Bruno Mars is a highly successful Grammy award-winning American singer and songwriter. He has many recognizable hits from toe tapping tunes to ballads loaded with emotion.
He is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time and luckily for us ukulele players, many of his songs are very accessible, even for beginners. If you’re a Bruno Mars fan with a voice to rival his, try out some of these simple versions if his hits to wow your friends (or your fans!).
1. The Lazy Song Ukulele Chords
The Lazy song is from Bruno Mars’ debut album in 2010 and was written on a lazy day in the studio when no one really felt like working. Despite that, this was a huge hit in the UK, reaching the number one spot.
This song can be played with your ukulele in standard tuning format but to play along with the original, try tuning down one semitone. Instead of tuning to G, C, E and A, tune to F#, B, D# and G#. The Lazy Song has easy ukulele chords and is played in C, F and G for most of the song. You’ll need to add in D minor, E minor and E7 but these are quite easy too. E minor may take a little bit of practice.
The song starts with the chords C, F and G repeated over and over. Try pinching the strings rather than strumming for this song all the way through, or you can try downstrokes with your thumb if you’re finding pinching too tricky.
2. Marry You Ukulele Chords
Famously covered by the Glee cast, this pop song has doo wop and soul influences. It is actually often used as a proposal song – the clue is in the name!
Marry you relies on three chords being played in the same pattern for the whole song. The chords are easy, F, G minor and B flat. This is a joyful and easy love song for any beginner ukulele player to enjoy.
Try F, G minor, B flat, F with ‘down down up up down up’ strum pattern throughout the entire song.
3. Count On Me Ukulele Chords
Count on me is an uplifting tune that explores the importance of friends. The verse and the chorus use the same chords and then you just need to learn the bridge to complete the song.
The main chords are C, E minor, A minor, G and F. This is a great song for intermediate players or beginners with the time to practice a little bit.
For the bridge you’ll need D minor, E minor, F and G. Find a strumming sequence that feels best for you but for reference, ‘down down up up down up’ with a swing rhythm in mind works well with this song. There’s a bunch of simple ukulele tabs you might want to add to your favorites.
4. When I was your man Ukulele Chords
Released in 2013, this is an emotional ballad with lyrics about heartbreak. It feels like a very honest song with a simple and honest video to match, the trickiest bit about this song is singing it.
This is a good song for an advanced beginner as there are lots of chords to incorporate, although the strum pattern is mellow and it doesn’t move too quickly between the chords. So, although there are lots of chords to pack in it isn’t too difficult.
The chords you need are D minor, C, E minor, G, F, A minor, D, B flat and F minor. Try a strum pattern of ‘down down down up’.
5. Just the way you are Ukulele Chords
This gorgeous tune won a Grammy for the best male pop vocal in 2011 and inspired the famous Meghan Trainor song ‘All About the Bass’. Bruno Mars sold 13.7 million copies of this song worldwide and is one of his best-selling singles of all time. it’s a smooth ballad incorporating R&B and pop and it’s a real feel good tune. It also happens to be a great song for playing if you’re just starting out with the ukulele.
It begins with everyone’s favourite chord, C and then follows on with A minor, F and then C again.
Try the strum pattern ‘down down up up down up’, but work out what feels most comfortable for you and what sounds best.
6. That’s what I like Ukulele Chords
From Bruno Mars’s 3rd album ‘24k Magic’, That’s What I Like was nominated as song of the year at the Grammys.
The song comprises of chords D minor, G, E minor, A minor, G minor, F, C and E. Try ‘down up down up down up down up’ throughout the song.
7. Grenade Ukulele Chords
We’ll finish with a trickier option for those of you who have enjoyed playing Bruno Mars and fancy a bit more of a challenge. Grenade is an explosive pop and R&B ballad that speaks of unrequited love and a broken heart. It is packed with emotional lyrics.
The difference with this song is that it requires some fingerpicking during the verse and some intense strumming in the chorus. There are lots of fun elements to learn if you have a little experience and some patience.
This song can be played with the low G or the high G string. Either is fine and both will sound great.
For the verse, you will need D minor, A minor, A7, B flat, F major and C Major.
To fingerpick, use the E, C and G strings with a 123 fingerpicking pattern. The sequence is:
G 12 and repeat.
For the first half of the chorus you need D minor, B flat, F and C with a strumming pattern ‘down down down up’.
The second half of the chorus gets tricky as there is lots of movement and a number of chords. For this you are going to need a sequence of B flat, B flat, C, C, F, A7, D minor, C, B flat, A, A.
Once you have all of this mastered, try the bridge for which you’ll need G minor, D minor and A in the sequence:
4 X G minor
4 x D minor
4 x G minor
and a ‘down down down up down up’ strum pattern.
Whichever of these great songs you want to master, a little practice is all it takes to get to the stage where you can perform these Bruno Mars tunes to your family and friends!