Reviews of ʻUkuleles, Books, Gear, and Albums

Sometimes all you need is a second opinion – or at least a different opinion – to lean you one way or the other on an issue!

Here is a collection of ʻukulele reviews I’ve done on products I’ve had pass through my life. Most reviews were initiated by my love for an item. Some items were provided for free for me to try. I’ve tried to disclose all of these for transparency sake. That said, I generally don’t post ʻukulele reviews that are negative. Provided review items that just weren’t up to snuff aren’t on here. Better to pursue the best than avoid the worse, in my opinion.

Beware though! It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking opinions as gospel – especially when the review reflects positively on your preconceived notions. A review is nothing more than that: an opinion. I try to cover all bases here and represent pros and cons in an objective way, but my ʻukulele style is likely to be very different than yours.

ukulele reviews

ʻUkulele Reviews:

BE-DC Solidbody Baritone by Pono
A high-quality, feedback-resistant performance machine.
E3 Evolve Steel String Electric by Kamoa
A slick archtop ʻukulele with dual humbucker pickups for the rocker at heart.
Farallon by Blackbird
A high-end ʻukulele made from Ekoa and perfect for demanding environments.
OU55CE Baritone by Oscar Schmidt
A big budget baritone with a cutaway and a pickup.
The Outdoor Tenor By Outdoor Ukuleles
Plastic durability like never before.
I only ever review ʻukuleles that are my personal favorites or are put in my hands because someone looked me up. I’m so content with the instruments I play that you won’t find many reviews in this section. I have written about my main two ukes over the years, though not so much as reviews. More like their stories: my tried and true Kamaka HF-3 tenor and my Moore Bettah Ukes custom tenor.

Hands-down, the largest and highest quality source of ʻukulele reviews is Barry Maz’s site, Got a Ukulele. How he manages to write so much about so many ʻukuleles is really impressive to me. If you’re in the market, give his site a peek.

Gear Reviews:

Boss RC-20XL Loop Station
Loopers allow you to record and play back your instrument or vocals for layering tracks.
Crossrock 1000 Series Fiberglass Case
A beautiful hardshell case that looks slick and provides ample protection.
Fishman Loudbox Mini Amp
One of the best ʻukulele amps for the money. Loud and portable.
Mobius ʻUkulele Strap
A simple, but inovative strap that allows you to support your ʻukulele hands-free without altering your instrument.
MXR M-169 Carbon Copy Delay Pedal
A lo-fi sounding delay that sits back in the mix…mix…mix…
Roland AC-90 Acoustic Amp
The best-sounding acoustic amp I’ve ran across.
Zoom G3 Multi-Effects
If you like to program patches, you will love this pedal. Options for days and days in a compact package.

Book Reviews:

Arpeggio Meditations For Ukulele
Daniel Ward’s 16 fingerpicking studies get you in tune with your uke.
Guitar Books That Can Be Used To Learn Ukulele
Four of my favorite reads written for guitar, but still infinitely useful.
He Mele Aloha: A Hawaiian Songbook
THE Hawaiian songbook. If you don’t have it and you play Hawaiian music, well…
The Music Lesson
Victor Wooten’s masterpiece on the spiritual side of music. Absolutely fascinating.

Album Reviews:

Byen Sover
Elof & Wamberg
El Ukulele
Daniel Ward
Exact Change
Victoria Vox
Facing Future
Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole (Bruddah IZ)
Gently Weeps
Jake Shimabukuro
Live
Jake Shimabukuro
Moment
John Nash
The Old Silo
James Hill
Sunday Morning
Jake Shimabukuro
Tell U What
Brittni Paiva
Ukulele Breeze
Herb Ohta Jr.
Ukulele Journey
Herb Ohta Jr.

DVDs:

Million Miles Away
Jake Shimabukuro
Play Loud Ukulele
Jake Shimabukuro

By Brad Bordessa

I’m an ‘ukulele artist from Honoka’a, Hawai’i, where I run this site from a little plantation house in the jungle. I’ve taught workshops internationally, made Herb Ohta Jr. laugh until he cried, and once borrowed a uke to jam with HAPA onstage in my boardshorts. More about me

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