Learning to Ring
Pay us a visit
If you think you might be interested in learning to ring (or you are merely curious about bellringing), the first step is probably to come and have a look at what we do. We often get visitors to our practice nights and our Sunday morning ringing sessions and you would find it an interesting experience whether or not you decide to take it further.
After watching us ring for a few minutes, we will take you upstairs (safely armed with ear defenders!) to view the bells through a window in the bell chamber door. We might even give you a short, preliminary go at ringing, although it isn't possible to start a proper lesson during an initial visit.
You can arrange such a visit by contacting one of the ringers.
If you decide to give ringing a try, we will need to arrange lessons to teach you how to handle a bell. These lessons have to be held at a separate time to our usual group sessions as they involve individual tuition. We can discuss this with you at your initial visit or at any time afterwards.
You will probably require up to a dozen one-to-one lessons (of up to an hour per lesson) to develop the skills needed to handle a bell by yourself. Everybody is different and you might pick it up quickly or you might take a little longer. It doesn't really matter. It is safe to say, though, that teenagers learn the quickest, as they tend to do with everything.
To avoid annoying our neighbours, these individual lessons are mostly conducted using silenced bells. It is, however, important for a new learner to be able to hear his or her bell. To solve this dilemma, we have a system that allows a bell to be heard inside, but not outside.
Beyond the Basics
After you have mastered the physical control of a bell, the next step is to learn how to maintain a steady rhythm. This will allow you to ring with others and begin to take part in the practice sessions. It is also the beginnings of the complete control that you will need in order to do change ringing
. We use special training software
at this stage, allowing you to practise ringing with a "virtual band" before having a go with a real band. At this stage you will soon find yourself joining in with real ringing at our Monday practices.
After you have joined our Monday practices, we nevertheless like to continue the individual lessons for a while, for two reasons:
- At this early stage it is difficult for you to get sufficient "rope time" during our weekly practice as the time has to be split between your needs and those of others. This problem goes away as your skills develop.
- There is more to learn that is best covered in the individual lessons.
Nobody ever reaches this stage! However, sometime after you start - probably measured in months - you will be ringing well enough to join the band for Sunday mornings and weddings. You will continue to improve your skills and learn to do change ringing. This process continues for the rest of your ringing career.
Ask away! Ringers always like to discuss ringing. You might also like to browse a list of frequently asked questions