Learning Tips

Learning Tips aims to demystify ringing, hopefully making it easier for you to master. Browse the Teaching Tips articles or search using keywords.

Quirky Call Changes

“Which bell do I follow?” is often asked during Called Changes. This is probably because conventional calling focuses on bell number, but variations of Called Changes can be rung to shift the focus from which bell to follow to developing the skills required for Plain Hunt and methods: bell control, place awareness, counting, rhythm, listening and ropesight. They can involve ringers of all abilities, add interest and great fun to your ringing, and can sound great too. Susan Hall of Old Brampton, Derbyshire shares some quirky ideas...

Staying Right

In Tower Talk 13, Mary Jones gave some tips for improving concentration. We all do our best to stay on our line and keep our bell in the right place, but what are we to do when our concentration lets us down? How can we both minimise mistakes and and get back on our line quickly when they happen? Read more from Jonathan Williamson, ART Member and teacher from Ipswich.

Plain Bob matching game

This game can be used when starting to learn work inside or starting touches, so that you can practise recalling instantly which piece of work to do the next time after a dodge in a plain course, or a bob in a touch. Instructions can be found here on SmART Ringer.


'So how do learners improve concentration and lengthen ability to remain absolutely focused?' Mary Jones explains what she would do.

Lessons from Mindfulness

Pam Ebsworth has been attending a Mindfulness course, and we asked her to pass on a few tips from that which could be applied to ringing.

Ringing 'round the back'

Ewan Hull explains his approach to ringing the back, or bigger bells.

Muffling the bells

The sound of half-muffled tower bells is unmistakable. In Rounds it’s like a normal descending scale followed by an eerie echo of that sound. This is why bells are usually rung half-muffled in mourning: for funerals and other solemn occasions such as on Remembrance Day, or to mourn the old year before the New Year is rung in. Some churches ring half-muffled during Lent. Mike Rigby explains the procedures.

Learning Call Changes

Call Changes are the building blocks of all change ringing. It’s important that you feel really comfortable with these seemingly simple changes, but it takes time. There is a lot to think about, even for one call, so don’t underestimate how much time and practice you need. Ruth Suggett explains.

Calling Changes

So, you think you’ve got the idea of how to ring call changes! But what about you calling some changes - some useful tips from Roger Clay.

Looking after number one

It’s often the case that many novice ringers are never told how to lead, just told to do it. OK … so, how do you lead? Here are some tips for getting to grips with just that from Martin Kitson.

Odd one in

Why is it that some bells are harder to strike well than others? It is probably because they are odd-struck. So, what is odd-struckness? Jane Horton explains.

Handling light bells

One of the “Fifty Ringing Things” is to “Ring on a bell lighter than 3 cwt (152 kg)”. My home tower is a six with the front three less than 3 cwt, so we do get the occasional visitor who comes along to collect a “thing”. What does Mike Rigby tell them before they catch hold?

Your place or mine?

Learners are introduced to the concept of their “place” in the row very early on since it’s so fundamental, but most beginners first come across the words “make places” as an exercise at LtR Level 2. When you learn to hunt you realise that you’re making places both at the front and at the back. When you start to learn methods, you learn about making places such as seconds in Plain Bob, thirds in Grandsire, and fourths when you “make the bob” in Plain Bob. Mike Rigby gives you some tips for each of these situations in turn.

Breaking the Code

"Thing’ number 20 in ‘50 Ringing Things" is “Write out a method using place notation”. Debbie Phipps, a LtR Level 5 Ringer at Lychett Matravers, Dorset, told us that she had to get help with this one, but discovered that it was not quite as mysterious as she first thought. So, with her input and help, Mike Rigby shares more information about place notation.

Handbell Hunting

Are there any handbells in your tower? Don’t be afraid to use them to learn all about hunting and the importance of knowing your place. Helen McGregor explains.


Learning Tips are written by ringers to pass on some of the things that have helped them learn. Learning Tips are published in Tower Talk, the quarterly online magazine produced by ringers, for ringers.

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