Covering is when the tenor rings last in each change. It helps you develop ropesight; the ability to see bells changing places below you. Some ringers learn to cover using hearing to start with and some use ropesight. Whichever you use you will need to use both skills to become competent. Covering is often learned concurrently with Plain Hunt.
To cover you need to develop ropesight to see bells changing places below you. You will have started to do this when learning to ring call changes when two bells change places below you. You may not have been ringing the tenor. As you ring the tenor, count the changes below you, sounding your bell in your head in the last place of the change.
1 2 3 4 5 6
If your tower has a simulator your teacher may give you an opportunity to ring the tenor on the simulator. This is good practice for developing rhythm.
Take the opportunity to ring the tenor to rounds and call changes as this will help you get the feeling of the rhythm of the bells.
Once you can ring the tenor rhythmically to rounds and call changes your teacher may move you on to start covering to Plain Hunt which has a very predictable repetitive pattern. If covering to Plain Hunt on 5 proves too difficult to start with, your teacher may start you covering to Plain Hunt on 3 or 4 bells. When covering to Plain Hunt you ring two blows over each bell.
When covering Plain Hunt on an odd number of bells you follow a different bell for two blows changing at the backstroke. Whilst when you cover on an even number of bells you follow a different bell for two blows changing at the handstroke.
Once you can cover to Plain Hunt you will move on to covering methods. Different methods have different numbers of bells and patterns of bells coming to the back. When ringing the tenor you follow the bells in the penultimate place of the change so when ringing on 6 bells you follow the bells ringing in 5th place.
In these examples of commonly rung methods:
Have a look and listen to a video of doubles ringing with the tenor covering.