Re: Ringo Starr
Boy, this is a subject that stirs up some confusing positions. I think some of the confusion may be resolved by defining what a "good drummer" is. Those who love Ringo and those who bash him may just be coming from two different definitions of the same term. Can Ringo play the chops of Vinnie or Virgil or Marco? No - but that doesn't stop him from being a great drummer. Could Vinnie or Virgil or Marco have made the music of Lennon/McCartney/Harrison better? Well maybe to the very limited number of people (overrepresented on any drum forum) who listen to music principally to hear the double paradiddlediddle played between left hand and right foot while the right hand plays an ostinato in a different time signature, but to everyone else the answer is a resounding NO. To the overwhelming majority Ringo's contribution to the music was perfect - and I don't use that word lightly - and not a single one of the modern raved-about drummers could have done it better, with the possible exception of Gadd. And anyone that has read anything I have ever written on this forum knows how much respect I have for Gadd. The reason I say possibly Gadd, is that Gadd, in playing for the music, would not have overplayed and his parts may have ended up sounding much like Ringos (excuse the rank speculation).
In my way of thinking, the esteem that Ringo has because he inspired many people to pick up the drums is relevant to his position as a musical legend but not necessarily to his reputation as a musician. It is his playing that makes his reputation and that alone is enough to make him a legend. His parts are non-traditional, inventive, exact in terms of time and feel and most important MUSICAL!
Some of this criticism reminds me of the posts (of which there are many) that talk about how the poster could never play in a band which required mostly 2 and 4 on the snare because that would be boring. I disagree. Such an approach is never boring IF that is what is called for by the music and is what makes the music better. To be an effective drummer you have to be a slave to the overall musical production and you have to LOVE it. To work, you (and everyone else) has to believe that your playing has contributed to the musicality of the piece. If that means holding back from those great new chops you have been practising and playing with space and restraint then that is what you must do. IN fact, if you do love what you do, it will never cross your mind to bust that stuff out - because it will not fit.
That is why Ringo is great - he made the musical product, of maybe the best songwriters in the pop genre, better.
So - don't bash Ringo -
By the way - great article by Jim Vallance
Last edited by Paul Quin; 08-03-2007 at 06:36 PM.
Reason: add post script