Extra Practice · 2012May03Th

Four ringers:  Anne, Jody, Judy, Thomas.

Wow.  So much progress was made I can’t even remember it all.  The session began about 5:10 and continued until 6:30 due to so much enthusiasm.

  • Everyone worked on raising and lowering.
  • Anne raised and lowered at least three bells.
  • Judy worked on basic technique, with focus on stance, posture, and follow-through.
  • Jody worked on stance, posture, follow-through, picking up the tail, raising and lowering, how to keep the rope from coming back and hitting her, and taking coils.
  • We talked through the mini-techniques, both mental and physical, that become habit and help a ringer move in and out through the places.
  • The band rang Rounds and Long Places.
  • The band experimented with faster and slower ringing speeds.

    There is plenty to say on this topic.  Overall:

    • If you ring slower, the risk of swinging bell too high is greatly increased.  If you swing the bell too high, you have no choice but to wait for it to swing back down, making your blow be very late.
    • In contrast, a faster speed can put the bells swinging at a height from which they can be more accurately controlled.
    • However, at too fast a speed the heaviest bell is at risk of ringing down too far to be controlled, in which case that ringer may have to spend several full pulls getting it back under control and throwing the entire band off.

    There is also the issue of how far each bell has to move in order to change places:

    • At a slower ringing speed, the interval between bells is larger—so each ringer has a wider timeslot into which to fit, and it is easier to stay in rounds.
    • But to changes places, a ringer must move her next blow across that larger interval, requiring a bigger change in how high the bell swings.
    • Whereas at a faster ringing speed, the interval between bells is smaller, and to change places a ringer only needs a smaller change in how high the bell swings.

    How about how fast a ringer has to think?  At a faster ringing speed, events are of course occurring more quickly.  However, good ringers aren’t thinking everything out—they are watching for many small overlapping patterns and following the mental and physical habits they have formed in response to them.