About Woodwind Accessories
There are many accessories for woodwind instruments like the clarinet saxophone and flute. Certain accessories can enhance an instrument's tone while others can improve its playability. One such accessory is called a ligature which connects the mouthpiece to the reed. Older ligatures were made of twine wrapped around the reed but ligatures today are made of metal with nickel silver or gold plating. Some ligatures can even be adjusted to improve an instrument's sound but the most significant accessory in shaping a woodwind instrument's tone is the mouthpiece. Mouthpieces are made from materials like wood metal hard rubber plastic and sometimes glass. Players who prefer a bright sound go with metal mouthpieces while performers who aim for a darker tone favor hard rubber. Professional woodwind musicians often go with mouthpieces from Selmer Paris who are known worldwide for their meticulous craftsmanship and use of high-quality materials.
Another essential woodwind part is the reed. Single reeds are placed on clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces while double reeds are used on instruments like the oboe and English horn. Most reeds are crafted from giant cane or a synthetic material. Reeds come in strengths from 1 to 5 (ranging from soft to hard). The softer the reed the easier it is to play; most beginners go with reeds in the 1 to 2 ½ range. It's more difficult to correct the pitch with a harder reed but the payoff is a fuller sound. Respected manufacturers like Vandoren specialize in reeds of all strengths. Ligatures mouthpieces and reeds are all important woodwind accessories which is why every woodwind musician should visit a repair shop to have them installed.