Kaleidoscope Toolbox

What is kaleidoscope ringing?

Kaleidoscope ringing is a series of exercises made within two places. Places and dodges are usually started at handstroke, but they could also be called to take effect at backstroke. Try to practise both.

Kaleidoscope ringing differs from call changes in two ways:

  • You only move one place (up or down) from your starting position – the ropesight is easier.
  • You continue making the change until told to stop – developing your bell control.

What’s a place and what’s a dodge?

Long and short places

Places requires a bell to ring two or more blows in a single place. The simplest kaleidoscope exercises are:

  • Long places – four blows in one place, followed by four blows in either a place higher or lower in the row.
  • Short places – two blows (one whole pull), rung in a single place, followed by two blows either a place higher or lower in the row.


Dodging requires a bell to move from place to place on every stroke (handstroke and backstroke). Good bell control is needed to strike the changes accurately. Dodging on heavier bells can provide an opportunity to practise adjusting the tail end position to speed up or slow down the bell.

» Places and dodges

» Basic kaleidoscope works

Ringing your bell in the right place

Try to ring kaleidoscope exercises 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 will have had to change the position of your bell in the change, which requires you to ring your bell at three different speeds. Changes of place (whether up or down) need to be crisp – you should aim to move exactly one place in the row on just the one stroke.

How to change the speed of your bell

Ringing call changes will have taught you how to move you bell up and down one place, which will be good practise for striking long and short places successfully. When these basic manoeuvres have been mastered, you will move on to dodging. To dodge successfully you need to be able to change the speed of your ringing at both handstroke and backstroke. At first your teacher will tell you when to ring quicker or slower to strike your bell in the right place. However you will quickly be expected to do this yourself by using your listening skills.

» Successful dodging