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 My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-04-05 18:35

So I came across a book called "the clarinet and clarinet playing". The author mentioned pretty interesting concept, about how the ligature is only job is to keep the reading Place snugly enough and nothing else. He mentioned that as shoelaces now his favorite ligature. I also watch ear spasms video on ligature comparison as well

Being the Speculator Sam that I am, I decided to give his advice a try. So I can pair to my stock metal ligature that came with my Yvette clarinet and then I tried a hair tie scrunchie. It's one of the yellow and pink tie dye looking things that you could probably buy at the dollar store or Walmart for $0.50 or so I get like a pack for $2.
So after listening for myself, I had my mother listen as well. Apparently my tone is actually better with the hair scrunchie as a ligature. So now my clarinet looks Wicked awesome cuz it has its yellow paint tie dye on the top of it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that fabric is my preferred material for a ligature now. How about you guys?

Post Edited (2018-04-05 18:36)

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 Re: My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2018-04-05 19:33

Speculator Sam,

This topic comes up in cycles on the bboard, so you can probably find some passionate discussions in existing "threads". (Yes, intentional pun.)

When one of my favorite ligatures broke, I used cotton garden string. I wrapped it in such a way that it was easy to push off of the mouthpiece/reed, and (if held gingerly for a few seconds) easily slid back down over the mouthpiece or mouthpiece and reed. Worked great for a year or so - very consistent. Over time, I tired of the "...if held gingerly..." part, and picked up a metal ligature again.

I play jazz, and don't play much above G6 (in fact, I prefer not to play above F#6). As such, I've never found much difference in ligature(s) as long they hold the reed where I want it. The one exception was the old Harrison ligs - I did like them a lot.


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 Re: My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-04-05 20:56

I am using a 36 inch shoe lace and love it - as do others I have showed it to and have tied for.

Michele Zukovsky, former principal clarinet for 54 years in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, used one. Google her name and 'clarinet' and see a photo of it.

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 Re: My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-04-06 02:27

Ken, I've always wanted to try string ligatures, but not sure what type of string. Shoe laces seems to be a good idea.

Would something like this be good for me to use/try?

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-04-06 04:33

Try anything you want - cotton or plastic string, fishing line etc. I guess they each would give a different sound. I was looking for leather strips at first but saw a single shoe string lying around so gave it a try. I liked it right off and then bought a bunch of shoe lace pairs. Now when I show the advanced layers I know, they all are impressed with the improvement so I just give them a shoe lace to keep. I am thinking you would have to have a good sound to begin with to notice a difference, but I am not sure yet.

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 Re: My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-04-06 04:44

The first time I visited Germany I went straight to a boutique clarinet shop in Hamburg for some authentic Germany string.... I was given a little bag with my string in it, when i opened this later I discovered that my German string ligature was made by Yamaha 😊

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 Re: My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-04-06 04:53

That'd work Ray. Any typical garmet lace/string'd do. Of course, the down side to a lace is that it takes a moment to tie it just right, it's not a quick process. I'm using a hair-tie, so it's not so timely. If you want a fabric lig. that's more convenient and "proper/professional looking", then a Rovner MkIII or the Vandoren Klassik might be more your alley.

The concept is that the ligature is something that simply keeps the reed in place and nothing else. Anything that dampens the reed (i.e. over-tightened metal lig. that dents the reed or pushes on it so hard that the reed warps in a subtle U shape at the bark.) Any ligature's fine really, the important part is that you're comfortable playing the instrument and it sounds good to you.

I was just trying out something I read in a book and happened to work for me. I think as long as you can see through the "that doesn't look like a ligature" thing then you'd find the shoelace/hair-tie/rubber-band/what-have-you works well. Vandoren's Optimum works because of the interchangeable plates that changes the pressure points on the reed. It's popular because it looks nice n' tidy, and unlike most ligs. is very customize-able.

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 Re: My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-04-06 05:08

Making a new reply because the one just made's lengthy already. I sense the advice/moral of story is any lightweight material that sorta, not to romanticize it but uh..., "gently caresses" the reed with even distribution upon a majority of the bark should be a fine candidate.

Personally, saw improvement with the hair-tie probably because the dingy/deteriorated aluminum stock ligature that came with the Evette Clarinet I play right now is cheaply made; also the rubber band within the fabric of the hair tie is wide like linguine so it evenly distributes pressure on the bark rather than knawing straight into the center as cheap ligs. usually do.

I suppose if desired, when my bass clarinet comes back from the repair-person, I could get a shiny Vandoren or Florian Popa Lig so the instrument can look classy. The overall point is as long as the lig. simply and gently holds the reed in place with the right amount of force, then it's a good lig regardless of exact material. String/Fabric ligs. do this well because they are a less dense material that happens to apply force evenly along the bark of the reed.

My dream instrument'd be a pro. Selmer or Buffet bass with gold plated keys, bell, and neck joint like described on, maybe a Vandoren M/O bari sax lig to match the color scheme. That being said, my Evette looks quite pretty with the banana cream and pink tie-die hair-scrunchy.

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 Re: My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: Jordan Selburn 
Date:   2018-04-07 06:49

Ha! I was just trying out a new mouthpiece. As it's German-style, I wanted to use something close to string, and I also didn't want to risk scratching it up, I used one of my wife's hair ties (hopefully clean . . . ). Worked great, and I now keep it in my case for emergencies.

Highly recommended!


Post Edited (2018-04-07 06:49)

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 Re: My Favorite Logature's a Hairtie
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-04-07 09:09

You know how Chinese sticky rice dumplings are wrapped in bamboo leaves and are also tied by a thin string? Well I got some of the string to use as ligature. These string are much thinner than the string I have tried before, and certainly thinner than shoelace. Didn't think it was going to work since I thought Legere's would be too slippery. But it turns out it worked out super well! The really high altissimo notes,and I mean double C (C7) and above, popped out slightly easier and articulation was better. But I felt it made my sound less focused than my Rovner Platinum ligature.

-- Ray Zhang

Post Edited (2018-04-07 09:11)

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