Ligatures Ligature tightness


New Member
G,day all. Just to give a little background, i have been playing for 6 months now and am coming on ok. I have a question;- the mouthpiece is a Yanagisawa 6 and a Rovner dark ligature and am using vandoren 1.5 Jazz reeds. I have tried ricos and rico royals. My query is that i have to have the ligature very loose indeed to get the best sound and playability. I feel its too loose cos i accidentaly move it sometimes. If i dont have it so loose it takes away the playability. This is fine if i am playing a balls to the wall piece and you are just blowwing hard most of the time. However if i play "My heart must go on" ( titanic theme) for instance, then to come in softland smoothly is almost impossibe. The sax is a TJ classic student version.
Gents n ladies your comments pls will be appreciated.


Hey Hey Dobson ...

Like you I have been playing [if you can call it that] ;} for around 6 months ...

I often use my Yanagisawa 6 which came with my Sax ... Similarly a Rovner dark ligature ...

I have tried a range of reeds and have never had a problem obtaining a decent sound [pitch] etc with them fitting nice and snug ...

I have found that I was able to move away from real soft reeds quite quickly ... Why don't you give that a try - maybe a 2 or 2.5 would help.
Have you checked that the mouthpiece table is flat? That's a very soft reed - have you tried a 2 or 2.5?
Coming in soft and smooth is a musical skill you may not have acquired after only six months playing. Ligatures are not intended to hold reeds in a vise like grip, and reeds are easily dislodged. I'm surprised though that you have to leave yours loose. Splash a little water on to your mouthpiece table and hold it against a mirror, or a window. If it grabs like a magnet the table is flat. Don't let go of it during the test. Make sure that you are using good fresh and free blowing reeds.

How close to the tip have you got the ligature? Too close and you might strangle the reed if the ligature is tight.
Lots of useful advice there!

My bit - do prepare your reeds (moisten and massage so that they are at their best) and try a 2 strength.
Do also look at trying a different ligature - possibly metal, such as a Rico H, new Selmer 1 screw, or Francois Louis basic - I can find the Rovner Dark a little heavy handed - I use a Rovner EVO-5 inverted - best Rovner I've tried for subtle playing. The Yani is quite a mellow mouthpiece so the Rovner Dark might result in a dampened sound, which metal would counterbalance this tendency. A combination of these 2 things should make a difference.

Kind regards


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