During this period where we are not able to physically ring together, ringers are increasingly turning to online, virtual practices to develop their ringing skills and keep in touch. This includes handbell ringing. The ability to ring handbells with anyone, anywhere in the world is especially useful as there are significantly fewer handbell ringers than tower bell ringers. In fact, this period of restricted contact is driving a mini-boom in handbell ringing.
Why not try one of the virtual platforms to practise your handbell ringing with others?
The Ringing Room is a site built for change ringers to continue ringing with one another even when socially distanced. Ringing Room is the most popular online ringing site. Handbell ringing is supported using both key strokes and motion controllers. If you want to use Ringing Room to practise handbells, you can either ask fellow ringers to join a practice that you host, or you can visit the Ringing Room Take-hold Lounge to join an advertised practice or ask if others would like to join you to practise.
Handbell Stadium provides a 3D visualisation of a handbell circle and a real life perspective of the other bells in the circle, while you ring your pair using dummy handbell motion controllers in a realistic up and down motion. You can practise with it on your own while the computer rings the other bells, or you can practise/perform over the internet with other ringers. You will need to use motion controllers with Handbell Stadium.
You can join one of the open practices from 8.30-9.30 pm on a Friday night. Discord is used for communication and people need this link to join – https://discord.gg/SKfVTy6 – and motion controllers and Handbell Stadium are required.
Ding is a system for simulated bell ringing over the Internet. Ding also has an automated ringer, which will ring as many bells as you want, to any method you want. This allows a small number of people to practise ringing on a large number of bells, or even one person to practise with all the other bells being rung automatically. Ding doesn't have a handbells option, although if you assign yourself to two bells you can ring them as handbells (albeit with ropes showing in the visual.) If you join the Ding Facebook Group you could join one of the practices located there.