Thomas A. Alspaugh
Hunting Speeds Calculator

# Discussion

 Number of bells Handstroke pause beat(s) bpm s s beats s % beats s % beats s % beats s % beats s % beats s %

The calculator shows the hunting-in and hunting-out speeds that correspond to rounds speed for each number of bells.

# Using the calculator

To use the calculator, enter:

• The number of bells you wish to think about. The minimum is 4, and the maximum is 16. The time between one bell striking and the next will be used as the beat.

If you change the number of bells, click the button.

• The handstroke pause you wish to think about. The minimum is 0, and the maximum is 1 beat. 1 beat is a good choice because then you can count straight through while ringing. But if your band is experienced, they may be used to ringing with as little as a 0.5 beat handstroke pause.

If you change the handstroke pause, click the button.

• One of:
• The beats per minutes for the ringing you want to think about.

If you change the beats per minute, click the button.

• The length of one beat in seconds.

If you change the length of a beat, click the button.

• The length of one pull in seconds.

If you change the length of a pull, click the button.

When you click one of the buttons, everything else in the calculator is updated to match. You will see:

# Rounds speed

(Rounds speed is shown between hunting-in and hunting-out in the calculator so that the numbers increase monotonically, but since most ringers are better at rounds it is discussed first here.)

For rounds speed, this is the number of bells. Every other bell rings between your handstroke and your next backstroke.

This is different from the handstroke-to-backstroke beats, because it includes the handstroke pause. Every ringer, not just the treble, must leave the pause, so every ringer's backstroke-to-handstroke interval is larger than their handstroke-backstroke interval. (Unless of course the pause is 0.)

If you find that your hanstrokes are always a little early, and/or your backstrokes are always a little late, you may not be ringing with a handstroke pause.

## The time each stroke takes

The length of each stroke is given in seconds as well as in beats.

## Percent comparison of the strokes

The length of each stroke is also given as a percent. Handstroke-to-backstroke in rounds is taken as 100%, and all other strokes are given relative to that.

## Making well-struck rounds happen

Striking rounds speed accurately requires pulling the backstrokes with a little more oomph so the bell rises enough for the handstroke pause. The ringer's hands are at a steady height on the sally and on the tail.

As always, particular bells may require specific adjustments to get accurate striking, particularly heavier bells.

# Hunting-in speed

When you hunt in, each stroke is one beat faster than at rounds speed.

Lower = faster
Higher = slower

To make your hunting-in strokes faster, i.e. make the bell ring faster, you have to convince the bell to swing lower.

That means:

1. Less oomph on the preceding stroke, so this stroke doesn't swing as high; and/or
2. Catching a bit higher on the sally, if this stroke is a handstroke, or climbing up the tail a bit, if this stroke is a backstroke, to stop the bell from rising as high as it would otherwise; and/or
3. Keep the bell from rising by resisting (checking) on its way up, if the bell is small enough and you are strong enough; and/or
4. Check the bell strongly enough that the bell slows down suddenly while the clapper keeps swinging, so that it strikes sooner than it otherwise would.

## Making well-struck hunting-in happen

To hunt in accurately, a ringer will have to adjust both the oomph in each pull and the height on the sally and tail.

When speeding up into hunting-in speed from rounds speed, reduce the oomph starting with the last stroke at rounds speed. On an even number of working bells, this will be a backstroke, and on an odd number a handstroke. In either case, the last stroke in rounds receives less oomph so the bell does not rise so high for the first stroke at hunting-in speed. Continue with a reduced amount of oomph while at hunting-in speed. You may find you need to give your last backstroke at hunting-in speed a little more oomph than usual in order to place your first handstroke in leads properly; watch out for this.

Adjust your hand position for that first stroke at hunting-in speed, climbing up the tail and catching the sally higher. Check the bell's rise if you need to because you gave too much oomph to the last stroke before the transition. Continue with this higher hand position until you change back to rounds speed.

Speeding up from rounds speed into hunting-in speed:

1. Less oomph beginning with the last stroke in rounds speed.
2. Then move up the tail/sally for the first stroke in hunting-in speed. Check the bell's rise if you need to to make it strike soon enough.

To slow from hunting-in to rounds speed, you will need to give the first handstroke in leads much more oomph. Remember, you have to swing the bell high enough for the second blow in rounds speed to be late enough, and you have to do it at a handstroke. Handstrokes are shorter — you have to put all the necessary energy into the bell in that brief period of time. It will take a definite effort.

After the first handstroke in rounds, shift your hands down the tail and sally so the bell swings high enough to slow down into rounds speed.

Slowing from hunting-in speed to rounds speed:

1. Substantially more oomph for the first handstroke in leads.
2. Move up the tail before the first backstroke in leads.

# Hunting-out speed

When you hunt out, each stroke is one beat slower than at rounds speed.

Lower = faster
Higher = slower

To make your hunting-in strokes slower, i.e. make the bell ring slower, you have to convince the bell to swing higher.

That means:

1. More oomph on the preceding stroke, so this stroke swings higher; and
2. Catching a bit lower on the sally, if this stroke is a handstroke, or climbing down the tail a bit, if this stroke is a backstroke, to let the bell ring higher.

That's it. For hunting in, you have some choices, although pulling the previous stroke with less oomph is by far the best, but for hunting out, you have no choice. You have to pull the previous stroke with more oomph, and you have to let this stroke rise higher.

## Making it happen

Slowing from rounds to hunting-out speed:

2. Catch lower on the sally for the handstroke in 2nds.
3. Continue giving more than the rounds amount of oomph, and being higher on the tail and sally, until you are about to speed up into rounds speed.

Speeding up from hunting-out speed into rounds speed:

1. Less oomph for your last stroke before you arrive at the back. This will be a backstroke for an even number of bells, and a handstroke for an odd number of bells.
2. Climb higher on the tail/sally for the first stroke at the back. Check the bell's rise if you need to to make it strike soon enough.

# Discussion

## More bells is easier

Note how much shorter the hunting-in strokes are than the strokes at rounds speed, and how much longer the hunting-out strokes are. The fewer bells, the bigger the difference. This is one reason that it is easier to ring with many bells than it is with few bells.

## Two-speed hunting

Some ringers, especially novices, forget to ring at rounds speed in leads and at the back. They drift out toward the back and not-quite-hunting-out speed, then drift in toward the front at not-quite-hunting-in speed, leaving out rounds speed altogether. At best such ringers place two blows correctly out of the eight. In practice such ringers often drift beyond the back and miss leads as well, so that no blow is correctly placed.

It is essential to ring at all three speeds in order to hunt cleanly.