Category Archives: Solo work

Getting started as a soloist – skills

Before you launch into learning your first solo piece, take the time to develop good technique. Plan to spend time on drills at every practice session; you want to form good habits from the beginning. The basic skills you’ll need immediately are changing bells, table damping, weaving, four-in-hand (ring and knock), Shelley, and an understanding of which hand to use to start a passage. If you don’t know how to do some of them, maybe you’re not ready to start solo ringing. You would be better off finding a quartet to ring with; small ensemble experience is an ideal way to transition from choir ringing to solo ringing. Continue reading Getting started as a soloist – skills

Finding a solo handbell coach

Whether starting to solo or learning specific techniques, look for a teacher. Finding a handbell instructor in your area may prove difficult, and you may need to travel. (While books and videos will be helpful resources, you really need a teacher. Would you try to learn the violin with only a book to guide you? ) Maybe your handbell director can help, or an advanced ringer in your bell choir. Look online for soloists who may live near you, or who travel. If there’s a community bell choir nearby, call and ask if they offer workshops, or if someone in the choir would meet with you to teach you the skills you need. Always check out the prospective coach’s work to see if s/he seems qualified to teach others.

Note:  I’m always happy to give advice or feedback on videos, and I also coach soloists remotely using online video chat.  Please let me know if I can help you.

Continue reading Finding a solo handbell coach