How To Get The Best From The METHODOLOGY App



  • The audience for this document is approximately 15 members of the Association of Ringing Teachers, at the Annual Conference in March 2016.
  • Also, an independent learner starting from scratch.

Every Learner proceeds at their own speed

And in particular, people learning a hands-on IT-based skill will bring into the experience, markedly different levels of skill in IT and in the topics being learned using IT as a vehicle (in this case, method ringing and conducting). For this reason this seminar will not take the form of a lecture, it will be a hands-on experience of using Apps on your own phone to explore what they can do, and the opportunity to ask questions..  The instructions below can obviously be used by an independent learner as well, not in a group situation. If you need emergency help or something isn’t clear, please feel free to email the author! If you are in the position of helping someone lese to learn, the following golden rules may apply:

  • They will probably proceed more slowly than you expect. You are familiar with the screens, they are seeing them for the first time. For this reason, golden rule number one is Let the learner drive.  If you need to look at the screen to to decide what to do next, hand it back and let THEM click the next button!
  • Let them make notes. Anything they do from time to time will be difficult to remember. Notes can help.
  • Let them ask silly questions.  They have not yet got a conceptual grasp of the software they are just about to learn, so they will not sue the correct language!

When to use Methodology

  • Learning a plain course of your first method (including Plain Hunt, which Methodology calls “Original”)
  • Learning Bobs and Singles for a method
  • Learning to ring on Higher Numbers
  • Learning a more difficult method
  • Messing about with methods long before you can ring them.
  • Checking your start before you ring
  • “Sight reading” methods
  • When you have no internet and you are bored! The App works independently once it is downloaded.

If you have never downloaded an APP before…

You will need an Android phone, and a bank card. This is because Google Play (the “shop” where you can get the 2 ringing apps) needs your bank details the 1st time you use it. It will not cost you anything as both Apps are free to download.

play store imageYour phone already has a number of APPs loaded – a web brower, email and phone apps for example. Each one is represented by a small picture, you are looking for the PLAY STORE – you need to find and click this icon on your phone.

  • On your first visit, you will be asked for your bank details and asked to tick a number of “terms and conditions”

Step 1 – find the first App

screenshot_2016-03-09-09-51-58.jpgInside the Play Store the first screen will be a search screen, it looks like this image. You should click on APPS AND GAMES

Then in the top bar where it says “Google play”, type Methodology bell ringing.

Step 2 – Install Methodology and load Bob Doubles


methodology ready to downloadScreen 1 – Click methodology
screenshot_2016-03-09-09-59-39.jpgScreen 2 – Click INSTALL and ACCEPT the conditions. It will take a few seconds/minutes to download.
 screenshot_2016-03-09-10-05-40.jpgScreen 3 -Click OPEN and you will go to the initial HELP SCREEN with menu.
screenshot_2016-03-09-10-16-32.jpgScreen 4 – Help Screen With Menu

Touch the screen beside the menu to see the help screen as it really is helpful! After a preamble about the latest release, the next bit (scroll down).

The best advice is TRY TAPPING THE SCREEN – this always works and always calls up the menu at the top of the screen. Click the 3 stripes (“burger”) at the left hand end, and click SELECT METHOD.

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-25-25.jpgScreen 5 – My Methods

This is black because you have not yet loaded any methods from the  LIBRARY so that is what you need to click next…

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-27-08.jpgScreen 6 – the Library

This is showing all the 6 bell methods, so change it to 5 bells (top right of the screen) then start typing Plain Bob

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-32-35.jpgScreen 7 – found Plain Bob!

Click the HEART to put the method into your library. You don’t want to be faced with a black screen next time you select a 5 bell method! Then click the words Plain Bob and you will see the blue line!!! (Tah Dah)

At this point you probably need a coffee or some practice or both! Try loading some more 5 bell methods into your “MY METHODS” collection, and some 6 and 7 bell if you have time too. It is very useful to have all the methods you can “sort of ring” in your method collection to check starts on a practice night.
Occasionally you will see “Unfortunately Methodology Has Stopped”. It isn’t perfect! Just load it again and try again. 

Step 3 – The Blue Line for  Plain Bob Doubles

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-51-14.jpgIf you have taken a break your phone may have come out of Methodology. It may have been automatically installed as an icon on your home screen. Or you may have to look for it in your App Folder. They look different on different phones….

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-53-19.jpgNow when you go to SELECT METHOD and pick 5 bells, Plain Bob should be ready and waiting. Click the name to go to the Blue Line. Try:

  • Scrolling up and down
  • Pinching and swiping to zoom in and out
  • Turning the phone on its side to see the Landscape View of the method
  • screenshot_2016-03-09-10-58-26.jpgChanging the selected bell (tap the screen,  touch Line 2 and change to Line 3, etc.  Selecting 2 bells will put you in Handbell Mode.
  • Viewing the Bobs and Singles instead (tap the screen, hit the 3-lines burger menu, and ask for Bob/Single)
  • View extra changes on the Bobs and Singles (tap your phone’s menu button (mine is bottom right), and check Show Extra Changes
  • “Sight Reading” Methods in the tower – some musicians can use a blue line to ring a method before they have memorised it. This is very useful if you are needed to make up the final rope on a practice night. It is highly contentious if you ring with “traditional thinkers” who may react very critically – choose your moment! Most methods won’t fit on one screen so a proper A4 printout is better, but even on a phone the blue line is useful for the first couple of leads.

Step 4 – Choose how to “Ring” Plain Bob Doubles

You can “ring” in two ways, both are selected from the main top of the screen menu (Tap screen, tap 3-line icon on left hand end)

  • The Method Tutor is silent and so is ideal for using on buses, during practice night, or while you are supposed to be doing something else. It checks you are placing your bell in the right place in each row but is not concerned with timing.
  • The Method Player uses sound so is ideal for Auditory learners, and for checking your timing is good.

Both can be either plain courses, or have bobs and/or singles included. These are inserted by the software at random.

Step 5 – Learn Method Tutor (Silent Ringing)

screenshot_2016-03-09-11-04-30.jpgThe three control buttons at the bottom of the screen let you ring the next blow – if you choose the wrong one, nothing will happen but you will score a “mistake”. If you don;t want bobs and singles,tap the screen, choose the “3 dot” menu top right, and disable them.



screenshot_2016-03-09-11-05-04.jpgAfter a few down blows, and the odd bob and single, you have probably made some mistakes!  You can RESTART whenever you wish.

Remember how to change bell? (Tap Screen, Select Line 2, change to another line)


When Might Method Tutor be Useful? (Notes for Ringing Teachers)

  • This mode of Methodology is ideal for use during practice nights with learners who might otherwise have nothing to occupy them. The tutor keeps a record of your mistakes. This is much appreciated by young learners in our tower – I give them a challenge – Can you ring 300 changes with less than 10 mistakes?
  • If I sit out with them, it’s a great opportunity to use the correct terminology for each move “Make Places, Dodge, Make the Bob, Make Seconds, Run In”. Better than saying “left, left, right”, that’s for sure! Using terms like “Up” or “out” in the safe environment of a phone, gets them used to their meanings gently…
  • Younger children enjoy being given a method with no explanation and working it all out for themselves – they will patiently work through the options when a bob is called, and this gives a sense of achievement.
  • Older children (and adults) may enjoy spending a prolonged period working on a difficult method – One of our teenagers pretty much “taught himself” Stedman Doubles, Triples and Caters while he was still only ringing Call Changes in the real world! This is not the same as learning it “properly” but I believe it is worthwhile.
  • Mixing in this kind of learning with pencil and paper learning (see dot to dot grids for blue line practice) creates variety and also gives them something to take home with them.
  • Going ahead of yourself can work – I “rang” Stedman Doubles for 18 months on my phone before trying it out in the tower. It provided a secure basis.
  • Seeing your error rate reducing as you become confident with a method is really encouraging – it’s one of the ways I know I have learned a method, and it’s nice and objective!
  • Changing Bell lets you practice different starts repeatedly. Repeated learning is harder to arrange in the tower.

Step 6 – Learn Method Player (Ringing with Sounds)

screenshot_2016-03-09-12-00-36.jpgTap Screen, Left hand 3-bar menu, Method Player will get you to this screen. If you tap the “Play” button (triangle) you will hear a plain course of Plain Bob Doubles.

“your” bell sounds slightly louder than the others. The Blue line appears as the bells sound.

Um… headphones please, if in company!


screenshot_2016-03-09-12-01-04.jpgTap SETUP and choose INTERACTIVE MODE. You can also increase the number of plain courses if you want to at this stage, or activate Bobs and Singles.

This screen is also where you adjust the ringing speed and add cover bells and open handstrokes.

The option at the bottom takes you back to the method player.


screenshot_2016-03-09-12-01-32.jpgIn interactive more your selected bell appears at the bottom of the screen. To ring the bell, tap the dark blue rectangle. The pale blue “2” doesn’t do anything until you start to ring – then you will see feedback on your timing, the little bars indicating how early/late you are on each stroke. Of course you will HEAR if your timing is out as well.

If you want HANDBELL MODE, tap the screen and click Line 2, choosing instead Lines 1+2. The easiest way to “play” them is probably with your two thumbs.

screenshot_2016-03-09-12-13-43.jpgPart way through a plain course of Bob Doubles, showing the little “striking score” lines.


When Might Method Player be Useful? (Notes for Ringing Teachers)

  • Method Player is very much about listening and striking
  • Worth using with a learner who is a bit confused about striking, and you need to discuss “early” and “late”.
  • Very valuable using when stepping up to higher numbers. It is possible to “ring” with the phone in your pocket and headphones in, interactively. Thus a walk to the shops becomes a touch of Grandsire Caters. At this stage “method tutor” is less useful for plain methods as there is too much plain hunting!!!
  • Useful for all sorts of listening issues such as can you hear the treble leading? This skills is incredibly useful in Plain Bob and Grandsire on any number, as it is the cue for the dodges. Impossible therefore to get lost! (Useful for musicians, especially). I believe I developed this skill partly as a side-effect of using Method Player a lot.
  • Useful when learning a new method especially if you don’t look at the blue line – you are forced to really ring it from memory and every error will be painfully obvious!
  • Again for musicians, repeated use of method player may lead to a familiarity with the tune of a method. Personally I find this useful for knowing when to ring and it can also help me to put others right. Some changes can be big cues too – the reverse rounds in a plain course of Cambridge Major will tell you exactly where you are in the method for example.
  • Great for handbell practice when you can’t find other handbell ringers!!

Step 7 – program method player to ring rounds and simple exercises

Normally it plays just 4 rows of rounds then starts the method which is not a lot of use for a learner who just wants to practice sounding their “bell” in the right place in rounds. This is a workaround but it works!

tap screen to get main menu, left hand 3 bar menu, Select Method
screenshot_2016-03-09-12-58-12.jpgClick the Dotty icon beside Plain Bob and Click EDIT
roundsChange the name to ROUNDS. Then change the place notation to 12345  which is a description of rounds.

Then click save, and press your phone’s back button to get back to the method library. Then press Rounds, and select Method Player from the main menu.

screenshot_2016-03-09-12-01-04.jpgBecause the “method” is only one row long, you will need to go into SETUP and ask for the number of plain courses to be the maximum of 20. Together with the 4 before the method and 6 afterwards, that gives you 30 rows to practice striking perfectly in rounds.
screenshot_2016-03-09-12-51-26.jpgIf you edit ROUNDS and change the name to ONE TWO DODGE and change the place notation to 345, then save,  you can do some dodging practice.

Your imagination is the only limit here – can you program other exercises?

Enjoyed this post? You might enjoy: Using TOUCHLINE to learn bob calling

7 thoughts on “How To Get The Best From The METHODOLOGY App”

  1. Have not read all of this as yet.. Good progress. Bishop Tim of Winchester suggested to me a while back that, to encourage recruitment of youngsters, we must use “Apps”.! So, I can report that we’re certainly working on it. 🙂 Thanks.

  2. I went to download methodology for my new phone and it wants me to give it permission to read my “Device ID and call information”. You should always discuss the “Permissions” section and not encourage people to blindly accept apps.
    Now, for methodology, this has something to do with how it handles things when your phone rings etc. but for many apps, especially free ones, permissions are quite inappropriate and you can open up the information (often very personal such as location and birthday dates) without realising. Please think before you accept.

    1. Hi Ron,

      We have nothing to do with Methodolgy. You have posted a comment to the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers website. You would need to contact the developer of the App for an update on when it would be available for Apple devices. As far as I can tell from the Google Play store their contact address is

      I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your question.

      W&P Webmaster

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