From “Juniper” in the Netherlands.

Dear Mr. Friedland,

First of all, I like your internet site very much. I learned a lot of it and reading about the clarinet is a same pleasure as playing on it! (wrote it down whit a very large smile)

I’m a twenty-four year old woman and I’m playing the clarinet since I was eleven. I started to play in a smalI village in the Netherlands, the country where I live. I was always struggling with my sound, like every clarinettist seems to do. There where always “swizzles and sizzles” behind the sound. It was not very loud, but it wasn’t very beautiful. A year ago I turned over to other reeds. I did not play the vandorens (had played 2 1/2) anymore but started on rico royal reeds (strenght 3). I never had swizzles and sizzles anymore, what was a real pleasure. I turned over to another mouthpiece too. First I played the B 45 of vandoren, at the moment I playing the Selmer goldentone 3. I never had problems anymore with my tooth above, which I had since I had a broken teeth after a accidence. (yes the dentist had fixed it, but it never feels like your own) It’s easier to pruduce a open and centered tone and the whole register is easier to play with the selmer goldentone, but the tone isn’t very friendly. I have one when I try an vandoren reed, but the swizzles and sizzles return. When I start to play on a rico the swizzles are not there. Is it a reed problem or a embouchure problem? Is there a way to produce a more friendly and warm tone without swizzles and sizzles?

yours sincerely and thank you for the answer,

PS. I hope my English is to read without any problems, it’s long ago I wrote down some
Hello in the Netherlands, how nice it is to receive a letter from your country. I think it may be the first on this site.

The swizzles and sizzles as you say is most probably condensation which gathers under the reed as you play and vibrates as you play. It is most probably inaudible to anyone listening to you, however I can understand how it bothers you. It does me.
But, it also may be from a reed which is too resistant (hard) or even too soft, though I do not think so.
You have to remember to draw back in this condensation into your mouth.
It is a reed problem not an embouchure problem as far as I can tell.
Do not worry about your tooth. I am sure it looks fine.
I do not know the selmer goldentone mouthpiece, however if it solves one problem, that is good.
The best mouthpiece that I know is really the Van Doren M13, which I find is one of the more friendly mouthpieces I know.
There are many reeds out there, and the Rico Grand Concert is better.
The “legere”, a synthetic reed is recommended by many and used by many, including me.
Get a 2.75 (that is a strength and see if that helps. It is expensive, but lasts for a long time. Get two and alternate them.
best of good luck, sincerely,


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