Alex Terrier has studied, performed and recorded with some of the greatest musicians both in Europe and the US. A demanded musician and acclaimed instructor, Alex shares his knowledge and thoughts with you. Read More

Review: Duo Ligature for soprano by BG France

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As an official BG France artist, I can encourage you to try and test their products and see if they help you to get the sound you want. Don’t forget: the sound starts with you, not the equipment! The equipment is there only to help you go in certain directions and make you feel comfortable.

Today I want to review the Duo ligature for soprano (the Duo ligature for alto fits the clarinet mouthpiece as well).

BG France makes ligatures either in metal or synthetic (it looks like leather). All their ligatures use one single screw and are all what we call “inverted ligature”. That means the screw is on the top side of the mouthpiece which spreads the pressure evenly around the mouthpiece. When the screw is on the reed, the pressure is mostly on the reed and can absorb vibrations. 

Also all the BG ligatures use two rails that pressure on each side of the reed to hold it tight and flat on the table.

The main feature of the Duo ligature is that the contact between the ligature and the mouthpiece is reduced to a minimum. The more contact there is, the more it will absorb vibrations and dampen the sound. With the Duo, there are 4 points of contact with the mouthpiece.

In this video I am using a soprano Keilwerth SX90, a Lebayle Mouthpiece  (LR chamber, opening 8*), with a Jazz Select 3 soft reed. Obviously when you want to compare ligatures you want to use the exact same set up with each model.

Here are a few examples of what you should ask yourself when trying a ligature:

– Is the sound brighter or darker?

– Is the sound more focus, or more spread out?

– Is the sound colder or warmer?

– Has the resistance of the reed changed?

– Has the response of the reed changed?

– How is the staccato?

– Is the sound even in all register? 

– Which ligature makes me feel more comfortable?


My observations:

With the Silver ligature my sound gets brighter, lighter and clear. The articulation is easy, the reed responses well but I lost some resistance, which makes the high register more difficult to support. 

With the Gold lacquered the sound is a bit bigger but I felt I lost some of the edge I had with the Silver. However I felt more comfortable in the high register.

The Gold plated gives me a warm and full sound, I feel the bottom of the sound is more present and the high register is nice and singing. 

The Rose Gold is kind of in the middle between the Silver and the Gold. I have a bit more edge than with the Gold but the sound is not as full and big.


I would like to know your thoughts in the comment section. Tell me what ligature you are using and if you have tried other models how it impacted the sound.

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  • Bird48
    Bird48 Says

    Hi Alex, great tutorial … my new Rovner platinum P-1RL for my alto uses the same double railing system as the metal BG, ie. very little of the ligature makes contact with the reed. Prior to purchasing my Rovner lig from the U.S. (which by the way was expensive after the exchange rate and postage to Australia, AUS $180………ouch! ) I was using a Lucien ligature – the difference the Rovner made is incredible across the spectrum of my alto. Had I’d been aware of BG ligatures (prior to purchasing my Rovner) i would have looked into the Gold plated BG lig which you demonstrated so well…never mind…such is life. Incidentally, what’s the name of the etude you played – i’ve heard it many years ao but have forgotten its name…it’s a Bach etude……right? Enough said, thanks for your time and advice, Alex…always appreciated !!

    • Yes ligatures can have a dramatic impact so it’s a good idea to investigate and try different designs to see what responds best to your needs.
      Glad you’re happy with the Rovner, I’ve never tried it, we’ll do some test together when I come to Australia 😉

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