The Francois Louis ligature for clarinet is a dream to play on. Traditionally used for saxophones, it has a ‘jazz player’ stigma attached to it, which in some respects is mildly true. One of the main features of this ligature is its looks – much like the shell of a barrel with its posts and connecting metal wraps. This not only gives a unique appearance, but also a very clever design trait.
I usually play on a Vandoren Klassic, which is a string-based ligature. I like this because of its soft attack and decay of notes, as well as the very dark tone it produces. This combination of features make for a very easy tone-based (rather than projection-based) sound when playing that allows for smooth changing of notes.
Comparing this to the Francois Louis Ultimate Silver, there was, surprisingly, little difference to my preferred setup. If anything, it was actually a little easier with the beginning and ends of notes, which allows for very smooth transitions between notes. The tone produced was just as warm and centered – something I wasn’t expecting at all – as the Vandoren Klassic. I highly recommend this ligature for situations that demand tone quality of the darker variety.
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|This article was published on Sunday 10 May, 2009.|
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