In Search of the ULTIMATE Saxophone Ligature – Better Sax

In Search of the ULTIMATE Saxophone Ligature

Ever wonder how a ligature or different kinds of ligatures can affect your saxophone sound?

In this video I go through a bunch of different ligatures and give you my honest unfiltered reaction to each one.

The other day I was trying out a bunch of different ligatures and while there is not a huge difference from one to the next in my experience, there are some subtle differences worth pointing out. Plus, I get asked all the time, what ligature should I buy, so I made this comparison video hoping it helps you make a good choice or perhaps realize you don’t need a new ligature after all.

Ligature Play-Testing

I’ve got about a dozen interesting ligatures that I’m going to play the same thing on and I put chapter markers in this video so you can jump around and compare them.

02:32​ Cheap 2 Screw Special
03:10​ Harrison (vintage)
03:48​ D’Addario H ligature
04:33​ Vandoren Optimum
05:41​ Ligaphone
06:39​ Bambu Hand-Woven
07:30​ Bambu Nova
08:08​ SYOS
08:57​ Jody Jazz Power Ring
09:58​ Theo Wanne Enlightened
11:03​ Marc Jean
11:38​ Peter Jessen
12:13​ BG Duo (Rose Gold)
13:21​ Rovner Versa X (config 1)
14:24​ Rovner Versa X (config 2)
15:41​ Rovner Van Gogh
16:20​ Yany Sixs

Let me know in the comments below if you recognize the alto player I lifted this line from. Extra credit if you can name the recording it comes from.

I’m playing everything on the new BetterSax Burnin’ mouthpiece.

As you listen, be sure to comment below if you notice any difference between the sound from the various ligatures or if they all sound exactly the same to you.

I’m playing on the same reed for each example and it stays in the exact same position on the mouthpiece.

I’m recording on a Beyerdynamic M160 ribbon mic which is a very nice choice for recording saxophone. I put a link to that in the description as well.

Want More?

Interested in more on ligatures? Check out “Why Ligatures Matter? It’s NOT How You Think.”

Also be sure to follow BetterSax on Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube to stay up to date with us for news, giveaways, and other saxophone tips and tricks.

About the Author

As the founder of Jay’s mission is to help developing saxophone players break away from traditional music learning methods and discover a more efficient, practical and fun way to become a Better Sax player. The BetterSax YouTube channel’s videos have been watched by millions and thousands of students have made meaningful progress on their instrument thanks to BetterSax courses.

Jay Metcalf


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