Getting back up to speed

We'll all be a bit rusty when ringing restarts – physically, but also mentally. Improvement will come with practice, but you can accelerate that improvement by doing some homework and practice at home beforehand:

  • Improving your listening skills
  • Revising ringing theory and methods
  • Developing your ropesight
  • Reminding yourself about good bell handling

On this page, practice using a ringing simulator is referring to using the simulator software on you home computer, not in the tower with a tied bell or dumbbell, although you might be able to do that when ringing resumes.

Listening skills

Improving your listening skills is definitely something you can do at home. Decoupling and practising the two foundation skills of listening and bell control will translate into better striking in the tower. There are some excellent resources available to help you:

  • The Tadhill resources are great, but they come with a health warning – the activities can be highly addictive!
  • Come on! Listen to it! is a Whiting Society book and DVD combination, designed to assist both the beginner or more experienced ringer facing the challenge of picking out their own bell in change ringing.
  • The Central Council has its own Listening to Ringing CD which contains samples of almost perfect ringing with controlled errors designed to develop your listening skills.

Improving your listening skills seems to have been a popular webinar topic during lockdown. These YouTube videos talk you through some graded listening exercises, as well as how to use the Tadhill resources.

Listening skills

Towards better striking

Tadhill resources

Using a ringing simulator

If you have bought one of the online ringing simulators, here's a series of short videos explaining how to use them to improve your listening and striking.

Help, I can't hear my bell!

Covering by listening

How accurate is my striking

Ringing theory

Revising the basics

If you were at the foundation skills or early method ringing stage before the pandemic, then now might be a good time to revise some ringing theory. The more secure you are in the theory the more brain space you will have to fine-tune your bell control when you get back into the tower.

  • The ART online learning portal has an expanding list of courses, including one all about call changes. It will give you a good all round knowledge of everything to do with call changes, from understanding what they are, to ringing and calling them.
  • If you like to learn by reading, then A Ringer's Guide to Learning the Ropes might be for you. It's a step-by-step guide, taking you from bell handling to ringing Plain Bob Minor inside, following the Learning the Ropes learning scheme.

Other publications and online resources can be found by searching the Internet.

Revising methods

If you'd just started learning methods when ringing stopped, then you might need to take some time to remind yourself of them. Technology can help, letting you test your learning before ringing it, using either your smartphone or one of the ringing simulator software packages.


You'd think that ropesight could only be developed in the tower, however you can develop ropesight skills at home too. Here's how:

  • Develop your ropesight skills at home – using a ringing simulator Chris de Cordova explains how or watch this short YouTube video.
  • From rounds to ropesighta book and DVD combination intended for those new to change ringing, it aims to teach ropesight in easy stages. The DVD contains over 110 minutes of video, split between numerous explanatory scenes and a lot of exercises for the ringer.

Bell handling

Bell control can only be learnt in the tower, however there are resources available to remind you of what good ringing looks like and the ways that it can go wrong.

  • A Ringer's Guide to Learning the Ropes is a step-by-step guide for ringers, from bell handling through to ringing Plain Bob Minor inside.
  • The Raising and Lowering DVD covers the theory and practice from raising and lowering a single bell in peal through to leading up and down.
  • The Bell Handling DVD covers some of the theory of learning a skilled activity, gives examples of proficient bell handling, demonstrates many of the common handling problems learners have and explains how to correct them.

There are also a number of YouTube videos explaining and demonstrating various aspects of ringing a bell.

How to ring big bells

Handstroke grip and pull

Chiming a bell

Ringing a bell up

Ringing a bell down

Ringing up in peal


For those of you missing ringing, a number of ringing societies have been organising and recording webinars on a wide range of ringing-related subjects. Why not have a look and see if there's something of interest?