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Something I was wondering about but I've never really found an answer for:

Let's say you had two reeds of the same width, cut, tip, heart, fibers, and length of the vamp. For our purposes, everything on these reeds from the cut to the tip are perfectly identical (so we know we're in purely speculative territory). Now, we get to the bark section, and that's where things change: One reed is longer than the other. It might be half an inch, it might be two inches, but the bottom half of one reed is measurably longer than the other.

How much, if at all, would this affect how the reed plays?
 

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Hmm. I guess I'll have to take a reed and cut the end off and see what happens. But then I'd have to do it to a good reed to perform the test well, and for the experiment to have any veracity at all, do it to at least five or ten. That might be bad because of the off chance it actually does harm to the reeds' playability, and a good reed isn't something to just start screwing around with. Even playing a really good reed involves a bit of indulgent guilt.

Another take on the shortening of reeds: 10Mfan mouthpieces have longer tables than the reed so centering them is easier than others. I really like that feature (plus they play consistently great.) Why not just saw off the back end of the reed to get the same effect forother mouthpieces with shorter tables? I hadn't thought of that and it seems rather obvious now.
 

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the length of the non vibratile portion of the reeds is not too important.

You can easily swap tenor reeds with bass clarinet reeds and they are different but have the same width.
 

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the length of the non vibratile portion of the reeds is not too important.

You can easily swap tenor reeds with bass clarinet reeds and they are different but have the same width.
See, that's why I'm curious, because there's still going to be vibrations transmitted through the bark section of the reed even if it's not the mark that actually makes the sound. So I could see where that could affect the resonance.
 

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that is if there would be any
 

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See, that's why I'm curious, because there's still going to be vibrations transmitted through the bark section of the reed even if it's not the mark that actually makes the sound. So I could see where that could affect the resonance.
I don't understand how any vibrations transmitted through the bark could have any effect on the sound. It is not going to vibrate in any significant way as it is (a) rigid and (b) held firmly in place. I guess some vibrations may be there but more on a molecular level rather than a resonant level (if that means anything)

I have often used Bb clarinet reeds on soprano. The heel of the reed overhangs the end of the mouthpiece so I just cut a whole chunk of it off. made no differences at all (as I suspected). but then maybe that was because I wasn't expecting it to make a difference.
 

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See, that's why I'm curious, because there's still going to be vibrations transmitted through the bark section of the reed even if it's not the mark that actually makes the sound. So I could see where that could affect the resonance.
I don't see how it could make any difference how long the bottom of the reed is below where it's clamped tightly to the mpc table. Reed vibration is effectively cut off where it is clamped to the table and probably there is very little if any vibration below where the reed is 'free' of the mpc; the part that vibrates is up near the tip down to where the reed first rests against the mpc.

On some mpcs the bottom of the reed hangs down below the mpc table and so in effect the reed is cut off at that point. You could saw the reed off there and it would not make any difference (although there is no real reason to bother doing that).
 

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I think the question of "what is the bottom half of the reed doing?" has to do with how and when it stops or "sympathisizes" with what's going on in the top half.

Its not creating anything in and of itself, but what it may /may not be doing with its upstairs neighbor colleague is the question.

this can and will give you lots to think about instead of exactly how to voice that jump from D down to B
 

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If the bark doesn't matter how is it that different ligatures make a definite difference?
 

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Where's the 'smiley' after that statement? The alternative is you having us believe you don't see any difference in ligatures which is ridiculous on the face of it.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Where's the 'smiley' after that statement? The alternative is you having us believe you don't see any difference in ligatures which is ridiculous on the face of it.
Of course I see difference in ligatures, they can look very different. Some are metal, some are fabric or leather, they have different number of screws (between zero and five), some are string, some are plastic. Lots of different types and I can certainly see the difference.
 

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Pete is absolutely not alone in believing that ligatures don’t make a difference. I do too.

They don’t in clarinets and they don’t in saxophones.


But of course there are people whom believe other things.

:whistle:
 

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Pete is absolutely not alone in believing that ligatures don’t make a difference. I do too.

They don’t in clarinets and they don’t in saxophones.


But of course there are people whom believe other things.

:whistle:
You know what's ridiculous about that video, milandro? Not the premise, I too believe ligatures don't make a difference - and even more, I believe that if a ligature DOES make a difference in the sound, then it is a faulty piece of equipment!

But the real thing wrong with that video is the title. I mean - a shoelace for $2???? A freakin' shoelace????? GAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

I remember when they were a dime. I have officially entered geezer-hood...
 

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It's not the length of the reed ...

But seriously,

On some mpcs the bottom of the reed hangs down below the mpc table and so in effect the reed is cut off at that point. You could saw the reed off there and it would not make any difference (although there is no real reason to bother doing that).
This might seem secondary, but it could definitely make a difference if you don't regularly scrape (or otherwise re-level) your reeds, especially if the table ends abruptly. In that case, you're left with a swollen section of reed that, unless you're really careful in positioning, interferes with the reed-to-table seal.

This isn't generally a problem with larger mouthpieces and reeds, but I've had problems with this on soprano.

Interestingly, clarinet mouthpiece tables are almost always longer than the reed. So it may be the case that both reed length and ligature design have less of an effect on clarinet than on saxophone (assuming that differences in ligature response are primarily due to how effectively they can compensate for reed warping or non-flat tables).
 

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well there are shoelaces and shoelaces :)

as for ligatures

I hate to break the news to you but ligatures don’t make a difference, it’s psychological and a myth. I’ll give anyone a thousand dollars if they can tell the difference between ligatures when they’re blindfolded. Phil Barone
 

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The "overhang" of reed, opposite the tip, extending past the ligature seems like an inert part of the reed. But, it could be important, and worth a few tests. We think of the clamped portion under the ligature as the "end" of the important part of the reed, like a fixed cantilever. But, the extension on the other side of the ligature could impact the response like a counterweight. Even with the ligature clamped down tight, the vibrating reed will act like a see-saw under dynamic motion, where the extension is moving in the opposite direction of the reed tip. So, its possible a longer or shorter extension may have some impact on the response of the reed.

Second, I've known the clamp point or location of the ligature is important just from trial and error, but I never thought about the clamp point coinciding with a node-antinode on the reed, like a vibrating beam or string.

Just more stuff to think about, that may have a small, but less important influence on the workings.
 

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the vibratile part of the reed is important because it vibrated actively, so too the point where you apply the ligature , because it determines the length of the vibratile section. What happens past the ligature point is of incredibly small activity and insignificant.
 

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Pete is absolutely not alone in believing that ligatures don’t make a difference. I do too.

They don’t in clarinets and they don’t in saxophones.


But of course there are people whom believe other things.
I can hear differences there. I kind of like the red cable clamp. Where do you get those ???

The differences are small and not a big issue but to say they make no difference is clearly not accurate.
I think with these things there is a potential for variation which might not necessarily be a given. For example a metal lig will pretty much only work when it is tight. A Rovner style lig allows a looser fit which doesn't secure the reed so well and can result in a softer sound -or less upper partials. If you tighten up a Rovner lig it's going to clamp down on the reed more which might affect the reed vibration.
People seem to like or dislike Rovner/ BG ligs because of the way they can be tilted or adjusted differently to give different effects. If you just tighten them up there isn't going to be much difference.
 

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I think with these things there is a potential for variation which might not necessarily be a given. For example a metal lig will pretty much only work when it is tight. A Rovner style lig allows a looser fit which doesn't secure the reed so well and can result in a softer sound -or less upper partials. If you tighten up a Rovner lig it's going to clamp down on the reed more which might affect the reed vibration.
I think if you don't have a ligature tight enough, then obviously it is not holding the reed firmly and so there could well be differences. But this is not due to the type of lig, just the fact that it's not actually working properly. A fabric Rovner actually needs to feel a bit tighter than a metal lig in my experience, probably due to its elasticity. It's also a good idea to keep them oiled.

But yes, so if a ligature is compromised by being under tightened then it will sound different. If you like the sound of it not working the way it should there's absolutely nothing wrong with that in my book. Just as you might like the sound of a saxophone when it's a bit leaky.
 
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