What made Ringo a great drummer

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

  1. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    11,553
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
    Uh, that was just one song, "Love Me Do". There are two versions - the album cut with Andy White on drums, and the single with Ringo.
     
    Greggorios and klasaine like this.
  2. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    2,255
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Location:
    next to the burn zone
    I was a wild teen. I lived 15 miles south of San Francisco and went to the Filmore West and Winterland, as well as the numerous shows that hippies would put on, in the hundreds.

    My friend Larry was a skinny little crazy dude drummer with super long hair. His dad gave him a set of excellent Rogers double bass drums.

    His dad Dave Black had been a working drummer and settled down to raise their crazy kid. Dave still had a gig playing drums in SF at Finnocios, a famous cross dressing club down on Broadway.

    This meant that us crazy 15 yr olds gad a Friday and Saturday ride to and from the Filmore West and Winterland so I got to see hindreds of bands, all the cool bands, no soda shop bands.

    Anyway, we always had a ride, and Dave would tell us stories of his days on the road. But honestly I was a rocker and those stories didn't penetrate to me other than a dad telling stories..

    What didn't click was the story he told of him playing drums for Charlie Parker, or the stories of him playing with the Dorsey Bros, and of course I didn't click with his story of his multiple years with Duke Ellington. It just never registered that this man was playing and thought of as on the same level as Gene Krupa and Louie Bellson, in fact the three drummers put out a record called Dynamic Drums. When my friend moved out of his dads place Dave went back to being a pro for hire. His first gig back was playing drums for Joe Pass.

    Anyway there isn't much on Dave Black but here he is soloing with the double bass drumset in his 70s. Some very fine snare work, the likes not found too much in rock, enjoy Dave.

     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
    drlucky, Matt G and Teleguy61 like this.
  3. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,881
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    And of course one could rightfully argue that the amount of money he made has nothing to do with his musicianship. Countless examples of very wealthy auto-tuned contemporary musicians could be cited to support this.

    The fact that he was the drummer of The Beatles had far more bearing on his financial status than his musicianship. Those were great songs and lots of people bought them.
     
    magicfingers99 likes this.
  4. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    2,255
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Location:
    next to the burn zone
    But of course,,, I concur,,,
     
  5. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,881
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    I think what is getting lost in this discussion is the difference between a "good" drummer and a "great" drummer. Ringo was a good drummer in a great band. Is Neil Young a great lead guitarist? No.... any of us in this forum could play at least as good as he does. Great singer? No..... obviously. BUT, he's a great songwriter and he sings and plays guitar well enough to produce great music. That's really the bottom line here. There are millions of extremely talented musicians who will forever be playing in their basements, because 1) they are not writing great songs, and/or 2) are not effectively distributing them.
     
    Straydogger and nojazzhere like this.
  6. thebowl

    thebowl Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    326
    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Ringo Starr's legacy in 20th Century popular music is etched in stone, far beyond the reach of internet discussion boards.
     
  7. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,209
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    FL
    Ringo played exactly what every song needed. "A Day In The Life", for me was his masterpiece.
     
  8. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    14,261
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Spring City, Pa
    There's a lot to be said for coming up with unique, memorable parts that serve the song.
    George Harrison's guitar is in the same league.
    Nobody compares his chops to Steve Vai's.
     
  9. thechad

    thechad Tele-Meister

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    267
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Location:
    Kamloops
    Sorry if this has been mentioned, but aside from drumming, ringo would often say funny things (ringoisms) that the others would think sounded cool and turn into songs. Such as “hard days night” and “tomorrow never knows” among others. I’m sure John, Paul and George has enough good material, but Ringos input on their career is more than just his drumming. You couldn’t have replaced any of the Beatles with someone else and had the same impact.
     
    Matt G, nojazzhere and Greggorios like this.
  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,898
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    It's hard for me to see Ringo as a technically great drummer. I wonder if he could do a press roll? But he played the appropriate stuff FOR THE SONG... and was quite adept at not playing just normal stuff. That's what I like about him. I wish more drummers would get away from run of the mill drumming and so some things more unique. There are drummers who can ebb and flow timing with the song. Joni Mitchell HAD to have that. Many drummers can't even understand it.
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  11. Throttleneck

    Throttleneck Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,516
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    Northern New Mexico
     
    trancedental, DuckDodgers and 41144 like this.
  12. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,944
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    toronto
    Which explains why the Beatles had so many offers from record companies at the start and why Capitol in the States couldn't wait to release the Beatles first record.
     
    beyer160 and Greggorios like this.
  13. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,944
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    toronto
    At the time Ringo joined the Beatles Ringo was the bigger star in Liverpool.
     
    Matt G, thechad and Greggorios like this.
  14. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    7,502
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ada, MI

    well sure, but why let the facts get in the way of a sordid tale?

    speaking of, how long before we can start a 'Jimmy Nicol was better than Ringo' thread?
     
  15. Jerry J

    Jerry J Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,614
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    NoVa
    You are ABSOLUTELY right! And why all the hate on Ringo. I don't understand it. If Ringo was good enough for Stu Copeland, he should be good enough for us, eh?
     
  16. Jerry J

    Jerry J Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,614
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    NoVa
    Great post and on point. Who else in rock music was this beloved and by so many generations? I had just turned 7 when they played for the first time on the Ed Sullivan show. My parents threw a party for the occasion! My older sister saw their first US concert a few days later at the Washington Colosseum. Fast forward to now, my teenage kids love them and acknowledge them as the best band ever, better than even Nirvana! (They weren't too shabby either). Glad I raised them right. Can't understand why some want to compare them to a boy band? I guess they just want to troll...

    Yes, there are many other great bands, but none have left their mark like the Beatles. They are the MJ of the music.
     
    Larmo63, Ben-Zion and nojazzhere like this.
  17. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,581
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    Not to derail this thread about Ringo and turn it into a JV thread...

    When I first started playing in 1989, Stevie Ray Vaughan was at the forefront of Texas Blues. Rightfully so—he was exciting, a spectacular player, a great showman and he brought renewed attention to a genre that had fallen by the wayside.

    Since I was an aficionado of that Texas Blues scene (albeit in Fort Worth instead of Austin), I saw his influence firsthand...the SR Vaughan-abees came out in droves...especially when he died.
    But since I was not a great soloist on guitar at the time, I started figuring out what would blend well and/or complement what all the hotshot SRV-style players were putting down...and it often fell to Jimmie Vaughan-style rhythm lines.

    I was drawn to his style even more when I started playing harmonica. Listening to all the albums he cut with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, backing up Kim Wilson (IMHO the greatest Blues Harp Player Ever in the History of Ever), made me realize how a guy backing up a hot soloist (Stevie on guitar or Kim on harp) has to leave some breathing room while simultaneously filling out the song(s). Even as a harp player, I would often take time to coach a guitarist or bassist on how to back me up...and generally, I was teaching them JV licks.

    What was weird, is some specific guitarists would get upset when I’d play the (seemingly simpler) Jimmie Vaughan fills, riffs, rhythms and occasional leads/solos to “fill out” or complete the song they were setting on fire—because I eventually started getting more attention. The audience would say, “The lead guitarist is playing like Stevie Ray Vaughan again—but what’s that dude on the orange guitar doing?”

    One guy said, “Quit that crap—it’s too simple anyway! Do you think you’re doing something good? Anybody can play that!”
    I just smiled and said, “If it’s so easy, why don’t you try to do it?”
    He couldn’t.
    He was upset because he was playing circles around me, but I got more attention, by backing him up—even though he was the better player, better singer, better looking and the band leader/frontman for the group...but he was doing something 10,000 other guitarists in Texas were already doing, so it was ho-hum to the audience.
    You’re excited the first time you see a peacock. The 10,000th time, you say, “oh, that’s pretty, but look at that little cardinal behind him!”

    Likewise, a lot of people rag on Ringo (and Jimmie and Charlie and Buddy Holly and...) as “not being all that great,” but they couldn’t do the same thing to save their life—especially in the context of creating something new or original.

    Even now, I continue to channel the first three or four players I imitated on guitar back in the day—Keef and Muddy and Jimmie being in the forefront—and to this day people will be drawn to the “simple” stuff much more so than the fiery 6-minute solos, especially at an acoustic jam.
     
    drlucky, Larmo63 and El Tele Lobo like this.
  18. stinkey

    stinkey Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,197
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Location:
    malmö sweden
    He playes songs, not "just" rhythm.
     
    drlucky and Fiesta Red like this.
  19. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,147
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    somewhere over a rainbow (Ex-L.A. resident)
    1) McCartney had a problem with all the other Beatles. He didn't have a lot of patience because he was writing so much. So, if one of the other Beatles had trouble coming up with a part he would say "here, do it this way". Sometimes that offended the others. He just wanted to finish songs and go on to the next one, they wanted to come up with the best parts they could.
    He has admitted to being overbearing and a control freak. And being partly responsible for their breakup.
    I've never heard it proven that Paul ever rerecorded Ringo's parts behind his back.
    That sounds like the sort of thing a gossip writer would come up with.

    2) Has anyone ever compared Ringo to a Jazz drummer? He doesn't play jazz. Jazz musicians are obsessed with learning and improvising. The performance of a song is almost as important to them as the song itself.
    Taking your statement, I will say that the jazz singers and guitarists of the day could play and sing circles around the other 3 Beatles.
    So what? That's not what the Beatles were. The Beatles were coming up with some of the greatest pop and rock songs ever written.
    The jazz musicians were living in squalor for the most part. The public didn't care for or understand their music so they didn't buy it.

    Ringo was a member of a band and he contributed as much to the music as the other 3 did. He may not have written the basis for the songs, but his parts were for the most part iconic.
     
    drlucky, Greggorios and nojazzhere like this.
  20. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,104
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    I would take ten Yokos over another boring blooze performance. To each their own.
     
    stinkey likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.