About Brad and Live ʻUkulele

Aloha! My name is Brad Bordessa and I call Honokaʻa, Hawaiʻi my home.

I started Live Ukulele.com with my friend, Isaac Wang, back in 2007 when I was 14 and shortly after I began playing. The name reflects a musical journey: living with the instrument. No fanfare, no drama, no cutesy-ness that’s often associated with the ukulele.

My goal is to share my expertise freely, as others in the Hawaiian music scene have shared theirs with me.

Contact me with questions, to point out site errors, or just to talk story.

Most photos you see on the site are taken by my beloved and hilarious brother, Evan Bordessa.
Isaac helped get things going, but has since moved on to doing smart, academic things I mostly don’t understand. He’s currently in the PhD English program at Purdue University.

Music has taken me some cool places and let me spend time with amazing people. Here are some highlights:

I graduated with honors from the Institute of Hawaiian Music at University of Hawaiʻi Maui College in 2013.

I’ve been a staff instructor at George Kahumoku Jr’s. Slack Key & Ukulele Workshop since 2016 and at the Hawaiʻi Island Ukulele Retreat since 2013 and have taught alongside James Hill, Kevin Carrol, Gerold Ross, Fred Sokolau, Bryan Tolentino, and others.

jam with herb ohta jr brad bordessa george kahumoku

Jammin’ with Herb Ohta, Jr. & Uncle George Kahumoku, Jr.

I’ve been a featured performer at the Slack Key Show and at the Waikoloa Ukulele Festival and shared the stage with Herb Ohta Jr., Sonny Lim, HAPA, the late Martin Pahinui, Hawane Rios, Buckman Coe, and Ledward Kaapana – to name a few.

My Books

Providing ultra-high quality resources for uke players has always been my biggest goal with this site. I’ve been able to take the presentation of some of my best information up another notch with these books.

brad bordessa ebook covers

Ukulele Chord Shapes is my best-selling offering about moveable chord shapes and understanding the fretboard.

Left Hand Technique For Ukulele and Right Hand Technique For Ukulele explore the physical motions responsible for creating sound on a uke. One focuses on fretting and fingering, one on strumming and picking.

Learn More

My Podcast

Like to learn through listening or just enjoy some wholesome discussion on ukulele and music topics? Check out my new podcast. The title is really clever, it’s: The Live Ukulele Podcast With Brad Bordessa.

The live ukulele podcast logo

On it I talk about everything from practice to recording to buying a uke to …anything, really, as long as it’s uke-reated. Sometimes I have a guest, sometimes it’s just me.

Tune in Now!

My Music

In addition to teaching, I’m also a performing musician. Writing original music is one of the most rewarding things I do. These songs are my story and the recordings capture moments of my ukulele playing that I’m proud to share. The music on my Bandcamp is all written, recorded, and mostly played by me, Brad.

Brad on Bandcamp

Visit my personal website, BradBordessa.com, to find out more about my music and see where I’m playing next.

My Gear:

These days I primarily play a Moore Bettah custom tenor made by Chuck Moore and strung with Worth CH strings (Savarez Alliance KF95 low-G).

Read more about it here: My Moore Bettah Custom Tenor.

From 2007-2013 I played a Kamaka HF-3. You’ll see it in all videos, pictures, and lessons from that era.

Read more about it here: My Kamaka HF-3.

I also play a Pono BE-DC solidbody baritone with my little rock/hip-hop band, Kingside.

For more, check out the full break-down of what I’m using.

Technical Stuff:

Where are the ʻokinas!?!?!?!

People who know me know that I’m a big supporter of indigenous rights and the host culture here in Hawaiʻi. I’ve spent a lot of hours in Hawaiian language classes and rub shoulders with a lot of folks in local circles whose approval I value. As such, “ʻukulele” in my world is spelled with an ʻokina.

However, in an effort to pay the bills through this website I’ve come to realize that this spelling might be holding back the potential visibility of what I do. Thus, in an effort to sell my soul to Google in exchange for traffic, I’ve changed to the ʻokina-less version of ukulele for the large majority of content here.

My apologies to the purists out there. I tried for a lot of years. I really did.

Privacy Policy:
I won’t sell your info to anybody. Promise. But if you want the legal-schmegal details you can read all about them here.

Affiliate Programs:
I am a participant in the Reverb and Uketropolis affiliate programs. Clicking on these links earns me a small commission if you order something through their site. You don’t pay any more and it helps support all the free content provided here.