Teaching ringers to Plain Hunt

What new theory will my ringer need to know?

Hunting is all about ringing at 3 different speeds:

  • Slower than rounds to hunt up
  • Quicker than rounds to hunt down
  • Rounds speed when lying behind

New jargon:

  • Hunt out / hunt up / run out
  • Hunt in / hunt down / run in
  • Introduction to the blue line
  • Chance to introduce course and after bells

Getting the rhythm

The more your ringer can develop the rhythm of hunting the more easily they will be able to develop ropesight. With accurate rhythm their rope will be in the correct relationship with the other ropes. The initial aim is for the ringer to ring good rhythmic Plain Hunt with Plain Hunt coursing order.

The development of this rhythm is a practical skill and will take time and repetition.

How many bells should I use to teach?

This is really down to you, your preferences and the ringer you are teaching. Some people start on three bells some go straight to 5. Those who teach via even bell methods will probably use 4 and then progress to 6 bells.The rhythm on an even number of bells feels quite different to on odd numbers. This is because on even numbers the bells lie at the back handstroke/backstroke, the first quick blow down from the back being a hand stroke, whilst on an odd number the bells lie at the back backstroke/handstroke, the first quicker blow coming down from the back is at backstroke.

The feeling of both will need to be practised by your ringer but teachers will vary on when to introduce this practice. If the ringer learns to hunt on 4 bells early on they are building skills to help them move onto Minor methods later. If the ringer works only on odd bell hunting to start with they are likely to improve more quickly at that particular skill but will not have experienced the even bell rhythm which will help them move onto Minor later. Some teachers prefer to use odd bell hunting as they can be rung with the tenor behind which gives stability to the change as a whole and can be used with a less experienced band.

Building the skills – preparatory exercises

  • Practise ringing at three speeds on a tied bell or using a simulator and following another ringer (rounds speed, faster than rounds speed, slower than rounds speed.)
  • Practise changing speed. At handstroke by checking the rise of the sally to ring quicker and letting it rise more to ring slower. At backstroke by taking rope in at bottom and letting it out at the top.
  • Revise leading with an open hand and closed backstroke.

Place counting

The ringer should be encouraged to count their place in the row at all times. This is a hard skill and ringers are often resistant to attempting it. Even those ringers who are trying may find themselves struggling to count their place continuously.


The theory of hunting can be explained with a white board and pens or you can use the PowerPoint slides which can be found on SmART Ringer [available only to those who have been on a Module 2 day course].

There are other resources such as charts and worksheets to help your ringers absorb the theory.

For those who are not registered on SmART Ringer the Toolboxes are available to purchase from the ART Shop.

Pip Penney