Techniques Demonstration

Brush DampBrush Damp

A BD indicates that a ringing handbell is brushed downward against the chest resulting in a sudden reduction of volume. This technique may be used when a soft ring follows a loud ring with the same handbell(s). The effect simulates a forte-piano.


To perform the Echo technique, the handbells are rung on beat one and then lightly but precisely touched to the padded table on the counts indicated.


To execute a Gyro, ring the handbell, while holding in the vertical position slowly rotate the handbell to produce a slight vibration in sound.

Mallet with Handbell on tableMallet With Handbell On Table

The symbol indicates that the handbell is resting on a padded table and is struck with a mallet.

Mallet LiftMallet Lift

Mallet Lift is executed by lifting the handbell immediately after striking it.


Martellato indicates the handbell is rung by holding it by the handle and gently striking the full body of the handbell horizontally on a properly padded table.

Martellato LiftMartellato Lift

Martellato Lift indicates the martellato followed by immediately lifting the handbell to allow the sound to continue.

Pluck Pluck

Pl indicates the “plucking” technique. Handbells are placed on a padded table and sounded by moving the clapper manually.

Shake Shake

The Sk symbol indicates the rapid shaking of a handbell with the clapper striking both sides of the handbell.

Swing Swing

SW indicates a full-arm swing after ringing the handbell. SW and/or arrows are used to indicate swings. Arrows should be synchronized with the beats on which the swings occur. Numbers may be used to specify the beats on which the swings are made.