If you need an excuse to get out the ukulele and get strumming, then Christmas is it! It’s a perfect time to relax and unwind and throw in a little entertainment along the way.
Grab your ukulele, practice some basic chords, and become a master of some easy ukulele songs. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be feeling confident – perhaps with an eggnog or two inside you – to elevate the festivities by starting a Christmas sing-a-long wherever you go.
These Ukulele Christmas songs for beginners are chosen from YouTube to start you off at the very beginning. You can use them to master some of the basic chords before learning more about different strumming techniques.
Whether you’ve never picked up a ukulele before, or have already started but need to revamp your enthusiasm, there’s something for you here.
Our hope is that this Ukulele Christmas songs for beginners give you the confidence, and love of the uke, to head through Christmas and in to the New Year with a new passion.
Top 5 Easy Ukulele Christmas Songs
1. Jingle Bells
Did you know that this well-loved ditty wasn’t even written for Christmas in the first place? It’s an American classic, written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857, but it was actually written for Thanksgiving. We’ve now well and truly adopted it in to the holiday season, and well, we’re sure you know some other lyrics too…
We’ve chosen Jingle Bells for the Ukulele by Jenny Peters and Rebecca Bogart as our first easy Christmas Song because it is precisely that – easy. In fact, by learning Jingle Bells on the Uke you’ll be able to look like a pro with very little effort. There are only three basic chords – C, F, and G7. They are all displayed very clearly to the right of your screen. Some basic strumming techniques are also discussed which can help you over some of your earliest uke hurdles.
Just make sure you’re not too distracted by the crazy cat perched on a shoulder, tail wagging. It clearly wanted in on the act!
2. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
The Ukulele Teacher is our guide on this easy ukulele version of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Nearly every festive sing-off finishes with this one so you need to know it if you want to wow your audience! It’s got slightly unclear origins, but it seems to have been committed to paper around 1935, but really, we all know and love it.
No problem though because in this easy ukulele tutorial of We Wish You a Merry Christmas, you can download the song sheet if you need it. The chords you’ll need are G, C, A, D, B and Em. What’s great about this tutorial for beginners is that it takes you through each of the chords one by one before building them in to the complete song.
3. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Sticking with the Ukulele Teacher, once you’ve mastered We Wish You a Merry Christmas you should be ready to embark upon the fun and jaunty Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It uses a slightly more complex combination of chords, but consider learning them as a Christmas present to yourself, as you’ll need them as you embark on more complex tunes.
The chords needed in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer are C, G, G7, C7, F, and E7. Again, they are displayed clearly to the side of the video tutorial, and you’re taken through them slowly first.
Interestingly, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer actually started life as a story written by Robert Lewis May. It was first sung as a song by Harry Brannon on New York City Radio in 1949. Rudolph is the extra, maligned reindeer – maybe a little like the average uke player really?! He cheers us all up though, and that’s what the ukulele does too.
4. Last Christmas
This tutorial version of the iconic Last Christmas, by Wham, is given to us by Cynthia Lin Music. Cynthia Lin tutorials are great for beginners as you can download the chord sheets. Therefore, you can practice even when you’re offline. Nonetheless, do follow along with the tutorial because it’s great for taking you through the chords. What’s particularly good in this tutorial is the chords are left as a ‘sticky’ at the top of left of your screen meaning you mentally can prepare for what’s up next.
Last Christmas only has four easy chords: C, Am, Dm, and G7 so it’s perfect for the real beginner. These chords are simply repeated over and over. Where the variation comes in is with the type of strum. You’ll need to master the Island Strum (a particular combination of down and up strokes), but if you’re unsure what that means there’s a link to the needed tutorial for that too.
5. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
Ok, so this one isn’t a tutorial as such, but it is an easy Christmas play-a-long for when you’ve mastered the basics of the above songs. Presented by Ukulele Underground, this infamous Nat King Cole song is pretty slow – this is great news for the beginner ukulele player as you have time to sort out where your fingers need to be without getting tied up in knots.
The main chords you’ll need are C, Cm, Em, Gm, and C7. They are displayed clearly on the screen for you to follow, but you will need to learn them first.
The song was written by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé and was first performed by Nat King Cole in 1946. Bizarrely, it was written in the height of summer. The words, such as “Yuletide Carols”, and “Jack Frost biting” were jotted down to inspire the authors to cool off a little. Instead, an incredibly popular Christmas song was born.
Christmas Ukulele Songs for Beginners
These five ukulele Christmas songs for beginners are a great place to start if you want to make your ukulele the star of your Christmas celebrations this year. Learning an instrument using much-loved and well-known tunes and lyrics gives you a head start. What’s more, the chords and strumming techniques needed to master these songs will stand you in good stead as you progress with your ukulele playing.
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Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.