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Hey everyone! Back with a highly requested video that I think you all will get something from. I'm wondering - are ligatures a waste of money?? In this video I compare 10 very different ligatures in a blind test - guess which one is which, and let me know which ones you thought sounded the best!

 

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Ligatures are not a waste of money - You will probably need one if you're not using string or duct tape.

Fancy ligatures....well...

they're fancy
 

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Very well done. I like how you played the same phrase every time and I like how you revealed them in the same order. The painter’s tape sounded pretty bad. And the Nintendo actually sounded good.

I did a giant shoot-out years ago of clarinet ligatures over a period of a few weeks. The results were surprising as the cheap 2-screw ligature actually sounded the best. These were older ones from the 1950s and 60s. Sometimes you have to bend them and make sure that they fit properly but when they do, they sound great. On most of my saxophones, I use Rovner because they’re just so dang easy to use and don’t slip.
 

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The nut and bolt was pretty obvious, I was surprised that you could actually make it even sound as good as you did - but ... I kind of liked the apple earbuds, at least on my work headset they sounded a bit smoother than the rest. Overall, nicely done!
 

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I think I liked the Eddie Daniels the best, although the hair tie was a close second!
I've shared this before but it's been a while...
There was a very fine tenor player in the Washington, D.C. area named Buck Hill, who played a VI with a Couf hard rubber piece and a stainless steel radiator clamp for a ligature. Great sound!
 

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in a blind test - guess which one is which, and let me know which ones you thought sounded the best!
I know this was part lounge and cheek, however: In the blind test, I liked number 2. Not surprised it was the 2 screw. What you touched on in the end was the point. Whichever makes you feel more comfortable playing is the best. While tonally they might be extremely similar or the same to the listener, the 100% most important is the feedback the player gets. And that's 100% only something the player can evaluate. Yes, ligatures make a difference.
 

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I play the 'old fashioned' two screw brass ligs and if they are fit/bent to fit properly sound best to me. Fancy ligs are like snake. Just my humble opinion. Thanks for the video!!!
Hey everyone! Back with a highly requested video that I think you all will get something from. I'm wondering - are ligatures a waste of money?? In this video I compare 10 very different ligatures in a blind test - guess which one is which, and let me know which ones you thought sounded the best!

 

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I never felt the need to spend money on really expensive ligatures, so I can't say anything about those. However, I did experiment with rubber band in the past ;-) For me, there is a huge difference in response between the metal screw brass ligatures and the Rovner type leather band ligatures. The basic brass ligatures, provided that they seat the reed against the mouthpiece securely, without clamping it to death, actually give me the quickest response, and some more "edge" in the tone. The Rovner type ligatures are a bit more mellow, and have the advantage that they don't scratch the mouthpiece.

On clarinet, I prefer the plain metal ligatures, while on tenor and bari sax, I use Rovner Light ones.
 

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ONE is not a waste of money. You need a ligature. I can't play without one. Two is not a waste because you should have a backup if you step on the first or lose a screw. THREE is overkill unless you're prone to accidents.

I resisted the idea of anything but the traditional two-screw ligature for years until I picked a Rovner-type from Eblahh for two bucks. I can detect a difference in response on saxophone, but not so much on clarinet.

I hope to have my own ligature in production that should pretty much eliminate the confusion over which ligature is best. I don't want to give away too much information, but this baby will send the serious gear collector straight to Nirvana (if not divorce court which, in some cases, might be the same place). It employs space-age technology (which is a good thing for all of those folks who have signed up for $250,000 trips beyond the exosphere). The low end model is the Bloo Dog Explorer. The second one is called the Bloo Dog Rubicon which should appeal to those folks who have signed up for the one-way trips to Mars.

And finally there's the Bloo Dog Plummet Master. This sucker will be made of an extremely dense material to add mass to help reach the really low notes. It doubles as a boat anchor.

Prices start at $8,000.00. They're for the player who wants to make a statement about himself (in case his playing doesn't do it for him).
 

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I was surprised the first one was the hair tie, sounded good. Aside from #5 (nut & bolt) it sounds like the reed was held in place well enough to get a good tone...interesting that the tried & true 2-screw lig still sounds good. Between the two Rovners, tone on the Eddie Daniels sounds a little livlier. BUT...the painter's tape gets my vote for "fashion statement", with the torn piece jauntily placed to the side!
 

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Ligatures have little to do with what you sound like. They can have an enormous effect on what you think (or hope) you sound like. It's the thought that counts.
 
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