to play, become a member and download 22 ukulele songs for kids FOR FREE today. You’ll get 6 songs which have just 2 chords (as well as many more which just have three chords).
A quick video tutorial by Manitoba Hal to teach you how to play Jambalaya on the Ukulele by Hank Williams. Jambalaya is a basic two chord song but with some nice twists, such as string muting, to push beginner players further. Give it a try and learn to play Jambalaya.
A nice bit of Spanish ukulele cover from Natalia Lafourcade.
A classic song on the ukulele.
Don’t let anyone tell you the Ukulele can’t play a variety of styles. If they do, show them this ukulele cover of War Ensemble by Slayer.
Unsurprisingly the wonderful Ukulele has inspired many wise words and quite a few less wise words too. Some of these ukulele quotes will make you see your instrument in a whole new light, while others will make you want to pick it up and strum away.
There’s something about the ukulele that just makes you smile. It makes you let your guard down. It brings out the child in all of us. – Jake Shimabukuro
There’s something about guitars, they’re just so big, you know what I mean? You’re just like, ‘Ugh!’ It just seems so overwhelming. And the ukulele is, like, the opposite of overwhelming. – Zooey Deschanel
On the good days, my mother would haul out the ukulele and we’d sit around the kitchen table – it was a cardboard table with a linoleum top – and sing. – Carol Burnett
I bring my ukulele everywhere I go, play a little music in the park, always have it with me. – Max Schneider
There’s no ego when you’re a ukulele player. – Jake Shimabukuro
I think my first instrument was a ukulele that they gave me. I used to know how to play that pretty well. – Don Henley
Sometimes when you’re writing on a ukulele, you’re in a totally new land, rhythmically or melodically. – Tift Merritt
Now everybody’s got a crazy notion of their own. Some like to mix up with a crowd, some like to be alone. It’s no one elses’ business as far as I can see, but every time that I go out the people stare at me, with me little ukulele in me hand. – George Formby
I grew up in a musical family; the majority of my growing up was done in Hawaii. It’s what we do. You sing, you dance, you play ukulele and you drink.- Dwayne Johnson
Sometimes I can’t think of a better way to end my day than coming home and just strumming my ukulele for a few minutes. I mean, I joke around and tell people that it’s an entire yoga session in one strum, you know? – Jake Shimabukuro
Ukuleles will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through time with no ukulele – anonymous
I’m trying to be a better gangsta, so I’m learning how to play the ukulele. I’m also trying to figure out how to rap a romance novel, like The Notebook.” ― Jarod Kintz
“Everyone I know who is into ukulele is crackers, so get yourself a few and enjoy yourselves” – George Harrison
Uke can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find uke get what you need! – The Rolling stones (what? that is what they say honest)
Do you know any other Ukulele quotes?
Someone started the Ukulele because of this site!
I got an email today which said that the reader had just got their first ukulele and started playing because of this site. It made me smile to think that someone is now playing the ukulele because of this site and that makes it really worth the time and money it costs to run.
I’d love to hear any stories you have how Uke University has helped you (or ways we could help you more). Just got to the contact page.
Clawhammer Ukulele by Aaron and Nicole Keim (Kindle)
A great book for anyone interested in learning Clawhammer Ukulele. Clawhammer is a banjo style that also works on the ukulele. It is from the Appalachian mountains of the US and is part of the old time string band tradition of music. It takes the complicated technique and with beautiful tabs and helpful videos you’ll soon be sounding like a pro. This book is currently only available in kindle format (see lowest price). If you don’t have a kindle you might be interested to know that Amazon provide free apps for PC, Mac and Android and IOS users to read kindle books on their devices so everyone can enjoy them 🙂
This guy is doing parenting right on Father’s day.
Photo Credit: pauldkeiser via Compfight cc
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