All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Tying reeds on with string!!!

SaxinNZ

Member
Messages
76
I was getting a bit fed up with my metal Lig coming loose (slipping down the MP), so I decided to tie the reed on with a few wraps of string, and the difference is remarkable! The tone is so much warmer, darker, not sure how to explain it, but the low notes are velvety. If I leave the reed in place overnight, the string naturally dries out and it goes loose. I have found the best way is to just drip a few drops of water on the string, and it tightens up a treat!

I am stil looking to but a new and better lig, but for now I am quite impressed with plain ol’ string!......... I think I read somewhere of other players many years ago doing this, but whether it was out of saving money or just getting a particular sound, I don’t know. Anyone else here tried this?....
 

baritonesax

Member
Messages
256
I was getting a bit fed up with my metal Lig coming loose (slipping down the MP), so I decided to tie the reed on with a few wraps of string, and the difference is remarkable! The tone is so much warmer, darker, not sure how to explain it, but the low notes are velvety. If I leave the reed in place overnight, the string naturally dries out and it goes loose. I have found the best way is to just drip a few drops of water on the string, and it tightens up a treat!

I am stil looking to but a new and better lig, but for now I am quite impressed with plain ol’ string!......... I think I read somewhere of other players many years ago doing this, but whether it was out of saving money or just getting a particular sound, I don’t know. Anyone else here tried this?....
Interesting to hear that your results are so good. Classical clarinettists in German and Austrian orchestras have been tying reeds on to their mouthpieces since the year dot. A slightly higher-tech solution is to use shoe-laces - the flat kind are supposedly better than the the round kind.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
My old sax teacher used to use flat white trainer laces, and produced a decent sound. Also various sorts of elasticated hair products seem to work well.

Perhaps for Xmas you could write to Graham Henry and see whether he can provide you with a signed rugby bootlace.....!
Failing that you could pay just over £60 or so for Vandoren's ridiculously cheap Klassik String Ligature, which can be purchased together with a leather cap!
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I've used string, rubber bands and Sellotape in the past. All worked fine, although I've never noticed any difference in sound, either beetween these 'improvised' methods, or compared to using a lig.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,950
I've used string, rubber bands and Sellotape in the past. All worked fine, although I've never noticed any difference in sound, either beetween these 'improvised' methods, or compared to using a lig.
Me neither.

I was getting a bit fed up with my metal Lig coming loose
I suspect that's probably the relevant bit.
 

SaxinNZ

Member
Messages
76
“German and Austrian orchestras have been tying reeds on to their mouthpieces since the year dot”…. Wow, I didn’t know that!

“Klassik String Ligature”…. Never heard of that either! (showing my ignorance now)…

…and Nick, you could be right about the loose lig being the difference. I’m thinking of getting a Rovner to see if that might be better. Also might try a different MP as well, as I’m still experimenting to find my sound.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,011
I went to see a visiting Austrian concert band and all of the clarinets were using string ligs. After a couple of tunes one of the principles decided to change his reed. He was still at it at the start of the next tune. He sat there in the front rank just a winding and a winding while the band played on. There's a down side to everything, nice sound though.

Jim.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Before the invention of the metal ligature, the standard way of securing reeds was to use twine, that is, in the sense of the proper meaning of the term ligature - to bind or tie with thread, string or the like (eg as in medical use to constrict the flow of blood). So it's probably not surprising that players still do it and/or that it works. Thanks for the heads up on the Vandoren one Tom, at £60 it must be a bargain!
YC
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I've got a new line of business. Organic Hemp String Ligatures, made from specially selected, acoustically stable 'coarse hair' string. Best of all, they come supplied in a flexible, one metre length, so they can be used for all your saxes and clarinets of all dimensions. As an organic product, it comes supplied in a fetching unbleached brown paper packet. Unlike Vandoren, I don't seek to make excess profits, so each metre length is available at the bargain price of £19.99, delivered within the UK. Postages charges may apply for overseas.

Alternatively, for those seeking a sleeker look than the naturalistic organic string, I can supply neat, trimmed white cotton based string, a premium product for just £24.99, posted. Also supplied in a versatile 1m length. Admittedly it's not organic, but as long as you don't eat it there won't be any problems. Just wrap around the mouthpiece and reed, tie off with a neat bow and voila, a chic urban look. As this is not organic, it comes supplied in a sleek plastic zip lock bag, complete with space for you to mark the date of aquisition and and special comments, or even, as wittily suggested on the packet, a name for your very special new lig.

Jon
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
What breathtaking entrepreneurial vision, Jon! That should surely get you some backing from the Dragons.
YC
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Very enterprising Jon, but wouldn't it be better if de-lacquered and cryogenically treated and where is the gift packaging at a mere £9-99p?.
 

MartinL

Member
Messages
366
I've got a new line of business. Organic Hemp String Ligatures, made from specially selected, acoustically stable 'coarse hair' string. Best of all, they come supplied in a flexible, one metre length, so they can be used for all your saxes and clarinets of all dimensions. As an organic product, it comes supplied in a fetching unbleached brown paper packet. Unlike Vandoren, I don't seek to make excess profits, so each metre length is available at the bargain price of £19.99, delivered within the UK. Postages charges may apply for overseas.


Jon
Have you thought of lengths of horse hair as used on violin bows for that truly organic flavour :)
 

SaxinNZ

Member
Messages
76
I've got a new line of business. Organic Hemp String Ligatures, made from specially selected, acoustically stable 'coarse hair' string. Best of all, they come supplied in a flexible, one metre length, so they can be used for all your saxes and clarinets of all dimensions. As an organic product, it comes supplied in a fetching unbleached brown paper packet. Unlike Vandoren, I don't seek to make excess profits, so each metre length is available at the bargain price of £19.99, delivered within the UK. Postages charges may apply for overseas.

Alternatively, for those seeking a sleeker look than the naturalistic organic string, I can supply neat, trimmed white cotton based string, a premium product for just £24.99, posted. Also supplied in a versatile 1m length. Admittedly it's not organic, but as long as you don't eat it there won't be any problems. Just wrap around the mouthpiece and reed, tie off with a neat bow and voila, a chic urban look. As this is not organic, it comes supplied in a sleek plastic zip lock bag, complete with space for you to mark the date of aquisition and and special comments, or even, as wittily suggested on the packet, a name for your very special new lig.

Jon
I've posted you a cheque for £200 for ten metres of the hemp string.... bargain. Should last me ages!:D
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I've posted you a cheque for £200 for ten metres of the hemp string.... bargain. Should last me ages!:D
There's a 10% discount for bulk purchases, so I'll mail you back £20 when your cheque arrives.....:)))
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Must thank Jon for helping me to understand yet another advanced physics concept, string theory.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Mouthpieces for German system clarinets have a a grooved area to give the string a decent grip. You can use a lig, but it's not done.... My sone moved from a metal to string lig recently. Made a big difference to his sound. I think the metal ligs stop the reed from vibrating cleanly, but the cords allow a little flex which helps the vibrations, but it's a personal feeling, no evidence.

I was looking at an original A Sax alto sax and a couple of other early french ones in the Markneukirchen musical instrument museum on Sunday. Wooden mouthpieces and string ligs....
 

Rogerb

Member
Messages
764
When I wanted to try a mouthpìece but had no suitable lig to hand, I have used a strong rubber band, looped/twisted a few times.
It works well ....holding the reed securely, but allowing it to vibrate quite freely .... however, it doesn't look very pretty!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MartinL

Member
Messages
366
I posted about the o rings in fun but since then I've tried using this set up a number of times and I am very surprised to find I like it. As Kev said, it allows the reed to vibrate, so i must obviously over tighten my metal lig. At least this little 'play' has taught me that
 
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom