If you’re looking for songs for guitalele, this post is for you!
Unfortunately, there aren’t many songs written specifically for the guitalele.
(But if you know of some, let me know in the comments!)
That said, you can learn to play a guitalele version of any song.
However, I think the best songs to learn on the guitalele are those originally played on the ukulele or the guitar.
I’ll give some examples of popular ukulele and guitar songs below that are well suited for playing on the guitalele along with a video example of a guitalele version for each song!
1. Riptide by Vance Joy (Covered by Marcus) in the Key of F (C Shaped Chords on the Guitalele)
Vance Joy originally wrote the indie folk/pop song Riptide on the ukulele.
This makes it a great song to play on the guitalele since the guitalele’s tonal range is approximately the same as the ukulele.
Plus, this pop song is a fun one to play in a sing-along setting (around a campfire, hanging out with friends, etc.)
Plenty of musicians have covered this upbeat folk tune, most notably, Taylor Swift.
She performed this song on the piano on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge segment.
Her cover of the song features several instruments besides the piano including, the electric organ, shaker, and acoustic guitar.
When covers of a song sound good regardless of the lead instrument, you know you’ve got a hit on your hands.
Likewise, Marcus’ guitalele version provides a unique take on this song.
In fact, I think the guitalele works so well for this song because it gives it both a pop and folk feel.
Although this song is in the key of F, you will play C shape guitar chords on the guitalele because it’s tuned up a 4th compared to the guitar.
If this isn’t clear, check out my article on guitalele tuning.
2. Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole’s Version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Covered by Lee Townsend) in the key of C (G Shaped Chords on the Guitalele)
Israel Kamakawiwoʻole popularized this song. But the music was originally written by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Yip Harburg.
Israel’s version started gaining traction when eToys.com used it in some of their commercials in the late 90s.
It has become so popular since then that, chances are, if you tell people you play the ukulele, this is the song they will ask you to play.
However, just because you have a guitalele instead of a ukulele doesn’t mean you can’t wow them with this beautiful ballad.
The chords are:
(Intro): G – D/F# – Em – C – G – D – Em – C – Cadd9 – C.
(the oooohs part): G – Bm – C – G – C – B7 – Em – C
(chorus): G – Bm – C – G – C – G – D – Em – C
(verse): G – D – Em – C – G – D – Em – C.
3. Dust in the Wind by Kansas (Covered by Fingerstyle Jukebox) in the Key of F (C Shaped Chords on the Guitalele)
If you are looking to learn some cool fingerstyle guitalele, then you should try out this version of Dust in the Wind.
Fingerstyle Jukebox did an awesome job with this one.
American rock band Kansas originally recorded Dust in the Wind and released it on their 1977 album Point of Know Return.
Band member Kerry Livgren actually wrote the song.
In fact, he first came up with the famous guitar lick intro of Dust in the Wind as a fingerpicking exercise.
When his wife, Vicci, heard it, she encouraged him to turn it into a song.
Like Riptide, this one is in the key of F (with C shape chords on the guitalele).
4. I’m Yours by Jason Mraz (Covered by Sunga Jhung) in the Key of C (G Shaped Chords on the Guitalele)
Jason Mraz wrote this is tune with hints of reggae, folk-pop, and soft rock styles.
In fact, this island style sound goes perfectly with the guitalele.
Mraz has won several awards for this song, and you’ve likely heard it in movies, commercials, and plenty more.
Thus, it’s a widely recognized song that will probably be popular with whoever you’re playing for.
5. Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley (Covered by Tommaso Guitar) in the Key of F (C Shaped Chords on the Guitalele)
Can’t Help Falling in Love is a pop song by Elvis Presley.
He recorded the song for the album Blue Hawaii (1961).
However, Elvis didn’t actually write this song.
Actually, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David Weiss wrote this ballad, basing the melody on a popular French love song, Plaisir d’Amour.
The album title, Blue Hawaii, alludes to how perfect the guitalele is to cover this song, and Tommaso Guitar did an excellent job arranging this fingerstyle version.
If you want to play along Tommaso Guitar’s version is in the key of F (C shape chords on the guitalele).
6. Your Song by Elton John (Covered by Patrick Matlock) in the Key of F (C Shaped Chords on the Guitalele)
Your Song is a traditional pop/soft-rock song by English musician Elton John from his self-titled second studio album (1970).
Elton John and his longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin wrote Your Song.
Actually, American rock band, Three Dog Night released Your Song in March 1970 on their third studio album, It Ain’t Easy.
Elton John was an opening act for the band at the time, and he gave permission for them to record it.
However, they did not release it as a single because they wanted to let John, then an upcoming artist, to have a go with it.
Patrick Matlock’s fingerstyle arrangement of this classic on the guitalele is in the key of F.
7. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head by BJ Thomas (Covered by Jack Isidore) in the Key of F (C Shaped Chords on the Guitalele)
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head is a pop/soft-rock song by Hal David and Burt Bacharach they wrote for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Another fun fact about this song is that, in the recording used for the film, Thomas was recovering from laryngitis, so his voice sounds huskier in the film version than in the 7-inch release.
Jack Isidore crushes this cover with a fun fingerstyle technique.
This is another one in the key of F with C shaped guitar chords on the guitalele.
8. Memories by Maroon 5 (Covered by Canap Avenue) in the Key of D# (A# Chord Shapes on the Guitalele)
Memories is a pop song by Maroon 5.
Apparently, lead vocalist, Adam Levine and the rest of the writers tried to model the sound after Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D.
I really like how Canap Avenue incorporates strumming, fingerpicking, and lead licks into this arrangement.
9. Perfect by Ed Sheeran (Covered by Ruth Anna) in the Key of C (G Shaped Chords on the Guitalele)
Pop artist, Ed Sheeran released Perfect on his third studio album.
This romantic ballad written about his wife-to-be Cherry Seaborn was actually the first song he wrote for this album.
Sheeran knew Seaborn from school, and then they reconnected when they were both working in New York.
Ruth Anna’s cover alternate bass fingerstyle on the guitalele gives this song a fresh sound.
This along with the simple chord shapes make this a fun one to try!
10. I Took A Pill in Ibiza by Mike Posner (Covered by Nix) in the Key of F# (C# Shaped Chords on the Guitalele)
I Took a Pill in Ibiza is a song by Mike Posner.
You may have heard it on top 40 radio stations as an EDM song, but Mike’s original version is actually guitar-based with a folky pop feel.
Norwegian EDM group, Seeb later remixed it and released the single in the United States.
This version has become the most popular version, while few know about Mike’s original acoustic tune.
However, like I mentioned in the introduction, typically guitar or ukulele songs make for the best guitalele covers.
And since Posner originally wrote this on the guitar, it’s a promising candidate for a guitalele cover.
Nix confirms this in her version in the YouTube video above, bringing a unique take to this tune.
Nix’s version is also the only capoed song on this list.
So make sure you have a capo for this particular cover!
11. Stand by Me by Ben E. King (Cover by Francesco Nasone) in the Key of F Major (C-Shaped Chord on the Guitalele)
Stand by Me is a 1960s song that became particularly popular in the 1980s.
Many have covered this R&B piece.
There are versions on plenty of instruments.
But since it has a pretty simple chord progression, you can also do it on a guitalele.
Now, this particular cover is a bit different.
As you will notice, Francesco here played around with the main melody.
The arrangement is different too.
However, you can use this same chord progression.
What’s so great about the song is that you can do your own arrangement with it.
You can strum the chords or arpeggiate them.
And you can change the groove to whatever you like.
12. Yesterday by The Beatles (Cover by Edo Morselli) in the Key of D Minor (A Minor-Shaped Chord on the Guitalele)
Though it’s a cliche at this point, it’s no secret that The Beatles changed music forever.
And “Yesterday” is one of their biggest songs.
It’s primarily Paul McCartney’s song.
The original version also features a string quartet.
But you can also perform it on guitalele and even ukulele.
The cover that I’ve shared here is unique.
Nonetheless, Edo Moriselli did an incredible job with it.
He performs the vocal melody over the chord progression.
In some ways, it sounds like a classical piece.
13. Superstition by Stevie Wonder (Cover by Fingerstyle Jukebox) in the Key of A Minor (E Minor-Shaped Chord on the Guitalele)
This is another great one by Fingerstyle Jukebox.
Superstition is a classic.
It’s one of the pieces that brought funk closer to rock.
In this cover, we have the same basic approach as with many guitar covers.
You play it in the key of A minor, so these are E minor shapes on guitalele.
What’s cool, however, is that she’s playing the main riff and the vocal melody at the same time – all this while keeping the song’s original groove.
14. Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd (Cover by Guitalele Oeuvre) in the Key of A Minor (E Minor-Shaped Chord on the Guitalele)
Now, this cover is performed on a piccolo guitar.
However, piccolo guitar and guitalele are pretty close.
It’s essentially the same instrument just with steel instead of nylon strings.
So you can approach the song the same way as Guitalele Oeuvre did.
He prefers to keep it in the same key.
However, this song only has three chords.
So it would also be pretty easy to transpose and fit your vocal style.
15. Spanish Romance (Cover by Tanja Stojanoska) in the Key of A Minor (E Minor-Shaped Chord on the Guitalele)
This is one of the most important pieces for beginner classical guitarists.
It’s not that hard but it helps you conquer fingerpicking basics.
And if you play it on guitalele, I advise that you transpose it to A minor, compared to the original in E minor.
This way, you use the same shapes you would on a regular 6-string guitar.
It’s not only easier to play, but it also sounds unique.
16. 21 Guns by Green Day (Cover by Fingerstyle Jukebox) in the Key of D Minor (A Minor-Shaped Chord on the Guitalele)
Fingerstyle Jukebox brings yet another amazing cover worth featuring here.
This time around, we’re looking at Green Day’s 21 Guns.
The original version of the song is fairly simple.
But at the same time, it’s a pretty catchy one and super fun to play.
Again, this cover captures both the chord progression and the vocal melody.
Sure, you can recognize the song.
After all, the main melody is pretty memorable.
However, this kind of a guitalele cover gives it a completely different twist.
17. Greensleeves (Cover by John Miliadis) in the Key of D Minor (A Minor-Shaped Chord on the Guitalele)
Greensleeves is an old traditional English song.
To this day, no one knows who wrote it, but its roots go back to the 16th century.
The piece is also popular among beginner guitar players.
It’s not a hard one to learn and it’s great for fingerpicking and chord practice.
On a guitalele, you can simply use the same shapes as you would on a guitar.
This way, you’re playing it in the key of D minor.
18. River Flows in You by Yiruma (Cover by Sungha Jung) in the Key of A Minor (E Minor-Shaped Chord on Guitalele)
Korean composer and pianist Yiruma is famous for his piece “River Flows in You.”
This instrumental features a pretty basic chord progression.
The original is in the key of F-sharp minor.
If you’re playing it on guitalele, you can simply cover it in the key of A minor.
It’s much simpler this way.
Nonetheless, you still have to play both the progression and the melody.
Sungha Jung did a pretty great job here.
It isn’t all that hard, but you still have to coordinate both of your hands.
19. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri (Cover by Rodrigo Gonçalves de Oliveira) in the Key of C Major (G Major-Shaped Chord on the Guitalele)
Now we’re looking at Christina Perri’s 2011 hit song “A Thousand Years.”
This particular cover was performed by Rodrigo Gonçalves de Oliveira.
The original is in the key of B-flat major.
However, Rodrigo makes it simpler by playing it in the key of C major.
The entire song has five basic chords.
With this one, you’ll get the chance to learn something new as well.
There should be an add9 chord in there.
20. Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton (Cover by Johnson Jesselton) in the key of G Major (D Major-Shaped Chord on the Guitalele)
Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight is a pretty popular one to learn.
What’s great about it is that you can do all sorts of arrangements with this one.
So if you’re a beginner, you can just strum along to it, and it will sound great.
But you can also make it more advanced and play both the melody and the progression.
This is what we can hear in this great guitalele cover by Johnson Jesselton.
Nonetheless, we still mostly have the basic chord shapes and he just adds the melodies on top of it.
I hope this list of guitalele songs has given you the inspiration to try some of them out!
And if you know of more songs for guitalele (particularly any written specifically on the guitalele) let me know in the comments!