Thursday, July 01, 2004

It Really Does Fix Everything...

After many years of service (going all the way back to college!), my old Vandoren alto ligature broke today. It's not necessarily broken for good, but the one remaining screw snapped off when I was tightening it. Even after the first screw stripped a long time ago, I still didn't replace the ligature, because the metal in it is so much better than in the ones they make now. I'll go ahead and get a new one eventually, but I'll probably try using the new screws in the old one first just to see how many more years I might be able to squeeze out of it.

But in the meantime, I needed something to play on today. The Rovner that I use on my jazz mouthpiece is too big, and I don't have any spares around the house. I also don't have enough rubber bands to try that particular jury-rig trick, and twist-ties are too small. There was only one possible answer...

Duct tape.

That's right, this trained professional performer/educator is playing on a ligature made of duct tape. So far, it actually works--it holds the reed fairly snugly, puts out a half-decent sound, and the mouthpiece cap even fits over top of it without sliding off. Sure, it's not as outrageous as the duct tape prom dress, and I'd never play it on a concert (me, a classical concert? Heh.), but it'll do in a pinch for now. Everyone who came in for lessons today was pretty amused, and three of them noted that it had to be true--duct tape really does fix everything. Halfling is hooking me up with a spare for the interim, so the tape won't actually have the chance to become one with the mouthpiece or anything.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: (a dialogue with an incoming sixth-grader during lessons)

KID: OK, I know B and A and G and C. What notes am I gonna learn next?
ME: The next thing you'll learn will be F and E.
KID: Wait...what is it called?
ME: The next notes are F and E...right here. *points to notes on page*
KID: Ooooooooohh. I thought you were saying there was a note called "Effin' E."
ME (horrified that the kid knew what that meant): No, no, I'd never talk that way during lessons. The two notes are F, and E. F....and.....E.

Out of the mouths of babes...

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