Ringo Starr Changed Drumming Forever With The Beatles, According to a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Ringo Starr remains one of the most famous drummers of all time decades after The Beatles broke up. Even though he got replaced more than once when he struggled to play the drums, he changed the perception of drummers long before he did things backward while recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Another drummer said Ringo changed drumming forever as a member of the Fab Four.

Ringo Starr, who changed drumming forever with his playing style according to a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member, rehearses in 1966.
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Ringo Starr displayed his immense drumming skills with The Beatles

The Beatles replace their first drummer with Ringo and then quickly shot to international fame. Coincidence? It doesn’t seem like it.

The self-taught Ringo possessed impressive drumming skills, which he displayed time and again with The Beatles. The Fab Four’s earliest hits might not have required technical trickery, but he provided a steady backbeat. As The Beatles’ sound developed, Ringo was up for the challenge. He called the non-album song “Rain” one of the band’s weird tracks since his drum part is stuffed with unique fills that are nearly mini solos. That was just one example of his immense talent. The Abbey Road medley was another as he put his skills on display and performed one of his only solos with the band.

He might have taken a (literal) back seat to Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon, but Ringo changed drumming forever with The Beatles.

Ringo changed drumming forever by making timekeepers more respected for their work

Ringo once said he was no good as a drummer, but he was completely wrong. His Beatles beats were often deceptively simple. If anyone could have done them, then anyone would have. 

The fact is, he crafted unique beats with the Fab Four and beyond.

Ringo changed drumming forever by making his fellow kit men more respected for their work. That’s according to Steve Smith, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame drummer from Journey, who sang Ringo’s praises when he entered the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame:

“Before Ringo, drum stars were measured by their soloing ability and virtuosity. Ringo’s popularity brought forth a new paradigm in how the public saw drummers. We started to see the drummer as an equal participant in the compositional aspect. One of Ringo’s great qualities was that he composed very unique and stylistic drum parts for the Beatles’ songs. His parts are so signature to the songs that you can listen to a Ringo drum part without the rest of the music and still identify the song.”

Steve Smith explains how Ringo Starr changed drumming forever

Before Ringo came along, rock drummers just sat in the back and kept time. Fans rarely noticed them, and that was how it was supposed to be, according to Smith. But Ringo’s instantly recognizable style and famous beats changed the game and paved the way for drum stars such as John Bonham, Keith Moon, and Lars Ulrich. 

Those in the know recognized the way Ringo revolutionized drumming forever. He entered a hall of fame the other Beatles will never join when the PAS inducted him in 2022.

The drummer’s fame was worth $7 million to his drum company


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Ringo’s drumming changed the game forever, but his Beatles contributions transcended his playing. 

His easygoing attitude helped The Beatles handle their fame in a way that helped them avoid becoming like Elvis Presley. He was already with a quip that brought John, George, and Paul back down to earth when their egos inflated.

Ringo’s playing, combined with The Beatles’ fame, proved to be lucrative for Ludwig drums. The former Richard Starkey broke from tradition and kept the drum maker’s name on the front of his bass drum. The name recognition was worth $7 million for Ludwig when their sales doubled after Ringo started playing their instruments.

Ringo Starr changed drumming forever with his unique and recognizable playing with The Beatles in the 1960s. His fame and ability have hardly faded since then.

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