Playing finger cymbals and dancing:D/ update on my life

Introducing my zills

ZOHRA AND ZIA (i named them zOHra-means blooming and ZiA- means ripening

Zohra and Zia

These fine instruments are called finger cymbals, zills in turkish, sagat or sill sill in arabic.

What are they?

Finger cymbals are handheld percussive instruments that middle eastern dancers play while dancing. They are very important in this art form, as these dancers werent only dancers but musicians as well! This is a good way to feel and drown yourself in the rhytm

 Finger cymbals today

Finger cymbals unfortuantely according to shimmygoddess website, is falling out of fashion in egypt which is a pity, as finger cymbals have a rich source of history. Whereas, in united states, a dancer’s ability is judged by her use of finger cymbals. In turkey, you would find most dancers very good with these instruments.

What finger cymbals taught me?

Well, if you want to learn how to concentrate or multi task, this is the best way of learning. Its not easy as it seems. Playing music with rhythm and dancing is no joke. I cant say i have any practise. In fact, i swear to my lord i bought these babies two days back and no one taught me to play. I looked up at some rhytmns over the net and practised walking first while playing. Lucky for me, i am able to play as i have an irritating way of unconciously wiggling my fingers while dancing!! Maybe thats what help me. It also helps me deal with emotional problems. I am able to just drown in the playing. Its quite challenging to see how many things u can do at the same time. As ive mentioned before, bellydancing is about moving different muscles at the same time…and to add zills with just another challenge.

Some zill rhythms

Karshlima 1
(double time)

1, triple beat, triple beat, triple beat, 1-2 (R, RLR, RLR, RLR, RL)
1, triple beat, triple beat, triple beat, 1-2
1, triple beat, triple beat, triple beat, 1-2
1, triple beat, triple beat, 1-2 (ending the phrase)

Karshlima 2
(half time, then full time on the final triple)

1, 2, 3, (3 slow half time) tri-ple-beat (3 full time)
1, 2, 3, (3 slow half time) tri-ple-beat (3 full time)
1, 2, 3, (3 slow half time) tri-ple-beat (3 full time)
1, 2, 3, 4

called “the dancer’s rhythm”

Dum Dum coffee shop, dum coffee shop, coffee (1, 2, 1-2-3, 1, 1-2-3, 1-2)
Dum Dum coffee shop, dum coffee shop, coffee
Dum Dum coffee shop, dum coffee shop, coffee
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (ending)


triple beat, triple beat, triple beat 1,2 (RLR, RLR, RLR, RL)
triple beat, triple beat, triple beat 1,2
triple beat, triple beat, triple beat 1,2
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (ending)


1, triple beat, triple beat, 1, 2
1, triple beat, 1, 2
1, triple beat, triple beat, triple beat, triple beat, triple beat, 1, 2

The rhythms i used?


It sounds like..

I can dance / i can dance/ i can really really dance

One way of practising is by saying this words and hitting your zills.

Right/left/right Right/left/right  right/left/right/left/right

Zills are worn on your middle finger and thumbs. Its painful if you jam your zills like crazy. Hitting on the side or sliding the zills pass each other producing a ringing sound. Hitting the zills slowly produces a muted sound. Zills are usually made of brass.


Well, today my sister flew to UK to pursue her masters. I began to embrace the different natures in the world during this ride of emotional roller coasters. I never understood my sister all my life. And she didnt either. But this trip, made a whole new difference. All my life, i didnt even know what my nature is. I am poles apart from my sister. I have finally realised, the best word that can ever suit me is ECCENTRIC. I am a little crazy to those who know me deeply. I have an obsessive nature, and you will find me dancing today, being a nun yesterday, and maybe even a cook tommrow.  I am crazy. When i was a kid, i used to dismantle radios and vcrs and explore what could be making it work.  And then when i grew a little bigger, i used to tape my voice on my mother’s tapes and pretend i am a newscaster. And then when i got whole of a video camera, i started remixing old songs with new footage. I would work hours at it. Creating or inventing some things. Then, my obsession became writing ghost stories which was quite famous in my primary school, some children actually wanted to read more. Then threw it away, and i became obsessed with stamps, then coins, then with cooking, then my “supposed finacee”, then dieting, then supernatural things, religion,then makeup and now im back to dancing. Dancing has always been my passion. Becos of the illusions bellydancing has. It is an on and off obsession.

And now my obsession with makeup is hanging out somewhere there. I hope i get back at it. I am too lazy to makeup my face. I guess i live to taste and enjoy life. And that is my nature. My sister cant understand my eccentric and mad ideas. Once i was obsessed with business. And until these obsessions last, i reach my level best at it and then i throw it away. This is me, and i have to accept that. A person’s nature cannot be changed. My sister is very practical minded, down to earth but isnt very emotional. Me being an emotional person, finds her scary. She finds me crazy. Its only now i realise, she hides her weak emotions. She isnt a bad person. Thats just her. And this is me.

Apart from all my mad ideas, people find me absolutely crazy when i want to settle down as a housewife after achieving some great stuff. Conventional idiots will not understand me. But family is no. 1. I want to establish myself as something and then be a good wife and a good mother and have great sex with my husband.

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