It takes some time for a drummer to realize the beauty of Ringo Starr’s drumming. Yes, I realize that many even believe that its not actually him playing on various occasions due to his lack of technical skills. Personally, I think it’s all Ringo but even if I didn’t it wouldn’t concern me.
What I admire is the concept of Ringo Starr. He plays for the song, he makes people dance and he does all that by minimizing his playing down to the absolute necessary stuff. A great example for this, is the following track:
What you listened is actually the left channel of the stereo remastered track where the whole rhythm section happens to be mixed together. The original take was recorded in 1963 and was included in the album With The Beatles.
Now, lets break down what I find so amazing about this drum part. First of all, the verse pattern. It’s like a drum machine loop.. in 1963. No regular drummer would have chosen to play that during those days. The hihat located on the “and” of 2 makes the notes sound spaced in an unorthodox way. Yet, you can clearly hear that it blends perfectly with the rhythm guitar riff. There’s also no use of crash or any accent at all which makes it even more flat and machine-like. It’s pure pocket.
The genious of this drum take comes down to just one simple bar. It’s the one after every chorus (ex. 0.23 – 0.26) where the band stops and there’s a bloody hihat hit screaming alone. It’s like a drum machine was sequenced to start playing the pattern again starting from that pause. It’s freaking beautiful