Learning Called Changes


At first learning to ring called changes may be daunting, but do not worry. There are a few simple rules to learn, then all you have to do is listen carefully to the conductor. Different towers have their own preferred way of calling the changes, it is a good idea to ask which way the changes will be called, especially if visiting other towers. Is their calling convention to CALL UP or CALL DOWN ?. Sometimes the conductor may call more detailed instructions when changing a bell rung by a learner.

The General Rules

Rules for Changing Places

The conductor will call the change at a handstroke, do not change at the following backstroke, but at the next handstroke. This delay ( 4 seconds ) gives all bells time to think about what they have to do. If you imagine the places are a staircase, you climb slowly up and hurry quickly down. This can be summarised as:-

Is the Conductor using the Calling UP or DOWN Calling Convention

There are two different calling conventions, so how do you determine if a conductor is calling up or down? Some conductors will say whether they are calling up or down, if they don't, listen to the very first change. The Conductor Shouts A to B. If A is a lower number than B, like Six to Seven they are CALLING UP because A is being called up to a higher number. If A is a higher number than B like Four to Two they are CALLING DOWN.
The four rules below apply at every change called but which rules apply depend on the calling convention.

Rules for Interpreting Instructions

The conductor will call two bells to change positions. There are a few simple rules that explain what to do. Listen carefully to the call and see if you or the bell you are following, are mentioned and apply one of the following rules. If your bell number is called, note whether it the first number or the second number, as this makes a major difference. These rules apply to both UP and DOWN calling conventions.

Applying these Rules to Different Calling Conventions

From rounds 1 2 3 4 5 6 we swap bells two and three over to achieve 1 3 2 4 5 6

Learning to Ring Called Changes

Try to be aware of the bell that is in front of the bell you are following. If the bell in front of you is leading then you will have to lead if it is moved. Ringers may try to remember the order of the bells as the conductor calls the changes even if they are not directly affected. This comes with practice and is very helpful if you progress to conducting the band yourself. Don't forget to listen to the sound of the bells. Some sequences are very pleasant and listening will help get the striking right too.