Minimus methods are obviously useful for practices with fewer ringers, however they can also be an excellent learning step for ringers who are in the early stages of learning how to ring methods.
Change ringing on four bells is quite physically demanding, requiring larger changes of speed. It therefore helps develop the habit of forward planning in placing a bell correctly. On lower numbers, changes of place need to be made well in advance – the larger gaps between blows make it less easy to quickly adjust to the bell in front of you. Ringing well on four bells is an excellent test of bell handling, striking, and thinking ahead.
As the work comes round quickly, with plain minimus methods being only 24 changes long, it is possible for ringers to develop ringing skills without having to learn too much method work.
Although there are fewer methods available for four bells, each one offers a new challenge and introduces concepts such as awareness of treble passing, dodging, ringing a reverse method, understanding a double method, making internal places, wrong-hunting, counting blows, striking and ropesight.
Standard plain minimus methods do not require any calls to ring a full extent.
The standard 11 minimus methods are: Plain Bob, Reverse Bob, Double Bob, Canterbury, Reverse Canterbury, Double Canterbury, St Nicholas, Reverse St Nicholas, Single Court, Reverse Court and Double Court.
If your band becomes keen, there are plenty more to explore which are less commonly rung, including principles, alliance methods, treble bob methods, differential methods, twin hunt methods and methods which don’t have palindromic symmetry.