Learning the rhythm of the lead

Here on Alderney I have just spent a delightful week with five ‘ringing improvers’. They were able to handle their bell but their handling needed some polishing before they could progress onto Call Changes and take their first steps towards Plain Hunt.Leading was a great obstacle for all of them, however the following exercise worked very well at teaching the rhythm of the lead.

Ringing six bells with the students on bells 2 to 6, an experienced ringer rang the treble and led throughout. The students perfected their “leading” by hunting the back five bells from 6ths place down to 2nds and back so that the turnaround “at the front” was actually in seconds place and was lying over the experienced helper in first place (permanently leading) rather than attempting to lead by following a bell in 6ths place on the opposite stroke.In this fashion they got to 'feel' the rhythm of the turnaround, having a real target to aim at for their lie in seconds place at the end of their quick strokes.

Once perfected we called the experienced ringer off the front up to the back to ring an unmusical six but left the students on the bells they were used to and rang 'standard' Plain Hunt on five bells, leading opposite to the tenor.The resulting improvement in their leading was miraculous and accompanied by masses of smiles and remarks such as “That felt so different to my usual attempts and sounded great!”


Teacher's Guide to Learning the Ropes

A book for any ringing teacher, covering the “how to” from the first bell handling lesson to teaching someone how to ring their first method.

The Teacher's Guide and its companion publication The Ringer's Guide to Learning the Ropes are both available from the ART shop.

Helen McGregor