Learning Easy Patterns on
your Finger Cymbals
Simple Variations of the
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!
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
Figure 3, below, shows an
easy pattern that simply combines Triples and Rolls - I call
it the 3-3-7 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.
- You can count them by
the beat, which would be: + a 1, + a 2, + 1 3 a +
- you can count the cymbal
strokes themselves like this: 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3 4
5 6 7
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:
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.