Mr. Friedland, I wonder what your current take on ligatures may be, and what you are currently using?
The ligature virus is only one of many that clarinetists are prone to: the mouthpiece virus, the reed virus, the barrel virus, not mention the CLARINET virus. I’ve gone through them all. But, just when I think I have recovered, along comes along a new strain and off I am again. Ligatures come in all sorts of varieties, configurations, materials, colors, and COSTS.
I have come to use Legere reeds about all the time, given their convenience, reliability, and (for me) their suitability given my humble level of competence. I have ordered the new Forestone reeds which you espouse, and I eagerly await comparing them with cane and Legere. For me, I have found the best ligature for playing a Legere is the original Selmer metal ligature that came with my Selmer Centered Tone which I bought new in 1958 when I was in the Marine Band. For whatever reason, I have found the Legere reed responds best to the metal ligature.
Speaking of some of the outrageous costs for ligatures, I have satisfactorily used a 3/4″ strip of Velcro wrapped around the mouthpiece and reed. I found this to be about as good as any ligatures I have tried—for hardly any cost at all!! I recently bought a metal jazz mouthpiece for my old C Melody sax. I had trouble fitting a ligature to it. I brought out my trusty Velcro for an outstanding and CHEAP result!
My take on the current ligature virus is as follows:
I am using a metal Mitchell Lurie “Springboard ” ligature which I found in my drawer, the one especially used for containing as much viral activity as I can possibly cram in. I remember Daniel Twigg of “Twigg Music” in Montreal actually trying to sell me on the Van Doren Optimal optimum ligature.all plated up and covered with maybe two microns of sterling, which was a total washout because for me , it was too much junk with which to contend and I wasn’t able to change from Bb to A clarinet without it coming off and when I tightened the screws enough it would injure at least visually, the reed which to me , didn’t make a lot of sense. It lies, in disused tarnish in my drawer.
I first found what was a slight difference in the Rovner ligature the leather looking one, and I used it for many years. I discarded it because with that ridiculous black plastic mouthpiece cap, the look was reminiscent of Darth Vader, from ‘Star Wars” fame. It irked me.It was also hard to cram into my double case because it makes the mouthpiece thicker than the space accorded for it in the styrofoam or whatever it’s called. It too irked me. It’s not that I’m that irkable; it’s just that getting away from the standard looking mouthpiece cap and ligature betrays my memory, and finally I return. Now, I have refound the Rovner because it actually does allow more vibration of the reed as you play and will and does extend longevity of duration. Definitely. Forget about the cap.it’s the price of doing business. Also, IMO discard those feature plates and all other extraneous things stuffed into ligatures. A fortune cookie has at least a prediction inside and is sweet. The plates are expensive and don’t do , well squat.
I think the Harrison ligature was very good, and its Rico descendant may also be good. The real expensive jobees really affect me in a disjunctive way because their price really makes me feel for the student who just has to have one and betrays his soul for this obviously Faustian deal, at great cost, and for what gain? Yes, I’ve used Bonades, and reverse Bonades with the middle pried out with a pliers, all that stuff.
Not to get off-subject, but mouthpieces are a slightly different item and are really much more expensive as a rule. I used a Van Doren M13
for maybe ten or fifteen years. It is that companies version of the Chedeville. Later , I dioscovered Richard Hawkins and his mouthpieces, which are better versions of the Chedeville. Much better. Now, that’s enough on mouthpieces.
Hope I’ve contributed to your viral collection. Best regards,