To find the best clarinet ligature for your instrument, it is important to consider the following factors when purchasing one: type of clarinet, the desired sound that you want to achieve, inverted or standard, price, and flexibility. Selecting a clarinet ligature can be a complicated process that involves experimenting with different types and brands until you find the one that fits your style of playing. In this week’s guide we’re going to discuss how to pick a clarinet ligature.
What is a clarinet ligature? A clarinet ligature is a ringed device that holds the reed onto the mouthpiece. In order to work properly, the reed must be held firmly to the mouthpiece with just enough pressure to allow the reed to vibrate freely. Early models of ligatures were made out of string. Nowadays, clarinet ligatures are made out of a variety of materials that include cloth, string, wire, plastic, nylon, fabric, wood, or leather.
What instrument do you need it for? There are many different types of clarinets and depending on the size of the clarinet, it is important to know which clarinet you need it for. For instance, the e-flat clarinet would need a much smaller ligature than the b-flat clarinet. Clarinet ligatures come in different shapes and sizes according to the type of clarinet that you need it for and so it is important to know for which type of instrument you need it for.
What type of sound do you want to produce? The clarinet ligature does affect the clarinet sound because it controls how the reed vibrates on the mouthpiece. To produce a dark and rich sound, it is important to choose a ligature that allows the reed to vibrate evenly but also freely for projection and responsiveness between the clarinet registers. Recommendation: Silverstein HEXA Clarinet Ligature
Inverted or standard? Inverted ligatures have the screws that are on the front part of the mouthpiece, while standard ligatures have the screws pointing towards the musician. It depends on what your preferences are. Inverted ligatures allow the reed to vibrate more freely because the pressure of the screws is not directly pressing against the reed.
Price. There are many different kinds of clarinet ligatures that have an extensive price range. This is in part due to the wide range of materials used in the manufacturing process. Clarinet ligatures can range from $10 to as expensive as $1200. Silverstein Works produces high-quality and durable ligatures in different models for all levels of playing. Recommendation: Silverstein Works Original T Clarinet Ligature
Flexibility. While selecting a ligature, it is important to choose one that allows you to play in a variety of different settings. It can be different for each individual. A person who performs as a soloist will have different needs than someone who plays in large ensembles. To find a ligature that allows the flexibility to perform in a wide variety of settings is difficult to find. It is important to experiment and find a ligature that supports your performance needs.
Finding a clarinet ligature is a personal choice and depends on what type of sound that you want to achieve for all levels. It is also important for beginners to have quality ligatures as stock ligatures that come with the instrument often wear or break down quickly from over tightening the screw and low-quality material. Quality ligatures help eliminate problems associated with sound production beginners experience in the early stages of learning the clarinet. Each person is going to have their own preferences in choosing the best clarinet ligature that suits their needs. At the Music & Language Learning Center, we offer clarinet lessons for students of all levels and I work hard in being able to select the best equipment that my students would be able to afford within their budget.
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