How does a ligature affect the sound ?

Published : 1970-01-01 01:00:00
Categories : zProducts

Every BG Ligature provides a distinct sound for each situation and style of music

1.-Every BG Ligature provides a distinct sound for each situation and style of music

Musicians frequently ask: Can a ligature really influence the sound of my instrument?. Can a small metal or synthetic piece change the color, the projection or the sound?

The answer is YES. The sound is generated through the vibrations both of the mouthpiece and the reed, therefore the ligature is a key piece holding both together.

The vibrations between the mouthpiece, the ligature and the reed make the notes easier, cleaner and faster to articulate.

 The ligature helps the musician to articulate the notes.

The material (metal or synthetic), its density, plating, the point of pressure on reed and many other factors are all decisive when talking about the color of the sound and it’s projection.

It suffices to make a simple comparison: if we hit our leg with our hand, we will create a dampened sound, if we hit a table with our hand, we will create a cleaner-brighter sound.

The same thing happens when talking about the existing relation between the ligature and the sound that we are going to obtain. The leather ligature or synthetic leather provide a rounder sound while the metal ligature helps us obtain higher volume and projection in the sound.

These days musicians must have more than one ligature since they will need a different kind of ligature depending on their work or the situation they are in. It is not the same to perform in a small concert hall or in a big auditorium. The needs of a soloist are different than when performing in an ensemble, whether the style is jazz or classical. Every BG Ligature provides a distinct sound for each situation and style of music.

Choosing the ligature will depend on the sound that the musician desires, the music he is playing or the auditorium where the concert takes place.

BG has studied the acoustics and the behavior of the materials since 1985.

BG’s ligatures provide a balanced sound in all registers.

Today, all musicians need to have more than one ligature as every ligature satisfies specific needs.

2.- How to choose a ligature

 For a long time it was thought that the ligature was to maintain pressure against the mouthpiece. Nowadays, we know that this is false and that both the mouthpiece and the ligature slightly vibrate, having an important role in the creation, projection and color of the sound.

Each BG ligature provides a different sound for each moment. Therefore, the process of choosing the ligature is extremely important.

Try different BG ligature models. It is important to remember that the ligatures made out of synthetic leather are preferred when playing in small concert rooms, chamber music, bands and orchestra, etc..

On the other hand, metal ligatures are preferred when playing in big rooms, as a soloist, and during those times when you need more volume.

In addition, no matter the model, the presence of gold (plated gold) in the ligatures make the results even better.

All BG ligatures are handmade in France, under strict tolerances (weight, metal surface, design, etc ). All designs are registered.


 1. Play music that you know well with your own ligature first to create your sound reference in the room where you are testing.

2. Under the same conditions, change only one parameter or component at a time and test the new ligature for smoothness in transition between registers, consistent volume and its sound quality in the lower, middle, and upper ranges.

3. At the same time, listen for the subtle differences when playing pianissimo and fortissimo passages.

 4. Test how easily you can play staccato.

 5. If possible, it is always better to play test with another player who knows your regular sound and can assist you to appreciate the following 3 key points: a-) How you feel while playing b.-) what you hear when you play and c.-) what the audience hears.

 6. Try various ligature models. Different types of ligatures meet differing requirements.

Remember: “The best ligature is the one that fits you” - Franck Bichon.




5/ One ligature for each situation & style of music

Every musician must have several ligatures because every BG ligature provides a different sound for each situation and type of music.

In Fabric Ligatures, the presence of the metal on the base plate increases the brightness and the projection of the sound. With just a rubber base, the warm sound is strengthened. Each ligature satisfies specific needs.

 Metal ligatures are perfect for big concert halls and for soloists that need more sound. Gold plated provides a bigger response and a rounder sound. Fabric ligatures are recommended for small rooms or when looking for a more intimate sound. They are perfect for ensemble works.

It is recommended that the musician who normally uses metal ligatures changes to fabric ligatures when...

 - performing in smaller rooms

 - looking for a more intimate sound


It is recommended that the musician who normally uses fabric ligatures changes to metal ligatures when...

 - more sound is needed but with the same effort

- a brighter sound is required

 - projecting more is necessary

- performing in bigger rooms