Resources for Rhythm
Metronome – There are a wide variety of metronomes on the market, both physical and software based. Get hold of one and clap/tap along to a regular beat. For Android users Metronomerous and Apple users Pro Metronome, are good free to use apps which can be set up in seconds, and include the ability to simulate a handstoke gap. There are many YouTube tutorials on how to use these apps, just type the name of your app into a YouTube search.
Simulator Tower Bells – If you are lucky enough to have access to a simulator, practise covering the tenor behind to simple methods and understand if you are too slow or too quick by engaging your listening skills. Progress in small stages via plain hunting on 5 and 6 to more complex method ringing. You are the only one who will be wrong.
Simulator – Handbells – You can use applications such as Abel and Mabel to practise on one or two bells using keyboard input with the software ringing the rest of the bells. Just practise rounds to start with and build slowly. If you have access to a set of eBells or motion controllers, use these to emulate a more realistic handbell motion, you will also be able to use Handbell Stadium. Other simulators are also available.
Listening to ‘Good’ Ringing – Actively listening to and engaging with recordings of good ringing will help the understanding of the rhythm of ringing. Many of the recordings of ringing published online are not of good quality, but here are a few things to engage with:
Change Ringing on Handbells – Available form this link in multiple formats, this production contains some excellent recordings of good ringing.
Change Ringing from St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol – Available on CD from this link, containing some good examples of striking well on tower bells
The 2020 Central Council Youtube channel has a playlist of some carefully selected recordings (some of these are better quality than others).
West Country call change bands focus almost exclusively on good striking whilst keeping the complexity to a minimum. A good example of this from Bridgerule in Devon can be found below. Note: this closed hand stroke ringing which we do not as a rule practise in change ringing.
Stedman Caters “Club Mix” – Why Stedman Caters? Well, why not? The YouTube video below is based on a plain course of Stedman Caters and has a constant BPM of 117 throughout. Find a handstroke gap, then count along rhythmically and repeatedly (for the whole 5 minutes)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pause
Warning: this may not be everyone’s cup of tea …..