The ligature on a Clarinet is critical to the ease and quality of sound production. This is because it directly holds and resonates with the reed on the mouthpiece. Here at Dawkes we stock a wide range of different ligatures which all give a different feel and response. Our expert team can help you find the best ligature for you and your set-up. We stock models for Eb, Bb, Bass and Alto Clarinet from top brands such as Rovner, Vandoren, BG, WoodStone, Rico, Silverstein, AK and more.
How to Buy
Our range of Clarinet ligatures are all available to buy online or in store. Each is available on 14-day approval so you can buy up to 3 at once, try them at home and return what you don’t want to keep for a refund. All orders received before 2pm are sent out that day (Mon-Fri) and you can browse and buy our entire range here on the website. Don’t forget you can use our 14-day approval period to compare various ligatures at home and choose your favourite. Our Maidenhead store has testing rooms you can book in advance. This allows you a spacious and comfortable room to try out a range of ligatures in. Our award-winning staff will also be on hand to help advise and show you different models.
How much do Clarinet ligatures cost?
Basic metal 2 screw clarinet ligatures such as the Windcraft Bb Clarinet ligature cost just a few pounds. There are then a range of upgrade ligatures from £15-£50 which can be made from different materials and have more nuanced designs to help the reed resonate freely and add quality to the tone. Some premium models can cost from £50-£200, these can be made of precious materials such as solid silver and will help compliment your tone production accordingly.
How to choose
The vast majority of ligatures we sell for Clarinet will fit their relevant mouthpiece. So, Bb Clarinet ligatures will fit Bb Clarinet mouthpieces. If you’re looking for a basic replacement for a lost or damaged ligature, then perhaps consider a simple 2 screw metal model.
If you’ve been playing a number of years and are looking to upgrade from a basic model we would recommend trying up to 3 ligatures back-to-back so you can choose the one which feels best for you. Our 14-day approval lets you buy the ligatures, try them at home and return what you don’t want to keep for a refund. Set a budget you are comfortable with and order 2-3 in that price range and give them a try. When you fit them to your mouthpiece, consider the ease of fit, how they affect the resonance and response and give them a good play test across the range of the instrument. You’re looking for a ligature which adds quality to the sound and is quick and reliable to use.
How tight should a ligature be?
The best advice here is to tighten it to ‘finger tightness’. The screws should be firmly tightened but without over-tightening. You don’t want the ligature to slip as it will displace the reed from the mouthpiece, but you also don’t want to throttle the reed from speaking by over-tightening the ligature.
Do Clarinet ligatures affect the sound?
This is a common question about clarinet ligatures, and the short answer is yes! If they made no difference, there would be no market for all the options that are available. We generally say that the metal ligatures can offer a vibrant and resonant sound, whereas the leather type ligatures tend to broaden and darken the sound. There are exceptions to this rule, and it may also depend on how bright your reed and mouthpiece set-up already is.
As well as the sound difference, we feel the biggest affect is on the response and resonance that the player feels when they play. This will then affect their musical performance and if they feel restricted or free to express themselves. As such, we highly recommend using our approval period to test a number of ligatures back-to-back and find your favourite. Our expert staff are on hand to help advise, just contact us for help if required.