WAVERTON HANDBELL RINGERS

©2017 BY WAVERTON HANDBELL RINGERS. PROUDLY CREATED WITH WIX.COM

HANDBELL TECHNIQUES

The following terms describe some techniques used by bell ringers with a short video to demonstrate the action.

MALLETING AND SUSPENDED MALLETING

The general method of malleting is to strike the bell around the point the clapper would hit with a mallet held in a relaxed and gentle grip.  The strike should generally be from no more than a few inches above the bell to ensure the hit is accurate in time and power.

Suspended malleting is literally the playing of a bell while held in the air rather than on a table.

MART AND MART LIFT

From a couple of inches above a decent depth and weight of foam gently press the bell casting into the foam with enough force for the clapper to hit the casting.

Perform a mart but immediately lift the bell.  This will ensure it is not fully damped.  The note will last longer and therefore be less staccato.

PLUCK

The thrusting of the clapper, while the bell is on the table, either upwards or downwards into the casting.  

ECHO

Ring the bell, lower to the table.  Softly and shortly touch the table.  It is usually indicated when the echoes should occur; often on the beats for the rest of the note length.

THUMB DAMP

Place your thumb on the casting, extending up towards where the clapper head strikes.  Vary thumb position and pressure to control the level of damp/ring.

SHAKE

Shake the bell.

SINGING BELL

Run a wooden dowel around the rim of the bell to make the bell vibrate.  The volume can be increased with pressure and speed.  Once the note is going, slow your movements.

FOUR-IN-HAND

4-in-hand is the playing of 2 bells in each hand with the clappers acting at right angles.  The first bell is in the standard ringing position with the second bell between index and middle fingers.