A Short And Easy Finger Cymbal "Zill" Solo You Can Learn

Oriental Belly Dance with Finger Cymbals (no music)

Free Video PLAYLIST: how to play Finger Cymbals for Beginners
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Zaghareet! Magazine (Sep/Oct 2010)
by Anthea (Kawakib)

The Finger Cymbal Dance Challenge!

   Ready to use what youíve been learning through this 2-year series of articles (and video clips)? What better way than a Finger Cymbal Solo!
   Iím putting a video clip online of a short and easy Finger Cymbal choreography, step-by-step but without playing the cymbals. Iíll tell you what the cymbal patterns are for each sequence in this article, but I wonít play them online, so your challenge is to fit them correctly onto the dance. All the patterns are ones weíve already gone over in the previous articles (the articles are all on my website, the video clips are on my youtube channel).

   The way to figure out how to play the patterns is by counting correctly. Every dancer needs to be able to do this, and thatís the reason behind this challenge. Just pay attention to the TIMING of the dance steps, and count by their tempo. From there you should be able to place the cymbal patterns onto the steps. Itíll be great fun!        
   Feel free to perform this choreography (please include credit if you can). If youíre able to upload a clip of yourself performing this dance (even at home) Iíll be happy to provide feedback if you want me to, just let me know.

Finger Cymbal Solo choreography

The rhythm is a medium tempo 4/4. 80 beats per minute (bpm) is a good tempo to start with (thatís about the tempo of the video clip); when youíre comfortable, you can adjust upward to maybe 104 bpm or even 108 bpm. See www.metronomeonline.com
In each numbered sequence Iíll note whether the pattern starts ON the beat, or BEFORE the beat with the ďArabic ChainĒ  +a)

#1 (ON). Entrance - this is where you set your tempo for the rest of the dance*. Use at least 2 measures (8 counts) - or more - to enter your performance space. The cymbal pattern for your entrance is DOUBLES.

#2 (ON). The next 4 measures (16 counts) uses ROLLS that stop on ct. 4 of each measure.

#3 (BEFORE). 1 measure of 7 - 7 (this is just like the ď7" from your 3-3-7 pattern, without the ď3"s)

#4 (BEFORE). 1 measure: 3 - clap, 3 - clap

- Repeat the two previous measures (sequences #3 and 4); that makes a 16-count sequence.

#5a (ON). 1 measure: 5 - 5
#5b (ON). 1 measure: 5 - 3 - clap clap

- Repeat the two previous measures (#5a & 5b) to make a total of 16 counts.

#6 (ON). 1 measure: clap clap - 3 - 3
- Repeat the above measure 3 more times to make a total of 16 counts (4 measures). This is the most challenging combination so Iíll give you a hint on timing: the claps are on beledi accents, but the choreography is not, itís on a ďstraight 4/4" that is, regular timing. Since it is a rather challenging movement, the video clip offers both easy and advanced choices.

#7 (ON). 1 measure: beledi pattern.

#8 (ON). 1 measure: ROLLS until count 4 (as in sequence #2)

- Repeat the above 2 measures (#7 and #8) to make a total of 16 counts.

#9 (ON). 1 measure: Triplets (stopping on count 4, like sequence #8, above)

#10 (ON). 1 measure: Flip - clap - Flip - clap

- Repeat the above 2 measures (#9 and #10) to make a total of 16 counts.

#11 (ON). 1 measure: 1 - Flip - 1 - Flip - Double (Wow! I have to give you a hint: the first flip ends on the beat, the second flip starts on the beat).

Sequence #11 is the last sequence - the Ending - of the dance. Repeat the above measure (#11) four times total, but STOP on the 3rd count of the 4th measure (4th repeat) with a Clap (by both hands). That will be count 15. Itís just a nice place to stop, rhythmically speaking!

*When you perform this and have a lot of adrenaline flowing, beware of walking onstage too fast. Before you begin, hear a slow ďbelediĒ rhythm in your head, and start counting from that tempo so you wonít begin dancing and playing too fast. After all, YOU are setting the tempo since thereís no music to follow.

Best Way To Do This Challenge

   I think a good way to decipher this dance puzzle is to learn one dance sequence at a time by following me in the video clip; then when youíre confident of the steps, sit down and watch me dance it online while you try the cymbal patterns. Then try them together yourself.

   Learning the dance wonít be as hard as you might think, the transitions between sequences are logical and fit well from one to the next. Little by little you can put the dance together - adding the cymbals (and even skip the harder ones if you like). Itíll still be a unique choreography for your repertoire. Good luck!

The Choreography Notes are also here: http://www.kawakib.com/cymbaldance.html

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