Ringo Starr

RICHARD STEPP

Junior Member
I HAVE THE EXACT SET OF 1964 MARINE PEARL LUDWIG DRUMS AS RINGO PLAYED ,I AM MISSING THE FRONT HOOP AND HARDWARE , ALSO THE ORIGIONAL SNARE DRUM , ANYONE KNOW WHERE I COULD FIND THESE
 

Mook

Senior Member
2 things - firstly - I'm a huge Ringo fan & am not happy to hear people criticising him, although I usually find they're non-drummers who're simply perpetrating the myth. His playing on many songs is beautifully executed & I've never heard anyone really do those tympani style fills which he really made his own. 'Come Together', 'She Said, She Said', 'Dear Prudence' & the entire closing medley on Abbey Road are amongst my personal highlights.

However, one song which I fail to believe he played on was 'I Feel Fine' - I've seen him doing it live on the anthology DVD & he plays a far easier pattern on the ride - although many drummers change the parts they play in a live situation - it just doesnt feel the same. If Martin ever did get another drummer in for a song (other than Paul) - then this is it in my opinion...
 

Ruok

Silver Member
'Dear Prudence'

In the article Nutha Jason posted, it claims it was Paul on drums on "Dear Prudence." Is there any documentation proving this information? I tend to think it is Paul because I think the beat lags in spots and the hi-hat sounds a bit stiff, which Ringo usually doesn't sound like. The tom fills in the end do sound like Ringo though. Don't be upset with me if it is actually Ringo. I just think Ringo would have played the drums better than that recording shows, in my humble opinion.
 

Mook

Senior Member
I could be wrong about Dear Prudence, it sounds like Ringo to me - although I've never checked it out.
 

Laurent

Member
Purdie is indeed a great drummer but he is full of himself. I met him a couple of times and he did not come across as the friendliest guy on earth. Sounded rather arrogant to me. Unlike Steve Gadd who is a true gentleman.

I refrained from commenting on Ringo because I am really wondering what people can hear in his playing. I have never ever heard anything in his playing that justifies all the hype around him. Had he not been in The Beatles no one would have listented to him the way they do now and he probably would not even be mentioned on this board. All this raving about his feel and the beautiful simple way he plays just goes beyond my head.

He was one member of the most influential band ever. But strictly speaking as a drummer I hear nothing amazing in his playing, not his feel, not his style and defintively not his technique.

I am not a fan of The Beatles at all but I fully respect and admire their unique contribution to popular music. I acknowledge that they are icons and trend setters. Their music do not move me at all but that's my problem.

I am sure he influenced a lot of drummers and encouraged them to pick up a pair of sticks. But so did Peter Criss who even though he's not an amazing player is still technically much more skilled than Ringo.

My point is not to slam Ringo. Not at all. I just think that he is only highly regarded as a drummer because of him being a Beatle and not for his drumming. That his legendary status is blinding people about his actual abilities.
 

centralzeke

Senior Member
I'm with Laurent. To me, Ringo Starr was an average drummer who played for the songs, a team player. Like (gulp) Charlie Watts.
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
No!

Here again 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 different 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

Never bash Ringo!

Bernhard
 

Paul Quin

Pioneer Member
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 -

Paul

By the way - great article by Jim Vallance
 
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irish_steve

Junior Member
Bernhard...

I think the jury is still out as to why Pete Best was replaced by Ringo. Another take on the story has it that "the boys" were jealous of all the attention Pete was getting from the ladies and Brian Epstein realized that to keep the ego's in check and from a marketing perspective that attention needed to be diverted where it rightly belonged...front and center, Lennon & McCartney.

No debating that Ringo was one of the best drummers on the scene at the time but was it merely coincidence that he was also a real goofy looking sort of fellow...certainly not the model type looks that Pete had at the time

Have you heard the version of "Love me do" featuring Pete Best on the Anthology album???

This was basically their demo. It speeds up, is unsteady, and he completely changes the feel of the song (for the worse) in the middle.

George Martin told them they were good enough (he wasn't THAT impressed at the time with the Beatles, "Love me do" is quite a bland song) but their drummer was not good enough.

Now maybe Pete was just nervous, and it was a tough break, but he had a big chance and he blew it. I saw him playing in Liverpool last year and he was no better than your average pub drummer.
 
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 -

Paul

By the way - great article by Jim Vallance

RIGHT ON !!

Sometime these threads remind me of gossip column and yes I do realize that this forum is here so us drummers can express our ideas and thoughts but let's not lose perspective and stck to the facts and take heed because there are some very good points and some very bad ones made.

"RINGO STARR IS ONE OF THE MOST MUSICAL DRUMMERS I'VE EVER HEARD"

About 5 years ago I saw Gregg Bissonnette in clinic and his whole clinic was mainly based on the RINGO'S DRUM parts int he Beatles music and he broke down the drum parts for several songs and had recorded all the tracks with his band called the "Mustard Seeds" which is pretty much completely influenced by the "BEATLES". So imagine Gregg in clinic playing his heart out laying down all of these RINGO grooves with a full mix in the house PA in a 600 seat theatre. Need I say more;

Here's a link that I just found as i was writing this thread ...
http://www.greggbissonette.com/ringo.html

You know I'm not always in the mood to listen to Vinnie or Dave play some progressive jazz fuzoid music although thats cool too!!

Learn about the heart and spirit of the music to better understand the musicians who play it and learn some Beatle tunes and then comment on Ringo's drumming and musicianship and if you still feel he is average then you need help.
 
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Kal_Indy

Junior Member
I started reading this thread, and I questioned whether or not I would be able to add any input into it. But I know one reason why I know Ringo was not only influential, but also innovative. Correct me if it's already been mentioned, but Ringo was essentially the first drummer to play stadium shows to huge audiences....but he did it all without hearing any of the music.

Everyone knows live sound back in the 1960's was not the best. That fact helped attribute the premature end of The Beatles in a live setting. The Beatles were playing bigger venues than anyone. They were playing lots of shows in lots of countries and in lots of cities and every show was pretty much the same. They couldn't hear themselves! Most of those live tracks we get hear today are from shows in which they were playing without hearing much of the other memebers or themselves. Ringo has been known to say that he couldn't play big tom fills because the sound would disappear and the group would fall apart. He had a lot of pressure on him to keep it together, and because of his good music sense, he kept it simple, and showed other drummers playing large venues in the following years how to do it.

I know I've had to play shows without monitors. It's not the end of the world, and it doesn't kill me to not have them. But it would kill me to do it when there are 35,000+ screaming teenage girls in the audience. That would be tough to hold down and keep your composure and not get too excited or flustered. Ringo did it. I don't know if I could.
 

spartacus1989

Senior Member
The thing about Ringo, is the fact he was part of a band that revolutionised modern music, if he happened to be 10 years younger and joined a band like T-rex in the 70's, he would be no-where near as known as he is now!

To be honest, I think of him as a Beatle, not a drummer!
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
[QUO

"RINGO STARR IS ONE OF THE MOST MUSICAL DRUMMERS I'VE EVER HEARD"
[/QUOTE]

I just came from giving a lesson on Ringo. I look at several charts of Beatles music and show my students why he was a great drummer, what he brought to rock/pop drumming and why everyone went wild when the Beatles played. Drummers were not doing what Ringo was doing back in '64. There was a reason why he was hired when The Fab came to the USA.
 

tomgrosset

Pioneer Member
Ringo is a very unique and extraordinary drummer.

I also wanted to point out that Ringo has never been able to play/practice the drums by himself. He only likes to play when he's around other musicians.
 

TOMANO

Senior Member

Would Billy Cobham or Ginger Baker have fit into the Beatles scheme better than Ringo? Of course not. Ringo was the perfect non-threatening musician who was counted on to compliment the stylized George Martin studio sound and who would not Wow! listeners with riffs that might diminish the other three's capabilities.


That reminds me of the time I saw Terry Bozzio playing with The Knack at the Chicago House of Blues. Very bizarre. A forced fit if ever there was one. "My Sharona" and "Good Girls Don't" into a twenty minute ostinato-driven, "out there" solo drum excursion.

By the way, Ringo rocked. His drumming is a solid part of The Beatles' music. God Bless Ringo!!!

TOMANO
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Ringo is an extraordinary drummer, one of those natural talents.

If you take a song like "It Won't Be Long" and look at the drum part, you will see some interesting things.

1) It is a simple Mersey Beat, but
Ringo accents the upbeat of two giving it a nice syncopated feel. It also requires some technique to accent that second note.
2) He phrases the drum beat in measures of two, which became a standard with funk drummers like Clyde Stubblefield. But most rock drummers at the time, even Hal Blaine, phrased their beats in one measure repeating intervals.
3) He integrates the flam into the fill he uses, and was one of the earliest, if not the earliest examples of rudiments in rock drumming. It takes some technique to execute that first fill. It is very musical, the way he simplifies the Mersey beat down into two bar phrases and then builds up to that fill. That's why the girls went wild.
4) He also got a fatter sound out of the drums.

In these four ways I see him as the precursor to guys like Bonham and Gadd.
 

molly

Junior Member
i am a bit surprised at some of these comments especially on a drummers forum.i never knew there was any "hype" about ringo.all i`ve ever seen is how crap he is,barely adequate,"knew a good thing when he saw it and rode it for all it was worth"...you guys should be ashamed of yourselves.if you don`t "get" ringo you don`t "get" drumming.
read bernhards first post again.ringo is a first rate musician and deserves a lot more respect than he seems to get.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
i am a bit surprised at some of these comments especially on a drummers forum.i never knew there was any "hype" about ringo.all i`ve ever seen is how crap he is,barely adequate,"knew a good thing when he saw it and rode it for all it was worth"...you guys should be ashamed of yourselves.if you don`t "get" ringo you don`t "get" drumming.
read bernhards first post again.ringo is a first rate musician and deserves a lot more respect than he seems to get.

Ringo is one of the most credited and admired drummers. I think even my cat cites him as an influence. He gets heaps of respect from drummers, as well he should.

Personally, I think his rhythms are basic and unimaginative. But he is undeniably the most influential drummer in history and inspired millions to take up drumming. For that, he is very noteworthy.

Google the phrase "the ringo starr of" for some interesting reading. While drummers universally hold Ringo in high esteem and acknowledge his cotributions, general pop culture sees him quite differently.
 
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