Rovner Clarinet Ligature

Enriching Your Sound With A Rovner Clarinet Ligature

Author: Makayla Moen Published on: June 23, 2020
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"When it comes to factors that affect a player's performance, a ligature is no small thing!" says the Rovner company. The Rovner company was founded in 1974. Their first original product was the Rovner Dark Ligature. From there, the company has designed four "Classic" models, four "Next Generation" models and a Rovner Turbo-Charger kit. The Rovner Dark Ligature "broke convention and set a new convention" for ligature designs and performance quality. As technology advanced, the Rovner company expanded to "Next Generation" models that offer more specialized features. These ligatures allow the musicians to explore a larger tonal spectrum, as well as helps them achieve the sound they desire. Rovner ligatures are durable, high-functioning and long lasting. Rovner ligatures are very compatible with Vandoren mouthpieces, Vandoren reeds and other standard clarinet accessories.

My freshman through sophomore year of college, I played on the Rovner Dark ligature. This was a fantastic ligature! I appreciated the amount of freedom the ligature gave to the reed, allowing the reed to vibrate freely. My sound was more full and projected a lot better. My junior year of college, I switched over to the Rovner VERSA ligature. I love this ligature because the flaps and pressure plate help my upper register sound sweet and pure. It also helps my intonation immensely. I highly recommend the Rovner ligatures to clarinetists of any level.

What is a ligature and why is it important?

The ligature is the accessory that holds the reed onto the mouthpiece and keeps the reed in place while the clarinetist plays. The ligature also aids in producing a quality sound, as long as the ligature is paired with the correct mouthpiece and clarinet reeds.

A quality ligature is important because each ligature has qualities that enrich the clarinetist's tone, intonation, color, projection and overall sound.

The main musical difference between ligatures are how they respond to the blowing pressure and the tone color they produce. Different materials will vibrate differently in order to produce unique responses and tone colors.

Rovner Ligatures

In this video, two Dawkes Music experts will display and discuss Rovner's cloth ligatures: Star Series, Light, Dark, MKIII and Versa. The experts start off by stating that it is important to invest in a good quality ligature because the ligatures that often come with the instrument are not made out of material. As time goes on, those ligatures will warp or bend, causing the reed to be placed unevenly. If the reed placement is uneaven, it will not be able to vibrate evenly which leads to an unbalanced sound. Quality ligatures, such as the Rovner ligatures they will be discussing in this video, are great quality and are reasonably priced.

Classic Models

Dark Ligature

The Rovner Dark Ligature features a double-textured body, and a t-Process polymer that allows the reed to vibrate freely. The unique design of this ligature allows the reed to swell without distorting the reed's body, preventing the chance of air leakage at the facing of the mouthpiece. This Rovner ligature offers a dark and resonant sound. The tone that is produced from this ligature is very full and focused. Classical clarinetists and music educators love this Rovner ligature.

Light Ligature

The Rovner Light ligature is based off of the original Dark ligature. The Light ligature is great for clarinetists searching for a contemporary sound and as an alternative to the Dark ligature for a less covered sound. This ligature helps produce an open tone quality.

MKIII Ligature

The Rovner MKIII Ligature is a premium ligature that provides a heavier tone than the Rovner Light and Dark ligatures. It is designed to help clarinetists produce a responsive and well-defined tone. Furthermore, it delivers a sound without any buzz or "hash". This ligature is a favorite amongst both jazz and classical players. It is also a favorite amongst band directors who want a sound boost within their woodwind section.

VERSA Ligature

The VERSA ligature is designed to have precise control, especially at loud dynamics. This ligature also features a pressure plate system that produces six different tones. This ligature helps produce a big, rich sound in all three registers of the clarinet. The flaps on this ligature can be arranged asymmetrically in order to adapt to irregular reeds. Jazz and classical clarinetists favorite this ligature because they are able to personalize the sound to their liking.

Exceptional Control
Rovner Versa Clarinet Ligature
The Rovner Versa Ligatures are designed to have exceptional control throughout all ranges and at any dynamic level. This ligature features an adaptable pressure plate system that allows the musician to personalize their sound.

Next Generation Models

STAR Series Ligature

The STAR Series ligature is a great fit for clarinetists looking for optimum resonance, warmth and expression. Furthermore, it's a very good ligature for jazz clarinetists. This ligature focuses on the player's resonance, offering great feedback. This feature is great for students with an underdeveloped embouchure. It helps improve intonation and enhances the clarinetist's playing experience.

LEGACY Ligature

This Rovner LEGACY ligature is perfect for any clarinetist looking for better projection. This ligature offers great projection and articulation. It also holds quality tone and intonation in all registers at all dynamic levels. This ligature is great for marching band and jazz ensemble. It allows the woodwinds to pierce through the ensemble without sacrificing their tone and intonation.

VERSA-X Ligature

The Versa-X ligature is great for advanced clarinetists. This ligature is described as being dark, rich, focused and versatile. It features a newly-designed metal alloy cradle that provides tonal versatility. When the cradle is exposed to the reed, it enhances the sound by adding brilliance, projection and a centered tone. Most classical players cover the cradle because it adds warmth. When the cradle is exposed, the sound is better projected. This ligature also provides stellar evenness, steady intonation, great projection and control throughout all ranges.


The Platinum ligature is Rovner's first all-metal ligature. This ligature aids in providing beautiful tone and clarity. This ligature offers great control, centered tone, stellar intonation, quick response and amazing reed-grip. This ligature is also very durable and compatible in high temperatures.


This Platinum Gold ligature is a new 24-karat gold plated ligature. It offers great control, a secure and centered tone, quick response and amazing intonation. This is a great ligature for classical clarinetists looking for the sweet spot between a clear tone and a rich, dark sound. Jazz clarinetists with mouthpieces that have high baffles and an extra wedge love the added 24-Karat gold. This ligature is a great fit for clarinetists striving for a beautiful tone.

Van Gogh Ligature

This Van Gogh ligature is a new Rovner ligature for clarinetists. This ligature offers a "BIG", but controllable sound. The ligature grasps the heel of the reed in order to eliminate "pinch points" that restrict vibration. This ligature features amazing intonation, response, projection and articulation. This ligature also supports and firmly grips the reed in order to eliminate reed shifting. The Van Gogh ligature offers a freedom of expression, allowing the musician to be in control of their own sound.

Closing Advice

The Rovner company has an incredible line of ligatures for clarinetists of all skill levels. Furthermore, every ligature is unique in its own way.

Photo by Aprilyn Podd | CC BY-SA

Makayla Moen

Makayla Moen

I am working on my Bachelor of Music Degree - Instrumental Music Education Major at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. My main instrument is the clarinet. For fun, I enjoy playing my guitar and piano!