Jorge · Worked on raising, good ringing form, and setting on demand.
- Handstroke followthrough.
- Don’t push out on the handstroke.
Jorge · Excellent progress.
- General ringing technique. Don’t forget to follow through even when you are focused on something more complicated, particularly with the left hand after the handstroke.
Bobbie · She raised and lowered several times in succession, and worked on general technique.
Jorge · Focus is on getting both strokes serenely together. Jorge has an excellent backstroke and a good handstroke, but as with many learners they deteriorate under the pressure of combining them. Points to work on:
- Soft motion at the top of each stroke; let the bell rise.
- Fast, deep followthrough for both strokes, especially the handstroke.
- Faster pickup after the release.
- Left hand line angled toward the floor for the handstroke followthrough.
Bobbie · Bobbie worked primarily on setting the bell.
- Raising. She raised the 4 and did a good job of it.
- Setting. She is working on developing the feel both for how much oomph to put into the bell, and for where the bell is as it rises and how to let it rise the right amount. She decided to work on setting the bell at hand, and worked on getting her handstroke motion fast enough so she can add oomph to make her backstroke rise appropriately, and then on giving her backstroke the right amount (not too much) of oomph, so that she would be in a position to set the bell at hand. To give herself a break, she decided to try setting at back (which she is better at) and at hand, and immediately passed the exit exam of setting 10 times in a row, which I usually interpret as 10 times in 10 pulls (20 strokes); she set the bell 10 times in 12 strokes. Well done!
- Lowering. She lowered the bell safely but not well; she’ll continue to work on lowering.
Jorge · Now ringing both strokes together.
- Pulling off then backstrokes only. Focus on good form in preparation for handstrokes.
- Backstrokes only. Good form. Need to relax and let the bell rise.
- Handstrokes only. Good form. Need to follow through faster and further, and simplify and speed up the pickup.
- Pulling off then backstrokes and occasional handstrokes. Excellent progress. He progressed from occasionally one handstroke, to occasionally two, to three, and then to “many”. He was able to ring an essentially unbounded number of strokes together by the end of class. He needs to let the bell rise, on both strokes; often he puts an appropriate amount of oomph into a stroke then throws it away by keeping the bell from rising on the next stroke. Other points to work on: fast motion at the bottom of each stroke, particularly handstrokes; good followthrough; remember to climb up the tail as needed; relax.
Jorge · Focus now is on both strokes together.
- Pulling off only, then pulling off followed by backstrokes. This is a good opportunity to work on grasping the sally firmly until the release, then a clean release by both hands simultaneously, ending with a quick followthrough that goes all the way down, includes a fast pickup, and flicks the wrists.
- Backstrokes only. He has quite good backstroke form. Only concern is overpulling, which for him seems to be happening between forehead level and shoulder level, rather than during the wrist flick as for many learners. When he concentrates he can avoid overpulling.
- Handstrokes only. Making good progress. A few points: occasional throwing out, and a tendency not to follow through fast enough or far enough.
- Backstrokes with occasional handstrokes. Very good progress so far, though of course there’s a long way to go. He has reached the stage of three handstrokes in a row. By the third handstroke the bell has rung down and his followthroughs have almost disappeared, but he’s keeping the pulls going through three of them. Points to work on:
- Follow through, follow through, follow through! All the way down, both strokes, and fast as lightning, faster than any other part of the stroke.
- Deal with the stress and relax, so that the bell can rise at the top of each stroke.
- SImplify the motion, particularly the bounce up from the backstroke followthrough to the catch. It need not be complicated; it should be smooth, and synchronized with the motion of the bell, thus fastest at the bottom and slowest at the top.
Jorge · Letting the bell rise, setting, combining both strokes.
- We began with the bell set at back. Jorge pulled off from back to begin with, his first time doing so, and a few times during the class.
- Pulling off. Remember to grasp the sally and then release it; no sliding down the sally.
- Backstrokes only. Jorge set the bell at back twice; well done!
- Handstrokes only. Jorge set the bell at hand half a dozen times or so.
- Pulling off then backstrokes only. First time for Jorge. Remember to grasp the sally and then release it; no sliding down the sally. Give the pull-off (which is the second half of a handstroke) enough oomph that the backstroke rises enough.
- Pulling off, then backstrokes with an occasional handstroke. First time for Jorge. As with most learners, there are all sorts of tangles to work through. Remember to follow through, on handstrokes as well as backstrokes. Bounce up from the backstroke followthrough to make the catch. Keep the hands in the plane of the rope, just as for either stroke alone. Make the pickup quickly.
Bobbie · Raising, setting, lowering.
- Bobbie raised three times, all three creditably done. The third time we focused on working her ringing muscles, with good form, quick raising, and an emphasis on the followthrough, after which she was out of breath and tired.
- She lowered twice. The first time was safe but sloppy, and the second showed fairly good form. She needs to focus on keeping her form clean, and simplify her motions.
- She set the bell too many times to count, including several occasions when she set at hand and then pulled off and set immediately at back. She needs to work on consistent, clean ringing motion when she’s trying to set the bell; as with many learners, she concentrates so much on setting that her form go out the window. She has good oomph on both strokes, and needs to watch out that she doesn’t put so much oomph into her backstroke that on the next handstroke her attention is completely taken up by resisting on the way up to take that oomph back out, and has no attention (or time) left over to spend on letting the bell rise to the balance so she can set it.