Although we are unable to ring in our towers at present, many people have been busy behind the scenes developing various ways to practise ringing at home, and there havebeen some very rapid advances.
The basic principles are the same, whether you are using Abel, which is perhaps the most popular computer application, Virtual Belfry or Beltower; or mobile apps such as Methodology or Mobel (which is now available on iPhone or Android).
There are also new web apps Ringing Room and Handbell Stadium, based on the latest remote gaming technology, where several people can practise ringing together over the Internet, and hold virtual practices, which can be great fun.
If you’re not used to these, they may at first seem daunting. However, ART has put together a series of YouTube videos, starting from first principles, breaking down the myths, and introducing things in easily manageable steps. There are also some tips, such as slowing the ringing down to start with, or using the ‘wait for me’ command in Mobel and Beltower. The videos cover a number of topics including:
The videos also contain exercises which you can try at home. Using the exercises will prepare your newer ringer for ringing with others in Ringing Room.
Listening skills are something that many people have difficulty with, and the videos will not only help your band make good use of the current lockdown by developing their theoretical knowledge and skills, but they will also be of tremendous use in helping us teach the many new ringers that we hope to recruit once regular ringing resumes.
Even if some of your ringers do not aspire to ringing methods, ringing really well struck call changes is a very worthwhile end in itself. It is something that not only members of the general public, but also ringers in the black zone, the pinnacle of method ringing achievement, also appreciate.
You can find these videos on the ART YouTube Channel. They have been collected into a handy playlist Abel Ringing Simulator.
Abel (for windows) and Mabel (for Apple) can be purchased from http:// www.abelsim.co.uk/
Mobel is available in the App Stores for both Android and iOS devices.
Ringing Room can be accessed free at https://ringingroom.com/