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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000193.txt from 2004/08

From: "Chuck Currie" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Ligature preferences
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 2004 13:50:54 -0400

Dear Rose,

Ligatures can be very widely divided into fabric and metal. String is
similar to the fabric ligatures. Fabric ligatures tend to dampen the
mouthpiece a little and possibly not project quite as much as metal. =
have a somewhat "warmer" sound.

I moved from the clarinetist's "standby" ligature, an inverted Bonade, =
fabric ligatures for many years, but ended up converting back to metal =
playing a clarinet trio in a rather large hall, as I found the focus and
projection better. Some people cut the middle section of the Bonade
ligature out, leaving only two 1/2" or so strips going over the reed, =
with two "vertical" rails on the reed. This frees up the reed for a =
lively sound, at the expense of a little bit of "focus."

Most successful metal ligatures feature a couple of vertical rails that
contact the reed like the Bonade. The BG Tradition and one of the =
plates on
the Vandoren Optimum ligature have these, along with the Brancher personal current favorite. BG also makes a fabric =
that features these metal rails...the BG Super Revelation. This, along =
the Rovner Eddie Danels fabric ligature (which has interchangeable metal
reed plates), is the best compromise between fabric and metal.
Some metal ligatures (including the standard Vandoren, the Mithcell =
ligature and one of the plates on the Vandoren Optimum) have a couple of
horizontal rails on them. To me, this gives too "contained" a sound and
does not articulate as cleanly as the vertical rails.

Bonades are a great ligature when new, but eventually the metal that =
back to the screws starts to contact the sides of the reed and dampens =
I moved to the Vandoren Optimum since this is prevented in that design. =

I changed from the Vandoren Optimum to the Brancher metal ligature =
because I
felt the large amount of metal on the mouthpiece with the Optimum =
the vibrations of the mouthpiece itself a bit. The Brancher has four =
"threads" of metal rod going back to a single screw which contacts the
mouthpiece at only one small point. To me it seems to aid articulation
better than other ligatures and a helps give a pure sweet sound. Just =
opinion. =20

Chuck Currie
Sax Noir Studio
604 254-9625
604 970-2694
2105 E 3rd Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5N 1H9

-----Original Message-----
From: Christy Erickson []=20
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2004 10:04 AM
Subject: RE: [kl] Ligature preferences

Rose, I've been using a Vandoren Optimum Ligature. It comes with 3
different plates that hold the reed on the mouthpiece. They are easily
removable but since I've had the ligature, I've used only 1 of the =
and only experimented briefly with the others-probably due to time
constraints mostly. I've also used the Rovnor ligatures that are made =
of a
rubber material and I've found them particularly good for students. =
are inexpensive, they don't bend if stepped on or dropped and they allow =
reed to vibrate very freely. =20
If using a standard metal ligature, I was taught to loosen the =
screw tightly and to leave the top screw looser so as not to clamp down =
reed too tightly. You might start by experimenting with that some. =
had students who notice an immediate difference in their sound using =
simple and inexpensive technique. =20


> I have been trying to increase my knowledge by reading David Pino's =
> "The Clarinet and Clarinet Playing" and he mentioned that he uses a
> shoestring as a ligature. I realize that as a very weak amateur I =
> probably stay with my old reliable metal ligature. But I was wondering
> what
> other, more experience clarinettists used?
> Rose

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