View Full Version : Ideas please...

05-24-2010, 09:48 AM
I'm running ideas of what to play on my ukulele and was just looking for ideas, could you please Give me some names of what you play when you either want to show off or more importantly what makes you happy when you play it... This can either be strumming or fingerpicking!!

Thanks in advance

05-24-2010, 09:59 AM
how about a few songs?, always seems to work for me.

05-24-2010, 10:00 AM
Just play songs you like listening to...

...youtube will be your friend here.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
05-24-2010, 10:16 AM
I like older popular favorites.

Check doctoruke.com and learn Tea for Two both for singing and just strumming along.

I like Tiptoe thru the Tulips sung and played moderately (without falsetto).

There's a whole list I go through. Favorites and songs I'm learning.

Play the songs you're familiar with and songs you're trying to learn.

Just have fun and Keep uke-in',

05-24-2010, 10:51 AM
This thread which I just stumbled across:
Gives a great range of tabs. I didn't click that sign in the middle of the page, I simply worked round it.

05-24-2010, 10:53 AM
Gotta learn Tip Toe Through the Tulips. That is my go-to to get the older crowd smiling. Lady Gaga Paparazzi is the one I play to win over the younger set. Playing Lady Gaga proves that you can play just about anything on Ukulele. I have been working on perfecting Kanye West and Mr. Hudson's Supernova. A little unexpected, but I love the song. Metallica's Nothing Else Matters sound quite haunting sung high and backed up by the Uke. And of course there is the classic oldies, the Jazon Mraz, etc. etc. Also, my kids love Perry Como, random, but they do! So, basically anything! Anything that makes you feel good and puts a smile on your face!

05-24-2010, 11:03 AM
"When You're Smiling"

05-24-2010, 11:06 AM
Try something that's in a different language i.e. Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, Hawaiian etc.

05-24-2010, 01:24 PM
What makes you happy when you hear it, pick a few of your favorites and try them out.

05-24-2010, 01:32 PM
The uke chords for Minnie the Moocher are sick-easy to do and it's a real crowd pleaser.

The Girl from Ipanema is another great song. The one catch there is that you have to transpose out of the original key and into something a lot easier to play. Going up 5 semitones does the trick and presents you with some very easy fingerings. If you don't want to upset your guitar-playing jam buddies, you might think about getting a baritone uke.

Mack the Knife also has easy uke chords. However, people might get a little offended if you perform all the verses--the ones not sung by Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong, and Frank Sinatra.

Another "fringe" song I do is Wayfaring Stranger. It's traditional folk, but the death/dying/going-to-the-promised-land theme has limited appeal. Slightly spooky. Again, fairly easy chord shapes.

Have fun and be sure to know your audience.

--Dave E.

05-24-2010, 01:43 PM
I was working on "Dreams I'll never see" by Greg Allman, but I had to concentrate on my studies. Now that I'm done you have reminded me, thanks!

05-24-2010, 02:37 PM
Play all AC/DC songs as if they'd been written by Pachelbel.

05-24-2010, 03:07 PM
I've learned old to new...20's to present, and love them all. When I get in a creative mood I work out Hungarian Gypsy dance style tunes, both with melody and strumming. Very melodic in the fingerstyle parts, and heavy on fast strumming in the chordal work.

05-24-2010, 04:05 PM
Playing Lady Gaga proves that you can play just about anything on Ukulele.

This is true. I played "Poker Face" in a room full of college kids on my tiny Ohana and, after the initial shock, everyone was singing along by the end.

Actually, I tend to play a lot of classic rock or folk songs from the '60s and '70s since I've found that they bridge the generation gap (or, at least, nearly everyone's heard them at some point). Otherwise I'll try some Irving Berlin or do some blues improv when people aren't paying too much attention.

05-24-2010, 04:16 PM
I mostly strum & sing a lot of folk & classic rock, But I also sometimes will throw in some chord solo versions of songs in between to change things up. Somewhere online, I forget where now, I found a nice chord solo version of Yesterday by the Beatles that I use a lot.

05-24-2010, 07:47 PM
If you're looking for something Hawaiian, try "He Aloha Mele." Here's a YouTube video with chords posted in the pull-down text under the video.


Ipu and cap optional.

05-25-2010, 03:00 AM
I recently started playing "Sunny Afternoon" by the Kinks. I seems to be liked very well. I also go to my old standby "Over The Rainbow" and people love that. I play it a couple different ways. If I want to bring the mood mellow, I will do a mellow, picking instrumental of it, and everyone loves it.

Ukulele JJ
05-25-2010, 03:30 AM
Ukulele JJ's sure-fire, patented, three-step method for alleviating ukulele boredom:

Turn on your iPod
Hit "shuffle"
Learn that song!



05-25-2010, 04:17 AM
I like to browse some song books (pdfs) and try ones that I know. Some nice and easy ones are in the uke song books listed in the London Ukefest Song book thread from Ian.

I particularly liked "The Weight" and "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" in that book.

05-25-2010, 06:57 AM
You can play almost anything on a uke. This is a great free book for fingerpicking tabs for classical and folk tunes. Classical uke usually surprises/ impresses people.
The book is in german, but don't let that stop you. There are a lot of tunes in there that you will recognize. Half the fun is discovering Brahms Lullaby or Ode to Joy. There are traditional folk tunes like "Home on the Range" and "Clementine" too.


05-25-2010, 08:25 PM
I'm working on Man of Constant Sorrows {link to chord chart (http://www.scorpex.net/Uke/songs/Man_of_Constant_Sorrow.pdf)} from Oh Brother Where Art Thou.

I also like to go to YouTube and search "4 chord uke song" for ideas...

05-26-2010, 02:30 AM


If you can master all of the basic chords, you'll be able to learn his songs in under an hour a piece. Very simple chords, with unique strum patterns and hammer ons and pull offs.

05-26-2010, 02:56 AM


If you can master all of the basic chords, you'll be able to learn his songs in under an hour a piece. Very simple chords, with unique strum patterns and hammer ons and pull offs.

Glad to see someone suggest something based on strums and strumming patterns. IMO, individual melodic note fingerstyle is one of the most overrated things in ukulele playing...and most of it is boring.

05-26-2010, 12:52 PM
Just about any song by Jack Johnson sounds good on the ukulele.

05-27-2010, 05:46 PM
Lucero plays great easy songs to figure out. Basic chords and fun to sing.