Changing Tastes and The Time Sensitivity Problem With A Ukulele Blog.

16 May 2015

Changing Tastes and The Time Sensitivity Problem With A Ukulele Blog.

OK, bit of an odd one this, but something I felt the need to respond to. My post yesterday about fishing lines had a rather incredible amount of traffic. Not saying everyone would be in agreement, but an incredible amount of traffic all the same. The whole string debate still seems to be every ukulele players favourite subject! But someone pulled me up on it with a valid observation - that in the past I had claimed that certain strings were my favourites and that I COULD tell strong differences between them. Yet here I am now saying the opposite. What gives?

Well it's simple really and it's part of the problem with the whole blog concept. I have been writing this site for  over five years now and in that time an awful lot have things have, naturally, changed. In respect to ukulele, my tastes have changed (as tastes do) but of course as one continues to play the thing your playing changes. Hopefully it gets better, but even if it doesn't it will still change. I would argue that most people out there play differently to some degree than they did five years ago.

So in the same way as I used to have views on certain strings, I equally look back at instrument reviews I did years ago and find myself not agreeing with them now. Does that mean I should go back to the reviews and change them? Well, I don't think so. I made that a policy when I started this blog that my opinions are dated and I would not change them. They represent what I thought at the time.

Thankfully there are not masses of posts that I now disagree with, but there are certainly a couple of ukulele reviews that I read now and find that I actually grew tired of the instruments and sold them on. But I don't think that makes the reviews irrelevant. And the reason is simple. They are just one guys opinion and for the reader who may be thinking of buying them, what I thought further down the line is not really the issue. It was how the instrument moved me when I reviewed it. That is about as honest as it can be.

And so it is with ukulele strings. Over the last 9-12 months I have played more and more ukulele strings and my playing changed also. Over that time I slowly started to come to the dawning realisation that, actually, these days ALL fluorocarbon ukulele strings are pretty good and I would probably be hard pressed to pick a favourite. To illustrate that, I used to have quite an aversion to Aquila brand strings (just me - I KNOW they are popular), but actually in recent months I have actually quite enjoyed playing them.

So there you go, tastes change, and the curse of a blog being time sensitive strikes. It shouldn't matter  really though - I never did really give string recommendations as I think it is too personal a subject, and I still don't. I will still WRITE about strings of course, but as always - 'YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY'.

By way of another example, as much as I hate to admit this publicly, I did actually used to enjoy Top Gear on the television years ago. In recent years though, I would rather put needles in my eyes than watch it. But I can't change the past!

So in the same way that I don't expect 100% of my readers to agree with 100% of my reviews, likewise, be aware that opinions and tastes change with passing years. It's normal. Maybe they will change again. Who knows?


  1. Happy to see this blog post, with which I am in 100% agreement, and feel the same as you do about the string subject. It makes me wonder a bit about some of the testimony we see in advertising. i am thinking of Jake's oft-seen quote about the strings he uses which he compares to strings on steroids. I think most of your readers were aware of the basic truth of your recent string post, in that we had all, most of us anyway, seen references here and there about the universality of fishing line leaders being part of all, or most at least, of the string companies tool kit. No, I didn't know all the details you posted, which helped me understand the concept much better, but on a very general level, you were posting about a topic that most of us had at least heard a little bit about. Thank you for that. I, like you, have found myself flip-flopping on Aquila strings, but have to admit that it is a quality product. Until Living Water strings came along, I preferred Worth strings above all others for the most part. I wonder if you know whether or not Living Water strings are built with or without fishing line leaders? Just curious, but I do think Ken Middleton puts out a superior product, either way you may answer. As you know, he also markets custom strings for specific instruments and purposes. Would like to know more about what that entails. I am not surprised that this blog post of yours was so popular. I always look forward to what you have to say.

  2. "these days ALL ukulele strings are pretty good"

    This is not true. Ever tried Tenson black nylon? I'm not a good enough player to be very discriminating but these were off my uke after 15 minutes.

  3. Fair point, I should reword it to say all fluorocarbon strings are pretty good.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts and your inspiration. I am a beginner/intermediate player and have yet to change my strings on my Ukes, They are just about due to be changed though. (I've had them nearly 2 months and I play/practice daily). I love your enthusiasm to find short cuts and new ways of playing! :D

  5. I'm late to this blog. I will say that I wish Aquila made strings with smaller diameter. I've had fret buzzes and sore fingers from their fat strings. If they were the same diameter as my worth strings, I'd buy Aquilas instead.


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