The Beatles song Ringo Starr never understood how to play

The Beatles song Ringo Starr never understood how to play

It’s about time that music fans stop chastising Ringo Starr as the “least talented” Beatle. For all of the great music that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison may have written for the group, none of it would have mattered had Starr not had brilliant timing and a sixth sense for knowing whatever a song needed at the moment. There were the odd moments where he could get tripped up, though, and when it came time to record George Harrison’s classics for Abbey Road, Starr was left confused on ‘Here Comes the Sun’.

Before he had even laid down a note of music with the band, Starr was always being kept watch on by producer George Martin. Since he had been hired instead of original drummer Pete Best, Starr would first be relegated to tambourine on the group’s first single, ‘Love Me Do’, after Martin insisted on using a session musician.

As time went on, though, Starr adapted from a workhorse drummer to a complex percussionist as the years went on. While what he does could never be considered all that flashy, the trademark drum fills he put into pieces like ‘Come Together’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ work to completely tie the songs together.

During the sessions for Let It Be, though, they would face one of the most significant low points of their career, including a stint where Harrison left the band. Electing to leave their material on the shelf for the time being, the Fab Four reconvened at Abbey Road Studios to make songs that would leave their audience on a high note if it was actually the end.

After slagging off one of their numerous business meetings at their label, Apple, Harrison had come up with ‘Here Comes the Sun’ when visiting Eric Clapton. While every aspiring acoustic guitarist tries to get this gem under their fingers eventually, Starr remembered never internalising what Harrison had actually wanted from the song.

When discussing the track in Living in the Material World, Starr said that the timing of the song’s interludes never sat well with him, saying, “[George] was talking to me because he’d been to India again, and he said, ‘I’ve got this song. It’s in seven and a half time’. And I was like, ‘Yeah, so?’. He may as well have talked to me in Arabic”.

Since Starr was used to the traditional driving 4/4 drumbeats and the occasional waltz time, the alternating bars of both three and two were enough to do his head in. Instead of trying to study what the rhythm was and probably sounding stiff because of it, Starr let the music carry him by relying on the tom-toms to get the sound he wanted.

Listening back to the song, Starr said that he was flying blind some of the time, explaining, “I have no way of counting ‘Okay, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven’. It’s just not my brain. I had to find some way to do it the same way every time, so it came off on the time. That’s one of those Indian tricks. [mimics the drum fill] Okay, that’s seven. Good, got it.”

That was far from the first time Starr had to adapt to changing time signatures, either, since Lennon was doing the exact same thing by either stretching out the bar for one extra beat or cutting things off too quickly to suit what he needed. Given how well Starr worked with each member of the group on their songs, the kind of bond that they shared back in the day feels like musical telepathy.


Related Posts

EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy is left red-faced as she horrifies Loose Women panellists with personal hygiene confession

EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy is left red-faced as she horrifies Loose Women panellists with personal hygiene confession  Natalie Cassidy was left red-faced during Tuesday afternoon’s Loose Women as she made…

Prince Harry Is More Like His Father Than He Realizes

Prince Harry has sought to tie his modern image to the experiences of Princess Diana more than 20 years ago—but there are also striking similarities to his father, King Charles…

Meghan Markle’s Shock as Prince Harry Reportedly Moves on to New Romance: ‘Enough of Your PR Stunts!’

Meghan Markle’s Shock as Prince Harry Reportedly Moves on to New Romance: ‘Enough of Your PR Stunts!’ Remember when he was the fun-loving prince, the cheeky royal…

Channing Tatum’s Astonishing Reaction to Meghan Markle’s Arrival at Fly Me To The Moon Premiere

Channing Tatum’s Astonishing Reaction to Meghan Markle’s Arrival at Fly Me To The Moon Premiere During the premiere of “Fly Me to the Moon” at Z Palast…

Victoria Beckham was “devastated” after the soccer player’s son ended his 5-year relationship with his girlfriend, why?

According to British media, Mrs. Becks was disappointed when she heard that her son Romeo had broken up with his girlfriend Mia Regan. Romeo, the second son…

Victoria humorously shared about the $50M USD kiss she gave her husband David at his 49th birthday party

Victoria Beckham has paid the most loving tribute to her husband David in honour of his 49th birthday on Thursday. Taking to Instagram, the fashion designer –…