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Guide
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7

When was the last time you heard one of your students truly play an outstanding solo cymbal crash in your band room? Or, when was the last time you heard a student flawlessly place a quiet cymbal note in the right spot and execute it with perfection? And finally, when was last time you didn’t have to tell your students when to muffle and when not to muffle their cymbal crashes?

If you’ve answered any of those three questions with a “never,” or “rarely,” or a “once in a while,” then you’ve come to the right place to get some help. Zildjian’s Educational Guidebook to Superior Cymbal Performance in the Concert Percussion Setting is designed for the music educator at all levels of instruction. It is designed to help you, the music educator, properly teach cymbal techniques, concepts and to help your students develop a musical awareness that is of the highest caliber. You will learn shortcuts and phrases to communicate with your students and how to teach them to develop the highest level of artistic excellence in their cymbal performance. The guidebook is a valuable resource for educators teaching in middle and high schools as well as college teachers who might want to know a little bit more about cymbals.

In this guide you will find quotes from many of our Zildjian Educational Artists to help inspire you and your students to perform more musically and with effective cymbal sounds. Each chapter will also contain downloadable videos from our Director of Education and Orchestral Activities Keith Aleo. These instructional videos will give you the tools to become an expert in teaching cymbals in a wide variety of topics. These include the basic cymbal crash, tying a cymbal strap, description and performance of etudes and much more. Additionally, each chapter will contain a short unique and original cymbal etude that is downloadable in PDF format to help your students develop an enthusiasm for practicing cymbal techniques. Watching the video of these etudes performed will let you hear what they should sound like. After you’ve watched the video, students can play these etudes for you and you can evaluate them to see how they are doing in their cymbal playing development.

Overall, Zildjian is excited to provide music educators with an online resource to help you in your mission of student musical excellence in performance. Your students are important to you and we know that. They are also important to us and that’s why we’ve reached out with this guidebook.



Chapter 1

Sherry Rubins, University of
Texas, San Antonio

“The first step in making music with
cymbals is to remember that these are instruments with a very long and
proud history. Consider this with
every note you produce”

 


LESSON INFO:

When was the last time you heard one of your students truly play an outstanding solo cymbal crash in your band room? Or, when was the last time you heard a student flawlessly place a quiet cymbal note in the right spot and execute it with perfection? And finally, when was last time you didn’t have to tell your students when to muffle and when not to muffle their cymbal crashes?

If you’ve answered any of those three questions with a “never,” or “rarely,” or a “once in a while,” then you’ve come to the right place to get some help. Zildjian’s Educational Guidebook to Superior Cymbal Performance in the Concert Percussion Setting is designed for the music educator at all levels of instruction. It is designed to help you, the music educator, properly teach cymbal techniques, concepts and to help your students develop a musical awareness that is of the highest caliber. You will learn shortcuts and phrases to communicate with your students and how to teach them to develop the highest level of artistic excellence in their cymbal performance. The guidebook is a valuable resource for educators teaching in middle and high schools as well as college teachers who might want to know a little bit more about cymbals.

In this guide you will find quotes from many of our Zildjian Educational Artists to help inspire you and your students to perform more musically and with effective cymbal sounds. Each chapter will also contain downloadable videos from our Director of Education and Orchestral Activities Keith Aleo. These instructional videos will give you the tools to become an expert in teaching cymbals in a wide variety of topics. These include the basic cymbal crash, tying a cymbal strap, description and performance of etudes and much more. Additionally, each chapter will contain a short unique and original cymbal etude that is downloadable in PDF format to help your students develop an enthusiasm for practicing cymbal techniques. Watching the video of these etudes performed will let you hear what they should sound like. After you’ve watched the video, students can play these etudes for you and you can evaluate them to see how they are doing in their cymbal playing development.

Overall, Zildjian is excited to provide music educators with an online resource to help you in your mission of student musical excellence in performance. Your students are important to you and we know that. They are also important to us and that’s why we’ve reached out with this guidebook.

Cymbal Glossary
How to Tie a Cymbal Knot
Basic Cymbal Crash
Etude - “Long Tones

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Chapter 2

Will James, St. Louis
Symphony Orchestra
“I work on my soft crashes all the time.
To get the right color and sound for
any piece of music takes a lot of practice
and patience. But, all that work pays off
when you can create a perfect crash
in a performance.”

 


LESSON INFO:

The words SOFT and CYMBALS are words we often think of as antonyms! Two pieces of heavy metal in a students hands, brought together to make a soft and gentle sound, is something we only dream about. As educators, we have to understand the movement and positioning of cymbals to be able to teach soft cymbal playing to our students. This chapter will focus on how to bring those plates together with ease and how small motions and proper preparation are the major factors toward success. Oh, and don’t forget to breathe!

Playing Soft Etude
   
   

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Chapter 3

Michael Burritt, Eastman
School of Music
I believe that developing a student's enthusiasm toward cymbal playing is no different, or any less important, then developing their enthusiasm for marimba or snare drum.  Providing a sound concept
and artistic vision for these instruments is
key in developing the successful total
student percussionist!


LESSON INFO:

We usually think of cymbals as producing lush and full sounds. However, cymbals are sometimes used in an articulate and rhythmic context within the ensemble. Fast playing can be extremely difficult and take a huge amount of energy and strength. Learn the foundation to relaxation when playing repetitive notes.

Playing Reptitive Notes Etude
   
   

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Chapter 4

Jonathan Haas, American Symphony,
New York University and
Aspen Music Festival
“Think of your CYMBALS, as SYMBOLS… lampi e tuoni (lighting and thunder), mercury, swords clashing, heavens opening, the 5th ring of Dantes Inferno, anger, rejoice. Remember that composers often use symbolic compositional language to be portrayed by the cymbals…. Let your plates shine, intimidate, lead, color, shade, interrupt, interject, intertwine. Hurl them up, cast them down, scrape them together, caress them with a golden osculation, just try not to turn them… inside out!!”


LESSON INFO:

When playing cymbals, or any resonating percussion instrument, a rest doesn’t always mean to rest! When to muffle and when to let ring; that is the never ending question for percussionists at all levels. This chapter will focus on how to bring your percussion students to a place of “musical awareness” so they know when to muffle the cymbals and when to let them vibrate. You will learn how to teach them how to make musical decisions on their own. Also, you will learn the proper techniques in muffling cymbals.

Playing Muffling Etude
   
   

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Chapter 5

Andy Bliss, University of Tennessee
"Suspended cymbals have the unique
ability to add color, rhythm, and sustain
to a musical phrase – the art of playing
these instruments lies in the ability to
control how much of each element is present. Consider using thinner, smaller cymbals to increase clarity and response time, while reserving thicker cymbals for
rolls and moments requiring sustain."

 

 


LESSON INFO:

Suspended cymbals are one of the most colorful percussion instruments in the percussion section. Your students have the potential to create a wide variety of sounds from the diverse array of sticks and mallets they have to choose from as well as the cymbals they choose to use. This instrument, in the hands of a skilled student, can be a creative, dramatic and magical experience for them! This chapter will focus on proper technique, mallet choices and muffling approaches.

Suspended Cymbal Etude
   
   

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Chapter 6

James Campbell, University of Kentucky
“Cymbal playing can be a valuable learning experience for any student.  Aside from developing a consistent technique, it takes imagination and creativity to produce the correct sound. Artistic cymbal playing is an important part of any music education program.”


LESSON INFO:

Zildjian makes a variety of exotic and unusual cymbal sounds. This chapter will allow you to listen to these sounds and discover all the options that are out there for you to incorporate into your school program. Cymbals are sometimes all about adding that special color or unique sound to the ensemble, let’s discover what sounds you might fall in love with!

   
   

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Chapter 7
Jake Nissly, San Francisco Symphony
"Cymbals provide percussionists with the ultimate canvass for artistic display. The wide array of sounds on any given cymbal and the creation of custom cymbals for marching, drumset, and orchestral percussion allow aspiring percussionists the opportunity to develop their own well-rounded sound concept. I am always searching for new and different sounds on cymbals."

 

 

 


LESSON INFO:

“What cymbals should I buy?” is the question Zildjian is asked more than any other question by music educators. What size, model and sound should you be going for? What is the difference between medium heavy and medium light? In this chapter, you will get a “tour” of all the hand cymbal sounds Zildjian makes for the concert percussion setting. Learn the difference between the A. Zildjian and K. Zildjian sound and how you would incorporate that into your program. Listen to all the different models of hand cymbals Zildjian makes and understand that not only the size but the weight of a cymbal effects the pitch.

   Cymbal Buying Guide
   Band & Orchestral Pricelist

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There is a lot of other information about concert cymbal playing, but sometimes we don’t know where to look for it. Well, here you go, other books that can take you to the next level: 

- The Art of Playing Cymbals - Sam Denov

- The Art of Bass Drum and Cymbal Playing - 
  Anthony J. Cirone and Garwood Whaley

- Complimentary Percussion - Keith Aleo 

- Cymbalisms - Frank Epstein 

- Teaching Percussion - Gary Cook

- Technique of Playing Bass Drum, Cymbals 
  and Accessories by Al Payson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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