Ringo Starr

Sticksman

Pioneer Member
OK, I might be doing a bad thing by opening the Ringo debate, but here goes because it makes for good discussion. Do you think Ringo was all he was hyped up to be, drumming-wise. If he was an adequate drummer, then he was the perfect definition of an adequate drummer. He always kept basic beats, tasteful fills, and even sang once!

Personally, I think he is a good drummer for his time, when drummers just gave a nice groove and then some, and that he deserves credit not only for that but also for inspiring literally millions of people to take up the drum sticks. Not only a good sticksman, but also really influential.

Your two cents???

http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Ringo_Starr.html
 
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Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
I'm a big fan of Ringo, so here are the points:


The idea that Ringo was a lucky Johnny-on-the-spot-with-a-showbiz-stage-name is wrong. In fact, when Beatle producer George Martin expressed his unhappiness after the first session with original drummer Pete Best, the decision was made by Paul, George, and John to hire who they considered to be the best drummer in Liverpool - Ringo Starr. His personality was a bonus.


Ringo was the first true rock drummer to be seen on TV. All the Rock & Roll drummers featured with Elvis, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis were mostly R&B drummers that were making the transition from a swing drumming style of the 40's and 50's toward the louder and more "rocking" sound that is associated with "I Want To Hold Your Hand". They were dressed in tuxedos and suits and held the drumsticks in the "traditional" manner of military, orchestra, and jazz drummers. Ringo showed the world that power was needed to put the emphasis on the "rock" in Rock & Roll music, so he gripped both sticks like hammers and proceeded to build a foundation for rock music.

Ringo changed the way drummers hold their sticks by making popular the "matched" grip of holding drumsticks. Nearly all drummers in the Western World prior to Ringo held their sticks in what is termed the "traditional" grip, with the left hand stick held like a chopstick. This grip was originally developed by military drummers to accomodate the angle of the drum when strapped over the shoulder. Ringo's grip changes the odd left hand to match the right hand, so that both sticks are held like a flyswatter. Rock drummers along with marching band and orchestral percussionists now mostly play with a "matched" grip, and drum companies have developed straps and accessories to accomodate them.

Ringo started a trend of placing drummers on high risers so that they would be as visible as the other musicians. When Ringo appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, he immediately caught the attention of thousands of "drummers to be" by towering over the other three Beatles. Elvis's drummer was looking at a collection of backs.

These same "wannabe" drummers also noticed that Ringo was playing Ludwig drums and they immediately went out and bought thousands of these drumsets, thus establishing Ludwig as the definitive name in Rock & Roll drums at that time.

Ringo changed the sound of recorded drums. About the time of Rubber Soul (released Dec. 6,1965), the sound of the drumset started to become more distinct. Along with help from the engineers at Abbey Road studios, Ringo popularized a new sound for the drums by tuning them lower, deadening the tonal ring with muffling materials, and making them sound "closer" by putting a microphone on each drum.

Ringo has nearly perfect tempo. This allowed the Beatles to record a song 50 or 60 times, and then be able to edit together different parts of numerous takes of the same song for the best possible version. Today an electronic metronome is used for the same purpose, but the Beatles had to depend on Ringo to keep the tempo consistant throughout the dozens of takes of the songs that you know and love so well. Had he not had this ability, the Beatles recordings would sound completely different today.

Ringo's "feel" for the beat serves as a standard for pop-rock record producers and drummers alike. It is relaxed, but never dragging. Solid, yet always breathing. And yes, there is a great amount of musical taste in his decisions of what to play and when to play it. In most recording sessions, the drummer's performance acts as a barometer for the rest of the musicians. The stylistic direction, dynamics, and emotions are filtered through the drummer. He is the catcher to whom the pitcher/songwriter is throwing. If the drumming doesn't feel good, the performance of any additional musicians is doomed from the start. The Beatles rarely if ever had this problem with Ringo.

Ringo hated drum solos, which should win points with quite a few people. He only took one solo while with the Beatles. His eight measure solo appears during "The End" on the "B" side of Abbey Road. Some might say that it is not a great display of technical virtuosity, but they would be at least partially mistaken. You can set an electronic metronome to a perfect 126 beats per minute, then play it along with Ringo's solo and the two will stay exactly together.

Ringo's ability to play odd time signatures helped to push popular songwriting into uncharted areas. Two examples are "All you Need is Love" in 7/4 time, and "Here Comes the Sun" with repeating 11/8, 4/4, and 7/8 passages in the chorus.

Ringo's proficiency in many differen styles such as two beat swing ("When I'm Sixty-Four"), ballads ("Something"), R&B ("Leave My Kitten Alone" and "Taxman") and country (the Rubber Soul album) helped the Beatles to explore many musical directions with ease. His pre-Beatle experience as a versatile and hard working nightclub musician served him well.

The rumors that Ringo did not play on many of the Beatle songs because he was not good enough are also false. In fact, he played on every released Beatles recording (not including Anthology 1) that include drums except for the following: "Back In The USSR" and "Dear Prudence", on which Paul played drums due to Ringo temporarily quitting the band, "The Ballad of John and Yoko", again featuring Paul on drums because Ringo was off making a movie, and a 1962 release of "Love Me Do" featuring session drummer Andy White.

When the Beatles broke up and they were all trying to get away from each other, John Lennon chose Ringo to play drums on his first solo record. As John once said, "If I get a thing going Ringo knows where to go, just like that.." A great songwriter could ask no more of a drummer. Except maybe to smile and bob his head.

Courtesy Ray Bryant http://web2.airmail.net/gshultz/bryant.html

Bernhard
 

Superlow

Pioneer Member
I am not the biggest fan of Ringo, but I appreciate the Beatles and give credit where credit is due. I am still amazed by his drumming on Rubber Soul, the kits sound great on that record. The tunes are great pop tunes no one can deny that. He played for the Beatles, a band that is very much based on lyrics and harmonies. I think for the instruments sake it was almost secondary. It's funny a lot of musicians will pose the who's better argument of Charlie Watts or Ringo, I don't understand how these guys got a bad rap for their drumming.
 

Sticksman

Pioneer Member
I'm impressed. I always knew Ringo was a good drummer, but one of the surprises in Bernhard's post was when I read that "Here Comes the Sun" is played in 11/8, 4/4, and 7/8. I never would've guessed. Either way, great post.
 
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Placeboman

Guest
OH-----------MY-----------------GOD.Burdie was a Beatle?????heh,the truth has a nasty way of getting out there :) Next its revealed that Elvis the King didn´t sing on his records????
If that happens,then ill do something drastic :)
 
Come on guys, he was not that good. the only thing that made him larger than life was that he was part of the beatles. You can argue all you want about how he can keep good tempo and make good beats but hes not all that good of a drummer (as in what your skill is as a drummer).
 

Kevlar

Member
tallassfreak89 said:
You can argue all you want about how he can keep good tempo and make good beats but hes not all that good of a drummer (as in what your skill is as a drummer).
I'd argue that those are qualities that make a good drummer. What is your definition of drumming skills?
Please go listen to Abbey Road, and then tell us all what's not all that good about the drumming.
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
i'm afraid tallassfreak89 that you are treading on dangerous ground here. our beloved founder, bernard is a die hard fan of ringo. since i've been on this forum it is the one aspect of his posts that never changes. if he had a quote that he uses often, like homer says 'hmm dooonuts aaaaarrghghg!' it is certainly: 'don't bash ringo' ... a friendly warning. if you have critiscism about this particular drummer you'd better have lots of evidence to back it up ...

bashing ringo may actually be a banning offence.

j

ps: jokes. but do expand on your opinion.
 

Superlow

Pioneer Member
I find the Purdie playing for the Beatles not surprising at all. He is the most recorded drummer why would he stop there. He's the guy you bring in the studio when you want job done right. Interesting post.
 
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needforspeed182

Guest
Hes good now thats about it tho, he wasnt anything out of the ordinary back then
 
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nickolas_sahaf

Guest
Ringo is one on lovely drummers in the hole world..............................
 

LittleRock

Junior Member
Ringo... what can you say, probably the most influencial drummer of our time. That washy sound that he got from his hi-hats is still being heard today. His drums sounded real good and he had incredible feel. Sure, he may have not been the most "technical" drummer but his feel was second to none. You probably could not count how many drummers decided to pick up the sticks after seeing him play. My favorite drummer, Ringo!
 
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Stu_Strib

Guest
I guess Ringo gets a lot of credit for being a drummer at that time. He certainly doesn't hold a candle up against many of the later great drummers that came after him (many of whom admit Ringo was a big influence)

Lets face it, Ringo IS a rock 'n roll star, and we can't take that away from him.

I like Charlie Watts better, of all the bashed beloved Bernhard drummers on here. But Charlie doesn't have the rockstar persona that Ringo has. Not even the name!!

Plus Ringo was in the movie 'Caveman'. That should shut everyone up for now! hehe

stu
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
NUTHA JASON said:
i'm afraid tallassfreak89 that you are treading on dangerous ground here. our beloved founder, bernard is a die hard fan of ringo. since i've been on this forum it is the one aspect of his posts that never changes. if he had a quote that he uses often, like homer says 'hmm dooonuts aaaaarrghghg!' it is certainly: 'don't bash ringo' ... a friendly warning. if you have critiscism about this particular drummer you'd better have lots of evidence to back it up ...

bashing ringo may actually be a banning offence.

j

ps: jokes. but do expand on your opinion.
Nutha, I'm back from Vienna and I see, that you hold very strong my position on Ringo.
Thank you soo much. Perhabs it's a spleen of me - but I like this guy.
We all know the skills some drummers have today. But anyway - all drummers that I admit they have more skills don't bash Ringo - they even admire him. Take Steve Gadd, Gregg Bissonette, Dennis Chambers, Dave Weckl: all told it to me personally.

And even, if he's not so great - who saled more records?
And for sure he's the better drummer as 99.99% of us forum members. And the forum is for us all - also Drummerworld-Concept is for us all - let's have fun......and please don't bash Ringo.....

Thank you

Bernhard
 

Funkdaddy

Member
If you look at MD's interview with Sir Paul McCartney (an addition to the interview with Abe Laboriel jr), he says it's nonsense that Purdie played on some Beatles tracks and he can't believe Purdie has claimed that.

From an objective view: If Ringo didn't record every single Beatles tune, so what? He was (and is) a part of great music history and he certainly is a good drummer, a good musician and a good man.
 
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