How Can You Tell a Good Drummer from a Bad Drummer?: Ringo Starr as Case Study

Yes­ter­day Josh Jones made the case for appre­ci­at­ing the sub­tle genius of Ringo Starr. And as if to sec­ond that, Dirk K. sent this video (above) our way.

Asked what sep­a­rate good drum­mers from bad, drum­mer Bran­don Khoo gives a short demon­stra­tion that puts Ringo’s tal­ents in the right light. It’s not about the flash, the shock-and-awe dis­play of tech­nique. It’s about his ability–as Dave Grohl echoes below–to “sit in the song” and “find the right feel,” true to the phi­los­o­phy that some­times less is more.

Thanks Dirk for send­ing this our way. And thanks Ringo for putting on a great show in Marin on Sat­ur­day night.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

John Cleese, Ringo Starr and Peter Sell­ers Trash Price­less Art (1969)

Watch the Evo­lu­tion of Ringo Starr, Dave Grohl, Tré Cool & 19 Oth­er Drum­mers in Short 5‑Minute Videos

Hear the Bea­t­les Play Their Final Con­cert (August 29, 1966)

The Neu­ro­science of Drum­ming: Researchers Dis­cov­er the Secrets of Drum­ming & The Human Brain

Iso­lat­ed Drum Tracks From Six of Rock’s Great­est: Bon­ham, Moon, Peart, Copeland, Grohl & Starr

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Comments (9)
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  • Bill W. says:

    Karen Car­pen­ter, under­dog of the drum­ming-world!

  • Brian says:

    What do they call those guys that hang out with musi­cans?
    Drum­mers? Thats right,

  • Thomas Anderson says:

    Thanks so much for this lit­tle les­son. I’m a gui­tarist, but always appre­ci­at­ed the oth­er com­po­nents. I’ve always felt that Ringo is one of the great­est drum­mers ever, but did­n’t know how to explain it. You explained it per­fect­ly. You peo­ple have an awe­some web­site! Thanks for all you do.

  • Cooky Mann says:

    Tbw luck­i­est drum­mer alive would­n’t have been any­thing if it weren’t for Paul McCart­ney telling (and SHOWING) him what to play, along with George Mar­tin extrene­ly detailed pro­duc­tion, record­ing and mix of each and every song.

  • Indian Andy says:

    I was a drum­mer. But I’m ok now.

  • Tammy Davis says:

    Cooky, why is it every­one gives so much cred­it to Paul McCart­ney? It’s sad as the truth and real­i­ty are known to some, that if it weren’t for John Lennon the Bea­t­les would­n’t have been what they were…John Lennon was the genius writer of that band. Just say­ing.…

  • Tammy Davis says:

    Besides all that…Ringo was a basic drum­mer. In my opin­ion, the great­est drum­mer is Neil Peart. Even the drum­mer from Van Halen out does Ringo. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ringo and he was one of the first drum­mers to bring to light the new gen­er­a­tion of Rock and Roll.…but as time went on he was no longer the best.…most famous, YES!

  • Tammy Marie Davis says:


  • Tammy Marie Davis says:

    Agreed on the Karen Car­pen­ter com­ment…

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.