Banana doubles is an interesting and elegant method, highly recommended for a 5-bell band looking for something new. The music and the "feel" are very different from the more familiar methods. The plain course is easier to learn than Stedman. The calls require some getting used to, but once learned they are not much harder than Grandsire.
Tips for the plain course
- It's a principle (like Stedman). That is, all the bells do the same work, and there is no hunt bell.
- It's a double method (like Double Bob and Bristol Surprise). That is, in addition to the usual symmetry (the blue line is the same forwards as backwards), there is also front-back symmetry (the back-work is the front-work upside-down). But note that the start is not at a symmetry point.
- All places in 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th are made right (hand-back), all places in 3rd are made wrong.
- Of the four places where a bell leads, the middle two (adjacent to the 3rds-from-the-front) have another bell making 2nds at the same time. Similarly, the middle two lies have a bell making 4ths under them. (This helps with keeping track of where you are).
Bobs can come both at the lead-end and the half-lead. The place notation for a plain lead is:
A half-lead bob replaces the middle 125 with 145:
A lead-end bob replaces the last 145 with 125:
If that sounds too daunting, it can all be done by learning some simple rules. First, some terminology: we call "lead,2nds,lead,3rds,lead,2nds,lead" the frontwork, and "lie,4ths,lie,3rds,lie,4ths,lie" the backwork. So the plain course is: frontwork, 3rds, backwork, 3rds.
- All calls happen at backstroke, and take effect the next backstroke.
If a bob happens when you are:
- about to lead, then unaffected. (This can happen for the first two leads of the front work).
- about to make the middle 3rds of the front work, then make 3rds, 5ths, 3rds and restart the front work
- about to make the last 2nds of the front work, then make 3rds instead and restart the front work
- about to leave the front work, then make an extra 2nds, lead, 2nds, lead, then 3rds and backwork
Because the method and calls are double, exactly the same rules apply to the backwork, but upside down:
- lie: unaffected
- middle 3rds: 3rds, lead, 3rd, backwork
- last 4ths: 3rds, backwork
- end of backwork: 4ths, lie, 4ths, lie
Calling a 120
Call a bob every one-and-a-half leads (i.e. every 12 changes), 10 bobs in total. If you are covering or very good at counting, this may be enough, otherwise it's easy enough to learn the sequence of works at the bobs. E.g.
call the 4th: first lead (of frontwork), last 2nds, middle 3rds, second lead, end of frontwork; then the same for the backwork.