As you know, I bought C a pair of e-bells for his birthday last week. I also bought myself a set and the companion book. I learnt how to ring Plain Bob Minor about 2 years ago now but that was the last time I rang handbells.
Today was the first opportunity we had to properly play with them. He’d already set up all the software on the PC and on my laptop so we were ready to plug in and play.
I had a few goes on my own connected to Abel to start with and started off with Plain Hunt Minimus. Two pairs of bells swap the order in which they ring. I found the explanation in the book extremely helpful in getting what my brain already knows about Plain Hunt Minimus on tower bells should look like. First and 2nd place bells sway and the 3rd and 4th place bells swap. Then the bells in 2nds and 3rds place swap whilst the other two stay in the same position. Keep alternating this until you get back into rounds. Very simple and straight forward instruction.
I did ok at that so upped the anti by trying Plain Hunt Minor, that’s with three pairs of bells. The good thing about Abel is that it will ring the other bells you don’t. The bad news is it won’t wait for you like real ringers often do (even though they shouldn’t).
C was getting himself set up on the PC at this point so we decided to try ringing together. We moved across to Ringing Room to try that now that they have Wheatley installed. Wheatley does the same thing as Abel, i.e. rings all the unassigned bells but you have to tell it what to do. There were a few technical issues, but we had several goes and I tried it on different pairs of bells. I rang 1-2 to start with and got quite proficient at that, then rang 5-6 which is the next easiest pair as the bells course each other (follow each other up and down the pattern). Then I had a go on 3-4 which is a bit more complicated as the bells move apart and back together again in opposite directions. That was slightly less well executed.
Then we moved on to Handbell Stadium, the virtual handbell ringing platform. Took a bit of getting used to setting it up but once there, I had a go on my own ringing Plain Hunt Minor again. Then C decides we should ring together. We rang Plain Hunt Minimus together and then he decides that we’ll move straight on to Plain Bob Minimus. This means that I have to remember to dodge as well as plain hunt. 3/4 down was ok but I seemed to struggle a bit with 3/4 up. Eventually got the hang of it.
The key for me is regular practice at it otherwise I’ll forget and we’ll be back to the beginning every time. C went back to practicing by himself and was ringing touches of Plain Bob Minor, but that’s because he’s clever and can ring handbells anyway.
Long way to go yet but had quite good fun and was quite pleased with my progress. Don’t think I’ll be ringing with a mixed group, or any quarters any time soon though.
One thought on “E by ‘eck, I’ve been playing with me e-bells”
Glad you’re both having fun with them 😀