Once you can handle a bell fairly confidently, it is time to start ringing with others. The main difficulty is that you must now take your timing from the rest of the band.
You will start off ringing rounds. In rounds, the bells start with the Treble (the lightest bell with the highest note), and ring in order down to the Tenor, the heaviest bell with the lowest note.
Ringers refer to each bell by number. The Treble is always number 1, but the Tenor will be number 6, 8 or 10, depending on the number of bells in the tower and how many are ringing. This can be confusing, because the number given to each bell is not fixed. Instead, it depends on which ‘set’ of bells is chosen. Usually, when a band only wishes to ring some of the bells, they might ring the ‘back’ six, or ‘back’ eight if they have ten bells, because this gives a proper musical scale. If they ring the ‘front’ bells, the rounds would sound incomplete, because the ear expects to hear the complete scale.
To find the number of your bell, count round from the treble. It is good practice to work out the numbers of all the bells, so you know which is which. The objective of ringing rounds is to obtain good striking. This means obtaining an even spacing between bells and a good beat or rhythm.
For more information, please read the rest of the article: Ringing With Others.
Ten Good Striking Tips
- 1. Count the rhythm.
- 2. Listen to your bell.
- 3. Check for odd struckness.
- 4. Maintain constant spaces and speed.
- 5. Rely on your ears not your eyes.
- 6. Always be self-critical.
- 7. Tidy leading.
- 8. Only make small adjustments.
- 9. Do not believe the ropes.
- 10. Practice listening when ringing.
- (with thanks to: Suffolk Guild of Ringers)
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