What made Ringo a great drummer

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by ASATKat, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    I wonder how many of the haters here actually listened to the video?

    I confess, I never thought much of him as a drummer for much of my life...at best, I was ambivalent about him...until I watched that video and had (a very gifted young drummer) break it down for me. The things that make Ringo great are the things we take for granted. He doesn't jump out of the mix like, "HEY! LOOK AT ME! I'M THE DRUMMER!" In fact, he almost hides in it because he fits his playing to the song so well.

    One sound point made in the video is that Ringo plays so differently than most rock drummers that it's hard to appreciate what he's doing until someone else tries (and fails) to do it who plays more of a straight ahead style. Imagine someone else playing drums for the Beatles and you might get an idea just how valuable he is.

    I'm not a big fan of drummers generally, especially since I sat in with a group a few years ago that was playing 3 times as loud as they needed to for the gig (small room, swing dance crowd) and the drummer was the worst...played like a caveman and tried to sing like Paul Stanley while trying to swallow the microphone...in other words, didn't compensate for his power with mic technique). I've had tinnitus in one ear ever since and will never play with an unknown drummer again that I haven't heard first from a distance.

    I've heard similar things about say, Axl Rose of Guns n Roses. He may be a jerk or a prima donna or whatever, but listen to any of the dozens of GNR tribute albums (many comprised of a who's who of 80s rock talent) and listen to how few can do what he did almost effortlessly). You may not have liked his vocal STYLE, but he had incredible power and range. Still does.

    Jimmie Vaughan is still probably the best object of comparison here. When I was a much younger guitarist and into blues, I found his brother much more exciting. What Jimmie did sounded "easy"...until I tried to do it. Plus, there were tons of Stevie clones at jam nights and they just fit so incongruently with much of the mix. Most didn't know what to do in a real jam session where they weren't the focal point (played too loudly, too many effects, annoyed the audience). After that, I made much of my jam sesh career about fitting into the mix, conversing with the other musicians musically, increasing my chord vocabulary and serving the song than going, "HEY! I PLAY GUITAR SOLOS!" Sadly, some people never have this epiphany.

    Another drummer who never gets due credit in his genre is Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden. He doesn't play with a double bass drum and he has an incredible amount of nuance and swing for a metal drummer. Maiden would not be the same with anyone else. Check him out in particular on the Somewhere in Time album. Brilliant.

    I don't play drums, but if I did, I'd rather be a Ringo Starr than any of dozens of other more highly lauded rock drummers.

    That young lady in the video is already outstanding. She's going to be a force to reckon with when she's older.
     
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  2. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Imo, it IS Ringo's melodic sences that made him perfect for the Beatles. The song Come Together shows how melodic he could be and use a great backbeat in the same song. That had never been done before in rock, and that made him just as important as the other members. Imo,,,
     
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  3. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Another drummer/guitar comparison might be how different Bill Frisell is to other guitarists.
     
  4. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    "He plays exactly what the song needs, and nothing else. He's the Jimmie Vaughan of the drums."

    Couldn't have said it any better!

    Ringo, probably under the direction of Paul, and/or John... or George M., played a lot of what I believe was an "orchestrated drum style."

    Not really R&R.

    This, he did very well. And, I'm not sure anyone else, including Paul (who really wasn't a drummer), could have done it. IMO, it really added a lot to many of those songs.

    Ringo was ego-less or at least malleable.

    If you take/have the time, read the book that analyses all of the Beatles songs and has an extensive list of the production and all of the musicians and who played what (and even why) on every song. You'll see that a lot of effort and thought went into the instrumentation of those songs, especially after (and during) Rubber Soul and Revolver.

    Many times Ringo only played hand percussion, because they experimented and that's all they felt was needed.

    He complied...
     
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  5. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thanks to drmmrr55 for your thoughtful comments. Nice to hear from another drummer about Mr Starkey. I'm not a drummer and can only say that I couldn't even begin to appreciate Ringo until I stopped comparing him to the Keith Moon's and Buddy Rich's of the world. Very different animals.
     
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  6. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm sure it's already been said, but what made Ringo even being up for consideration as a great drummer was his bandmates' popularity as a unit
     
  7. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    I think he is a terrific drummer.

    I don't get why people have to think of musicians as geniuses, or "the best" and stuff like that. I don't think the musicians look at it that way, except maybe for the musicians they have in turn idolized? Is that a chicken/egg scenario? Maybe idolizing great musicians is what inspired the next batch of musicians, who rarely think of themselves as "the greatest."

    I've heard a lot of ideas on what makes Ringo's drumming unique though, even from Ringo himself when asked:

     
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  8. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    It's great having Sina playing with Avonlea on Something. I found out about her because of that version. Avonlea is also awesome. These young women are ready for primetime.

     
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  9. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Not as cut & dry as that. Pete Best was a good drummer, one of the best around, and he was the best looking member of the early band. So it wasn't looks,, or was it? The fab four needed the misfit, that look rounded out the band inage, and back then choosing your favorite Beatle was huge. Ringo most definately had his misfit followers and was portrayed as the loner sad boy that didn't fit. Brilliant! Best could never be that.

    On top of that, Ringo had the perfect beat for the tune, he got it.

    And aside from songwriting, none of the Beatles were the best players. They just had the best songs and image, they could do no wrong.

    And yes,,, they were sold to us by forces bigger than the band.
     
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  10. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thats simply how things worked out, I don't for one second believe it was as premeditated as all that. The stars did certainly come into alignment for this band, on every level.

    Nonetheless, the prepackaged and sold thing, certainly that was the case
     
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  11. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Really? imo those young men were swept up in the biggest R&R business move of all time, the revisualisation of what rock could be. They were "owned". And I think these behind the scene decisions were made fast and years before it hit the populace. Some smart business guys were on the lookout in '61, and their skill was to see into the future. In that sense the whole thing was premeditated.
     
  12. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Insightful ASATKat, I agree that it's very possible that the "image" thing could have played a role here. It's easy to forget that TV was still relatively young at the time as were full color magazines and many of the publicity and marketing tools we take for grated today. The "engineering" of looks and image was beginning to be more finely developed in "Madison Ave" advertising agencies, think Mad Men . Pop and Rock bands had "cards" just like baseball players. And yes, the drummer did seem to be the misfit.
     
  13. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    There are extremely few bands that I know the name of their drummer. Beatles, Eagles, uhhhhh?
     
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  14. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I’m familiar with atonal music. For the most part, to me, it still sounds like music. When I hear Yoko Ono sing, to me, it sounds like a cat being eviscerated alive. That’s just my honest opinion.
     
  15. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    I was 10 in '64. I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and talked about it forever more in my school years. My sisters were 3-4 years older and totally got swept up in the hype.

    This was a time before the boombox, the 9v transistor radio was the youtube of the day, and everyone had their radio. It was a R&R move that has never been surpassed. After the Beatles, bands came on the scene with their one hit wonders. Even the counterpart band The Rolling Stones had to play second to the Beatles. Even Dylan was pushed aside by The Beatles, yes indeed the times were changing, and the hippie producers and business guys were quickly having to deal with the crazy bald guys were $$$ was the bottom line,, but that's another thread.
     
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  16. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm just glad I'm not well enough known to be included in one of those "who's the greatest musician?" debates......I try to play "well" and "appropriately" in whatever I'm asked to play. In this sense, Ringo is my role-model.
    As someone said, I just wish more bar-band drummers would emulate Ringo more than Neil Peart. ;) And as far as Keith Moon (who I love and miss) can you imagine early Beatles recordings with Moon on drums? That would have been a disaster!
    Pete Best? He was supposedly adequate at best. (no pun) He used a LARGE bass drum, and allegedly pounded that thing like thunder.....no subtlety or finesse. Ringo fit the early Beatles material, both L&Mc originals as well as their covers. And, as we all know, the "chemistry" between bandmates is ALL important, and the others may have felt more comfortable with Ringo.
    Whatever, The Beatles caught lightning in a bottle, with John, Paul, George, and Ringo.....and I'll be forever grateful!!!!!!! ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
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  17. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not in a "who's best" debate, I am into why Ringo's style fit so well. That's all.
     
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  18. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    There is also the story that Pete Best was too good looking to be a beatle and that RS was hired to be the "ugly beatle."
     
  19. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Not exactly. True the Pete Best was considered handsome. But the reason they canned him is because he was not any good. Ringo was in another local established band, and was considered the best drummer around in that local area.
     
  20. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    It always strikes me how whenever the topic of the Beatles comes up, there are always people who seem to think they were mainly the product of some marketing scheme. Like a boy band or something. The Beatles were like Michael Jordan. Yes they were marketed to death. But they rose to the top because they were really, really, legitimately great.
     
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