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 Ligature for Beginners
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2016-01-15 01:16

What is a good ligature to suggest for young students, for use with a Fobes Debut or Hite Premier, etc. Formerly, I would have recommended a Rovner Dark, but the new ones are very slippery. Something nicer than a cheapie metal one, but less than $20. Easy to adjust, and stays put.

Thank you!

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2016-01-15 03:02

Also my suggestion. The are virtually unbreakable as well. Of course I would slightly alter that suggestion to the Rovner Light. A much better sounding alternative.



Ok, I'll bite. What is Rovner doing to the synthetic leatherette pouch these days to make it slippery? Can the material be lightly scoured with fine (360 or even 400 grit wet/dry) sandpaper to make it less so?





...............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2016-01-15 03:54

The coating is more like plastic than rubber now. It's much stiffer and harder. It plays fine, it just doesn't hold when you try to remove the mouthpiece.

My old one, going on 30 years old is frayed, but still works. I think the new one does a better job of adjusting the tension over the reed, but it slips when I remover the mouthpiece.

The new one is cut at a diagonal, so that the top is further back on the mouthpiece than the bottom. I can see that making it more confusing for kids as well.

Sanding is worth a try.

I thought of Rico "Harrison", Lyuben, or Bonade as alternatives. (Even if the Bonade isn't adjusted right, it still works well.)

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2016-01-15 04:48

Matt74 wrote:

> The new one is cut at a diagonal, so that the top is further
> back on the mouthpiece than the bottom. I can see that making
> it more confusing for kids as well.
>
Don't the instructions tout this as a feature - tilt it ligature one way or the other (with the back higher or lower) to create differences in sound? Is the Rovner Dark also one that's reversible? I haven't used one in a long while, but I seem to remember something like that (or am I thinking of a different ligature completely?).

Karl

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2016-01-15 05:03

I don't see any reason that you couldn't reverse the Rovner Dark/Light (screw over the reed). You'd just have to flip which side the bars if you want to maintain "right-handedness".


As for slipping, the Rico "H" design is worst of all. A student brought one in to a lesson and it kept slipping up and undoing the reed. I sanded the heck out of it before it calmed down. But remember if you are trying to gain more traction with the twisting motion of taking off a mouthpiece, you should sand up and down on the inside surface.





...............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2016-01-15 05:07

Hi,

I think a Luyben ligature is very hard to beat for a beginner. Not complicated to put, inexpensive, and it give excellent results. I still have a couple that are almost 40 years old and they work just fine. The company redid the molds several years ago and the detail is sharp.

Black for a dark tone and the clear for a .... Just kidding.

HRL

PS The VD Star series (SS-1R) is very good for just a little more than the Luyben.

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2016-01-15 20:26

"Black for a dark tone and the clear for a .... Just kidding."

LOL

"....And you get the one with the nickel silver screw for raw edge and power, or the 24K gold screw which makes it more "free blowing". ...Mix or match to find the special combination that allows you to get the unique tonal qualities you demand from your instrument."

Karl, There all different now and I don't think the new one came with that insert... Obviously, it's the same idea, but they have stitching on the sides, and all these slits in them over the reed. I was surprised when I opened it. There are pictures online, but you can't see the overall shape very well. The edge of the fabric on the reed sits 2 or 3 mm ahead of the bars on top. It sits well on the reed (probably better than the old one), but they don't hold the mouthpiece as well.

Paul, thanks for the info about the "H".

Hank, I'll try one.

I just found an inexpensive "BG Flex Series" on WWBW. It's a lot like a dark rovner, I'll check it out too.

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Ed 
Date:   2016-01-15 23:45

I was also going to suggest he Luyben, They work well and hold up to abuse.

I am not sure if they make a cryogenic version yet

:-)

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: sfalexi 
Date:   2016-01-16 00:02

Caution with the luyben. It's easy to over tighten and break.

I hear you on the changes in the rovner. Not ideal. But overall, the rovner is hard to beat for ease of use and cost.

EDIT - just saw your price point so in deleting this recommendation.

Alexi

Small Group Leader
US Army School of Music NCO Academy


Post Edited (2016-01-16 00:05)

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2016-01-16 06:46

"What is a good ligature to suggest...."

A metal one with two good screws. If for a young student tell them to not buy into the hype of a ligature, providing its structurally sound, doing much of anything for their play.

Then get a time machine, study with Russianoff, and have the longest clarinet career on record, playing for the NY Philharmonic, all with that same ligature.

Meticulous study of etude books makes players, not ligatures, the cork grease chosen, or the color of the felt in the case.



Post Edited (2016-01-16 06:52)

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2016-01-16 12:34

A basic metal ligature with two good screws is getting hard to find. I ordered a group of Yamaha YAC-1601 2-screw metal ligatures and discovered upon arrival that they're the exact same American Plating metal ligatures with the abominable sloppy flat-sided screws sold everywhere for half the price of the Yamaha.

For shame, Yamaha! I ended up scrounging up better screws from old ligatures to make them decent. Next time, I'll order the Selmer USA metal lig and hopefully they will come with decent screws. The Vito Melodia lig does, but costs nearly what a Bonade goes for.



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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: annev 
Date:   2016-01-16 20:41

Last month, a few days before a performance of Handel's Messiah, I heard a crunching sound from the next room and discovered our Labrador shredding my Rovner Light (I guess it had good mouth feel). Thankfully I was able to find a new Rovner Light before the concert and it did the job without problems. I can tell that the material is slightly different from my old Rovner, but I haven't had any trouble with the ligature slipping, even though I switch mouthpieces from Bb to A clarinet pretty regularly (and sometimes pretty quickly) at rehearsals these days. Perhaps the material change is not as critical with the Light as opposed to the Dark. They are still a very affordable choice and may be worth a try for your students.



Post Edited (2016-01-16 20:44)

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: tylerleecutts 
Date:   2016-01-17 01:43

I would recommend a standard bonade to students, providing they aren't careless in using or storing it.

If it ain't broke. .

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: MSK 
Date:   2016-01-17 23:36

The Rovner Mark III is only $4.00 more than the dark and light if you want another option. But seriously, the current Light and Dark are both still such improvements over the stock 2 screw ligatures that students should be well served by either. I find the light less slippery than the dark. My son, who has been playing 4.5 years at this point started with a slippery dark and has not had any particular problem. He uses a light now, due to sound preference rather than texture. (Protecting the bridge key cork, was his beginner challenge)

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2016-01-18 01:17

I face a bit of a paradox of two central themes in clarinet play, that sometimes run at odds to each other for me.

On the one hand,

I would be hard pressed to find a place where opinion can vary, and people of good conscience and sound mind can disagree about so many aspects of play, and should be required to respect one another, more so than it study of clarinet. Clarinet players, no different than woodworkers, people who sew, or dirt bike enthusiasts like to talk "gear." That too should be respected, as nobody's forced to pay attention to the topic.

But on the other hand,

In an environment with so many opinions, so many options, so many people seeking that infinitesimally small improvement in their play--or even the perception (if not actual) improvement in their play, that they will throw science, money, and best practices "into the wind," and buy some crazy priced ligature whose cord was used by NASA, and whose metal was cryogenically frozen--and so many people only too happy to take their money--there appears to me to be no less calling to relevant truth, which is the only thing upon which sound (pun worthy of mention) decision can be made.

For 99.99% of us (that's 1 in 10,000, right?--it's probably higher) this stupid "reed strap" featured below isn't hard to get and stay on, and will take us far further than our abilities will outpace, until death do us part (from clarinet.)

http://shop.weinermusic.com/STANDARD-Bb-CLARINET-LIGATURE/productinfo/LK1N/

And if it won't, it will certainly suffice a beginner--the OP's original focus--even if that beginner's Julian Bliss--who funny enough, if he was here right now, based on Youtube video insight into his ideas, would likely concur with this.

"But Julians [substitute another named player if you desire] plays an XYZ ligature...and!!!"

...does he/she get it for free or get paid to play on it????? Do you play at that player's level where micro improvements make a difference? Do you ski better wearing the same brand and color helmet your favorite Olympian wore when getting the gold?

I get people's desire to talk and try new things clarinet. And in an effort to "torch myself before others get the chance" this comes from a Vandoren ligature using player--who'd I give every right to call a "smartpants" if not for my confession that the only thing that attracted me to the ligature was its double threaded screw easy on/off mechanism.

#BuyClarinetGizmosWithOpenEyes



Post Edited (2016-01-18 01:20)

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2016-01-19 06:56

I like this:

https://youtu.be/6ghMCiV8hTg

I especially like the wood clamp.


However, my thought is that students should have a ligature that fits the mouthpiece, doesn't crush the reed, is easy to adjust, and won't break. I'm sure lots of pros back in the day played on the $0.99 rusty metal one that they found in the case. Benny Goodman used his sideways. My saxophone professor wanted us to use the stock Selmer one. I used it. It worked. I sounded good. But it didn't fit right and crushed the reed.

I just think that if I were a student, I would like something nice but inexpensive, would make my life easier, and that would be more like what I would be likely to play down the road. It's more about ease of use than sound production.

- Matthew Simington


Post Edited (2016-01-19 06:59)

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2016-01-19 10:41

Yeah I agree with the last post on this one. One of the "features" of a "soft material" ligature is its durability. Every beginner should have a Rovner Light, particularly if they go on to play in marching band where they will step on one piece of equipment sooner or later.........and we all hope it's just a ligature.



Funny that we keep raising the spectre of the Silverstein ligature whenever we want to make fun of the esoterica of the whole thing. I just watched a video of the Hammburg Symphony (?) as pointed to on this Board and oddly enough ALL the players in the section where using Silversteins. My only point here is that they are not JUST hype (though there is some of that), and perhaps we should take the idea of civility to the next level and just let this one go.






.................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: sfalexi 
Date:   2016-01-19 15:54

Paul Aviles wrote:

>
> Funny that we keep raising the spectre of the Silverstein
> ligature whenever we want to make fun of the esoterica of the
> whole thing. I just watched a video of the Hammburg Symphony
> (?) as pointed to on this Board and oddly enough ALL the
> players in the section where using Silversteins. My only
> point here is that they are not JUST hype (though there is some
> of that), and perhaps we should take the idea of civility to
> the next level and just let this one go.
>
>
> .................Paul Aviles
>

Yup. I own and actually do love my silversteins (Alto, Tenor, and Clarinet).

But for a beginner and for durability? I'm on board with the Rovner Dark or MKIII (I prefer the MKIII of the rovners). You can stomp on it, throw it around, and it won't break. You can tighten it until your fingers bleed and it won't break or scratch a mouthpiece table or rails. And it's just one screw, so there's no over or undertightening the top or bottom screws. And it fits on EVERY clarinet mouthpiece (even those super fat Gigliotti and pomarico mouthpieces - Man those things need to go on a diet!) And if you put it on backwards (I shudder when I think about how many middle-school and high-school students I've seen that put ligatures on backwards 'cause they just don't know how to), it still works perfectly fine.

I revise my vote from earlier, toss out the luyben, and whole-heartedly say, "Rovner Dark (or MKIII) for the win!.

And for what it's worth, slipping has never been an issue with even the newer rovners I've tried. You might have to crank it down more, but thankfully the screw is ergonomic enough to do just that.

Alexi

Small Group Leader
US Army School of Music NCO Academy


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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Nessie1 
Date:   2016-01-19 17:22

Just a thought - I have not tried it or seen it in use but have you heard about this?

http://www.howarth.uk.com/acrobat/SimpleFitWeb.pdf

(Sorry not sure how to make link clickable)

Vanessa.

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2016-01-19 17:35

Well that's interesting.



It looks to me though that the only guarantee to make "Simple Fit" work would be to use "Simple Fit Reeds" since there is no guarantee that you will pick a brand that has precisely compatible width.


Moreover I believe this is "over innovating." If, like violin, you had 3 and 4 year olds learning clarinet, you might need a "guide" to help toddlers understand alignment. But with a preponderance of middle school beginners (since,one, clarinet doesn't come in a conveniently small size; and two, woodwinds are not recommended for toddlers) this part of the chore of learning seems the least of our worries.


.........and.........


Now that I think about it, I like the fastidiousness that aligning a reed teaches from the beginning.







..................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: donald 
Date:   2016-01-20 00:13

Any ligature where you can tighten it without the reed moving on the table.
Any ligature that the student can STAND ON without damaging it.
I quite like the Robert Vinsen "Equa tone" but the main music store here won't import them.

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: sfalexi 
Date:   2016-01-21 05:16

That simple fit mouthpiece was a long time coming. Personally, I'm surprised it took this long to get to clarinet.

It's pretty much the same thing as those theo wanne sax mouthpieces that have an integrated ligature built into them. Same mechanism too - one screw on the front to tighten a metal plate, not unlike the Francois Louis mechanism, if it were glued permanently to a mouthpiece.

Seems like clarinet mouthpieces are falling behind those sax ones. Darn it! I want my metal clarinet mouthpiece so it can last forever!!!


THe only thing is, if you get that simple fit mouthpiece, well, you're stuck with a simple fit mouthpiece. Not a bad idea for the beginner beginner type though. I wonder what they play like.....

Alexi

EDIT, also, for the record, I am not comparing a simplefit mouthpiece to a theo wanna durga in quality. Only in mechanism of attached ligature with one thumbscrew pushing a plate into the reed.

Small Group Leader
US Army School of Music NCO Academy


Post Edited (2016-01-21 05:18)

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-05-10 05:21

Matt74 wrote:

> The new one is cut at a diagonal, so that the top is further
> back on the mouthpiece than the bottom. I can see that making
> it more confusing for kids as well.

And Karl replied:
>Don't the instructions tout this as a feature - tilt it ligature one way or the other (with the back >higher or lower) to create differences in sound? Is the Rovner Dark also one that's reversible? >I haven't used one in a long while, but I seem to remember something like that (or am I >thinking of a different ligature completely?).


(Yes, I realize this is an ancient post.)

I was so thankful to find this thread in my search on the Rovner Darks, because I thought I was somehow putting on my new ligature incorrectly! The photos on the insert that came with the Rovner clearly show the front and back of the ligature hitting the same spot on the mouthpiece, but mine doesn't. The side with the screw is at an angle.

Whew! It's *supposed* to fit that way. Nothing like up-to-date photos ....

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: TomS 
Date:   2019-05-10 07:55

I've discovered that the HB "ligature harmonie", supplied with my Buffet R13 plays the best for me (this week) I originally threw it in my box of clarinet stuff, figuring it was just an obligatory piece of junk. Nope! Using it with Pilgerstorfer Dolce and an Evolution MP. Big sound! It's a metal 2-screw design with small little rectangles that contact the reed only at two places in the center.

As far as beginners, the Rovner Dark is easy and fast, stays put and doesn't crush the sides of the reed. Won't break if dropped and stepped on.

Tom

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 Re: Ligature for Beginners
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2019-05-11 20:51

I agree with WhitePlainsDave in that it probably makes little difference what ligature a beginner uses. In fact, probably the same for professionals. I've used a standard Bonade for decades. Went through the "ligature" phase back in college. Russianoff even had me try the waxed string method. I've used all kinds. Many may disagree, but I find very little if any difference.
WPDave--ever play with the defunct White Plains Pops Band?

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom (PDF samples here)


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