by Angelica Nevarez
(Kirkland, WA, USA)
Vandoren Optimum and the shoelace method work for me. The shoelace method takes more time to secure, but produces such an open sound due to the entire reed being able to vibrate. Great for solo work/orchestra, or other cases where there is only one on a part. My only gripe is that it's easy to overblow.
The Vandoren is a great go-to for bigger ensemble work, in my opinion. Still produces a lush, but more focused sound.
I like the sound of a string ligature as well but I'm often too lazy to apply it to my mouthpiece and reed. The Optimum Ligatures are favorable in sound, too, but the metal ends up resting on my chin. I perform on a Peter Spriggs clarinet ligature that has an even feel, freeing sound, and a low profile (as to not touch my chin). Enjoy your time on clarinet!
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