How to replace the elastic in your finger cymbals

Have you just started playing with zills and found out that they are wobling from side to side and turning around your fingers? That’s probably because most finger cymbals / zills came with a very thin cheap elastic which doesn’t hold them in place while dancing. You should replace the elastic as soon as possible with a good quality one.

There are two types of finger cymbals or zills for belly dancers; with one hole and with two holes. If you have a choice, get the ones with two holes. They are much easier to put the elastic through and you will have a better control over them.

One option is to push a new elastic through the hole and secure it with a safety pin. I don’t find this solution particularly good because even little safety pins are in a way and the elastic ends may muffle the sound. It’s a good emergency solution, though. The best option is to sew the elastic so that it fits your fingers just right.

Correctly sewn finger cymbals are not wobly, do not turn around your fingers and don’t make your fingers go blue.

Here is what you need to replace the elastic in your finger cymbals:

  • a good quality wide elastic – as wide as you can possible push through the hole in your zill (mine is 2cm, 0.79in wide)
  • pins
  • a needle
  • thread
  • scissors
  • a set of finger cymbals / zills (I was looking for some student quality zills and Percussion Plus Finger Cymbals on I ordered several sets on Amazon and they are surprisingly good quality for the price

Replacing the elastic in your finger cymbals step by step


Investing about an hour of your time into sewing your finger cymbals will definitely pay off. The wide elastic provides comfort and control over your intrument and makes the play much easier. Remember to replace the elastics regularly, whenever they get stretched.


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