The Tower Handbook

13.2: Learning to ring with other ringers

a: What should I be trying to do?

Ringing with other people is a big step. If you have already rung with a simulator you will have mastered the first half of this step which is ringing to a fixed speed set by someone else, rather than just aimlessly swinging the bell. When ringing with others there is a lot happening, visually and aurally, and there are lots of people who will see how well or how badly you ring. Don't let it overwhelm you. Important things to remember are:

b: What should I do if the bell in front is in the wrong place?

Keep going. Its better to have one bell wrong than two. If you try to get out of the way, you then cause a problem for the bell following you. Trying to make last minute changes always makes the ringing less steady, especially if you are inexperienced. Remember you are all trying to ring with an even rhythm. If you keep jumping around to avoid each other, you will never achieve it.

c: What should I do if I get lost?

Don't panic – see picture

d: What pitfalls should I try to avoid?

There are three problems people sometimes have when learning to ring with other people. The first two are at opposite ends of a spectrum so it is usually one or the other, but not both. The third can be combined with either.

When ringing with others you may find that any bell handling problems get worse, especially at first. The same thing may also happen when you ring on strange bells. If you are not sure what the problem is, or if you are not sure how to cure it, then ask someone experienced to look at you ringing and advise you.

e: How do I cope with odd struck bells?

It depends on whether the odd struck bell [158] is your own or someone else's.

f: Which way should I face?

It is very tempting to face the bell you are following, but don't. You should have been told to face the middle of the rope circle, and there is a good reason for this. You need to be aware of what all the bells are doing, especially when you come to ring call changes and methods. Get into the habit of always facing the centre, and you will be less likely to cause yourself problems later by looking at the wrong bells.

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