Foundation Skills

Introducing the open handstroke lead

All applications have a feature where you can press a key or tap the screen to make one of the bells sound, and the computer rings the other bells. This allows the new ringer to practise the open handstroke lead at home, even on a tablet or smartphone.

Of course, you have to be able to pick out your bell to hear how accurate your striking is, but most of the software packages have the ability to show the results graphically afterwards. They can even show the results graphically as you ring in each row, and there are also features to practise listening to uneven ringing to learn to detect the errors.

Back in the tower, the handstroke lead is a difficult concept to grasp and it can take a lot of practice. A simulator is an ideal way of practising as the other members of the band will be in the right place all the time and will not get bored.

Call Changes

Practising some simple call changes, allows the new ringer to practise changing speed at handstroke.

All the applications have the facility to ring call changes, although you may need to set some options such as whether the call changes are called up, down or by place. The help file will explain how to do this.

To start with, the call changes will need to be called occasionally to allow time for the pupil to understand how and when to pull and to settle down afterwards, but as the change between one row and the next becomes cleaner the frequency of the call changes can be increased.

In method ringing changes are also made at backstroke, so it is necessary to practise this next. All applications have an option to practise changing at backstroke. This gives the pupil the chance of getting the feel of how much and when to pull.

The software applications can be used on their own, without input from a sensor, to help the pupil understand the theory of call changes and work out which bell to follow next and to experiment on the effect of different calls. This is useful practice prior to the pupil calling some call changes.

Kaleidoscope places and dodges

Kaleidoscope is a useful step between call changes and methods. Long and short places can be practised at handstroke and backstroke as in call changes, and dodging introduces changing speed continually at handstroke and backstroke. When practising dodging it is important to practise both the ‘up’ dodge and the ‘down’ dodge as the amount the pupil needs to pull and when are completely different.

Adjusting the speed of the bell

In addition to Kaleidoscope places and dodges, if your pupil is experiencing difficulties, you can also adjust the speed of the rounds to give the pupil the feel of ringing at each of the three different speeds and how much they need to take in or let out rope. For example, normal rounds speed would be around three hours peal speed, but changing the peal speed to 2 hours 30 minutes would simulate the speed of hunting down. Similarly, changing the peal speed to 3 hours 30 minutes would simulate the speed of hunting up.


Foundation Skills

Ringing with others; able to dodge, make places, and ring simple call changes.

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