I have an admission to make. I love playing finger cymbals (zills, sagat, hellspawn carried on the fingers, whatever you wish to call them). Welcome to the first in a series of posts where we will take a look at what they can do.
As a dancer and my body is a visualisation of what the musicians are playing. Or more correctly, how I am interpreting what I hear them playing. By playing finger cymbals with my movements, I am also becoming a part of the band – part of the percussion section. What I play should complement what the band is playing and fit in with the emotional content of the music (aka the feeling).
This is my main set. This travels everywhere with me – even if I have no need of cymbals. It contains everything I need. Mufflers to keep the peace with my neighbours, earplugs for when I’m drilling movements in class in a room full of cymbals (hearing protection is important!), and of course a bag to hold it all together – bought at the M&M shop in Times Square NYC by my two kids (who felt mumma needed a green M&M bag!).
I have several other pairs as well. A large pair of cymbals that are based on the size musicians use that can feel like you are wearing dinner plates when you first put them on. Two sets of Turkish style zills (one medium sized, one small), and a delicate sounding medium-small pair of cymbals that are perfect for enclosed spaces where you want to tinker not clatter.
But that’s all for this blog post. There’s so much to talk about with cymbals. Keep an eye out for more, including a history lesson and working out what to play. Until next week, keep sparkly.