Ringo Starr's simplistic, yet utterly innovative drumming technique and feel are what make him one of the greatest musicians in history. This past April, Ringo was the final member of the Beatles to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.
In video above, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame brought together some of the greatest rock drummers of all time: Max Weinberg (Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band), Questlove (The Roots), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters / Nirvana), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Stewart Copeland (The Police), Tré Cool (Green Day), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Jim Keltner (various Beatles solo records), and Abe Laboriel Jr. (Paul McCartney). Each one expresses their gratitude for the legendary Ringo Starr and speaks about the genius behind his creative and tastefully unique sound.
Questlove says, "The most timeless drummers are the ones that are the most simple," and that could not be more accurate. Grohl calls Ringo "The king of feel." What made Ringo such a great drummer was that he didn't over-play his drums or drown out the other instruments. He also didn't simply choose a basic beat for a song, he constantly came up with inventive ideas that perfectly fit that song. “He’s a song drummer. Guys that sit down and they hear the song and they play appropriately for that song,” Jim Keltner explains.
Chad Smith describes Ringo's distinct technique of leading with his left hand instead of his right on a fill, and explains how the different sound and feel to it is what makes it stand out. Taylor Hawkins imitates Ringo's hi-hat playing by swinging his arm while describing his movements, "It kind of washes the windshield on the hi-hat. It’s a fucking Ringo thing, it’s like a style of music." Abe Laboriel Jr. interprets Ringo's style as, “that sloppy, swampy, falling down the stairs kind of sound," and then goes on to say, "It is the coolest thing ever.”
Chad Smith speaks about how Ringo was notorious for coming up with really interesting musical parts that "became rhythmic hooks." At one point, the video splices together footage of Chad Smith, Questlove, Dave Grohl, and Max Weinberg playing the signature drum part in “Come Together" to prove their point.
Ringo Starr truly has the magic touch. He undoubtedly had a significant impact on some of the greatest rock drummers of all time, and continues to inspire millions of people every day. His ingenious musical talent will be honored and remembered forever.
Check out Ringo Starr's Zumic artist page for his latest music, news, and tour dates.