Think you don’t have rhythm? Think you can’t play finger cymbals while zilling? Well, I found my rhythm. You too can find your own natural rhythm.
Do you walk in a rather orderly way, you know, right, left, right, left? If so, you have rhythm. You just have to find it. Once found, you can dance, play finger cymbals and soon learn to play do the two together.
When I first started belly dancing, my son said that I had no rhythm. I sometimes even totally clapped along at the totally wrong time in a crowd. I kept reinforcing my lack of rhythm in my head and sure enough, I had a horrid time with rhythm.
One day, a favorite tune was playing and I noticed that I was tapping along with the music just fine.
From that day on, I started working on finding out where my natural rhythm was. I discovered that often I was trying to follow a teacher, a singer the music but when I just listened and didn’t try to so hard my fingers or feet would just automatically tap along.
As I became more aware, I realized that if I was trying hard to follow someone or following the music, that is exactly what is was happening, I was following! And just like when you are learning to drive, you have to consider a reaction time. If left to your own natural instinct, you will be on the beat, not following.
When I teach dance to someone who tells me that they have absolutely no rhythm. I often take them by the hand and ask them to walk with me. I have yet to find a person who doesn’t walk rhythmically. Then I put on some music with a strong beat and ask them to close their eyes and tap their feet or bounce their hips along with the music. When the body totally feels the music, it can feel the rhythm.
To begin to work on cymbals, try closing your eyes and tapping your hand. I bet you will feel the music.An additional very beginning exercise is rocking from one foot to the other tapping just the right cymbals. Always take a deep breath and allow your body to be in charge.
Progress to playing your cymbals, right, left, right cymbals (also known as a 1, 2, 3 rhythm), while rocking from foot to foot. If you let your body lead, you will automatically change weight on the downbeat. Soon, you wll find that you are able to take a step with each change of weight as you zil..
You can also practice dropping your hip as though you were tapping your foot while playing the 1, 2, 3 rhythm . Soon, you be able to add your arms, moving in a smooth, melodic fashion. Add new rhythms in the same manner If you ever lose the rhythm, just relax and let your inner rhythms take over. From there on out, it is just practice. You can become a great ziller.
Now, I can play finger cymbals while dancing. I found my rhythm.