Choosing A Vandoren Ligature For Clarinet
A Vandoren ligature will be a great addition to your clarinet setup. The following Vandoren ligatures have similar features, but are also very unique in their own ways.
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 reeds. Vandoren clarinet mouthpieces and Vandoren reeds pair nicely with their branded ligatures, but there are many other options as well, such as Rovner.
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.
Vandoren Optimum Clarinet Ligature
The Vandoren Optimum Ligature is a popular favorite amongst many clarinetists around the world.
This Vandoren ligature features symmetrical tightening, a double-track screw mechanism and three interchangeable pressure plates. The three pressure plates are a great feature because they help create different sounds and feels for a variety of playing situations.
With the Vandoren Optimum ligature, there is more freedom for expression. The N1 plate offers a rich and colorful sound. The pressure from this plate provides an incredible blowing ease, as well as impressive resonance and projection.
The N2 plate offers a more compact and centered sound. The sound is smooth and even. This plate also provides an impressive blowing ease.
The N3 plate allows the reed to vibrate in total freedom, creating a flexible sound. Due to the reed’s ability to vibrate more freely, there is greater opportunity for the clarinetist to project and express to their full potential.
I enjoyed using the Vandoren Optimum ligature saxophone equivalent while I was playing saxophone in jazz. The three interchangeable plates make a drastic difference in overall sound, projection and intonation. If you’re a clarinetist that participates in a variety of playing gigs such as solo and ensemble, jazz, large ensemble and marching band, then I highly recommend this ligature.
M/O Vandoren Ligature
The M/O Vandoren Ligature is a very lightweight ligature. This ligature has the double-track screw mechanism that is also seen on the Vandoren Optimum ligature.
The inverted tightening mechanism creates two small contact pressure points on the reed. This provides stellar vibration on the reed and crisp articulation.
This Vandoren ligature is easy to set up on the mouthpiece. This ligature is offered in pink-gold, black, silver-plated, gold-plated and pewter finish.
I used the M/O Vandoren Ligature throughout high school and I really appreciated the features that enhanced my sound. I liked that this ligature is inverted because, in my opinion, it allows the reed to vibrate more freely and evenly. I also liked that the ligature was lightweight.
However, since it is lightweight it is important to avoid putting the ligature anywhere where it could get stepped on or damaged.
Leather Clarinet Ligature
This Leather Vandoren ligature is made out of a soft, supple leather with a handcrafted finish. It features symmetrical tightening and the double-track screw mechanism. This ligature helps provide a pure sound.
It includes three interchangeable pressure plates that will adjust the sound for different playing situations.
The N1 plate is made out of metal and provides a colorful and compact sound.
The N2 plate is made out of the same leather that the ligature is made out of. This plate provides a focused and compact sound as well, but the color of the sound is slightly darker.
The N3 late is made out of a different leather than the ligature itself. It provides a round and ample sound.
Klassik Clarinet Ligature
The Klassik clarinet ligature is a woven ligature. This ligature features great elasticity and resistance. It has two independent running knots that allow for quick tightening. This ligature is great for clarinetists who have specific tone and color desires.
Vandoren is an excellent, reputable and reliable company that has a fantastic line of clarinet ligatures. I hope this article has helped you on your journey towards purchasing a quality Vandoren ligature!