Brad Bordessa


I’m Brad Bordessa. I’ve been playing and teaching ‘ukulele for 14 years. Here at Live ‘Ukulele, I provide ‘ukulele lessons and resources for players from around the world.

Jam packed with free learning material, Live ‘Ukulele is the premier spot on the web for learning ‘ukulele. I’m glad you made your way here!

New eBook!

Right Hand Technique for ‘Ukulele is a detailed guide to strumming and picking.

Almost 60 pages, 70 step-by-step photos, and MP3 examples.

“The new book, Right Hand Technique for ‘Ukulele, by Brad Bordessa fills a much needed and long overdue role in the ‘ukulele pantheon of essential learning skills.”Kevin Carroll, author of Ukulele Ceilidh

Yes, I want to improve my technique!

Latest Updates:

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Tutorial: Creating an Impulse Response for ‘Ukulele or Guitar

Plugging in a piezo ‘ukulele pickup has always been a compromise. But can impulse responses help the situation? Good as a piezo might be, there’s always a trade off in sound. In a head-to-head contest, a microphone will always sound better. The pickup element just can’t reproduce the same frequencies in a musical way. With [...]

how to pronounce ukulele

How to Pronounce ‘Ukulele: “Yook” or “Ook”?

The internet is chock-full of ‘ukulele advice these days. Some common answers you will see are: “whatever works for you,” “different strokes for different folks,” or “just have fun!” These all fall in the same vein of the ‘ukulele being a casual, enjoyment-oriented pursuit for 90% of people. But try asking these friendly folks about [...]

I couldn’t believe my eyes the first time I ran across an ‘ukulele website. Someone somewhere was providing songs for me to learn for free! I strummed my brains out, trying out all the possibilities that were available.

Now, all these years later, I’m grateful to be able to provide a similar experience for other budding players. Because of it I’ve connected with people from across the globe and have been part of the ‘ukulele web scene for almost 12 years.

‘Ukulele Learning Materials

There are almost 300 pages of lessons and info available here. It’s a lot to sort through so let me give you the run-down of how things are (mostly) organized:

The best of my teaching materials have been turned into books or PDF downloads and are available in the Store – including ‘Ukulele Chord Shapes, which has sold over 2,500 copies. My albums of original ‘ukulele music are also available for listening!

If you’re learning how to play the ‘ukulele, you’ll want to check out the many pages of lessons I’ve created. These cover all skill levels and the index page can be found via the link.

Chord charts can be downloaded here if you’re not sure how to hold a certain shape.

For those looking for songs to play, check out the songs and tabs pages. If you’re a beginner, I’ve also collected the easiest songs into their own posts: 30 easy songs and 30 easy tabs.

The gear section has tons of info on strings, sizes, pickups, cases, reviews, and more.

The ‘Ukulele At A Glance

  • Hawaiian Pronunciation: oo-koo-le-le and spelled with an ‘okina (‘) – like this: ‘ukulele
  • English Pronuciation: you-ka-lay-lee
  • Four Strings, though sometimes five, six, or eight
  • Usually Tuned: GCEA, ADF#B, or DGBE
  • Range: about two octaves for a high-g soprano and 2-3/4 octaves for a low-g tenor
  • Origin: Hawai’i, from the melding of the Portuguese braguinha and rajão

The ‘ukulele comes in many forms with more emerging all the time. Its signature small look and happy sound have garnered it fans from all around the world and more join the ranks every day.

It’s a simple and straightforward instrument that appeals because of its low entry price (in money and also time spent learning). But despite that, I believe we’ve only scratched the surface of the possibilities the instrument has to offer.

Latest Site News:

brad bordessa with lei and aloha shirt

2019 Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival

For the second year in a row I had the honor of playing at the Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival. This year was the 19th annual event and took place this past Saturday, March 2nd. I’ve been going to the fest for over a decade and it’s always been (and continues to be) a huge source of [...]

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Teaching ‘Ukulele in Freiburg, Germany

In February I got a really cheap plane ticket from Hilo to Milan, Italy. I wasn’t planning on traveling this year. But somehow I found my credit card out and a confirmation email from United in my inbox five minutes later. Huh. So I contacted my friend, Annette. I met her a while back when [...]