Ringing on higher numbers

Ringing on eight bells

Even if you normally only ring on six bells, the occasional foray into ringing on eight or more bells is not only a welcome change, but also helps develop rhythm and a greater understanding of the three positions in minor and adds a new position:

  • The coursing position – hunting with one bell between you.
  • The 2/3 position – hunting with 3 bells between you.
  • The 3/4 position – hunting with 5 bells between you.
  • The opposites (or 4/5 position) – hunting with 7 bells between you.

On eight bells, the 2/3 position (with a gap of 3) becomes much clearer, on 10 bells the 3/4 position (with a gap of 5) becomes clearer etc.

When starting to ring on higher numbers you don't have to stick to the standard pairs. It is much easier to establish a rhythm if everyone rings coursing pairs initially (e.g. 1-2 3-5 4-6 7-9 8-10). The rounds will feel a bit weird and lumpy at first but you'll soon get the hang of it.

Benefits of ringing on higher numbers

  • Patterns last longer.
  • Reinforces patterns on lower numbers
  • More time to settle into pattern before having to look for the treble.
  • Tenors are unaffected by bobs.
  • Improves rhythm on lower numbers.
  • New patterns – unless you ring non-standard pairs (e.g. 1-2 3-5 4-6 7-9 8-10).

Hunting positions

» Print out the four positions

Practising the positions

It is important to practise these positions until they become automatic. This requires you to do your homework.

» Practising on your own

You might look like the nutter in the park, reciting numbers or mantras or twiddling your thumbs whilst sitting on a bench, but it works! Online ringing simulators also help as they will introduce you to the rhythm of the different positions.