Ringo Starr

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OK, so Ringo appeared to us in early February 1964, and he played differently: matched grip, sideways on the Hi-Hats, and as we've been told, playing lefty on a righty "kit". Ask any other drummer at that time, and it'd be who their teacher was, how they developed coordinated independence, their skill at reading charts, etc. With Ringo, however, it was just "I'm playing lefty on a righty kit" and "I was raised by elders who felt lefty was wrong". Oh, yeah, and he stated he could not play the part on "Rain" again. His obvious greatness as a drummer, playing for the song, incredibly solid backbeat, projecting personality, etc. leaves the question of "Why not do it the right way?" Well, maybe it is just some version of "not so much training as to hurt my playing"...but it seemed to me at the time "What is he DOING?"
 

K.O.

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I don't recall ever reading that Ringo had any training whatsoever other than maybe a bare minimum of lessons at the very start. He just wanted to play drums and set out to play what he heard on records. From there he developed his own style of playing and probably didn't even realize he had his kit set up "backwards" to how he probably should have had it. So this primarily self taught musician became the acknowledged best "beat" drummer in Liverpool and therefore earned himself a spot with the best band in Liverpool when they were looking to upgrade. By the time he had a reason and/or the wherewithal to seek additional training as to how to do things the "right" way he probably figured it was kind of pointless to do so. I mean you become a world renowned drummer and what you're doing is working so far, why make any changes?
 
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drummingbulldog

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Maybe it just happened so fast in his case. Once he joined them it was kinda busy until they stopped in 1970. Even when they had time off after all he was a BEATLE. I don't think anyone but Elvis, Sinatra or Michael Jackson after Thriller knows what that's like. Maybe the band didn't want to jinx the formula by a certain point too? Whatever they did it was a high quality. They were really the only band he's ever been in as the drummer because what he did fit their style magnificently. The jazz snobs make jokes but he had his own unique thing & replicating it is very difficult. The execution & the feel are very different for a regular trained drummer. That's my take anyways...
 

rhythmace

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Don't make a big deal out of the lefty playing righty thing. That just made his fills a little different. Also his right hand on the hats was "wicked." I'll say again what I said in another thread. Before Ringo, the rock drum back beat was the tat-tat..........tat as in "Walk Don't Run." Then the killer bass drum.......boom..........boom-boom as in "Be My Baby" and "Ragdoll." Hi-hats were played with tight eight-notes. Suddenly Ringo is bashing the hats and using the double bass drum beat at a faster speed. It was exciting. People screamed, guys grew their hair and free love sprouted. Laugh! Well, the pill had a lot to do with the later. There is an important history that he made at the time. Ace
 

Peterk256

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I'm no Ringo but I'm also a lefty playing a righty kit since 1968. It never occurred to me for even a millisecond to play a lefty kit. No one ever told me "oh, if you're a lefty then you have to set up your drums as lefty" so I just learned it as a righty. None of my teachers even thought to ask if I write left or right handed. Looking back, I don't feel like I would have been a better drummer if only I learned it as a lefty.

The whole lefty as a righty thing sounds silly to me, even when Ringo says it. FWIW, I have a picture of Ringo signing a picture as a righty so wassup with that?
 

Johnny D

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Don't make a big deal out of the lefty playing righty thing. That just made his fills a little different. Also his right hand on the hats was "wicked." I'll say again what I said in another thread. Before Ringo, the rock drum back beat was the tat-tat..........tat as in "Walk Don't Run." Then the killer bass drum.......boom..........boom-boom as in "Be My Baby" and "Ragdoll." Hi-hats were played with tight eight-notes. Suddenly Ringo is bashing the hats and using the double bass drum beat at a faster speed. It was exciting. People screamed, guys grew their hair and free love sprouted. Laugh! Well, the pill had a lot to do with the later. There is an important history that he made at the time. Ace
I agree. People fixate on the lefty playing a righty kit way too much. He plays like a traditional righty, other than leading his fills lefty. That definitely puts a spin on things, but he plays like a righty drummer. I think it's hard for some people to come to grips with the fact that Ringo actually had/HAS a lot of chops and technique. He was/IS a GREAT drummer! Period.

I'm no Ringo but I'm also a lefty playing a righty kit since 1968. It never occurred to me for even a millisecond to play a lefty kit. No one ever told me "oh, if you're a lefty then you have to set up your drums as lefty" so I just learned it as a righty. None of my teachers even thought to ask if I write left or right handed. Looking back, I don't feel like I would have been a better drummer if only I learned it as a lefty.

The whole lefty as a righty thing sounds silly to me, even when Ringo says it. FWIW, I have a picture of Ringo signing a picture as a righty so wassup with that?
It was the complete opposite for me. I'm a lefty and started playing in 1972 on a right handed kit, playing the hi hat with my left hand and bass drum with my right foot, until about six months into playing, a drummer friend told me I should switch my kit around to a traditional lefty set-up, which I did. That was 47 years ago. I wish I'd stayed with a righty set-up and keep telling myself I should try and learn that way. And like Ringo, I write with my right hand. As does Carter Beauford, who also plays left-hand lead on a righty kit. It's called "mixed handedness." Fellow DFO'r @Bun Carlos falls into the category of a lefty playing a righty kit.
 

Mayan

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I agree. People fixate on the lefty playing a righty kit way too much. He plays like a traditional righty, other than leading his fills lefty. That definitely puts a spin on things, but he plays like a righty drummer. I think it's hard for some people to come to grips with the fact that Ringo actually had/HAS a lot of chops and technique. He was/IS a GREAT drummer! Period.


It was the complete opposite for me. I'm a lefty and started playing in 1972 on a right handed kit, playing the hi hat with my left hand and bass drum with my right foot, until about six months into playing, a drummer friend told me I should switch my kit around to a traditional lefty set-up, which I did. That was 47 years ago. I wish I'd stayed with a righty set-up and keep telling myself I should try and learn that way. And like Ringo, I write with my right hand. As does Carter Beauford, who also plays left-hand lead on a righty kit. It's called "mixed handedness." Fellow DFO'r @Bun Carlos falls into the category of a lefty playing a righty kit.
I’m a lefty who plays a righty kit. I play ball right handed too. But I write with my left hand and hold my fork with my left. But only about a year ago did I realize that most right handed people hold their fork with their right, but switch when it’s time to cut, fork goes to the left, steak knife in the right. I keep my fork in the left hand and cut with the right hand. But I’m not ambidextrous; if I try to write with my right, total scribble. And I always felt more natural keeping time with my right hand and putting my right foot down on 1 so who knows?
 

Tornado

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I think with instruments, we're more of a blank slate than most think. Left handed people are not at a disadvantage on the piano when clearly most music requires the most dexterity for melody playing on the right hand.
 

Mcjnic

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I'm a righty playing on a righty kit that sounds like a lefty playing with one arm
 

wflkurt

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I think being ambidextrous is kind of cool. I am 100% right handed and of course I can do many things with my left and on the set but off the set... forget it. I wouldn't be able to write my name or throw a ball to save my life.
 

JDA

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and probably didn't even realize he had his kit set up "backwards" to how he probably should have had it.
Not to be picky but left handed is not left footed' correct so the drum set itself wouldn't change (unless he was -also- left footed)
Didn't he have the larger cymbal (didn't he?) on the left at times and there's some video of him riding the hi hats with the left hand (I brought that up years ago and someone here found that video (thought maybe I was dreaming)

But a Ringo was not left footed (maybe Barbara knows for sure) as far as we know right..
 

rhythmace

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I eat and write left handed. Everything else right handed. When I was learning the rudiments in the 8th grade, I was equally comfortable starting with either hand. I feel that it helped me learning independence also. Ace
 

NewBeat

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Figure this one out - marching bands typically start on their left foot LRLRLR... while the cadence is usually right lead.
 

bigbeat

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Not to be picky but left handed is not left footed' correct so the drum set itself wouldn't change (unless he was -also- left footed)
Didn't he have the larger cymbal (didn't he?) on the left at times and there's some video of him riding the hi hats with the left hand (I brought that up years ago and someone here found that video (thought maybe I was dreaming)

But a Ringo was not left footed (maybe Barbara knows for sure) as far as we know right..
I'm a lefty playing righty. Generally, left handed people are left footed, and left eyed, too.
 

shuffle

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This thread reminds me of a lefty on his right handed set.
He straddles the floortom with his L ft on the bass drum,R on his hats that are situated extreme right of the fltm,the ride tom is as it should be set for righty,he crosses his arms rather extremely, great rock drummer,i believe he passed a few yrs ago,the band was Rufus Huff,i couldn't get the Y.T. vids to load here but if someone could get it here its a trip to watch!
Rufus Huff
Chris Hardesty
Greg Martin from Kentucky Headhunters as well.
At least Ringo was conventional somewhat.
 

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