Jump Call Changes

Simple Jump Changes

Jump Call Changes teach you bell control, listening and awareness of a bell's position in the row. Only when these skills are well developed can clean, accurate changes between rows be had. Jump Changes are often rung at weddings and for church services as they revolve around musical changes that the public recognise and like.

Simple Jump Changes requires you to jump between rounds and named, musical changes, e.g. Queens or Whittingtons. These changes are recognised across the country, but beware as there are one or two regional variations. You will need to know a small number of these named changes before you can ring jump changes. The most popular are:

  • Queens: 1 3 5 2 4 6
  • Tittums: 1 4 2 5 3 6
  • Whittingtons: 1 2 5 3 4 6
  • Kings: 5 3 1 2 4 6

» List of named changes

Changes are made on the conductor’s command. From rounds the conductor calls “Queens” or any other chosen musical row. At the next handstroke the bells must ring in the “Queens” sequence. Your aim is to make the change crisply and accurately at the following handstroke. When you first start ringing jump changes you might find that:

  • The handstroke change is ragged as people struggle with moving their bell more than one place.
  • The handstroke change is slow as people rely too much on ropesight to get their bell in the right place.
  • The change takes a few rows to settle down.

This is perfectly normal, and the conductor will give you feedback on how to improve.

Ringing your bell in the right place

Try to ring jump call changes off as many bells as you can, with the proviso that you need to be able to control the bell to be able to position it in the right place in the change. You need to be able to ring your bell at three different speeds. This change of speed takes place at one stroke (usually the handstroke).

How to change the speed of your bell

When you are called up you will need to hold up and ring slower than in rounds for one blow:

  • The conductor will call the change at handstroke.
  • Put more weight on the backstroke before the change is made, in order to get more energy into the rope.
  • At the handstroke in which the change is made, let the sally rise a little higher so that you ring after the bell you've moved over.

When you are are called down towards the front, you will need to ring quicker than in rounds for one blow:

  • The conductor will call the change at handstroke.
  • At the handstroke in which the change is made, check or slow the sally so the bell does not rise as high. Put more weight on the handstroke to prevent the next backstroke from dropping.

When leading and lying ring at the same speed as in rounds.

Advanced Jump Changes

The changes are called like conventional call changes (e.g. "5 to 4") but bells are called to move more than one place away from their position in a single call. On higher numbers, the move may be many places and the higher the number of bells the bigger the jumps. These changes evolved from a need to reduce the number of calls in sequences on higher numbers, which can take a very long time on 12 or 16.

The big jumps require the speed of your bell to be changed in exactly the same way as for simple call changes. Thinking of bell control and changing the speed of your bell:

  • The bell that is being asked to 'jump' needs to be held on the balance for some time before ringing after the nominated bell.
  • All the bells between the bell that is “jumping” towards the back of the row and the bell that it was originally following need to ring quicker for one blow as the row shifts down.

For example: in the change below, the call is "2 to 5", and the bells 3, 4 and 5 will need to ring quicker for one blow to allow 2 to take its place in fifth place.

1 2 3 4 5 6

1 3 4 5 2 6

Calling Jump Changes

As the conductor you need to call from rounds the to a named musical row, e.g. Queens. Make the call just after the treble pulls off a handstroke and the change takes effect at the next handstroke. As your band gets more accomplished you can add complexity and variety by:

  • Pick one musical row and alternate between that and rounds.
  • Repeat the exercise using other musical rows.
  • Increase the difficulty by jumping from one musical row to another e.g. Queens, Tittums, Whittingtons, and back to rounds.

Teaching tip

Share the sequences with everyone in the band before you ring. If people know what call is coming next they will spend less mental energy worrying whether the next call affects them, and can concentrate more on their striking.

» Advanced Jump Change sequences

Jump Changes on YouTube

There are very few examples of jump changes on YouTube. Here's one of jump changes being rung on twelve bells by the St. Martin's Guild, Birmingham. The sequence cycles from Rounds to Queens to Kings and back to Rounds in only 15 calls.

You may wish to download a listing of the jump changes to see the calling pattern used. The calling is not random!

» Download jump change sequence