I finally understand Ringo!

dirtysicks

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I hear 1EA 2EA etc on the ride .
I'm definitely not hearing 12 beats per measure on that ride. I'm hearing the same accented 8th note pattern. I did hear on the studio version a tambourine on 1&a2&a3&a4. When I play the video on youtube with a .75 playback speed, I still hear 8th notes on the hi-hat and ride parts with a tambourine adding a triplet feel when Ringo goes to the ride.
 
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Tama CW

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I've watched a few Paul clips on the drums and don't see him being even as good as Ringo. And those earlier videos of people trying to play "HELP" like Ringo....all falling short. Have to go by what I see and hear....not what people said or intimated. But no doubt Paul was "good enough" to know what he wanted to get out of Ringo (and the studio) on his records.

 

DrummerJustLikeDad

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I've watched a few Paul clips on the drums and don't see him being even as good as Ringo. And those earlier videos of people trying to play "HELP" like Ringo....all falling short. Have to go by what I see and hear....not what people said or intimated. But no doubt Paul was "good enough" to know what he wanted to get out of Ringo (and the studio) on his records.

Paul is alright guess, but I prefer my drums the George Harrison Way.


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frankmott

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The hat/ride pattern is slightly swung 16th notes. Not 8ths, not triplets. I can play the notes -- many can as most of the awful "drum-cover" links demonstrate -- but few can cop that groove. Ringo (and Charlie, for that matter) are/were masters of the magical space between full on triplet-swing and straight-eights. I've been playing drums for over 50 years, and I can't do it nearly as well as Ringo did when we was just 22. If it were more swung, it would indeed be a 1/2-time shuffle. If it were straighter, it would be a fast "Smoke on the Water."

I know statements like the following raise the ire of some members here, but, I really do feel sorry for any musician, let alone a drummer, who can't or won't grasp the value of groove beyond just the notes. Do I think Ringo and Charlie were God-like? Certainly not. They're just way better than many musicians give them credit for.
 

Houndog

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The hat/ride pattern is slightly swung 16th notes. Not 8ths, not triplets. I can play the notes -- many can as most of the awful "drum-cover" links demonstrate -- but few can cop that groove. Ringo (and Charlie, for that matter) are/were masters of the magical space between full on triplet-swing and straight-eights. I've been playing drums for over 50 years, and I can't do it nearly as well as Ringo did when we was just 22. If it were more swung, it would indeed be a 1/2-time shuffle. If it were straighter, it would be a fast "Smoke on the Water."

I know statements like the following raise the ire of some members here, but, I really do feel sorry for any musician, let alone a drummer, who can't or won't grasp the value of groove beyond just the notes. Do I think Ringo and Charlie were God-like? Certainly not. They're just way better than many musicians give them credit for.
Thank you !!

This is why I get hired, I suck........................... trust me ....
 

JazzDoc

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I've been a Beatles fan since I was a little kid back in the early 70's. And as I grew to appreciate drumming I've also learned to appreciate the simplicity of his playing. What he did with The Beatles worked for it at that time. And in fact it's withstood the test of time because I still love listening to much of their music. However, when critically analyzing what Ringo did, I can't help but conclude that we are hearing all that he was capable of doing. In other words, he didn't have the chops to do anything more than we were hearing. Since he's been mentioned, Steve Jordan may be known for his simple straight forward grooving but anyone who's been listening to him over the years knows that there are lots of recordings where he shows the full breadth of his skills. John Scofield's Electric Outlet and Who's Who are two examples. And anyone who spent way too many hours up late at night watching him on the Letterman Show knows how he can stretch and play both simply and complex. Like I said, Ringo was right for The Beatles and he was part of creating ground breaking music with them but you don't need monster chops to replicate what he did. I'm not bashing him and in fact lately I've been focusing on trying to play more simply because at times simple is far better than complex.
Long ago I felt similarly that Ringo's playing was great but that it represented his capabilities at full bore. Then I heard and listened many times over to "The Beatles Live at the BBC". You will quickly become educated about his breadth and more closely witness the scope of his abilities. His live playing was quite different than his studio "persona".
 

dirtysicks

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The hat/ride pattern is slightly swung 16th notes. Not 8ths, not triplets. I can play the notes -- many can as most of the awful "drum-cover" links demonstrate -- but few can cop that groove. Ringo (and Charlie, for that matter) are/were masters of the magical space between full on triplet-swing and straight-eights. I've been playing drums for over 50 years, and I can't do it nearly as well as Ringo did when we was just 22. If it were more swung, it would indeed be a 1/2-time shuffle. If it were straighter, it would be a fast "Smoke on the Water."

I know statements like the following raise the ire of some members here, but, I really do feel sorry for any musician, let alone a drummer, who can't or won't grasp the value of groove beyond just the notes. Do I think Ringo and Charlie were God-like? Certainly not. They're just way better than many musicians give them credit for.
I think I was counting the bar at a faster rate which made them come across as 8ths in my mind but I was sure that I heard no triplets. I feel and have said many times that I feel Ringo is a capable drummer and was a good fit for the Beatles, but in contrast to you, I feel sorry for any musician, let alone drummer who feels like Ringo is some untouchable God-like drummer who is beyond reproach or critique. You may not feel that way but many many do. If people give any critique on Ringo or disagree with his drum sovereignty, everyone jumps to call them a hater, or not musically inclined, or any other version of statement that disparages the drummer because they dared to not acknowledge the almighty greatness of Ringo.
 

piccupstix

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Ringo sat in often before they changed drummers and all of them looked at each other and thought how much better the groove/vibe was. He was offered an incredible opportunity and did not disappoint. After the shaky start in the studio with George Martin he stepped in and became full fledged. He was a team player, followed direction, added his own quirky feel, and grew musically with the rest of them.
 

Old Drummer

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I for one have never understood the "love and praise" for Ringo, and am tired of prefacing any remarks that don't further that adoration with equivocations to the effect that he was a good fit for the Beatles and blah blah, just to avoid being lynched by his fawning fans.

My view, formed during the 60s and mostly unchanging since, is that the other Beatles were such creative powerhouses that they didn't have room for a powerhouse drummer. They wanted a basic drummer who was easy to get along with and amenable to direction. They found that drummer in Ringo, and I think this drum track is proof.

But in my quest to understand the Ringo-adorers, I listened to this track. The only thing I found different from any kid in a garage band was the way Ringo played the hats. He played them inconsistently--a little open here, closed there. My inference was that this was neither conscious nor sloppy on Ringo's part. Rather, by the time this song was recorded, Ringo had years of professional drumming experience under his belt and was probably playing the hats by a feel that by then had become instinctive.

In the drum track, I didn't see the point of the hat playing, so I listened to the song. In the song, I conclude that the hat inconsistencies work. Ringo was, as they say, "playing the song," changing his hat playing to fit the changes in the song.

Is this though unique to Ringo? I guess we'd have to listen to the drum tracks of other drummers to find out, but it seems to me that this is the kind of thing any decent, experienced drummer would do. The kid in the garage band wouldn't do this, but after the kid gained experience, I think he would develop a feel that makes these kinds of small changes almost automatic.

Or maybe not. The case for Ringo's greatness turns on the contention that other experienced drummers wouldn't make these kinds of small changes to fit the song. I find that case unpersuasive. I think most would.

But I could be wrong. And sure, Ringo wasn't (and isn't) a hack or anything like that. He had a good feel, and there are even subtleties to his playing that are easy to miss in a superficial listen. But great? I remain unconvinced.
 

TPC

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I for one have never understood the "love and praise" for Ringo, and am tired of prefacing any remarks that don't further that adoration with equivocations to the effect that he was a good fit for the Beatles and blah blah, just to avoid being lynched by his fawning fans.

My view, formed during the 60s and mostly unchanging since, is that the other Beatles were such creative powerhouses that they didn't have room for a powerhouse drummer. They wanted a basic drummer who was easy to get along with and amenable to direction. They found that drummer in Ringo, and I think this drum track is proof.

But in my quest to understand the Ringo-adorers, I listened to this track. The only thing I found different from any kid in a garage band was the way Ringo played the hats. He played them inconsistently--a little open here, closed there. My inference was that this was neither conscious nor sloppy on Ringo's part. Rather, by the time this song was recorded, Ringo had years of professional drumming experience under his belt and was probably playing the hats by a feel that by then had become instinctive.

In the drum track, I didn't see the point of the hat playing, so I listened to the song. In the song, I conclude that the hat inconsistencies work. Ringo was, as they say, "playing the song," changing his hat playing to fit the changes in the song.

Is this though unique to Ringo? I guess we'd have to listen to the drum tracks of other drummers to find out, but it seems to me that this is the kind of thing any decent, experienced drummer would do. The kid in the garage band wouldn't do this, but after the kid gained experience, I think he would develop a feel that makes these kinds of small changes almost automatic.

Or maybe not. The case for Ringo's greatness turns on the contention that other experienced drummers wouldn't make these kinds of small changes to fit the song. I find that case unpersuasive. I think most would.

But I could be wrong. And sure, Ringo wasn't (and isn't) a hack or anything like that. He had a good feel, and there are even subtleties to his playing that are easy to miss in a superficial listen. But great? I remain unconvinced.
Fair.

My question would be WHO would have played this song great, and/or WHAT would that greatness constitute?

More dynamic range? Different placement of the beat relative to the other players (rush/drag)? Faster fills? Other?

Or alternatively, is it simply impossible to play “great” behind such a song?
 

troutstudio

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Huge Beatles fan. Huge Ringo fan. But I am curious why this isolated drum track moved you. Where do you see its brilliance? Not saying it isn't brilliant. Is it the hi hat work? The minimalism?
I only need to hear the first fill. It's in the pocket; a trace of ghost notes; the groove is there. I could barely hear the piano it sounded pretty straight 8 and not too inviting. He opens up with the perfect fill to set the tempo and the swing value. I don't need to hear him play the tune. Very competent and swinging player - with a twist imo due to the switch-hitter thing.
 

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Hey guys, as far as the authenticity of this, I think I have the answer. I found a box set of the Sgt. Pepper's album and these drums line up exactly with those on the 3rd disk, Lonely Rita (Take 9). That track has some talking over it. Now, one thing that IS off is the tempo. The file uploaded to YouTube seems to have been slowed down about 5 BPM, I would guess to try to avoid YoutTube's copyright bots. I lined up Take 9 from the box set with the "isolated track" from YouTube in Logic Pro X. That's when I realized the tempo was different. I applied the tempo from Take 9 to the project, and then applied the project tempo to the YouTube track. It lined up perfectly.
 
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Tornado

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I'm really late to this thread, but I wanted to make sure I was hearing authentic Ringo or a damn good imitation of Ringo before giving him credit. His playing is incredibly tight. I'm not sure if some people can't hear that, or don't consider it valuable. This was The Beatles, a POP band. Nothing could have been more valuable than that. The Beatles with John Bonham would have been terrible.
 

mebeatee

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Finally understanding Ringo?
Ha....not a chance.....I bet even Ringo doesn't understand Ringo....that's why he's Ringo...and no one can even come close. There's Ringo and then there's everyone else, at least for that music.
Why even bother....it's like understanding the answer to the question of everything....(which btw is 42)
bt
 

RhythmGJ

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At least in some musicians estimation, there is such a thing as a “half shuffle” (not “half time;” just “half”). I think this is the key to a lot of Ringo’s feels, whether you want to believe he was doing it consciously or not.

IMHO, Ringo is great. In one way— the feel and playing-to-the-song way. There are other drummers who are also great; the chops way (Dave Weckl, Buddy Rich, name-your-favorite-chops-guy-here, etc.). But as a drummer and percussionist who is also a songwriter, I’d say IMHO (! YMMV), I much prefer the “song guy.” Even in jazz (which I’m a big fan of), I think guys like Irv Cotler, Grady Tate, and Mel Lewis rule. Which doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE Elvin, Tony Williams, or Jack DeJohnette!!! It’s just different. Some drummers (most truly great ones, I’d wager), bring both skill sets together.

Perhaps an example of what I’m trying to get at from outside the Beatles might be instructive. By today’s standards, Steve Gadd is not the tippy-toppest “chop-guy” in the world, yet I don’t think anyone here would deny that his abilities are formidable. Yet to me one of the most impressive things I ever heard him play/explain (out of MANY, MANY things) was when he showed how he tries to make the attack and length of his ride cymbal notes match that of the bass player! A guy who can smoke the mozambique rhythm and play the %#%* out of “Aja” in one take and play with Chick Corea is hyper-concerned about the simplest, yet possibly most profound inanities of the groove.

In his way, I think that is what Ringo did with the Beatles. If you can hear what I’m saying. Groove and its considerations trumps all, especially in the kind of music they produced. Yet when many of us try to play these “simple” beats, they’re not the same. Because groove concerns are *also* a skill set. Not just chops (which are also awesome and amazing).


GJ
 

rhythmace

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Maybe one needs to be a good drummer to perceive one? Or at least to have a good ear? A friend of mine used to say that he heard good parts in his mind, but could not play them. I think I am a good singer but with a bad voice. Ace
 

Tornado

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Maybe one needs to be a good drummer to perceive one? Or at least to have a good ear? A friend of mine used to say that he heard good parts in his mind, but could not play them. I think I am a good singer but with a bad voice. Ace
Some people hear the concept and materialize it in their heads in a way that sounds better than it actually is. It's like a kids drawing of a house that you well recognize as a house. It's got all the components; a roof, windows, front door. It's definitely a house. But when a true artist draws the house, it has symmetry, perspective, straight lines (if the lines are crooked, it's on purpose), etc. Some people genuinely don't see why one drawing is better than another, or will make excuses as to why the child's drawing is sufficient to depict a house.
 

Bandit

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I find it ironic that at my age I’m much more impressed by a great doctor than I am with a great drummer....

Ringo could probably relate.
Unfortunately the older I get, the more I realize that doctors are like weather people. They take a good guess, but don't really know what is up.
 


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