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Discussion Starter #1
Is there a definitive position for the ligature on a mouthpiece?
Up to now, I've determined the position according to the line running across filed reeds. I've recently found that moving the lig further along the mpc towards the thicker end gives more 'buzz'.
As there doesn't seem to be a great deal of advice about on lig position, is it just an issue of personal preference?
Looking forward to any advice...
 

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Personal preference. It also depends on what ligature you're using.
 

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Putting the ligature further towards the back creates more resistance. I usually start out with my ligature closer to the tip and move it back as my reed becomes softer with use.
 

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Putting the ligature further towards the back creates more resistance. I usually start out with my ligature closer to the tip and move it back as my reed becomes softer with use.
Really? Wow. I have the opposite experience.
 

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Putting the ligature further towards the back creates more resistance. I usually start out with my ligature closer to the tip and move it back as my reed becomes softer with use.
Really? Wow. I have the opposite experience.
It would depend on the mouthpiece in question. If the table is flat, moving the ligature back just creates an opportunity for a leak. If it's concave, then where the pressure is applied can affect how the reed reacts. You could both well be right if you have different concave shapes.
 

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I take a totally unscientific approach to lig placement.
I put it in the middle and torque it down to medium snug.
Works for me every time...
 

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I moved my ligature forward and it hand waxed my car. Absolutely astounding.

The best and most mind blowing part is that it holds the reed to the mouthpiece. What a concept..
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Really? Wow. I have the opposite experience.
It would depend on the mouthpiece in question. If the table is flat, moving the ligature back just creates an opportunity for a leak. If it's concave, then where the pressure is applied can affect how the reed reacts. You could both well be right if you have different concave shapes.
This is correct IMO. Ligature type, material and position will only make a difference if there is some issue with the mouthpiece (table out of true, concave or convex) and/or reed distorted.

Having said that, moving the ligature to extreme positions will affect the sound because it won't be working properly.

If everything is as it should be, using the file line is a good guide. You probably have at least 1/4 inch of ligature position adjustment away from that line before any conceivable difference in sound or response should take place.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all for the feedback, it's helpful.
And yes, I should have made clear it's a matter of millimetres - moving it backwards this much on the mpc seems to give the equivalent effect of slightly softening the reed. The lig is then at a central position on the broadest section of the mpc body - viz. bandmommy's reply.
But plz bear with me for a further techie question: those few millimetres of extra length on the reed blade aren't insignificant relative to the total reed length - doesn't this mean that the reed vibrates more freely than when the lig is positioned at the file line and thus have an effect on the sound production?

This is correct IMO. Ligature type, material and position will only make a difference if there is some issue with the mouthpiece (table out of true, concave or convex) and/or reed distorted.

Having said that, moving the ligature to extreme positions will affect the sound because it won't be working properly.

If everything is as it should be, using the file line is a good guide. You probably have at least 1/4 inch of ligature position adjustment away from that line before any conceivable difference in sound or response should take place.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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T
But plz bear with me for a further techie question: those few millimetres of extra length on the reed blade aren't insignificant relative to the total reed length - doesn't this mean that the reed vibrates more freely than when the lig is positioned at the file line and thus have an effect on the sound production?
I believe that if a few millimetres makes a difference, then there is something wrong.

The part of the reed on the table (ie back from the file line) is meant to be clamped, not free to vibrate. It is the tip end of the reed that vibrates.
 

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What are you going to do with the ligature if you ever have to play an UN filed reed like I do?
Don't answer, just think about what you are asking for a minute.
Now, Is that file line on your reed really THAT important?
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Now, Is that file line on your reed really THAT important?
Exacvtly.

No. You can always have an imaginary file line, about 1/16 to 1/8 inch back from where the shaved bit starts.
I also think if anyone is so finicky about ligature position, they will be stressing too much about that rather than concentrating on the more important things, like focussed long notes.

I suppose OTOH if your blues feel might improve:

"I woke up this morning, I got the ligature position blues".
 
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