About Brad and Live ʻUkulele.com

Aloha! My name is Brad Bordessa and I call Honokaʻa, Hawaiʻi my home. I keep things running around here – writing content, making tabs, and coding the site.

brad bordessa sonny lim ledward kaapana

Here I am jamming onstage at the Slack Key Show with Grammy nominees Sonny Lim & Ledward Kaapana (Photo: Susan Bonney)

I started Live ʻUkulele.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 ʻukulele.

It’s simple: I want to become a better musician. This site allows me to take you along for the ride and share what I’ve learned along the way!

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

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.
Most photos you see on the site are taken by my brother, Evan Bordessa. If you are on Hawaiʻi Island and need some portraits, he’s the man.

A Little About Me

I started playing ʻukulele in 2005 and quickly was caught up in the Hawaiian music scene. Studying with world-class instructors once a year at the Kahumoku ʻOhana Music & Lifestyle Camp fueled my desire to really make this ʻukulele thing part of my life.

And so I did. Here are some highlights:

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

I’m a staff instructor at the Hawaiʻi Island ʻUkulele Retreat and George Kahumoku Jr’s. Slack Key & ʻUkulele Workshop and have taught alongside James Hill, Kevin Carrol, Gerold Ross, Fred Sokolau and others.

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

brad bordessa herb ohta jr

Me ‘n Herb at the Slack Key Show (Photo: Dusty Foster 2016)

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 ʻukulele 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

My book, called ʻUkulele Chord Shapes, has sold over 2,500 copies and has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Ukulele Magazine caries it in their online store.

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

Supporting the Site

I attempt, in one form or another, to make ends meet with music and this website. The less I have to worry about my bank account, the more time I have to pursue my own music and creating content for you lovely readers!

The best way you can support what I do here is to spread the word about Live ʻUkulele and my awesome eBooks! Tell your uke club. Share it on Facebook. Shout it from a rooftop.

Short of that, anytime you download any of my stuff from the store, the fee goes directly to me. No percentages, no funny business. 100% profit that goes in my gas tank or buys groceries.

Shop for Ebooks

My Gear:

moore bettah tenor

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:

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 affiliate program. 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.