To find the best clarinet ligature for your instrument, it is important to consider the following factors: type of clarinet, your desired sound, 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.
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 secure it while still allowing 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 of a variety of sizes, so it is important to know which clarinet you’re shopping for. For instance, the e-flat clarinet would need a much smaller ligature than the b-flat clarinet.
What type of sound do you want to produce?
A clarinet’s ligature affects its 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 registers. Recommendation: Silverstein HEXA Clarinet Ligature (https://www.silversteinworks.com/product/hexa-clarinet-ligature/)
Inverted or standard?
Inverted ligatures have screws on the front part of the mouthpiece, while standard ligatures have the screws pointing towards the musician. Your choice depends on what your preferences are. Inverted ligatures allow the reed to vibrate more freely because the pressure from the screws is not directly applied against the reed.
There are many different kinds of clarinet ligatures across an extensive range of price points. This is in part due to the wide range of materials used to make them. 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. Recommendation: Silverstein Works Original T Clarinet Ligature (https://www.silversteinworks.com/product/originalt-clarinet-ligature-omnicap/)
While selecting a ligature, it is important to choose one that allows you to play in a variety of settings. If you’re performing as a soloist, you will have different needs than someone who plays in large ensembles. Finding a ligature that allows the flexibility to perform in a wide variety of settings is sometimes difficult. 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. It is just as important for beginners to have quality ligatures as it is for professionals, since stock ligatures that come with instruments often wear or break down quickly due to over-tightening of the screw and low-quality materials. Quality ligatures help eliminate problems associated with sound production that beginners experience in the early stages of learning the clarinet.