Practising at home

Benefits of using a simulator

Practising and learning at home accelerates progress - see recruitment and retention resources to find out more.

Each of the simulator packages has the facility to press a key or tap the screen to make one of the bells sound whilst the computer rings the other bells. This allows you to:

  • Understand bell ringing theory
  • Develop your listening skills
  • Analyse your performance in the tower
  • Practise the blue lines to methods
  • Practise calling from Call Changes to methods

When ringing with real ringers in the tower these will often wait for you (the learner) to ring, but computers will carry on regardless. Simulators now include a "cooperative striking" feature where the software waits till you have pressed a key before ringing the other bells.

Understanding theory

The software applications can be used to help you understand the theory of new concepts such as Call Changes, work out which bell to follow next and to experiment with the effect of different calls.

As your ringing progresses, the screen diagrams help explain various elements of theory – blue line, order of work, starts, passing the treble, the grid and seeing what happens at calls. What you see on the screen and the experience you gain using the simulator software is a great way to understand what methods are all about.

Developing listening skills

To start with, many new ringers find that the ringing is too fast to hear their bell. Each of the applications allows the ringing to be slowed right down and as your skill improves the ringing speed can be increased. Listening skills can be practised at home, even on a tablet or smartphone.

In addition, the software packages have the ability to show the results of a piece of ringing graphically and there are also features to practise listening to uneven ringing in order to learn to detect the errors.

Analysing ringing to improve performance

Two newish retired learners had Abel on their own PC, so I would save and email their Abel files to them so they could play them back at home and study them. They were so taken with it they ordered their own dumbbell but carried on returning for my sessions for a while as well.

Practising methods

Practise ringing a plain course by pressing a key on the keyboard, ringing all inside bells. Once the plain course has been mastered you can then practise ringing touches. You can get used to saying go and stop and experiment with calls before trying to call touches for real. You can print out the touches you have called to see the effect of the calls.

How-to guides

ART has produced some handy guides to using simulator software at home.

» Learning with Abel at home

» Learning with Beltower at home

These guides show you how to set up your simulator software to practise a graduated set of exercises designed to improve your ringing.

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