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What impact does the saxophone or clarinet ligature have on the timbre?

Published : 2018-07-31 15:13:38
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It is first useful to specify that the impact of the saxophone ligature or clarinet ligature is minor compared to that of the saxophone or clarinet mouthpiece or the instrument itself. In reality, this impact will be most noticeable by intermediate or advanced musicians. The ligature will affect the musician's timbre, accuracy and comfort.

What are the characteristics of the saxophone or clarinet ligature that influence the sound?

The material

tissu most often leather and metal.

The saxophone ligature / clarinet ligature in fabric or leather

round. Its flexibility allows an optimal vibration of the saxophone or clarinet reed. In addition, the leather ligature fits all models of saxophone or clarinet mouthpiece.

The saxophone ligature / metal clarinet ligature


The metal ligature emits a more stamped sound, the contact surface with the saxophone or clarinet reed : contact complete, contact partial, plot or rail is decisive insofar as it conditions the emission facility. Indeed, the smaller this surface is, the easier the emission is because the reed can vibrate.

The saxophone ligature / leather clarinet ligature with platelets

End of gather the best of metal ligatures and tissue ligatures, Vandoren set up leather ligatures with pads different (metal, firm leather and soft leather)

The model

There are two models of ligatures: the standard standard model with the screws upwards either opposite the reed and the inverted <strong model with the screws downwards or on the reed side. Reverse ligation minimizes contact with the reed.

The number of screws

1 screw alone reduces contact with the reed, the two screws will ensure a greater stability and stability of the reed at the risk of " smother ". double step screw ensures the stability  and the symmetry in the fixation of the saxophone or clarinet reed.

In summary

  • Although less important than that of the instrument or beak, the impact of the ligature is nevertheless the same on the sound
  • Material, number of screws and ligature model are all factors that can influence the sound

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