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Thread: Zills Drills

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greek Bonfire View Post
    Michelle Joyce has a video called Killer Ziller, and she uses some combinations with zilling drills. Cory Zamora also has Beginning Bellydance and Intermediate Bellydance where she teaches combinations with zills. In fact, in both of Cory's videos, she uses zills the entire time, both for practice and also for dancing.
    Of the dvd trailers I viewed (for zills dvd's in both the sticky thread as well as in this point), the Michelle Joyce title seems to attract me w/the style of teaching (showing numbers and fingers). Can you provide any additional information on this dvd?

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    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Michelle uses the Jamila Salimpour format (the numeric format.) It's a good dvd, but doesn't really do dance drills with very many patterns.

    If you like the numeric format, definitely get Jamila's CD. Alternately, Suhaila's online Folkloric Fusion and Jamila format classes drill this kind of thing endlessly.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    Michelle uses the Jamila Salimpour format (the numeric format.) It's a good dvd, but doesn't really do dance drills with very many patterns.

    If you like the numeric format, definitely get Jamila's CD. Alternately, Suhaila's online Folkloric Fusion and Jamila format classes drill this kind of thing endlessly.
    Are the Jamila format classes you're referring to the online courses? I'm not familiar with these...trying to water down what I can focus on first rather than buying a bunch of dvd's/cd's, then using only one or two. On the other hand, your opinion on the online classes (if this is what you were referring to), is very much appreciated!

    Feeling a bit overwhelmed right now, and everyone seems to have differing opinions. I do like the numeric format, as that's how my first teacher began instruction...and as a scientist I tend to find that comes more naturally than "dum, tek..." or "rlR, rlr, rlR,..."

    BTW: I've searched for the Jamila Salimpour cd online, and can find an expensive instructional manual, but am not immediately seeing a cd for zills. Can someone kindly provide a more specific title so I can look this up and purchase? TIA!
    Last edited by astro_girl; 04-16-2011 at 06:07 PM.

  4. #14
    Member Taslin's Avatar
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    I have Michelle Joyce's Killer Ziller dvd. She does teach both ways to learn-Im R L partial, it makes better sense to me due to how my brain works,lol. She has you tap the patterns out on your tummy first to get the rythm "in" to your body.

    I unfortunately have that part of the CD on hold, as my crappy first pair of zills were non adjustable and were cutting off my circulation. Im waiting for zill attempt #2 to arrive.

    I LOVE that DVD by the way. There is SO much quality instruction time on there. Very solid DVD.
    Last edited by Taslin; 04-20-2011 at 12:20 AM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by astro_girl View Post
    Are the Jamila format classes you're referring to the online courses? I'm not familiar with these...
    Yes - sorry, I should have been more specific. The Jamila format classes and the Folkloric Fusion classes both drill finger cymbals extensively. She offers a free 3-day trial, if you want to check them out

    Feeling a bit overwhelmed right now, and everyone seems to have differing opinions. I do like the numeric format, as that's how my first teacher began instruction...and as a scientist I tend to find that comes more naturally than "dum, tek..." or "rlR, rlr, rlR,..."
    The numeric format is not preferred by a lot of musicians, but it's actually my favorite because in my mind it makes a lot of sense. But I tend to "hear" the drum patterns translated into numbers. For DUM and Tek, it's 1 or dominant hand. For Ka, it's 2 or non-dominant hand.

    I actually teach "creative cymbals" which is where I encourage students to play with the melody, or with nursery rhymes, or basically to HEAR rhythms of the cymbals without tying them to patterns or drum rhythms.


    BTW: I've searched for the Jamila Salimpour cd online, and can find an expensive instructional manual, but am not immediately seeing a cd for zills. Can someone kindly provide a more specific title so I can look this up and purchase? TIA!

    You can download the mp3 tracks here:
    Bellydancing Music, Belly Dancing Music, MP3's-Suhaila's Digital Store :: Playing Finger Cymbals with Jamila (Full Album) ::

    or buy the physical CD here:
    Playing Finger Cymbals with Jamila CD

    And here is the downloadable version of the manual:
    Finger Cymbal Manual Download

    it's good in that it has the musical notation for the pattern as well as the numerical notation.

  6. #16
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taslin View Post
    I unfortunately have that part of the CD on hold, as my crappy first pair of zills were non adjustable and were cutting off my circulation. Im waiting for zill attempt #2 to arrive.
    I'm really confused. Why didn't you just cut off the too-tight elastic and sew on looser elastic from the fabric store? Did you buy your first zill set second-hand from someone with super-slender fingers?

    It's a neat idea to have slider-adjustable zill loops, but I've never actually seen such a thing. All the zills I've seen were adjusted by the dancer to fit the dancer (using a needle and thread - you can use safety pins to take up the slack in a pinch, though).

  7. #17
    Member Taslin's Avatar
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    ^^nope didn't buy second hand, got them off the internet for like $5 and they sucked. The zills weren't good, not worth the effort to magyver the elastic. I couldnt anyways the elastic was circular...hard to explain. So i trashed them and ordered some less cheap ones that had good reviews and stated "adjustable elastic". The ones i order have *flat wide elastic that i could cut and sew.*

    The ones i threw away were too cheap and the elastic wasnt flat, it was rounded-think thick spaghetti strap. Non sewable.

    so i had a crappy zill experience thanks to my cheapness.

    Thanks for the advice on how to customize them w/the pins and whatnot.
    Last edited by Taslin; 04-20-2011 at 06:28 AM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by astro_girl View Post
    Can someone recommend some good audio and/or video-based lessons for zills combos? We don't practice them in every class, and when I get home to do so, I don't feel I'm very efficient at it. I'd like to find more at-home "direct instruction" that will allow me to learn as well as practice.

    TIA!
    Fat Chance Belly Dance & Helm have an interactive CD Raqset al Sajat which contains a number of zill rythems and is excellent. Also there is a DVD available through World Dance New York, unfortunately I can't find mine to give you the name but if you look up the catalogue on the World Dance New York website you should find it. Hope this helps.

  9. #19
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    Thanks for the posts, everyone!

    I did end up finding and purchasing both downloadable .mp3 Jamila cd and manual. I do these in the car when waiting to pick up my DD1 from school, and so far nobody can tell where the strange racket's coming from in the parking lot.

    I just received the zills on fire dvd yesterday after purchasing from amazon, and hope to break that out today. Can't wait. I am aware of not inundating myself w/too many "tools" because in the past I've learned this can backfire and I don't do any of them since I can't decide which to tackle first (ha!). So far, so good...I've used the zills for a few hours each day this week.

    And...I had some technical problems w/ordering the downloadable files from Suhaila's website, but received prompt feedback from a CSR who automatically started for me a 3 day class trial (I had asked a question about these), so I've been avoiding housework for the past day and a half to try and take advantage of watching both the Folkloric Fusion (Suhaila) and Jamila classes.

    Just a point of curiosity, does anyone know if Jamila still dances any, or when she last did? I so wished I lived near their studio. In the few sessions I've practiced w/the online videos (gawk, never thought I"d hear myself say this), I feel much more comfortable w/movement and zilling, and am finding it easier to improvise different patterns w/various movements. I love the repetition...that's just what I need now to "set" my muscle memory. In an ideal world, I'd find someone to share an annual membership...it's dizzying how much there is online that is applicable (IMHO) to any form of BD, but it's just such a big up-front cost.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by astro_girl View Post
    Just a point of curiosity, does anyone know if Jamila still dances any, or when she last did?
    She no longer performs, and hasn't for some time, but she will still "cut the rug" during some open dance nights To be fair, she's either 80 or 81, so she's probably happy for retirement.

    I heard once that she quit dancing when Suhaila started her professional career, but I can't confirm that. Other sources say she quit performing professionally after she got married, which is more in line with what she herself has said.

    I so wished I lived near their studio. In the few sessions I've practiced w/the online videos (gawk, never thought I"d hear myself say this), I feel much more comfortable w/movement and zilling, and am finding it easier to improvise different patterns w/various movements.
    I know -- I feel like Jamila and Suhaila's instruction REALLY changed how I play, and certainly increased my comfort level with cymbals.


    In an ideal world, I'd find someone to share an annual membership...it's dizzying how much there is online that is applicable (IMHO) to any form of BD, but it's just such a big up-front cost.
    Well, I'm up for it ! -- I'd love it if maybe 3 or 4 of us could do this, to keep the costs down. I'm level 1 certified so I have access to the level 3 classes, so if you think you'd like to do the annual membership, PM me or let me know.

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