3-3-7 and dance combinations - Finger Cymbal Patterns for Beginners, continued
(YouTube video)


Learning Easy Patterns on your Finger Cymbals

Simple Variations of the Basics

ZAGHAREET! magazine, Nov/Dec 2008
by Anthea Kawakib Poole  

Finger Cymbals PATTERNS for Beginners (part 3)

If any of the drills are really hard, just go to the previous article or video and start again more slowly.
Be patient with yourself and set a reachable goal: for instance, practice the first clip on Singles, Doubles, and Rolls for two weeks; if allís well then add the second clip on Triples for another couple of weeks - or whatever time frame you need to feel comfortable moving and playing at the same time. There is no need to rush!

Getting Fancy!

Have you noticed that there seems to be a great divide among dancers who use cymbals? It seems they either only use a couple of basic patterns (usually Triples and Rolls), or else are doing incredibly complex finger cymbal solos? At least thatís what Iíve seen on YouTube. There are many short, interesting cymbal patterns that arenít hard to learn or play, so DO add some spice to your cymbals, and donít bore your audience with only Triples or Rolls!

Figure 3, below, shows an easy pattern that simply combines Triples and Rolls - I call it the 3-3-7 pattern:

3-3-7 finger
            cymbal pattern

Notice the cymbals start before count 1.

Remember there are different ways to think of and to count these patterns:

In the video tutorial, I demonstrate both ways.

As before, I recommend trying this new pattern sitting down, while counting evenly like this: ďand a 1 a and a 2 a and a 3 a and a 4" - until you can count continuously and  ďdrop inĒ the cymbals in the right place.

If you did well with last issueís Triples, and the Rolls before that, then 3-3-7 shouldnít give you any trouble because youíre only adding ONE extra cymbal stroke! See the arrow in Figure 4, below; that one stroke is all that's different:

finger cymbals

On Your Feet

Once youíre counting it and playing it correctly stand up and shift your weight on the NUMBERS only. I often have students just SAY the cymbal pattern (without playing) while doing the body movement, then adding the cymbals... saying it out loud first will help get the pattern into your body-mind.

After successful weight changes on the beat, try traveling Forward and Back, or around in a circle, with your arms in a dance position with your ribs lifted, and shoulders down. DO NOT flip your hands at all when you play, thatís an annoying distraction for anyone watching you. Kind of like visual hiccoughs!

Any questions or comments you have about playing finger cymbals? Iím happy to help.

Here is a Video Tutorial on playing 3-3-7 and dancing at the same time

Next: Learn the 2-2-5, another easy pattern to play.