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Ukulele pop covers

Ukulele pop covers
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If you thought ukuleles were only for Hawaiian music, think again. This four-stringed instrument, originally from Portugal but popularized in Hawaii, has found quite the niche in contemporary pop music and pop covers over the years.

The history of the ukulele in pop music is as dynamic and versatile as the instrument itself. From Israel Kamakawiwaʻole’s iconic rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ in 1993, to Train’s ‘Hey, Soul Sister’ in 2009, to the more recent cover of Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ by Ukulele Kids Club in 2019, the ukulele has captured the hearts of both artists and audience members with its unique sound and charm. This trend reflects not only a broader embrace of cultural diversity in music but also underscores the current demand for innovation in the rendition of pop songs.

Pop covers on ukulele turned out to be a bigger sensation than one could anticipate. According to a report by BBC, ukulele sales spiked worldwide by around 500% in 2011 during the height of the pop cover trend. This surge was largely influenced by popular bands and artists like Taylor Swift, Eddie Vedder, and Zooey Deschanel incorporating the ukulele into their music.

Pop covers on ukulele offer an appealing reprieve from the heavily produced sounds of the modern music industry. With its soft, melodic tones and relative simplicity to learn, the ukulele is an approachable instrument for both seasoned musicians and budding enthusiasts. It serves as a fresh take on familiar songs, often transforming the vibe from the original piece to something totally different and unique.

While historically, the ukulele was largely overlooked in music education, it has recently seen a significant uptick in popularity in music classrooms globally. According to a 2017 survey by Alfred Music, a leading international publisher of educational music, ukuleles were the fastest growing new instrument being taught in schools, attesting to the instrument’s increasing prominence in popular music culture. The survey found that most schools had chosen to introduce ukuleles to their curriculums due to both their affordability and approachability for beginner players.

In the era of the internet, ukulele pop covers have also made a considerable splash online. With the rise of platforms like YouTube, countless amateur musicians have found a platform to share their ukulele renditions of popular hits. Some of these covers have even gone viral, like Canadian artist Feng E’s solo ukulele covers which have racked up millions of views and led to him appearing on Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2019. With the growing prevalence of such online spaces, sharing and discovering ukulele pop music covers has never been easier.

Are Ukulele Pop Covers the Next Big Trend in Music?

Ukulele pop covers are a delightful innovation in the music scene, where recognizable pop music tunes are meticulously rendered with the charming and nuanced sound of the ukulele. This trend is not only giving a fresh twist to well-loved songs but also reintroducing the beauty of these four-stringed instruments to a broader audience. The advantage of this trend lies in its simplicity and authenticity, offering unique music versions that ignite a feeling of nostalgia and an appreciation for versatility in music. Are they the next significant trend? Let’s delve deeper into the world of ukulele pop covers in the following section.

Soaring Popularity of Ukulele Pop Covers

Ukulele pop covers have taken the music world by storm, with many professional musicians and hobbyists alike enjoying the unique twist they bring to well-known pop hits. Ukulele, with its rich, distinct, and soothing sounds, reinvents pop music in a refreshing way. It is creating a new musical landscape dotted with artistic creativity and innovation.

Why Are Ukulele Pop Covers Loved?

The popularity of Ukulele pop covers can be attributed to the unique sound it brings to pop music. The instrument’s four strings produce a warm, airy tone, making it perfect for a variety of genres, but it particularly shines in pop music. It creates a new dimension to the songs that become less about the overpowering beats and more about the melody and the lyrics.

Talented Ukulele Pop Cover Artists

There are countless talented artists on the Internet who are continually contributing to the growing trend of Ukulele pop covers. These include well-known figures like Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, who made a remarkable Ukulele cover of “Over the Rainbow”. Grace VanderWaal, the winner of America’s Got Talent season 11, is also celebrated for her heartfelt ukulele pop covers that have won her millions of fans around the world.

The Process of Crafting Ukulele Pop Covers

The process of creating successful ukulele pop covers involves a lot of creativity and technical knowledge. First, artists need to identify the primary chords of the pop song they wish to cover. Next, they translate the chord progression into compatible ukulele chords. Finally, the artist needs to master the strumming pattern that matches the beat and rhythm of the original pop song.

The Impact of Youtube and Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms, particularly YouTube, have played a significant role in the recent surge of interest in ukulele pop covers. YouTube provides a platform for amateur and professional musicians to share their covers with a global audience. And with the addition of short video platforms like TikTok and Instagram reels, these covers can be even more creatively packaged and shared, leading to a drastic increase in their popularity.

Ukulele Pop Covers and Music Education

Many music teachers have found value in using ukulele pop covers as teaching tools. The four-stringed instrument is relatively easy to pick up and play for beginners, making it an excellent choice for children and adults looking to get into music. Pop songs, being generally well known and loved, add an element of familiarity, which can motivate students to learn and practice.

According to a 2020 survey by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), the ukulele’s popularity is growing rapidly, with sales up by an impressive 16.6% over the previous year. It’s clear that the trend of Ukulele pop covers has a promising future, serving as a testament to the universal power and adaptability of music.

  1. What exactly are ukulele pop covers?

    Ukulele pop covers refer to popular music songs, commonly from the pop genre, that have been reinterpreted and performed using the ukulele. They are not the original versions of the songs, but adapted versions specifically arranged for the ukulele.

  2. Do I need advanced ukulele skills to play these pop covers?

    Not necessarily. Most ukulele pop covers can be played with basic to intermediate skill levels. Of course, more complex songs or arrangements may require advanced skills and techniques, but there are plenty of options available for beginners.

  3. Where can I find ukulele pop cover tabs and chords?

    There are several websites and online platforms available that provide ukulele tabs and chords for pop covers. These include sites like UkuTabs, Ultimate Guitar, and Ukulele Cheats. Simply search for the song title followed by ‘ukulele tabs’ or ‘ukulele chords’ in your search engine.

  4. Can I make my own ukulele pop covers?

    Absolutely! If you have the skills and creativity, you can certainly arrange and perform your own ukulele versions of popular songs. This can be a fun and fulfilling way to express your musicality.

  5. Are there tutorials to help me learn these pop covers?

    Yes, there are numerous tutorials available online, mainly on platforms like YouTube. These tutorials will often guide you through the song step by step, teaching you the chords and strumming patterns needed.

  6. Do I need any special equipment to play ukulele pop covers?

    No, all you need is a ukulele. Of course, if you’re planning to perform or record your covers, you may need additional equipment like a microphone, an audio interface, and recording software.

  7. How long does it take to learn a ukulele pop cover?

    The learning time can greatly vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the song, your ukulele skills, and how much time you can dedicate to practice. Some people could learn a simple song in a few hours, while others might need a few days or even a week.

  8. Are there any specific techniques I need to learn?

    Playing ukulele pop covers might require you to know basic techniques such as strumming patterns, chord changes and finger picking. More advanced techniques like chucking or palm muting could be used in some songs, but these are not usually essential.

  9. What are the benefits of playing ukulele pop covers?

    Playing ukulele pop covers can be a fun way to practice and develop your ukulele skills. It might also open up opportunities to perform in front of others, broaden your musical repertoire, and help you gain a deeper appreciation for music.

  10. What kind of ukulele is best for pop covers?

    Any type of ukulele can be used for pop covers, but the most common one is the soprano due to its classic and bright sound. Tenor ukuleles are also popular for those who want a deeper and richer tone.


Ukulele pop covers have undeniably carved out a niche in the contemporary music scene, offering a light-hearted, warm and sweet variation to the original hits. It has transcended from a traditional Hawaiian instrument into a global phenomenon, embracing multiple genres and becoming a preferential tool for many artists for interpreting pop songs. Simplicity being its hallmark, beginners can easily learn to play it with rudimentary musical knowledge, which contributes to it being particularly popular among amateur musicians seeking to cover pop songs. Additionally, due to its distinct and appealing sound, Ukulele covers bring a unique touch that often introduces a new dynamic to the well-known pop renditions.

Over the years, with the rise of digital platforms, Ukulele pop covers have gained vast online audiences, thereby encouraging more musicians to explore this medium. The potential for creativity and the element of surprise in alterations of the original song can lead to virality in social networks, putting Ukulele pop covers in a promising position within the music industry. The current trend for nostalgia in pop culture and the longing for simpler times may maintain the popularity of Ukulele covers for some time. This trend counteracts the high-production, electronic-heavy trend in mainstream pop, proving there is always room for simplicity and authenticity in music.