Before moving on to learning any method [in this case, Plain Bob Doubles] it is important that ringers have the necessary foundation skills in place.
Ringers can gain valuable ropesight by having already learned to cover, or ringing the treble to touches of plain methods. Ringers who have completed Level 3 of the Learning the Ropes scheme will have already rung two quarter peals, one on the treble and one on the tenor.
A good sense of rhythm on five bells is also helpful. This skill can be developed by plain hunting starting on lots of different bells, as this helps the new ringer become familiar with spotting after bells on either side of them. So when ringing the third, the after bell is the second - on the ringer’s right (in a clockwise tower!). Whilst if they’ve started on the second, their after bell will be the fourth - on their left.
Any experience your ringer can gain with dodging is valuable. If ringers can gain confidence with both dodging over and under at hand and back, they’ll already be familiar with the action of dodging when it occurs in a method.
Before ringing any method, ringers need to be able to successfully count their place. If this is still a struggle, you can help by standing with them as they hunt the treble and counting their place out loud for them. Once they are hunting reliably, they can count alongside the teacher, and finally just count by themselves.
Ringers sometimes feel daunted by all the theory they need to learn when they first start ringing methods. It’s helpful if they can get into the habit of learning things away from the tower. However, some ringers can be quite resistant to this idea to begin with and teachers may have to try various strategies to persuade them.
So what’s new to learn?
The first time a method is learned, it is worth holding a dedicated theory session for the ringers, perhaps before practice. Or teachers may wish to hold a separate session and invite other local ringers, or run something for the Branch or Association.
The Teaching Toolboxes include:
The Methodology app allows ringers to practise methods on their Android device or smart-phone. Ringers can turn on bobs to learn touches, or just tap through a plain course. The app tells the ringer when they are correct and is easy to use!
Print off this two-page cribsheet for you to use in the tower. The first page covers the plain course; the second page touches.