I wouldn’t feel too stupid if I were you! The shoelace approach is a good ligature, but it’s hard to remove your reed and lots of work when you refit it all again. Pretty soon you have a fairly gross mould if you don’t get your reed off the mouthpiece. Far better to have a ligature that is *like* a shoelace but quicker and easier to get on and off the mouthpiece. The Silverstein ligature is one way to do it (I’ve got one, I like it, but I don’t think it is worth the asking price – all packaging and pseudo-science really). Maybe there is a cheaper, but convenient way?