Posts Tagged zills

drills for zills

On your own?

you can still drill your way to zill skills

My regular students get to pull out their finger cymbals every week, and that’s one of the reasons they all learn to play. Playing cymbals isn’t something you can do just now and then and expect to get any better. You need regular practice to really get it!

To make it even easier for them, since we only get a few minutes in class, I filmed the dance combinations that include finger cymbals, for both slow and fast combos.

Several years ago my original partner Miramar created a choreography called “Zill Drill to Fulfill” using our tribal combinations to engage her own students and develop their skill at playing cymbals. More recently, the fantastic Nina Amaya’s troupe Aubergine also created a drill using these combinations to increase their own “zill skills” as well.

It’s true that these TOBD combinations featuring cymbals are the easiest way to help students learn to play. If you want to learn to dance with cymbals try the Slow Combos drill:

if you’re familiar with playing cymbals and just want to hone your strokes or increase your speed, follow the Fast Combo drill:

Try it yourself and see – follow-me drills are the easiest way to get better at playing finger cymbals!

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how NOT to be boring with your finger cymbals (zills)

One of my pet peeves when watching ATS or ITS groups perform is listening to boring finger cymbals. 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, please STOP! It doesn’t have to be this way!

I understand that playing cymbals is a difficult skill and that every tribal bellydance teacher can’t be expected to play well, let alone teach their students to play well.

So let me step in to help!

don't fear the Cymbals!

Playing cymbals has come easily to me and of course I want my students to be able to play well too, so I have always taught this skill in my belly dance classes. But, with one major difference from most teachers: I wait for a year or so before starting student with cymbals.

I taught students to play finger cymbals long before I began tribal improv bellydancing… it’s only been for the last ten years that I’ve used the medium of Tribal Odyssey bellydance as a tool for teaching cymbals. And in my opinion, it is much easier for students to learn this way – one more reason that I love ITS!

Here’s an article I wrote for Zaghareet! Magazine about how we’ve added finger cymbals to tribal improv:¬† article

We use only six finger cymbal patterns in our Tribal Odyssey format, yet this gives our performances a musical diversity that won’t bore our audience.

How many patterns does your group play? Would you like to learn to play better? I have many short how-to videos on youtube just for beginning finger cymbals: playlist

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