Thomas A. Alspaugh
Practice Where to Look

Under construction.

? Plain Hunt
Plain Bob
Bastow
Grandsire
# Row Place Dir? Call ?
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? Method name:
? Place notation:
Bob:
Single:
? Your bell: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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? These bells hunt:
? These bells course:
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The coursing order:
? Your course bell is: 2
? Your bell is: 2
? Your after bell is: 4
? Your work: 2
Changes +
Current in changes + + --
Current in rows + + +
Next in rows + + +
Direction3 +
Landmark + +
8 7 1 6 2 5 3

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? Show or hide landmarks

This page uses a Javascript program to help you practice where to look when ringing Plain Hunt or methods such as Plain Bob. Please enable Javascript in order to use it.

This page has been tested on recent versions of Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

This page helps you prepare to ring Plain Hunt and simple methods. Some ringers can listen and ring by the blue line and counting their place, but most ringers need to look at the bell they are following (and your looking often helps other ringers the band). But in order for looking to be helpful (to yourself and others), you have to know where to look.

It's easy to look at the bell you are following when ringing rounds—it's always the same bell! But for Plain Hunt and methods it's more complicated, though not a lot more complicated. This page will help you practice.

Try clicking the button to see what happens.

The Bells that Hunt or Course

For Plain Hunt, all the bells are in the hunt — they hunt throughout.

For many other simple methods, the treble hunts, while the remaining bells are said to be in the course and follow a more-complicated pattern specific to the method. For example, in Plain Bob the treble hunts, while the remaining bells follow the pattern for Plain Hunt; in Grandsire, both the treble and the 2 hunt, while the remaining bells follow the pattern for Grandsire.

Finally, for some methods such as Bastow, the treble follows a limited path that does not go to all places, while the remaining bells follow a pattern specific to the method. In Bastow, the treble's path is a degenerate hunt from leads to 2nds and back again.

The bells that hunt and the bells that course are listed in the overview pane, in the sequence in which they come to the front. For the bells that course, this is the coursing order. If a bell does not cover all the places (as in Bastow), it is listed in parentheses.

The Coursing Order, Your Course Bell, and Your After Bell

Most experienced ringers seem to find the coursing order very helpful, so it is worth some attention. The coursing order is the order in which the working bells do things, more or less:

  • The order in which the bells come to the front.
  • The order in which they come to the back.
  • The order in which each bell passes the other working bells on the way in, and on the way out.
  • The order in which they do each piece of work for a method, for example Making 2nds in Plain Bob.
  • And so forth.

The coursing order for the method you have chosen is shown as a circular diagram.

Within the coursing order, the two most important bells for you are your course bell and your after bell.

course bell
Your course bell does everything you do, immediately before you do it.
after bell
Your after bell does everything you do, immediately after you do it.

In this context everything means everything in the list of things that happen in the coursing order, some of which were listed above.

two blue
three green
four orange
five fuchsia
six pink
seven cerulean
eight aqua

Your bell, your course bell, and your after bell are listed in the overview pane, or you can figure them out from the circular diagram. Each one's color in the diagram is shown as the color of the to its right in the pane; the colors are chosen with a alliterative/assonant mnemonic between bell numbers and color names where possible (sadly, there are no good colors alliterative with "eight"). Your course bell number and after bell number are shown over a background of the color of that bell's base in the animated image of the circle of bells.

As a consequence of the coursing order, you interact with your course and after bells and the other working bells in ways that are useful to know:

  • You take your course bell off leads (except when Making 2nds or in a few other situations specific to the method).
  • Your after bell takes you off leads (except when Making 2nds or in a few other situations specific to the method).
  • You take your course bell off the back (except in certain situations specific to the method).
  • Your after bell takes you off the back (except in certain situations specific to the method).
  • On your way out to the back, the coursing order gives the sequence in which you ring over the other working bells.
  • On your way in to the front, the coursing order gives the sequence in which you ring over the other working bells.
  • For methods as opposed to Plain Hunt, the treble is not a working bell; where you pass it on your way in and out corresponds to where you are in the method, and you can use this either to confirm that you are doing the right part of the method or to figure out what you should be doing in case you get lost.

But of course to benefit from this, you have to know your course and after bell, and you have to be looking.

Note that most calls (e.g. a Bob or Single) change the coursing order.

Row, Place, and Direction

You are probably familiar with the rows (the sequences in which the bells strike) and your place (where your bell strikes in each row). When ringing a method, you also need to be aware (consciously to begin with, then implicitly once it becomes a habit) of what this page terms the direction in which you are moving. The direction you are moving summarizes how much oomph you should be using (ideally you should be using little or no check unless you miscalculated and gave the previous stroke too much oomph). This page partitions your choices into nine cases. Each case is represented symbolically:

Rounds speed You are ringing at rounds speed (in leads, in the middle, or at the back), and will do so for at least one more stroke. Your backstrokes strike N beats after your handstrokes (for N bells), and your handstrokes strike N+1 beats after your backstrokes. N+1 is to allow 1 beat for the handstroke pause.

The program shows a different symbol for rounds speed at the back ( ), rounds speed at the front ( ), and rounds speed anywhere else ( ), but it's the same speed.

Rounds but preparing to hunt out You are ringing at rounds speed, but will go into hunting-out speed for the next stroke.

You will time your pull to strike at rounds speed, placing your backstroke N beats after your handstroke blow or your handstroke N+1 beats after your backstroke blow. But you will pull with more oomph to make the bell rise higher for the next stroke, so it will strike at hunting-out speed, N+1 (back) or N+2 (hand) beats after this stroke.

Rounds but preparing to hunt in You are ringing at rounds speed, but will go into hunting-in speed for the next stroke.

You will time your pull to strike at rounds speed, N beats (hand) or N+1 beats (back) after your previous blow. But you will pull with less oomph to make the bell rise lower for the next stroke, so it will strike at hunting-in speed, N-1 (back) or N (hand) after this one.

Hunting out You are ringing at hunting-out speed, and will do so for at least one more stroke.

You pull steadily at hunting-out speed, for N+1 (back) or N+2 (hand).

Hunting out but preparing to go into rounds speed You are ringing at hunting-out speed, but will go into rounds speed for the next stroke.

You will time your pull to strike at hunting-out speed, at N beats (hand) or N+1 beats (back). But you will pull with less oomph to make the bell rise lower for the next stroke, so it will strike at rounds speed, after N-1 or N.

Hunting out but preparing to dodge back in You are ringing at hunting-out speed, but will dodge back (at hunting-in speed) for the next stroke.

You will time your pull to strike at hunting-out speed, at N or N+1. But you will pull with even less oomph to make the bell rise lower for the next stroke, so it will strike at hunting-in speed, after N-2 or N-1.

Hunting in You are ringing at hunting-out speed, and will do so for at least one more stroke.

You pull steadily at hunting-in speed, for N-1 and N.

Hunting in but preparing to go into rounds speed You are ringing at hunting-in speed, but will go into rounds speed for the next stroke.

You will time your pull to strike at hunting-in speed, at N beats or N+1. But you will pull with more oomph to make the bell rise higher for the next stroke, so it will strike at rounds speed, after N-1 or N.

Hunting in but preparing to dodge back out You are ringing at hunting-in speed, but will dodge back (at hunting-out speed) for the next stroke.

You will time your pull to strike at hunting-in speed, at N-1 or N. But you will pull with even more oomph to make the bell rise lower for the next stroke, so it will strike at hunting-in speed, after N-2 or N-1.

Working Your Way Through the Changes

Initially the page shows the bells in rounds. To step through the changes, click the button repeatedly. Each time you click it:

  1. The new row will appear at the bottom of the list of rows.
  2. Your place in the new row will be shown.
  3. Your direction for the new stroke will be shown.
  4. The bell you follow in the new row will be highlighted in the dynamic image.
  5. The chart diagram will be updated to show how the bells moved to get to the new row.

You can continue clicking the button as many times as you wish.

The Chart Diagram

The chart diagram shows the path by which each bell has moved from place to place. Each bell's path is shown in a different color. Click the button to roll the diagram forward in the changes.

The chart diagram scrolls automatically when it reaches the bottom of its viewport. You can scroll it up or down in the viewport by clicking the and buttons.

Which Way Do You Look?

The dynamic image shows the bell ropes you see as you ring. Each ringer and his/her rope is represented, quite abstractly, as their bell number. Initially, since you start out as the 3, the image shows the 4 to your left, with the 5, 6, etc. on around to the 2 at your right, just as the bellropes would be in the circle relative to you.

  • The 2 is highlighted because that's the bell you are following in rounds.
  • Your course bell stands on a base of this color.
  • Your after bell stands on a base of this color.
  • The treble stands on a base of this color (unless it's highlighted as your course or after bell in Plain Hunt).
  • The inactive bells (if any) and the bases they stand on are grayed out.
  • The bell you follow is highlighted behind its number.
  • If you are in leads, and thus leading off a bell rather than following a bell, the bell you are leading off is highlighted in color.

Make a mental guess at which bell you will follow (or lead off) next, then click the button to see.

You can also watch as you click the button to see what patterns are occurring, or to confirm the patterns you have learned or are guessing. For example, one well-known pattern that works for Plain Hunt and many methods is that you follow all the smaller bells to your right around the circle (not counting the treble) before you follow any larger bell to your left, and vice versa. Try to see if you can see this pattern.

Another well-known pattern, for Plain Hunt only, is that the bell you follow jumps two places over at each stroke, changing directions when it reaches the tenor or the treble. When the bell you follow would be you, that is a sign that you are either leading or at the back.

You'll see a transparent image of either your sally (during each handstroke) or your rope (during each backstroke). At the bottom of the image, the name of the work your bell is doing or the landmark it is passing will appear from time to time.

When you change the Your bell field and press the to put that change into action, the image is rearranged to show your new view.

Landmarks

The program shows when you reach any of a list of landmarks. Click the Show or hide landmarks checkbox to show or hide the list. Names in italics represent groups of landmarks (such as All); names in parentheses represent things that happen around you (such as (pass treble …) for when you pass the treble in particular places moving up or down); and the remaining names are work that you do, such as Long 5ths.

The groups of landmarks are described below.

Leads You are leading
\treble … under the treble
\course … under your course bell
\after … under your after bell
At the back You are at the back
/treble … over the treble
/course … over your course bell
/after … over your after bell
Make nths You strike two blows in nths
Long nths You strike four blows in nths
Dodge n-(n+1) Down On your way down to the front, you strike a blow in nths then step back to (n+1)ths before continuing down
You stop moving down
You step back before continuing down
Dodge (n+1)-n Up On your way up to the back, you strike a blow in (n+1)ths then step back to nths before continuing up
You stop moving up
You step back before continuing up
(pass treble n-(n+1) up) On your way up to the back, you ring over the treble when you are in (n+1)ths and it is in nths
(pass treble (n+1)-n down) On your way down to the front, you ring over the treble when you are in (n+1)ths and it is in nths

Different Methods and Different Bells for You

Initially the page is set to show , with you on the 3. You can change these if you wish.

To choose a method, either click on one of the method buttons, or enter the method name and place notation and click the .

To change your bell, click one of the bell number buttons.

Your Work

This is a key concept, especially once you start ringing Bobs and Singles. It is not needed for Plain Hunt.

Many experienced ringers seem to organize their thoughts about what work they need to do in the next lead in terms of which bell did that work when Go method-name was called. For example in Plain Bob Minimus, the 2 initially leads, hunts out, and Dodges 3‑4 Down; that is the 2's work. The 3 hunts out then in, then Makes 2nds; that is the 3's work. Finally, the 4 hunts in then out, then Dodges 3‑4 Up; that is the 4's work. A useful way to think about the sequence of work each bell does is in terms of these units, which (conveniently) occur in the coursing order. Thus the 2 does

  1. the 2's work,
  2. the 4's work, and
  3. the 3's work

over and over until That's all or Bob is called. At the lead end backstroke, whichever place the 2 is in determines which bell's work it does next (click Plain Bob , set Your bell to 2, click , and repeatedy press to see this unfold).

Bobs and Singles

Some methods support calls, with which the conductor can rearrange the bells within the pattern of the method. Typical calls are a bob, for which the bell in 4ths at the handstroke lead makes the bob by ringing a second blow in 4ths, the bells in 2nds and 3rds exchange places, and the remaining bells do what they would have ordinarily done; and a single for which the bells in 3rds and 4ths make 3rds and 4ths respectively, striking a second blow in the same place, while all other bells do what they would have ordinarily done.

This page implements bobs and singles for methods that have them. During the third stroke before the lead end backstroke, the and buttons are enabled (if the method supports them), and you can click on one of them to cause a bob or single respectively.

Most (but not all) calls change the coursing order. Examples:

  • A Bob in Plain Bob Minimus does not change the coursing order.
  • A Bob in Plain Bob Doubles changes the coursing order.

Place Notation

This page uses a restricted subset of standard page notation:

  • A dot . separates each pair of consecutive changes.
  • A digit n means that the bell in nths place stays in its place.
  • x can only appear if there are an even number of bells. If N is that number, then x is the same as 2143…N(N-1).
  • You must list all the changes until the changes start to repeat (reflecting of changes is not assumed).

You can enter the place notation for the method you desire in the Place notation field. If it has Bobs or Singles you can specify the (singleton) change for each by checking the checkbox and entering the change; the change will be enacted instead of the change after the lead end handstroke.

Script versions looking
BellRows
Changes
Page version 2013Jan27Su13:05
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