Ah, the ukulele. A living room staple and the new replacement for recorders in schools. It’s no wonder why these petite and portable instruments have become so popular: they’re lightweight, affordable, and just about anyone can master one.
If you’re interested in picking up the guitar, the ukulele is the perfect place to start and test the waters. Lucky for you, several Ernie Ball artists have put out some killer tunes that just so happen to be perfect for the ukulele. Below are six easy songs to play on the uke.
1. “Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars
Today you might not feel like doing anything, and that’s great! Supplement your do-nothing day with a little bit of uke. “Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars is a simple track to play. Off his debut record Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Mars’ bluesy pop hit is catchy and hard not to sing along to. It’s also one of the chart-topping singles that helped him take home the Grammy for Album of the Year.
2. “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
The song that helped launch The Lumineers into commercial stardom, “Ho Hey” carries a simple chord progression ideal for the ukulele. This indie folk hit mixed with the beach-y sounds of the ukulele makes for a surprisingly elegant mashup. So go ahead and practice you “ho’s” and your “hey’s” and start strumming.
3. “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5
Maroon 5‘s “Sunday Morning” has us reminiscing on the golden days of early 2000s pop rock. Off of their debut record, Songs About Jane, “Sunday Morning” is a mid-tempo love song that will have you yearning for your next lazy Sunday. Master just three simple chords and you’ll have an entire room singing along with you.
4. “idontwannabeyouanymore” by Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish has created a sound so uniquely her own its difficult to categorize. Her high energy shows are typically interrupted by a stripped down version of one of her dark pop songs, where Eilish halts her backing band and brings the ukulele to center stage. We suggest learning “idontwannabeyouanymore,” an elegant ballad that perfectly translates to the ukulele.
5. “Death Of A Bachelor” by Panic! At The Disco
We can’t promise you’ll be able to hit Brendon Urie’s highs in “Death Of A Bachelor,” but we can assure you’ll have this 2015 hit perfected in no time. In recent years, Panic! At The Disco has grown beyond the angsty pop punk sounds they gained recognition from and have experimented in more mature, Sinatra-esque sounds. “Death Of A Bachelor” is more fast paced than the others tracks on this list, but once you’ve nailed it, you won’t be able to stop strumming along.
6. “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood
The Neighbourhood has arguably had one of the most subtle progressions to the top of the indie rock scene. Their 2012 hit “Sweater Weather” logged 11 consecutive weeks atop Billboard’s Alternative charts, and the group has since released three studio albums, two experimental EPs, and gained a committed following along the way. It’s probably been a few years since you had “Sweater Weather” stuck in your head, so we’re officially helping bring it back. Thank us later.
Ernie Ball Ukulele Strings
This year, we welcomed ukulele strings to our world-renowned string collection. Our ukulele strings are made from 100% nylon monofilament and are offered in traditional clear resin for a bright, balanced tone with excellent projection, while the black resin produces a warm, rich tone with percussive attack. Featuring ball end construction for easy installation and enhanced tuning stability, changing strings has never been simpler. Available in .028, .032, .040, and .028 gauge. Visit our website to learn more.