Call Change Toolbox

What are call changes?

If you want to learn about ringing and calling call changes then the online learning portal has a course just on this subject. If you register onto the site, you can start straight-away.

» Understanding call changes

Some call changes have special names e.g. Queens or Whittingtons. They are known across the country, but there are one or two regional variations.

» List of named changes

Ringing your bell in the right place

Try to ring 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. This will be the first time that you will have had to change the position of your bell in the change, which requires you to ring your bell at three different speeds. This change of speed takes place at one stroke (usually handstroke).

How to change the speed of your bell

When you are called up you will need to hold up and ring slightly 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 slightly 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. Remember the open handstroke lead – that is the little extra gap at the handstroke lead (equivalent to one blow).

Learn by watching

The St Martin's Guild ring a call change sequence (between named musical changes) starting with raising the bells in peal and ending with a lower.

Calling call changes

This might well be your first opportunity to speak whilst ringing, which can be a lot harder than it sounds. Tips and exercises are given in the Understanding Call Changes course. Remember to speak loudly, speak clearly and speak at the right time.

You can start by calling the changes from outside the circle when you're not ringing a bell. When you call whilst ringing, ring a bell that doesn't move much and only move one bell one or two places and back again. You'll know you're an expert when other members of the band randomly call changes and you can then call them back to rounds. Some very experienced ringers have difficulty doing that!

» Calling from rounds to Queens

» Calling from rounds to Tittums

Learning aids

» Call Change – calling up (written exercises)

» Call Change – calling up quiz

» Call Change – calling down (written exercises)

» Call Change – calling down quiz

» Call Change dominoes

» Call Change crossword

Teaching aids

Guides to teaching call changes starting with the theory, moving on to the first lesson and ending with call change variations.

» The theory of call changes

» Teaching call changes

Beyond call changes

» Dodgy call changes

» Calling call changes