Once you have mastered Grandsire and Plain Bob Doubles there is a whole world of doubles ringing for you to play with. There are new methods to learn and then variations to explore.
Concentrating first on doubles methods, there are groups of methods in which each method has a native type of call. You've seen that already – a Grandsire bob is very different to a Plain Bob bob. So, with each method you also need to learn which bobs or singles belong to the method. Methods are grouped into the type of bob used, e.g. a Plain Bob bob or a Reverse Canterbury bob.
Sounds a bit complicated, but just like any other form of ringing if you start learning the methods in a logical progression, it's easier to see what's happening and slowly add to your method repertoire. Most people start by learning Reverse Canterbury which is very closely related to Plain Bob.
As a way of extending their doubles repertoire, many enjoy ringing variations. These are usually standard doubles methods, rung with a call that is normally associated with a different method. For example, St Simon’s Doubles rung with a Reverse Canterbury bob is called Eynsham. If it’s rung with an old single (or Plain Bob single), it’s called Cassington.
Doubles variations do not usually take very long to learn, but they can be interesting to call and require fast reactions, especially if they involve more than one type of call in each extent.
If there are only five ringers and the band would like a bit of variety, ringing variations is good fun. Ringers who regularly ring variations usually develop fast mental agility and an ability to respond to treble passing positions as the work comes round quickly and is constantly changing.
Methods rung with Plain Bob bobs. Each method has a different front work.
Methods rung with Reverse Canterbury bobs. The front works for each method are exactly as for the St Martin's group, but these are rung with places in 3-4, different bobs and the 3 and 4 starts are different.