Review: Vandoren M|O Ligature

The short review:  I like it.

Being a newer product, I haven't seen many local stores keep these in stock.  And why should they?  Yet another ligature product from Vandoren, which comes in various colors and sizes, to take up shelf space.  The thing is, it is a good product, at a good price, and both the student/amateur and professional musician can benefit from.  I picked up the new M|O ligature back in June for the clarinet.  Prior to that, I was lucky enough to have an old Harrison ligature that was given to me, but had unfortunately gone the route of so many Harrison ligatures and snapped at a pressure point.

I do feel the ligature plays an important role in a player's overall sound.  While the ligature won't completely change your sound (they don't make jazz ligs or rock ligs), it certainly can open up the potential of the mouthpiece, and the player.  Ligatures come in various different shapes and sizes.  I generally think of them in 3 different classes.  Your basic, cheap models, usually metal and 2 screws or leather, inverted with 1 screw.  The $20-$40 class that have a bit more design and engineering to them.  And then the $40 and up class, which often look radically different from one another.  Beginners should be fine on what came with the instrument.  They haven't developed an embouchure yet that would be sensitive and can take advantage of what a good ligature has to offer.  Once you've got some years of playing under the belt is when you may demand more than your current set up can give you.  An upgraded ligature can free up vibrations of the reed, offering a better response, and can give the player more control over his or her sound.

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