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 Ligature for soloists?
Author: Wookie001 
Date:   2022-07-31 10:20

Hello,

I'm looking for a good Boehm Bb Clarinet ligature that produces a big sound with good projection and is suitable also for playing as a soloist in classical orchestral pieces. Which one would you recommend? Also do you know which one Martin Fröst plays or other famous soloists?

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2022-07-31 12:25

Wookie001 wrote:

> I'm looking for a good Boehm Bb Clarinet ligature that produces
> a big sound with good projection and is suitable also for
> playing as a soloist in classical orchestral pieces.

Funny, none of my ligatures produce any kind of sound at all. [wink]

Karl



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-07-31 14:10

I have been down a road lately with carbon fiber ligatures and find them quite amazing. If you play Legere reeds there is no better way to go. On cane the carbon fiber ligatures have the same vibrant characteristics but that may or may not be a necessity the way it is for Legere.


I would highly recommend the Eddie Daniels (Jewel brand) as a great starter version. Others are more expensive and harder to come by.





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



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2022-07-31 20:17

My personal experiences have found metal ligatures to, all else equal, do a better job at meeting your objectives than those made of materials like cloth and leather.

Clearly, this is a YMMV (your "mileage" might vary) situation. : - )

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2022-07-31 21:07

Dropping my earlier snark for a minute, I think most players here would agree that of all the components of a clarinet system the ligature has the smallest influence in how the system sounds regardless of who is playing on it. And, of course, the player him- or herself is the most influential part of the system.

The point is that, long before a player's focus turns to his ligature as a sound and response influencer, he or she needs to have sorted out all the rest of it, including how he/she produces and maintains the air column, how the reeds he chooses react with the air column, how the mouthpiece enables the reed to react and how the instrument resonates and projects the sound into the air. And all of those things together must already be in place to produce what the OP is looking for before the ligature can add anything, if indeed anything, meaningful.

In this respect, no ligature is capable on its own and in isolation of "producing" any particular kind of sound at all. It can only add a small influence if everything else supports the same concept.

Karl



Post Edited (2022-07-31 21:08)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-07-31 21:39

Valid points Karl, but much like you wouldn’t think of walking into a rehearsal (or God forbid performance) with anything less than your trusty R13 (or whatever your weapon of choice is), every other piece in the puzzle contributes in some way. If I had to put a number on it, I’d say ligatures can influence a good 3% of one’s sound with cane. Oddly the percentage goes up to 15% when pairing Legeres with carbon fiber. It’s that important. But not as much with cane.



………….Paul Aviles



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: hans 
Date:   2022-08-02 01:15

I've never tried anything besides metal ligatures, so that I can't comment from experience, but it wouldn't surprise me if softer materials absorb some of the vibration frequencies to create a dampening effect.

Hans

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-02 02:07

Yes, softer as in string and some of the leatherette pouch designs which have a damping quality. When exclusively on cane a number of metal ligatures gave me the most projection at that time. Oddly, I got the most metal performance out of the Silverstein models (mostly made of cabling that has no stretching quality at all…..some NASA invention I believe).



…………Paul Aviles



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2022-08-02 02:54

I agree with Karl's points. There are so many factors in one's playing to sort out. In the equipment corner, I would put the ligature at the bottom of the list of equipment as to the affect and what people hear. I was just watching a video the other day comparing ligatures where the player mentioned that very concept. His assessment, which I completely agreed with was that it seems to affect the way things feel to the player, but that much of that does not come across to the listener.

Having tried many ligatures over the years, I have experienced that phenomenon. Some felt more vibrant, resonant, bright, dark, etc, but often when I asked other players they found little if any difference. Often if I recorded them I could hear very little difference if any. BUT- some helped me to feel more comfortable as they balanced other things in my equipment or playing style. Sometimes I think the ligature can help balance things out. That idea connects a bit with what Paul is saying. It might depend on what the other pieces of your equipment puzzle are and what feels good to you.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2022-08-02 20:26

I'd like to add some color commentary to my prior post, elaborating on what's meant be "all else equal."

Wookie001: as already stated above, I think those ligatures that absorb as little of the reeds kinetic energy (its vibrations) as possible are apt to allow the reed to retain as much of that energy as possible to achieve the projection you seek.

This of course it not to say that there are players using, say, leather ligature,s who project so well that they can't be heard in the "next county," while other, say, budding instrumentalists with metal ones earn the anger of band conductors asking them to play loud enough to be heard.

So much of this has nothing to do with a ligature, and so much with the player--as much as I appreciate that you are simply trying, using equipment, to get the best version of yourself. Gear, and especially within the discussion of gear, ligatures, will only take you so far. In fact I like to joke that the best "gear" is a good etude book, metronome, diligent study and teacher.

Although you may not have intended this as such, I want to take the opportunity to latch on to your "what does Frost play" comment and address it to all those budding players, so eager for results, that they'll wrongly attach themselves to the "Church of (superstar player) gear."

Yes, Frost would sound good playing any ligature. And yes, Frost, or others like him would likely not play gear for financial endorsement that compromised their play. But among, say, 5 competing ligatures, such superstars might play the one whose executives pay them the most in endorsement fees.

Combine these facts and realize that playing Frost's gear won't advance you anymore than donning Jordan's basketball sneakers will make you a basketball legend.

The shortest road to clarinet virtuosity, which itself is extremely long, but nonetheless the most direct route, is meaning practice: etude book, metronome, proper technique, practice and time.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Chris_C 2017
Date:   2022-08-02 21:00

If you get two clarinettists in a room, there will be at least three opinions on the best ligature (and reed/mouthpiece/barrel/instrument/...). Since the major variable is the player (skill, shape of oral cavity, position of tongue, configuration of teeth,...) the only answer is to try some and pick the one that suits you. Just because it's someone else's choice doesn't mean it's right for you.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-03 01:02

Glad you brought up leather. There aren't many actual leather ligatures out there. The last simple one made I know of was Mike Lomax's kangaroo leather ligature. Those are quite amazing and still ones that I use even with Legere.....decent projection; solid sound.


A friend of mine swears by her old original Rovner. In the beginning those were made of actual leather.





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



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2022-08-03 02:37

Regarding equipment and other's opinions, I have had experiences where I played a mouthpiece/reed set up that was overly resistant and I struggled to play. I remember working to get what I thought was a decent result. In some cases, I got to a break in a concert and could not wait to change my reed.

I recall being shocked when the player next to me turned and said "why are you changing the reed, it sounds great!"

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2022-08-03 06:09

I've tried most varieties of ligature over the years. I've had good results with most metal ligatures, less good results with leather ligatures and I've even tried the solid ring types. All have their good and bad points, but the ligature that I find meets most of my requrements is the Luyben plastic ligature. It works well for me in all circumstances, is low cost and readily available. I contacted the maker and bought a bunch of them, and they should last for the rest of my time as a player. Of course, as always YMMV.

Tony F.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-03 16:15

Another "thank you."


The Luyben was the first light weight, firm ligature to call my attention to a new world of response and color from Legere reeds. This in turn led to the superior qualities of the carbon fiber ligatures (again, mostly with respect to, but not limited to Legere reeds).



I would say it is indeed helpful to "KNOW YOUR GEAR."





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



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-03 16:45

There was an edition of the magazine of the clarinet and saxophone society of Great Britain recently, in which they interviewed Carlos Ferreira, and he mentioned which ligature he uses. It was quite an expensive gold one I think, but I can't remember which one it was. Someone kindly sent me a copy of the magazine, but I no longer have it unfortunately.

It was this edition:
https://www.cassgb.org/magazine-archive/194/



Post Edited (2022-08-03 16:51)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2022-08-03 19:00

Perhaps
http://www.morizono.co.jp/MOMO%20Special%20Ligatures%202.htm

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: EricBlack 
Date:   2022-08-03 20:12

I have the edition that SunnyDaze is talking about,

The article was written by Michael Pearce who was the editor of the magazine.

Here is the direct quote from the article about Carlos Ferreira.

“Throughout our chat, Ferreira has been resting his arm on a sleek Buffet Crampon rucksack. He tells me he plays on a pair of Buffet Légènde clarinets, a Vandoren B40 Lyre 13 mouthpiece, D’Addario Reserve Classic strength 3 reeds, and a Bonnard gold ligature, which, he proudly tells me, cost only £25!”

I think some spell check error happened and Michael meant “Bonade” ligature.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-03 20:13

Hi Eric,

Thanks for looking that up. I'm really glad it is an inexpensive ligature. That will save us all from having naggine doubts about solid gold $200 ligatures. LOL!

FWIW though, when I see Carlos Ferreira playing his clarinet, my first thought is definitely not "Wow! That guy must have a great ligature!". He's one of the players where I really think that it is the man and not the equipment that probably makes the lion's share of the difference.

Jen



Post Edited (2022-08-03 20:15)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: EricBlack 
Date:   2022-08-03 20:28

Hi Jen,

No problem! That article was great, the section I mentally noted was Carlos talking about how Michel Arrignon taught him to appreciate and use softer reeds. Having him switch from 3.5 strength blue box to 2.5 strength V12s. He said in the end it resulted in him being able to make a bigger sound with less effort!

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-03 20:40

Hi Eric,

That's certainly very encouraging, yes. It always weirds me out when people say they play a 5 for projection. For me, that would be like playing a 2-by-4 plank of wood and I have no idea how they can do that.

Jen



Post Edited (2022-08-03 20:41)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: graham 
Date:   2022-08-03 22:38

On B flat/A and on E flat I mainly use Luybens, but in most cases I keep a basic metal ligature in the case as I find that some reeds work better with these. It is not possible to know the extent of the difference to a listener, but the difference to me as player is considerable and easy to describe.

The Luyben 'adds' resonant depth and lustre to the sound, but sometimes at the expense of roughness in the tone. A reed that is prone to roughness and has an expansive sound will sound better on a metal ligature, which tailors the sound back to a more 'direct' quality and gives more smoothness. Conversely, a reed that is not so expansive and/or is smooth in nature benefits from the Luyben.

On one of my mouthpieces I use the metal ligature about as much as the Luyben, but the other mouthpieces tend to favour the Luyben for most reeds.

I have tried Rovner on and off, particularly on bass clarinet, but have never got as good a sound or security in tuning from these. On bass I use a BG with the metal ribs.

It stands to reason that all other aspects of playing must be present or else the ligature will make little difference. However, it makes a considerable difference for a player who is able to make that difference show.

graham

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2022-08-04 00:29

Leaving aside the vexed question of whether ligatures make an audible difference to listeners in the audience, some ligatures can be bothersome in non-aural ways. My favorite ligatures are the ones you can forget you're using because they
don't make any mechanical trouble. They don't shinny up the mouthpiece or warp the reed or pop off unexpectedly, and you don't have to fiddle with them incessantly to assure they are exactly in the right spot. Mitchell Lurie's "springboard" model was simply cut and stayed put, and so did the Frank L. Kaspar Ann Arbor "superb" inverse ligature and the inexpensive copy of that model Theodore Johnson made.

The advice Carlos got from his classic French teachers (including Nicholas Baldeyrou) on learning to play softer reeds is a fine antidote to the belief that
"you've got to have something blow against." Many players who get beautifully projecting resonant sounds perform on relatively soft reeds. They learn to
voice just the necessary amount of resistance into the set-up and resonate with minimum effort. Old-timers used to say that the Belgian clarinetist Gustave
Langenus had 'the biggest sound in New York but played on a No. 1 reed." Hyperbole no doubt but probably not entirely wrong.



Post Edited (2022-08-04 06:33)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2022-08-04 02:07

The slipping issue is usually remedied with a few swipes of sandpaper on the interior of the ligature. Usually it is because the plating it too slick. I will admit that I agree that a ligature should be no fuss. I also prefer those that allow be to use a normal style mouthpiece cap and not some convoluted work around.

As far as reeds, supposedly students who studied with Bonade felt that when he adjusted their reeds they were too light.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-04 08:48

Hi Seabreeze,

Is there any indication of how Gustave
Langenus did that? I would like to know more about that.

I see he wrote a "complete method for clarinet" but it is three volumes and costs a fair bit.

I definitely find that the ligature matters a lot, but I also agree that the best ligature can be different for different situations.

Do you think big soloists would be willing to tell us what they use if we asked? Emma Johnson is on twitter.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2022-08-04 19:16

Even if players wanted to, it would be hard to keep ligatures secret since they are rather obtrusively visible "in your face" items. Anyone can easily see for instance that Nicholas Baldeyrou and Florent Heau (two outstanding French soloists) are playing Vandoren Optimum ligatures. (Of course you'd have to ask them which of the three pressure plate inserts they prefer). Corrado Giuffredi and Sunny Kang (Seunghee Lee) obviously are playing Silversteins. Julian Bliss in many performances has used a BG Duo gold plated. Shirley Brill has used a GF ligature and Martin Frost played a prototype of the Vandoren Carbon model ligature on his boxwood clarinet for the Vivaldi album. Otherwise he seems to be using a composite ligature that looks like a Rovner. As least as long ago as Harold Wright, the Bonade ligatures, both regular and inverse have been immensely popular. Robert Marcellus used a Bonade inverse with the middle vertical bar removed (actually sawed out). At the famous Coburn School in Los Angeles, Gilad's students seem to prefer Bonade ligatures. Ricardo Morales has used a BG Tradition, a BG Duo and several others in his performances. Marc Nuccio likes the handmade MOMO ligature from Japan.

On the other question of reed strength and tonal resonance, if you get a chance
try to listen to Gustave Langenus's recording of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet with the Budapest String Quartet. It's probably out of print but CDs of it are readily available (Library of Congress Recordings--Bridge CD 9085 ADD). Rather like Louis Cahuzac, Langenus played double lip and used a fairly soft reed strength to get a very full, overtone-rich sound. He didn't try to fill the sound out by blowing against a heavy reed the way many players do. Instead, he experimented with voicing the tone in his oral cavity to achieve both a sense of adequate resistance and a "heady" placement that was projective. He seems to have coupled this with a vibrato (taboo at the time) to achieve an effect he rather mysteriously called "a glow." His method book is worthwhile, but he doesn't go into resonance voicing there.



Post Edited (2022-08-05 19:01)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2022-08-05 00:45

Just now i am using an yany sixs ligature by yanagisawa. Works well with legere, gives you nice overtones, if you feel legere sounding too dark and colourless. It is a gold plated metal ligature touching the reed only with 4 metal knobs and the mouthpiece with 8 ebonite knobs. Holds the reed reasonably secure if you remember to lube the mouthpiece cork!

Jarmo Hyvakko, Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2022-08-05 07:18

Paul:

We both own Luybens and you also carbon fiber ligatures.

As it relates to their play on Legeres, would you rate a Luyben on a scale of 1 to 10 and your Eddie Daniels carbon fiber on the same scale?

I'm not much of a ligatyre guy. I'm just curious how you relative scale them.

Thanks.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-05 07:29

The Luyben was my introduction to something different in terms of the performance of the Legere so they have my respect. If the carbon fiber ligatures are a ten (ten being the Russian made Avis Musical ligatures - set of four) I'd have to put the Luyben at two.



The Jewel is somewhere in between, but as I said, far more accessible and quite good.



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



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-05 09:17

Hi Seabreeze,

Thank you for explaining about Gustave Langenus and Louis Cahuzac. Soft reed and double lip is where I'm trying to get to, so it will really help to know that I am following them.

Jen

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: donald 
Date:   2022-08-05 10:55

These are my two (inexpertly photographed) ligatures. I've tried EVERYTHING.



Post Edited (2022-08-05 11:05)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: donald 
Date:   2022-08-05 11:06





Post Edited (2022-08-05 11:20)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: donald 
Date:   2022-08-05 11:20
Attachment:  IMG_20220805_182558_resized_20220805_071714410.jpg (238k)

Trying again

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-05 16:49

ok, I'll bite. What's the black one on the right?




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



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Hunter_100 
Date:   2022-08-05 18:23

bambu Nova ligature?

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-05 20:11

Thanks Hunter100, that seems to be the one. This would be a great candidate for a carbon fiber insert. I would think it would be then similar in performance to the Jewel.



………..Paul Aviles



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2022-08-06 01:27

the other looks like a bg tradition copy. these are actually quite good IF you can get a good fit.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: donald 
Date:   2022-08-06 13:28
Attachment:  Weiner cadenza (short) mp3.mp3 (1021k)
Attachment:  Johan Stamitz mvt 1 cadenza mp3.mp3 (1460k)

sorry at not clarifying details sooner... had trouble attaching the photo then ran out of "free time".
- BG Tradition. For years I played a silver one, the screw lost thread on that one, and a friend gave me the gold one she wasn't using. I find these share the more concentrated tone of the Bonades I used, but with the more even response similar to the Vandoren Optimum (I think the Optimum is engineering genius, and plays with VERY even response but tends to sound too dull for me- the BG Trad has a bit of both worlds for me). I use this mainly when playing with my orchestra (Bach Musica, though of course I never get to play any Bach) on the Auckland Town Hall stage- in that acoustic I need a bit more ring and clarity, and the BG helps quite a bit with this.
- Bambu Nova. This has the vibrancy of something like the Spriggs "Floating rails" without a loss of tonal concentration (ie bright without sacrificing "body"). I use this for chamber/solo and small group playing (most of my Auckland Chamber Orchestra concerts).
Recordings =
Weiner is using the Nova, Stamitz cadenza (not in the town hall but a shitty church) is using BG



Post Edited (2022-08-06 13:32)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-06 19:02

The sound recordings are absolutely beautiful, Donald. It makes me wish I was there to hear you in person.

The Johan Stamitz Cademza especially is really breathtaking.

Again - with a sound like that, I feel sure that there is more going on than just a lovely ligature. :-)

(Now I have looked up what the BG Tradition costs, and wish I hadn't. Oops.)



Post Edited (2022-08-06 19:15)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-07 08:22

HOLD THE PRESSES !!!!!

So I just ran across this Dale Fedele video (and the last Fedele video that I ran across I repost here a lot) that is blowing my mind and causing me to re-assess the clarinet and life in general. But rather than have you guys wait until I figure out what's going on, I'll let you guys enjoy this treatise on ligatures yourselves:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o68Iqf_1vDg






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



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-07 10:59

That's brilliant! I see so much difference in different ligatures. It's nice to see someone actually talking through it.

Seeing him talk about how good the old ones are is making me wonder if my old torn metal ligature could be welded so the tear is repaired. I will have to ask my welding friend. :-)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2022-08-07 18:50

Fedele's metric ton survey of ligatures has been up for at least a couple of years (despite the more recent date given), and his main point seems to be that ligatures can change the tension in the throat, oral cavity, and embouchure, enough to make playing easier or more of a chore, and even to the extent of changing the pitch when the note first speaks, and affecting the player's health (headaches, tight throat)as they labor to correct these deficiencies. His presentation inspired me to pull out my menagerie of ligatures and give them a similar run through. My drawer contained about 85% of the same ligatures, but I didn't have any of the early generation "Patented" Bonades. I get very different results, as I suspect many other players also would.
The Brancher is way duller, the Harrison slides up, the Leblanc is thin and buzzy, the Ishimori is less problematic, and so forth. I wish I had one of those Donald Montanaro prototypes to try (the last ligature he plays). What became of those? Also he should have thrown in a few Silversteins and maybe an exotic Momo or two for comparison. After running the same gamut, I easily settled on my Ann Arbor Kaspar inverse and the Ted Johnson copy as my favorites--two worthy ligatures he didn't try, and a French ligature--the Ligaphone gold plated--was my runner-up. All three give me stability in the sound--no broken attacks; the pitch is on target from the outset. and I feel no throat tension. And the sound is full bodied with good shape across the range. What does that prove? Nothing except to suggest what will work best for me--just for me without any attempt to generalize for others. The BG gold-plated Tradition model that Donald likes also can work well for me--it does add focus and resonance--but getting the vertical rails just so over the center of base of the reed is a bit of a nuisance.

Amie Ma also has a ligature comparison video: Clarinet Ligature Review. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=clarinet+;igature+review+amie+ma



Post Edited (2022-08-08 07:08)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-07 19:42

I just showed that video to my husband who works in computer science and with a lot of physicists. I thought it was really interesting that the ligatures can make one note go flat while leaving all the others in tune.

He says that if we want to understand properly what is going on there, we need a signal processing expert who also plays the clarinet.

He says that the reason for the occassional flat notes will be something about how a particular part of the vibrating reed is interacting with a particular part of the ligature, but it is incredibly complex and only a signal processing expert would be able to figure it out.

I was thinking that that since all reeds are slightly different, maybe the calculations would be easier with the legere reeds, which should be more consistent. My husband says he thinks it's odd that Legere are not producing a ligature that is designed specifically to work with their reeds. He said maybe it is hard to get exactly the right signal processing intern onboard to do the work? Is that why these carbon fibre ligatures are coming out? I didn't think they were coming from legere themselves though.

I wondered if that might fit with anything that you know of how the design process actually works?

I looked back a the accoustics lab at the University of New South Wales, but they don't seem to have anything on ligatures there. http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/music/clarinet/

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2022-08-07 20:07

Hi Paul:

Would you confirm for me that the Avis ligatures have a smaller opening closer to the tip of the mouthpiece than the opening closer to the base?

I've noticed, even if the two openings are the same size, that the interior of the ligature sets features ribbed panels where I presume the ligatures contact with the reed, but--and where I'm going with this---

on the subject of "I've done sillier things in my life" I'm contemplating acquiring roughly the right diameter carbon fiber pipe segment and giving it a go as a ligature--just for the fun of it!

If a shoelace makes a great ligature, well.....

Thanks.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-07 20:10

I see that the Vandoren carbon fibre ligature is designed only to play with Vandoren mps. That must take out a whole lot of variables and make it easier to optimise them for the one job.

https://vandoren.fr/en/new-carbon-ligature/

Edit: I just looked at the price (£525). I think I wait...



Post Edited (2022-08-07 20:12)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: marcia 
Date:   2022-08-07 20:19

Have to say this is still my favourite assessment of ligatures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAqL1nVQfFs

[grin]

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-07 20:29

LOL!

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2022-08-07 20:43

Interesting to watch.

However, so much of the sound differences could be explained by things outside of the physical make-up of the ligature (a ligature slid up/down 1mm further than the previous ligature, slightly off-center, perhaps his embouchure changed to accommodate the screws, perhaps he took in a few mm more/less mouthpiece, unconscious oral cavity modifications, slight differences in angle of clarinet to embouchure, a reed warped to fit the previous ligature better, etc.)

"I think the vitamins have been helping."

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-07 21:45

I noticed that he likes a lot of old ligatures. My husband said, maybe the old ones are good because all the bad old ones got thrown away ages ago, and only the real gems have been kept.

It's interesting though, because the only metal ligature that I own that works for me is a 1930s one. I can't get new ones to work.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2022-08-07 22:13

Bias: not much of a ligature guy. Beyond a ligature meeting basic criterion of holding the reed well on to the mouthpiece, I think they can provide marginal improvements to the most refined players.

I do admit though at times having better control of particular reeds on some ligatures than others. But it wasn't as if one ligature was always better than another, but rather, "the leather one tended to work better with softer reeds, the metal one with harder reeds, etc."

Disclosure: I play a metal Vandoren M/O ligature. I do so mostly because its tightening mechanism is double threaded such that the least number of turns can grip or loosen grip on a reed to facilitate reed change: a nice feature when breaking in reeds.

Here's what i want to know. Why do we talk more about ligs than mouthpieces, the latter having much more effect?

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: smokindok 
Date:   2022-08-07 22:34

Fuzzy said:

"Interesting to watch.

However, so much of the sound differences could be explained by things outside of the physical make-up of the ligature...

"I think the vitamins have been helping."

Fuzzy
;^)>>>




Thank you, Fuzzy. Indeed, perhaps interesting to watch, but the video does not provide any practical or useful information. As the late Gordon (NZ) said about ligature evaluations, "it really has to be double-blind to have any relevance".

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: lydian 
Date:   2022-08-07 23:28

In my opinion, there are 2 kinds of ligatures - good ones that hold the reed tightly, and bad ones that don't. If you prefer the response from a bad one that's springy or stretchy, more power to you. But I'd rather a tight one that doesn't sap any energy from the vibrating reed so that I'm free to do whatever I want from this baseline of no vibration of the stock. So all my ligatures on all my clarinets and saxes are simple 2-screw metal ones whenever possible. I hold my nose and use Rovners on mouthpieces where I can't find a metal one that fits. But those always dampen the response somewhat, which I don't like.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 00:04

Hi SecondTry,

I see what you mean.

For me, I find that it is very very obvious which is the good mouthpiece. There's really no question about it. And buying a new one would cost a lot, so once the decision is made, I'm unlikely to change again.

But with ligatures there is always a feeling that it could maybe be a bit better, and since they are often so cheap, there is temptation to try just one more. I think that's maybe what it is. I definitely would think less about ligatures if they all cost £500

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-08 01:46

I don'r want to sound like an apologist for Fedele, he makes his case just fine.


BUT............


Firstly what he is talking about is the TRANSIENT of the note (the "pluck" of the string). When the initial sound is higher (counterintuitively as he says), the body of the note has more ping, carrying power, life. The part that got me was when every other note's transient was lower with certain ligatures. Here I must admit a current failing. I am recovering from a recent left wrist break, so just getting a scale out is a challenge at the moment. It will take some months before I am back up enough to start testing this new door Dale Fedele has opened


THEN


The speak about tightness in the throat, headaches, more pressure, etc. was Dale referring to the residual effects that result from the accommodations he made to make the LESS affective ligatures work (he could make them sound similar; nearly the same but needed to change how he played in less desirable ways).


My take away in the broadest sense was that the MATERIAL of which the ligature was made, created these distinctions. My initial thought is similar to SunnyDaze's post above. I think it has to do with what overtones are promoted or suppressed based on what the material of the ligature is doing to the vibrations of the reed/mouthpiece.


Of course this is all a CANE discussion.


The Avis Music Ligatures are formed to fit the shape of a standard clarinet mouthpiece. They do fall a little far down my VERY skinny old Hawkins but it is at a point where the ligatures work as handily as they do up at the line of ligature.


I disagree with Vandoren's assessment that their Carbon ligature only works with Vandoren mouthpieces. Then why does it work so well with my Hawkins? In fact the Carbon is the promise we get with the M/O only the Carbon does NOT have the narrow channel of the M/O and it works great with Legere Euro Cut reeds. I find it sad that Vandoren decided to market their ligature at such an exorbitant price. There is NOTHING about it that warrants this cost. In fact the Italian made Carbonissimo does the same thing (maybe better.....maybe) for 125 Euros. Shame on Vandoren!


And finally, we are talking more about ligatures here because that is the subject of this thread.







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



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2022-08-08 03:47

Quote:

Interesting to watch.

However, so much of the sound differences could be explained by things outside of the physical make-up of the ligature (a ligature slid up/down 1mm further than the previous ligature, slightly off-center, perhaps his embouchure changed to accommodate the screws, perhaps he took in a few mm more/less mouthpiece, unconscious oral cavity modifications, slight differences in angle of clarinet to embouchure, a reed warped to fit the previous ligature better, etc.)


I agree that it is interesting. There is also the issue of bias. Knowing what the ligature is can have an effect. I realize that it is not meant to be a scientific test, but I would be interested to see a blind test.



Post Edited (2022-08-08 13:30)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-08 06:56

So.........you guys don't hear the difference between the notes that start (initial transient) sharp and those that start at pitch or under?







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



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 09:25

Hi Paul,

Do you find it easy to play a Legere + carbon fibre ligature, or is it still more fiddly than a cane reed? I'm just wondering because as a relative beginner, I still feel much safer playing on cane + Rovner Dark, and I suspect that may always be the case for me.

I'm sorry to hear about your wrist. I hope it feels better really soon for you.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: kilo 
Date:   2022-08-08 14:06

Quote:

So.........you guys don't hear the difference between the notes that start (initial transient) sharp and those that start at pitch or under?

I hear it; I'm just not convinced that the ligature is causing it.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-08 15:06

The Legere question is not one of ease but of practical consideration. I became acquainted with Legere long before their Euro model when it truly was decent but not a satisfactory professional experience. They were, however, an acceptable alternative to really bad Winters where cane became untenable due to lack of any humidity. I kept a few Quebec cut reeds on hand in case of emergencies ever since. When I finally tried the European Signtature reeds (years after their introduction) I was skeptical and unconvinced. It turned out that one needs to approach the concept of reed anew with Legere. My motivation was that they were much "closer" to cane than previous Legere and the promise of "grab and play" in retirement was too much to pass up (to say nothing of many top German players using them successfully all the time by then).


From then on, it just became a matter of making Legere indistinguishable from cane in terms of performance. I suppose if one is completely comfortable with dealing with breaking in cane, having it last only a month or so at best, and living with the possibility of your best reed turning on you at a moment's notice, then Legere is probably not necessary.


But if Legere is a viable choice for any reason, one accommodation that MUST at least be given a fair chance is the use of carbon fiber ligatures (or at very least many of the plastic/polymer ligatures such as Vientos Vintage, Periera 3D and Luyben).





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



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2022-08-08 17:22

Quote:

So.........you guys don't hear the difference between the notes that start (initial transient) sharp and those that start at pitch or under?


I believe I answered this in my first post, which was:
Quote:

...However, so much of the sound difference could be explained by things outside of the physical make-up of the ligature (a ligature slid up/down 1mm further than the previous ligature, slightly off-center, perhaps his embouchure changed to accommodate the screws, perhaps he took in a few mm more/less mouthpiece, unconscious oral cavity modifications, slight differences in angle of clarinet to embouchure, a reed warped to fit the previous ligature better, etc.)...


Fuzzy
;^)>>>

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 18:29

Hi Paul,

Thanks for explaining all that. I do have a lubyen and a signature 2.0. I will get them out and have a go. I think I will need to sand it because it slides so much that it pops off like a rocket. LOL!

I have got to grips with cane now, but it's constant adjustment and I would be really glad to have a reed I could wash.

Still reeling from looking at the price of that Vandoren ligature.

Jennifer

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 18:43

Hi Paul,

I sanded my Lubyen ligature and tried it with the signature reed, and it does play beautifully. The tone is good across the instrument and I can play right up to altissimo easily. My only sticking point now is that signature only goes down to 2.0 and I can't play above 1.5 at the moment, but I might get there.

Thank you very much for explaining.

Jennifer

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-08 18:50

Ah ……… DON’T sand !!!!! The dimensions and architecture are critical! Plastic is indeed more slippery. That would go in the negative column of your list of positives and negatives. Of course I’ve come to expect things to feel less “glued down” than with cane (better forces of friction with wood).


Fuzzy,

But I still don’t understand your logic. So because Dale knows he prefers to play an old, impossible to find (and expensive if you do) ligature, he subconsciously plays the beginnings of every other note flat on ONE of the OTHER ligatures because this is not a “double bind test?!!?”






…………Paul Aviles



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2022-08-08 20:10

Paul -

I'm trying to be pleasant here. I'm challenged to figure out how you arrived at that interpretation from what I wrote.

I didn't write anything about double-blind studies or Dale subconsciously playing the beginnings of every other note flat. (Having said that - sure, if we want to be scientific about it - maybe he did subconsciously (or even consciously) play the beginning of every other note flat to have some fun with us. That's your idea, though, and not mine.)

Let's turn it around. Can you prove to me that the ligature was the sole cause (or even a part of the cause) of the sound differences we hear?

I would think the stance "we don't know" would be the more honest stance, and that "...causing me to re-assess the clarinet and life in general..." might be the more extreme stance which requires some amount of factual supportive data/proof.

This bleeds over a little into my Gearhead post. It isn't my duty to prove my doubts about gear. It is the duty of the gear peddlers/supporters to prove their claims.

If solution X provides remedy/problem Y then it will be self-evident for every single player, and it will provide that exact same benefit/issue for every single player who uses that piece of gear. Otherwise, it isn't the gear, but other factors.

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-08 20:12

Jen,

Just thought that your old metal ligature is more round and not accommodating the much thinner (up and down that is) Legere. If your Luyben is not too stretched out for the Legere, just use a moderate snugness at the line of ligature.



………Paul Aviles



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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 20:40

If this is too dull, please do ignore it.

However, here, for laughs, is my version of the Dale Fedele video. I did it as a blind test, so you don't see which ligature or reed is being used.

The main difference is that the clarinet is being played by a nervous learner, who hasn't practised enough (which I would argue is a very common condition in the real, broader, music world.)

Usually I do practise, but I have had the lurgy for several weeks, so haven't recently. This is how the real world is though.

At the beginning of each combination, a number shows at the bottom so you know it is a new one.

Here, in no particular order, are the reed and ligature combinations that I used:

wood + Bonade inverted nickel silver (new)
wood + no name metal ligature with square hole
wood + Brancher silver (Couldn't get it to grip at all, but worked anyway)
Legere + lubyen
legere + Bonade
wood + rovner dark
legere + string
wood + string
legere + Rovner dark
wood + Lubyen
wood + no name metal ligature with circle hole in it

The wood reed was a Vandoren classic 1.5.
The Legere is a signature 2.0.

If anyone is interested, I will post the video again with the names written in.

https://youtu.be/MPJCHhG8tqo



Post Edited (2022-08-08 20:57)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 20:43

Fuzzy - I understand what you're saying.

Your point is that there are too many variables and that we can't hope to understand what the contribution of the reed is unless we can control and standardise those other elements.

This is normal in science, and I agree, it is very difficult to make this a fully objective test.

Having said that, I can completely believe that Paul can hear subtleties that we can't. And he may be completely right about it all.

Jen



Post Edited (2022-08-08 20:44)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 20:56

This is the non-blind version of the video with the names written in. The last combination (12) is clearly the best, even though I only got it today and have never played on it before I made this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYD3vCz58Vs

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2022-08-08 21:08

Jen,

Quote:

And he may be completely right about it all.


Absolutely. I agree 100%!

This is but one of almost countless possibilities.

Is there any evidence indicating this is a more likely possibility than any/all of the others?

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 21:15

Hi Fuzzy,

I think that there are definitely countless possibilities, and probably the best thing we can do is to each make our own blind test video and challenge our own prejudices.

Maybe we need to do the test blindfold and get a friend to put the ligature on if we are really serious about it? We also need to hear the result through a recording, rather than through our own ears and filtered through our own imaginations, which can be quite rose-tinted sometimes.

In my own video above, I was all ready to love the wood + string or rovner combinations which are my staples. However, in the event I totally botched both, and was clearly totally wrong.

The Bonade was new to me today and played like a dream, when I'd literally never touched it before.

Jen

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2022-08-08 21:39

Hi Jen,

I appreciate your responses.

I can appreciate the conclusion you reached at the end of your test, but I do have some questions for you:

Could the differences that you noticed be: that you were simply more warmed up? More relaxed? More "into the swing" of the testing/recording process? Had moved the ligature up/down in relation to the reed? Etc.?

What if you were to take just ONE of those ligatures, and performed the same exact test 12 times - taking the ligature off between each sample (as if it were a different ligature), and proceeded. What would the results be?

Then, what if you took that same ligature and purposely modified placement (up or down 1mm or 2mm) between each test...perhaps slightly off to the side 1mm etc. Or even turned the ligature around backwards (if design allows.)...and repeated 12 times. What would the results be?

Still not comprehensive by any means, but at least some interesting insights might be obtained.

Perhaps you'd come back with the same conclusion...or perhaps not.

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2022-08-08 22:02

It would be difficult to show scientifically that certain ligatures tend to speak so many cents under standard tuning at the onset of the tone. Blind testing ligatures with players performing something like the solo from Messiaen Quartet would be a great test, but you have to be an advanced clarinetist to play that excerpt correctly, observing the extreme dynamics.

We're probably on more solid ground making a broad generalization between the quality of the tone likely to come from a Rovner Dark fabric ligature vs. a metal Bonade with vertical ribs over the reed base. The Rovner for most players will tend to filter out the higher, brighter overtone components and the Bonade will tend to allow more of the higher overtones to pass through. This is probably the main difference in the response that Jen experienced going from one to the other.

Some players seem by nature to be able to produce a vibrant, resonant, overtone rich sound, and other players tend to get a more subdued, muted sound. I am of the second category. When I began to play the clarinet people thought next door that I was playing an alto recorder or a wooden flute. I had to work hard to add vibrancy by choice of mouthpiece, reed and ligature (and clarinet). Other players may sound more like they are playing a noisy kazoo, and they need to tone down the overtone mass, which borders on stridency. They might do very well playing a Jim Pyne mouthpiece or one of the darkest Kuckmeiers, When I play those my tone is so dark, it disappears like an item lost in the corner of an unlit closet. That old Socratic dictum, "know thyself" is always the starting point for a clarinetist. Gear has to fit the self or even better, has to compliment the part of the performing artist that is actually conveyed to the listener. I doubt that beyond really pronounced differences between ligature designs, like the ones between the dark Rovner and the metal Bonade, that anyone can predict how a given ligature will sound or how it will affect pitch. Given physiological and conceptual differences, any player must be prepared to experience the unexpected when trying a new ligature. Also, homo sapiens is a very ornery species, much tangled up in presumption and uncritical beliefs. This is why placebos can produce effects even in clinical trials. If you believe cherry juice cleans out the arteries, you may get a positive response not from the juice but from the belief itself. No doubt, ligatures are not exempt from this hard to explain fate.



Post Edited (2022-08-09 00:48)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 22:14

Hi Fuzzy,

I totally understand what you mean.

Here's what I saw on that score:

1) I was having definite problems remembering the altissimo C# fingering and that was messing me up every single time, but gradually improving as I bashed on through.

So in that sense the only meaningful comparison was at the end, between no. 11 (my staple string and wood) and no. 12 (wood and bonade) which I had never played before. I think 12 was markedly better, or at least it was much much easier to do, even if the result sounded the same. So I think that is a legitimate result.

2) I was making a total cod of my break-crossing-legato trick and was absolutely convinced that I was getting gradually better as I worked through the set. This is terrible science and invalidates the whole experiment, and that felt really bad to me with my scientific hat on.

However, on listening back, I realised that I was still making a total mess of the break-crossing, even on no. 12. That is hilarious in a way, as it shows that all my perceived good progress was entirely in my head. On objective examination my progress was practically non-existent. No wonder it makes my teacher suck his teeth.

To do real science it would need to be completely blind, with my husband putting the reed on. I would need a statistically significant number of replications. and I would need to have a well practiced standard set of notes to play.

That will need to be next.

Jen

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2022-08-08 22:19

Seabreeze,

Thanks for your (as usual) great response.

You touched on one of the components I hadn't emphasized as yet - that our bodies are part of the instrument. A very large part. In cubic inches or centimeters - the largest part. Our bodies are oftentimes inconsistent, unwieldy, and erratic if measured in mm, and yet can produce extreme nuance and precision...one part always compensating for some other out-of-wack balance.

Pretty cool stuff.

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-08 22:21

Hi Fuzzy,

I do also think psychology is an issue with ligatures too. I feel safe with some ligatures and really unsafe with others. Especially the ones that fall off mid-note.

I think that when I feel safe playing a ligature, then a lot of other stuff falls into place.

Jen

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-09 09:16

Hi Fuzzy - If you contend that the ligature is not a major factor, can you make a blind video where you demonstrate that a shoelace sounds exactly like your favourite and you most expensive ligatures? I think that would be fantastic.

You'd need to put the camera where it can't see your mp, then blindfold yourself and get a friend to put the reed on, so you don't know which is which.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2022-08-09 17:38

Hi Jen,

I'll do my best to answer your most recent post, but we're quite off-topic and I do think we should probably move any further discussion over to the Gearheads thread since the balance of our conversation pertains more to that thread than what Wookie001 asked in the original post.

A few points:

1. The reason I've never pushed for a blind study is because I don't think there is a proper/practical way to do one - nor do I believe such a test is necessary in order to walk away with a lot of useful information in individual discovery. (Gear claims aside.)

2. You said, "...and get a friend to put the reed on..." I ask - in the friendliest manner possible: Do you see a potential problem with this plan?

I'd offer for thought/discussion that reed placement is far more important and individualized than whatever ligature is used to hold the reed. (This idea is what I was - in part - insinuating with the "change the same ligature 12 times" experiment.)

3. The post by marcia (above) which provided the following link - can serve as a proxy for my need to post a similar video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAqL1nVQfFs as it conveys a similar stance (not exact, but close enough)

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-09 18:31

Hi Fuzzy,

Personally, I think the blind test thing is worth pursuing, but we could take it to a new thread. I do agree that we're quite off topic.

Paul would you be interested in doing blind tests on another thread? I found it genuinely enlightening to do that test, and I'd be interested to exchange date with you and anyone else on another thread, especially as you have the reed/carbon fibure ligature combination that is so different from mine.

I should be clear that I'm more scientist than musician, so doing blind trials is right up my street.

Jen



Post Edited (2022-08-09 18:32)

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: lydian 
Date:   2022-08-09 19:39

Problem with blind tests is the musicians body is unconsciously going to compensate for differences in order to achieve the ideal sound in their head. In other words, without meaning to, they'll play different to achieve their normal sound. So they'd not only have to be blind, but deaf and completely isolated from the vibrations of the mouthpiece/instrument, which is impossible.

Bottom line, such tests are always going to be flawed unless you can build a robot to do them.

There's no doubt rigid ligatures produce a different sound than stretchy/springy ones. But as I said before, I think a ligature must be rigid in order to function properly. Otherwise, you're intentionally dampening the response. If you like that effect, great. But I prefer to have the reed held tightly, and let me change the response by how I play.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-09 19:50

I'm confused by people effectively saying "there's no point asking the question, because we can't hope to articulate our thoughts on the answer."

It seems to me that the we ought to try, otherwise every single person is going buy loads of ligatures that are not helping them, and the really good ligatures will not get the recognition that they deserve.

One of the things that struck me most about Dale's video, was that he kept saying "you can't hear this, because the microphone doesn't pick it up" (or thereabouts).

Surely this is one variable that we can fix? At least some people on here must have a good microphone.

Also if the answer is that a more expensive gold plated rigid metal ligature, or a carbon fibre one is actually the good option, then it will help new players coming through very much indeed if we can tell them that. If they know that before they spend £150 on buying ten much cheaper ones, then they can save that money up and upgrade straight to the good one, early on.

I do think that this work is genuinely worth doing, and that with a group of us, and a forum like this, we ought to be able to do it.

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 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-09 22:11

I just thought I'd add some non subjective technical analysis for you "double blind types."


Above are screen shots of a program called Melodyne. Like it or not, this is used to alter "bad notes" for pretty much every artist you can name (no exceptions). I placed a few Fedele clips into Melodyne just to illustrate graphically what is going on......without any alterations (I swear).


What you are seeing are graphic representations of individual notes over time (beginning of note at far left of object). Each of these is called a blob (no, really). You'll have to look carefully at several things. The main part for us is the overall shape of the blob's outline. This illustrates where the energy of the note is. Then (the main function of Melodyne) there is the placement of the blob within the grey and white bands. Looking to the far left of the screen shots you'll notice concert pitch note names. The very center of the band (up and down) is "A=440" right on pitch. Any deviance upward is sharp and the reverse is true.


Ok, I start with the German Silver Bonade found at 5:30 in the video. Look at the SHAPE of these blobs. All look like bells on their sides. So the energy of these short notes is mostly upfront, all are spot on for intonation (maybe a little low on the lowest B and G at the bottom).


Next is the Eddie Daniels that he hated (much later in video) for reference. Notice the shapes are all longer (less or no initial flare) and they start low and only begin to climb to pitch.


Third is a real close up of the German Silver Bonade. This is to show the initial quick high pitch bump at the beginning of the note, the relatively straight line of pitch and how the whole is at pitch or slightly above.


Fourth now gets a little picky (stick with me). This is the modern Bonade at 5:55 in the video contrasting it with the German Silver (my first example). These are really close up to show the note to note contrast. First note is the "terrible F." Take a step back and look at the outline of the whole blob. It is more square, less energy upfront. Then look at where the pitch sits. It starts low and rides a little low. Compare to the "good F." That note starts with a high transient and actually rides a little high.

Number 5 is hardest to read. I see that the line representing the pitch in time wobbles quite a bit on the "terrible D," but the "good C" has a straighter line representing focus; stability. Perhaps this has more to do with whether Fedele felt that he was forcing to compensate.


The sixth image is of the "good C" going to a B that was implied to be yet another bad note and we can see the boxier nature of the blob shape and the inconsistency of the pitch line.



I find these contrasting notes MOST interesting because we did not change ANY EQUIPMENT, but rather only moved to the next note. THAT is the part I find most fascinating about this demonstration and Dale saying that ligatures CAN effect consistency of sound over the range of the horn.

[Images posted further down. I had the drill but one image was just a hair over 200kb]




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



Post Edited (2022-08-09 22:34)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-09 22:16

Hi Paul,

That's sounds absolutely brilliant. I don't see the screenshots. Would it be possible to try adding them again?

Jen

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-09 22:22
Attachment:  Favorite German Silver Bonade.png (1574k)
Attachment:  Rovner Eddie Daniels.png (1283k)
Attachment:  Close up favorite.png (1665k)
Attachment:  F terrible; E ok.png (711k)
Attachment:  D terrible; C ok.png (1557k)

Try first 5 again

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-09 22:23
Attachment:  C is good and....png (682k)

And finally number 6

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-09 22:44

Thank you very much for showing and explaining that. I see what you mean about the centre line in each note - how it is on pitch and very steady from the start in the good Bonade, but takes time to get to pitch in the Eddie Daniels.

I also see how the Bonade starts in a broad flare and then goes narrow while the other blobs are more potato shaped.

That is really good and makes objective analysis much easier.

I do something kind of like this using Adobe CS3 Soundbooth, when I am trying hard to cross the break legato. I am always convinced in my own mind that I am doing it well, but the Soundbooth analysis, and the recorded playback are ruthless in demonstrating that I am not.

I'm more and more convinced that what we need is a language to grade ligatures according to the important characteristics. That way, users could write meaningful reviews, in consistent language. I think this kind of analysis that you've shown could really help.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2022-08-09 23:26

SunnyDaze wrote:


> It seems to me that the we ought to try, otherwise every single
> person is going buy loads of ligatures that are not helping
> them, and the really good ligatures will not get the
> recognition that they deserve.

You mean that silver plated hunk of brass that just happens to be the thing that keeps the reed on one of the best clarinet players I have ever heard isn't a "really good ligature"? I think we often equate price to performance, and that's not a really good indicator of quality in many cases. Quality of sound at least - I've seen ligatures that are a work of art but aren't any better than a cheap ligature when it comes to sound.

> One of the things that struck me most about Dale's video, was
> that he kept saying "you can't hear this, because the
> microphone doesn't pick it up" (or thereabouts).
>
> Surely this is one variable that we can fix? At least some
> people on here must have a good microphone.

Believe me, it's accidental BS. The mike picks up noises we normally don't hear. There's a good chance someone "feels" something and conflates it with sound.

> Also if the answer is that a more expensive gold plated rigid
> metal ligature, or a carbon fibre one is actually the good
> option, then it will help new players coming through very much
> indeed if we can tell them that. If they know that before they
> spend £150 on buying ten much cheaper ones, then they can save
> that money up and upgrade straight to the good one, early on.

Again, price does not equal quality. A hunk of brass Bonade or a Luyben will do just fine, thank you, won't break the bank, and have been proven for decades. No beginner NEEDS anything better than that - or worse than that. Personal preferences build up over years. I've seen the junk drawers of many clarinetists, full of mouthpieces and ligatures. Mostly they return to what works for them. And what works for them does not necessarily work for you. Frustrating, I know, but we're all built different.'

> I do think that this work is genuinely worth doing, and that
> with a group of us, and a forum like this, we ought to be able
> to do it.

You can try, but be prepared to find that your search for "the best for" is always going to start an argument.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-10 00:15

A little harsh Mark, and looks like you began reading toward the end of the thread without watching the 22 minute Dale Fedele video. He addressed many of the variables and even added that it depends on the piece you are playing. At no point would he have said "such and such equipment is best for you." I just thought the contribution of his video adds more food for thought than the simple recommendations or EarSpasm tomfoolery.




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



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2022-08-10 00:35

The player plus the ligature is the significant entity. I have a Bettoney ligature of the same vintage as Fedele's. For him it plays with great substance of sound; for me it is heavy and thudish. For him the Leblanc ligature with the "L" cutout (Pete Fountain's favorite) is lively and vibrant; for me it is brassy and raw. He finds the little half sized French ligature (unbranded) to0 light for his tastes; for me it flies (and sings) like a bird. For him the silver Ishimori presents problems of articulation; for me it is one of the faster models for quick and light staccato. My experiences did not align completely with his for any of the ligatures. I was, however, drawn to the tone of the Montanaro prototype (the last one he plays) which sounds way better to me than his beloved patented antique Bonades. But would I like the Montanaro if I got to play it? Who can say? i have never gotten a headache or tight throat from any ligature (or any other variable related to clarinet playing) in the 60 some-odd years I've been playing, so I don't know what to make of that. As for the flatness at the onset of the tone, I do get something of the sort on heavy composite ligatures (like the Eddie Daniels and the Lomax) but I already reject that kind of ligature because it doesn't help me resonate.

If a sound lab tested 10,000 players on the same set of ligatures and found that
X percent got similar responses to Fedele's, there would surely be Y percent that did not. Even if Y = just 1, player(s) in that set would be wise to ignore the intimidating multitude and decide for themselves anyway. So 40 pages of laborously collected and extrapolated statistics would be worthless to their selection of a ligature. They would still have to clamp the thing one and blow before they knew anything relevant to them.

I was privileged to hear Benny Goodman in person several times, and he was using a B&H ligature turned sideways so the letters showed. Of course I ran out and tracked down one of those and 1) it didn't fit my mouthpiece, and 2) after I made the necessary adjustment, it sounded just awful no matter which way I turned it. My traditional cheap non-inverse Bonade beat the B&H in every way.
For me, for me, for me. Not in some generalized Platonic world of eternal shapes and forms. Not in a mathematized statistical universe. I didn't sit down and send a note out to Goodman, "boy do you have it all wrong in your ligature choice." There's only one Goodman and there's only one me too. There is no reason why what is right for one of us should be right for the other. Or why Fedele's responses should be ours or Goodman's.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2022-08-10 02:16

Paul Aviles wrote:

> Ok, I start with the German Silver Bonade found at 5:30 in the
> video. Look at the SHAPE of these blobs. All look like bells
> on their sides.
>
> Next is the Eddie Daniels that he hated (much later in video)
> for reference. Notice the shapes are all longer (less or no
> initial flare) and they start low and only begin to climb to
> pitch.
>
> Third is a real close up of the German Silver Bonade. This is
> to show the initial quick high pitch bump at the beginning of
> the note, the relatively straight line of pitch and how the
> whole is at pitch or slightly above.
>
> Fourth now gets a little picky (stick with me). This is the
> modern Bonade at 5:55 in the video contrasting it with the
> German Silver (my first example). These are really close up to
> show the note to note contrast.
>
> Number 5 is hardest to read. I see that the line representing
> the pitch in time wobbles quite a bit on the "terrible D," but
> the "good C" has a straighter line representing focus;
> stability.

But what is actually causing these differences? Or to ask it another way, what is it about the ligatures that is influencing the tone *shape*?

Karl

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: lydian 
Date:   2022-08-10 04:43

If you haven't seen this ligature test, I highly recommend it.
https://youtu.be/6ghMCiV8hTg

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-10 04:59

Quoting myself from above.......


"My take away in the broadest sense was that the MATERIAL of which the ligature was made, created these distinctions. My initial thought is similar to SunnyDaze's post above. I think it has to do with what overtones are promoted or suppressed based on what the material of the ligature is doing to the vibrations of the reed/mouthpiece."




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



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-10 06:35

Thank you for explaining all these different viewpoints. I can see it is a very complicated area.

If ligatures are so personal to each different player, just like mouthpieces, might it work if we at least had a language and structure to help new players to evaluate how well their equipment is working for *them*?

I keep thinking of the Bristol Stool Chart, and thinking - if the gastroenterologists could suppress their giggles for long enough to create that, couldn't we start to do something similar for ligatures?

My first criteria to define would be "Does this ligature stay on at all?"

My brancher literally doesn't stay on even for a second and I paid good money for it. Could we at least make a scale to let people define how easy it is to make a ligature stay on, on a scale of 1 to 5 perhaps?

If beginners could steer clear of buying ligatures that fall clean off every time, that would save a bit of money. Same too for the opening poster here, who is presumably an experienced player and a soloist.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2022-08-10 14:03

You should be able to score the surface of the Brancher with 350 grit wet/dry sand paper. Take a little swatch and twist the ligature around it a few times.


I think I may have over emphasized the RESULTS of the video over the meaning. The main point I missed is that when one evaluates ligatures for themselves (their reed; their mouthpiece; their clarinet; their room; etc.) they should be looking for the "sharp articulation" on every note, the constant pitch and ease of response on every note. The ligature that does that FOR YOU is the "best ligature."






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



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2022-08-10 15:20

Hi Paul,

Thank you very much for explaining that. That is really helpful to know.

Best wishes,

Jennifer

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2022-08-11 01:23

Brad Behn has a good write up on his thoughts about ligatures. (although, interestingly his own ligature does not agree with all of the points he lists) Nonetheless, it does give some things worth considering.

https://www.clarinetmouthpiece.com/ishimori-clarinet-ligatures

Between the smooth surface of the mouthpiece and the somewhat slick texture of the plating, some ligatures do slip, although as mentioned, scoring or sanding the interior does help.

While I think that the ligature perhaps has less effect than the other components of the clarinet, the combination of our own style and our equipment can be thought of as a kind of equation. The ligature response and to a degree, sound can help balance this out. For example- finding a ligature to dampen an otherwise lively or bright set up or vice versa. That is one of the reasons many of us have slightly different opinions of what ligature works best.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Ligature for soloists?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2022-08-18 00:45

Another interning ligature comparison

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7hFTp-U9Ic

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