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Ringo Starr and the development of the Air Fill
26 March 2015
2.28pm
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ewe2
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(This seems like the right place for a monograph like this. Feel free to hide it away from the easily nauseated if necessary, mods!)

Ringo's drumming, like Paul's bassplaying, went through significant phases in tandem with the songwriting development. Now Ringo was already a talented drummer, who could already play across many styles of the time. So it's really interesting to go through and listen just to what Ringo is doing and be constantly amazed at the detail and importance to the song of what he did. In this massively silly effortpost, I'm going to overview the changes Ringo made to his fills from my own, non-musicologist viewpoint. Read Alan Pollack if you want the nitty-gritty. Also, I am not a drummer but a bassplayer/songwriter. If you're a drummer and this is making you cringe, I'm sorry, I'm doing what I can, suggestions welcome!

To do this I used the mainly UK mono discography with the necessary US additions of MMT and YS. I only used stereo versions with YSS (because I don't have the original mono YS), Abbey Road , Let It Be and the unique stereo tracks of the Past Masters stereo release, all other singles are from the Mono boxset. I took this severe path in order to avoid any niggles with alternative versions and to have any excuse from stereo separation. I won't be commenting on all songs unless warranted, however! If I don't comment on a song, it wasn't because I didn't consider it, its just not relevant to the subject. If you can think of good examples or counter-examples of the kinds of fills I'm discussing here, DO chime in and I'll add it so this post can be a resource!

But let's define a few terms. You may not agree, but bear with me:

Air-Fill Definition: a drum fill often significantly* unaccompanied by other instruments, and usually syncopated on the beat. Often literally a pause in a song. What makes this a uniquely Ringo style is the pace and rhythm of the fill. Ideally they are true unaccompanied fills, but as time went on, Ringo used the same technique wherever he wanted to accent the song.

*There are arguments for including some fills that are not completely unaccompanied in this category. I accept most fills that aren't just a couple of triplets and at the very least play against the rhythm usually to accent the melody.

I classify Ringo's drumming from the point of view of the fills into four phases:

1st phase: the surfer/mersey beat phase. Characterized by stuttery snare triplets, and often in a repeated motif I call Dramatic Pause, Fill and Title Lyric.
Examples: Not A Second Time , You Can't Do That , Another Girl

2nd phase: the RnB phase. Ringo begins to elongate the fills and to mix them up rhythmically and using more of the kit. The Dramatic Pause is still used, often in a country rhythm context, but it's mixed up a bit more and often without a fill.
Examples: When I Get Home , Ticket To Ride , Drive My Car , You Won't See Me

3rd phase: two-step vamp/air-fill phase. Where the fill is often completely unaccompanied or is a snare-run so elongated it's literally part of the song structure anyway.
Examples: Rain (first air-fill), Strawberry Fields Forever , With A Little Help From My Friends , Lovely Rita , A Day In The Life , I'm So Tired

4th phase: fills become accents: the air-fill technique is applied to the song as a whole and can appear anywhere Ringo felt it was needed. Fills become whatever the song needs, and ranges from all phases. Often fills and air-fills start songs.
Examples: Hey Jude , Hey Bulldog , half the songs on Let It Be and Abbey Road .

Let's distinguish between types of fill too!

1. Warm-up or catch-up fills. Used to signpost the beginning and end of sections. Usually short or stuttery and snare-only. Most common in 1st phase (see phases below). Sometimes within pauses, but often not.

2. Kit fills: Longer, using more of the kit, and in different parts of the song, and common in pauses. Common in 2nd phase.

3. Rhythm-fills: Against the beat, using the kit, but often within a verse or towards the end of a section. 2nd and 3rd phase mostly. I do tend to call these air-fills too perhaps unfairly, but in many cases they're identical to air-fills, just accompanied.

4. True Air-fills: against the beat, using the kit, mostly in complete isolation in a pause. Used much in the 3rd phase/psychedelic era, but more rarely afterwards and only as a beginning or show-stopping pause.

5. Accent-fills. Somewhere between 3 and 4, where the technique is an air-fill but can be anywhere in the song. Chiefly 4th phase, but could be argued this fits songs like Strawberry Fields Forever .

What are fills for anyway? They can serve several purposes. They often tell you where a bit of the song changes, or make a repeated section of a song sound different, perhaps to make it more dramatic or exciting. And they can fill a space! If I'm not explaining this well enough for you, tell me!

Q: What's Dramatic Pause, Fill and Title Lyric?
A: Glad you asked, it's a motif I've seen used and played around with in Beatle song structures many many times.

The Pause is used everywhere in songs from the earliest to the last, it can be an actual musical stop or a held note before repeating a section or transitioning to a different one. Eg. Please Please Me , You Can't Do That , Dig A Pony . It's just so common I've begun to think they actually thought of melodies as whole phrases and wrote around those phrases and if there needed to be join, the Pause was used.

Often The Pause is combined with a Fill. It doesn't have to be a drum fill! Think of the Pause/Fill in She Loves You , ('with a love like that PAUSE you know you should be glad), that's a vocal fill! Or I'm Only Sleeping , that's a rare bass fill. Once you see the pattern it's hard to ignore.

And especially more often in the earlier songs, you had all three, Dramatic Pause, Fill and Title Lyric. Eg Any Time At All , You Can't Do That . As The Beatles got better at songwriting, they tended to avoid repeating the full motif because it sounds like a clumsy transition, but the pause (and the need for fills along with it) never quite went away.

I have a selection of comments on the songs in albums (I listened to 214 songs and scribbled), but I'm going to put that aside to allow everyone to make their own comments and I'll chip in examples from my notes rather than bore you all with a massive ( and I mean MASSIVE, its about 4.5 thousand words) post. But I will make this observation: it's worth your while to listen chronologically to the whole opus every once in a while, because you'll start to see patterns. Congrats on getting to the end of the madness :D apple01

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27 March 2015
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I'll add some comments broken down by album, and see what you think. Hopefully you haven't been too terrified or confused so far and maybe these comments will explain what I'm on about. So let's start with just the first two albums, and associated singles if they're relevant:

Please Please Me

You wouldn't call the Beatles a surfer band, would you? But that's the predominant rocker rhythm used here, a little too fast to swing like the Mersey Beat, and certainly too fast for anything but a quick fill, although there are exceptions. They tried very hard with the covers here (almost like they were trying to get them out of the way) and there's only one song I would truly call a Mersey Beat tune.

If you don't get what I mean, here's a fantastic example by a great youtube drummer:

Notice that the Mersey Beat is really a slowed-down surfer rhythm with those same accents on the snare. That's it, really, that's the 60's rock groove.

I Saw Her Standing There

The fills before the chorus get progressively more complex, but don't pause the strong beat. I'l call this style of fill a 'surfer fill' after its common use in 50's surfer music. Ranges from a quick ratatat to a more complex, stuttering catch-up fill, beats of quick triplets. I 've never believed that Ringo couldn't do a snare roll, it just wasn't interesting or different enough, and that's the core thing about his fills, they're always interesting.

Anna

Surfer fill here just before the middle eight.

Chains

A lot of near-fill snarework in this cover as well as full around-the-kit fills, and noteworthy is the snare accented pattern between the chorus vocals.

Boys

Classic surfer drumming in here, you really hear the kick thumping! Tempo is closer to the Mersey Beat but still a bit fast to truly swing.

Please Please Me

I'm astonished at the strength of the surfer influence in this classic. Lots of tidy little snare fills, but what's this just before the middle 8?! Everything stops and Ringo goes down the kit to the toms! Is this an air fill?! Yes and no. It fits the basic requirement, but does lack rhythmic variation. It doesn't sound unusual in the context of the surfer rhythm, and there's probably similar examples from this style. So I would call it a proto-air fill, the template that perhaps got Ringo thinking about alternative fills. Regardless, it really underlines Ringo's importance to the style and songwriting this early in his time with the band.

Do You Want To Know A Secret

Here Ringo avoids the snare altogether in the pauses and thumps the kick, a clever way to contrast with the snare-heavy beat of the verses.

A Taste Of Honey

There aren't any noteworthy fills here but what is important is the two-step vamp feel Ringo gets. In later period Beatles when this rhythm is used, it's combined with the air fill to produce something new.

Threre's A Place

Back to the surfer beat, with more surfer fills here and there.

Twist And Shout

Early Beatles is often characterised by their adaptation of surfer music rhythms to produce the so-called 'Mersey Beat', a sort of slowed-down accented surfer beat. Twist And Shout is a canonical example, it's got the surfer fill, and that swinging accent.

SINGLE: She Loves You /I'll Get You

A-Side: Same method, Mersey Beat plus surfer fills and a stabbing dramatic pause. The B-side is a more conventional Mersey swing, with that Buddy Holly start.

With The Beatles

This album is the Mersey Beat album: the surfer/rocker rhythms are slowed down to allow them to swing, and they adapt it to different styles of cover song too.

It Won't Be Long

Right back on the Mersey Beat, complete with surfer fills.

All I've Got To Do

Interestingly they stop-start the Mersey Beat here, the first half of the verses are stripped back then a fill signals the beat returning.

Please Mister Postman

What I like about this one is how Ringo's taken the RnB feel and fitted it to the Mersey Beat in the verses and choruses and the fills are actually the accents of that beat! Big air in those fills, hmm!

Roll Over Beethoven

This is a standard rocker, but there are the surfer fills and a very surfer middle eight. Imagine that slowed-down and you can see where the Mersey Beat comes from.

You Really Got A Hold On Me

Another cover that is start-stop, despite its clear country origins. Ringo starts the second verse with a rocketing set of triplets set off by the 3 guitar stabs. The Beatles were clearly getting comfortable with this kind of song structure, an important component in the air fill evolution.

Devil In Her Heart

Very cabaret, with a slouchy Mersey Beat, the dramatic pause with fills, it's all there.

Not A Second Time

Once again, Mersey Beat with dramatic pause and fill, and this time the fills are a little more detailed with more room to spare.

Money

Back to the more comfortable surfer formula a la Twist And Shout .

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28 March 2015
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Another three albums:

A Hard Day's Night

Out with the covers, at least for this soundtrack album. Also out are the standard Surfery/Mersey Beat rhythms, it's much more RnB-orientated and some country, lots of straight 4/4. We're in 2nd phase Ringo drumming now.

If I Fell

An AB structure, with little fills at the end of the B parts.

I'm Happy Just To Dance With You

Quite weird tom sounds on this one!

Tell Me Why

A swing(!) number, almost like a big band tune, with quite detailed snare-to-tom runs in the refrain. Note the stop and stutter-fill after the middle 8. Really carried by Ringo!

Can't Buy Me Love
Any Time At All

These two both use a dramatic pause before the title lyric. It's almost a truism in their songs now.

When I Get Home

This is very RnB but still uses the surfer fill!

You Can't Do That

The dramatic pause and fill and TITLE LYRIC again :D

Beatles For Sale

Except for the odd rocker and bossa-nova this is essentially a country album that does away with basically all the structures favoured before, and coupled with the oddly-lacking production (compared to AHDN , it's like a desaturated picture), it is often seen as a step back, rather than the departure it actually is. From now on, country rhythms would figure in almost all Beatle albums, not just the singles. Ringo experiments with some new percussion, and those overdubs aside, it's very straightforward rhythmically, with few fills if any.

What You're Doing

Literally the only fill worth noting here (the timpani in Every Little Thing doesn't really count) is right towards the end where everyone drops out and another near-air fill is tried. So Ringo keeps his hand in!

Help!

We have some similarities with AHDN rhythmically here. But there's a more country/folk feel this time around, and it's a bit of a synthesis between old structure preferences and the new rhythms.

Another Girl

Country song, but it features the Dramatic Pause, Fill and Title Lyric motif again

Ticket To Ride

Instead of a country rhythm, we have the Macca-inspired offbeat rhythm with the Dramatic Pause and Fill IN the chorus this time. Notice how Ringo straightens it out a bit in the last verse before changing into a country two-step!

Act Naturally

Another country song with a Dramatic Pause but no Title Lyric or Fill.

SINGLE: We Can Work It Out /Day Tripper

Released the same day as Rubber Soul , the A-side isn't remarkable but Day Tripper once again utilises the Dramatic Pause and Fill, but substitutes the key riff instead of the Title Lyric.

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29 March 2015
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A few more albums. We're starting to get into true air-fill territory.

Rubber Soul

This is the album where rhythm broke loose into proper riff-based RnB. There are one or two little throw-backs and throw-forwards here. We get very very close to true air-fills but no banana. 3rd Phase now: He begins to use fills much more aggressively, which all fit a particular up-tempo RnB rhythm.

Drive My Car

The most confusing start ever to a song, but it's a solid fill and those heavy snare accents leading up to the Title Lyric, are getting closer to air-fill territory, and gets repeated in the guitar solo also.

You Won't See Me

The start of this may almost qualify for a true air-fill. It's got the same stuttery quality of previous snare fills, however. The song is full of Ringo flexing his fill-muscles, and we're seeing quite a bit of variation in the snare and tom sounds, which are really clear in the mono version. The odd thing for me about the song is how the melodic bass plays against the rhythm instead of WITH it. If Paul had backed off the melody a bit and stuck to the rhythm a little more it might chug along nicely. To me the drums and bass seem at cross rhythmic purposes for too long.

Think For Yourself

No Dramatic Pause in this one but it does have a stuttery fill before the Title Lyric. That organ really chugs along doesn't it.

The Word

Big fills under the refrain 'It's so fine it's sunshine' and after, and they've got that same quality from You Won't See Me . But they can't be air-fills because they're sung AND played over.

SINGLE: Paperback Writer /Rain

I don't think it can be doubted that Rain is the birth of the air-fill, even if the bass plays along. It's at 2:25. But truly half the drumming on Rain is fill, accompanied or not and it takes the fills from the previous album and pushes that notch up. But, and it is the only but, it is still not swinging the beat in the open fill.

Revolver

The startling fact about Revolver rhythmically is how popular the two-step vamp is. It's there in 4 songs at least, and its rhythm is more usually associated with Sgt Peppers. We don't get an air-fill but we do get an important step towards it.

I'm Only Sleeping

The two-step vamp returns and what we hear first is not a drum air-fill but a BASS one. You could replace those bass notes with a snare-tom-tom-kick and you have all the requirements: unaccompanied and syncopated. Ringo gets a little fill in the space after 'taking my time'.

She Said She Said

This is another fill-heavy song, very reminiscent of Rain rhythmically (except for the obvious 3/4 middle 8).

SINGLE: Strawberry Fields Forever /Penny Lane

SFF qualifies as an air-fill song despite being accompanied because it at least swings, and come on, those fills are iconic. Even I played air-drums to this song as a kid. Penny Lane brings the two-step vamp with a vengence, but there's nothing for Ringo to do here but keep the beat.

Sgt. Peppers

Air-fill central. This is where some of the best live. The Beatles basically take the Dramatic Pause motif and let Ringo fill it, sometimes with the Title Lyric, sometimes just to have a nice breather. It's also two-step vamp central but some omit any breather at all much like Penny Lane . The effect of the deliberate two-vamp/air-fill style is to flatten out a lot of the drumming, in some cases like Lovely Rita , the air-fills are the ONLY fills.

Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The true air-fill introduces the verse, blink and you'll miss this amazingly assured development.

With A Little Help From My Friends

Classic air-fill in this two-step vamp after the guitar! Listen to the space in it, it's so damn leisurely you'll be dancing and singing with your terrified cat who will escape but stay to watch their strange human flailing about. What they did here is avoid having to go to the middle 8 early so after the first chorus, they buzzed down to the inverted V from I with a guitar riff and let Ringo air-fill the pause and started the next verse!

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

BOM BOM BOM lucy in the sky with air-fills!

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!

The expectation in this two-step vamp to have an air-fill is, I feel, deliberately exploited. At one stage, the Dramatic Pause is JUST the piano JUST to be different.

Lovely Rita

This has classic air-fills built into the structure on the pauses, and the accent is on the 3rd beat in the bar unusually.

Good Morning, Good Morning

This returns the fill to the Revolver stage of filling-in-the-pause-with-triplets, but Ringo gets to go mad with the entire kit at the end as compensaton!

Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

The fills here are the same deal as Good Morning Good Morning

A Day In The Life

The fills here are another special case of being air-fills while being accompanied. They're in a class of their own really, but we can see their pedigree stretching back as far as You Won't See Me , although Rain is a closer fit. It's rare that drum fills act like a counterpoint to lyrics!

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29 March 2015
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Thanks @ewe2 , this is really interesting reading for me, being a big fan and a failed drummer :)

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29 March 2015
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Yip. Thanks for these posts @ewe2 as they are great to read but must take a lot of time and effort to type. I even have some idea what it all means (my knowledge and understanding of anything musical related seems to evaporate within seconds of reading it).

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29 March 2015
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To tell the truth @meanmistermustard, I'd been racking my brains for something to contribute to the forum for some time and running out of internet a week ago proved a catalyst and I dashed off most of it in one sitting a day later. I spent a day listening to the entire catalogue and one of the valuable returns was a better appreciation of why the Beatles chose those early covers on the early albums and also to get a better picture of the general genres they were using as inspiration. I hope it might also disabuse people of the misconception that it was all John/Paul and the other guys a bit on the side. Nothing further from the truth. It might be another good exercise to track George through the oeuvre (to say nothing of Johns guitar contributions which noone comments on), because just like Ringo, George's styles and inspirations were critical to the songwriting even besides his own songwriting contributions.

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29 March 2015
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I noticed your absence during that period. My heart sank really, really low thinking you had abandoned us. I am tickled pink that you are back and creating this awesome thread for the Beatles Bible!

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29 March 2015
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Alas I am forced to use ridiculously expensive wifi broadband for internet and at $10 a gigabyte of data, I can't afford to stay online 24/7, so this is now a regular feature for me. But when I am online I don't intend to desert you! But let's have more albums! By this time you should have picked up that a feature of Beatles songs are the pauses, and isn't it odd that we think of the songs as iconic pop yet no one really follows their style of using variant pauses in their songs (if you can think of anyone who does, let me know. Ok maybe Todd Rundgren does somewhere on one of his mad albums.)?

Magical Mystery Tour

Really a US invention, it takes on the soundtrack of the movie AND throws in UK/US singles whether you had them or not. The first hints of Ringo's 4th phase appear here, particularly Hello Goodbye .

Blue Jay Way

Air-fill in here to desperately try and wake the damn song up :D The gap is just a pause too many and needs variation.

I Am The Walrus

Another structure where the air-fill is intrinsic to the pauses, and at the end signals the breakdown of the song into the dreaded random.

Hello Goodbye

Ringo builds up the pauses in increments, avoiding the fill in the first two, and then completely going for broke in the middle 8, repeating the feat on subsequent pauses. This is the part of the song I like, everything else sucks a-hard-days-night-paul-11

Baby You're A Rich Man

The Yellow Submarine Songtrack version is advised if you want a clear picture of what Ringo's doing here. He takes a similar tactic and builds up the pauses, and the air-fills are particularly effective.

All You Need Is Love

Two-step vamp with no room for fills.

SINGLE: Hey Jude /Revolution

Clearly recognizable air-fills in this epic A-side, and continuing underneath accompaniment. Try to imagine the song without them, particularly under the vocals. We're moving into Ringo's tertiary stage of drumming where he accents the melody irrespective of structure. It's difficult to picture how these songs might go without them now. Revolution features the air-fill as almost a footy-chant clap in the pauses and note how Ringo staggers the triplet snare fills to gather it up again, almost as if the song needs snare hits like air.

The Beatles

We've worked out Ringo is missing on nearly 10 of these 30 tracks. This album is the anti-psychedelica backlash, so in most cases Ringo falls back on variation to serve the needs of the accompaniment, and we see how the 4th phase works to accent rather than fill a gap.

Glass Onion

Oddly stiff little fills, a bit disappointing.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

The air-fills are straightforward here, just noted in the general notes.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Another good example of Ringo using his air-fill technique as a means of accenting the verse. Iconic fills in the chorus also.

I'm So Tired

Air-fill for those Dramatic Pauses at the end.

Don't Pass Me By

Of course Ringo would air-fill on his own song!

Why Don't We Do It In The Road?

Dutiful accenting fills before the pause this time. This was an overdub, and it shows.

Birthday

Back to 2nd phase rocking here

Yer Blues

Big air-fill to start, but avoids the pause throughout the song, and it turns out that the fill is always before and after the pause.

Sexy Sadie

Another air-fill to get things going, and we continue with classic 4th phase fill-accenting.

Helter Skelter

Who could forget the air-fill to restart the madness here?

Long, Long, Long

Big dynamic air-fills in a quiet song ending with an unusual snare-roll from Ringo.

Savoy Truffle

Stuttery fills in this one too.

Cry Baby Cry

Ringo generally goes around the toms for accenting and keeps the snare for the choruses.

Yellow Submarine

Hey Bulldog

Ringo accents the riff with toms rather than the snare.

Only A Northern Song

This belongs back in the 3rd phase with Sgt Peppers, so it's air-fills all the way! The song really depends on them because of the odd time-signature jump in the choruses, necessitating Ringo to air-fill to cover the gap into the verse pattern again, but instead of just playing a straight 4/4 he puts in fills in different corners of the pattern so there's a continuity.

It's All Too Much

Um yeah...this song is a bit of a mess, so air-fills all the way too! The phasing on the snare is so 60's :D

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30 March 2015
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Let's bat it home with the last albums.

Abbey Road

We're going in released order so this is a bit out of kilter. I would characterize this as being a bit jazzed-up after the rawness of the previous albums. There's a lot of attention to detail, but the difference is chiefly improved sound for the drums, a bit more leeway for how the fills should work in with the rest. As noted in a few songs, he uses fills now to maintain or raise the energy of songs where needed, something he always sought to do but now it comes naturally as part of the song rather than something that stands out to say "this is a section boundary".

Come Together

A special case, it's really Ringo making the song completely his own, the instrumental pauses are extremely detailed. A lovely air-fill to rouse the boys for the coda and continues after every two riffs.

Something

By now characteristic fill to kick off, and a storm of fills to accent the middle 8.

Oh! Darling

Even a rocker like this benefits from air-fills.

I Want You (She's So Heavy)

Classic 4th phase fills to up the intensity where needed, and not as an instrumental feature. He uses fills to appear to speed up and slow down during the coda which is pretty amazing against the white noise and the insane organ, so I'm grateful they edited in the Trident master for it, if my bootleg is correct of course. There is a classic fill on the coda which must be from Trident, imagine losing that!

Here Comes The Sun

Some of the trickiest fills ever done to fit the beat and time signature. Accenting every part of the riff when needed and generally keeping the energy up.

The Huge Melody here is a bit of a cheat, Ringo mostly doing it before even hearing much of the accompaniment. Only Polythene Pam was redone in the sense of the drum rhythms, all the rest is basically the same after overdubs, initially just Paul on piano and Ringo. So much of the rest of the accompaniment was scored/written/overdubbed around this basic track, and it's particularly noticeable on Golden Slumbers /Carry That Weight , a testament to Ringo's core function to the songwriting, not just the recording.

You Never Give Me Your Money

Ringo's job in most of this medley is to make sense of the instrumental changes so much of this are truly air-fills before the guitars were even tracked.

Sun King

Rather complicated but more kick-fills than anything!

Mean Mr. Mustard

This has a rhythm harking back to 3rd phase, but 4-step rather than 2. If it was the redo, there's not much in it.

Polythene Pam

Revolves around the toms and massive snare hits, and nothing in pauses except Paul stuffing the bass up. :D

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Fills almost call-and-answering the guitar riff in this.

Golden Slumbers

Ringo does the massive fills to make the rhythm work here.

Carry That Weight

Once again, Ringo is called-upon to air-fill (or if you prefer, rhythm-fill) the instrumental changes in this one.

The End

You could call it a drum solo, or a connected series of air-fills, but it's literally the last word on Beatle Ringo's technique.

Let It Be

This was of course recorded before Abbey Road . They were trying to write simpler, more rockabilly songs, but Ringo's style remains pretty much 4th phase throughout when he was doing fills at all, so its interesting that the songs still have pauses and Ringo still does his elongated fills.

Dig A Pony

Rhythm-fills here mainly to keep the energy up and a air-fill at the pause.

I Me Mine

Ringo gets in a rhythm-fill in here

I've Got A Feeling

Air-fill here at the pause and especially after the guitar solo.

Get Back

Depending on which version you have, it's very short on fills, except for the one air-fill. The snare shuffle is like a metronome, it's mesmerising. And he got it right every time and I've heard dozens of versions of the song over those Get Back sessions.

Don't Let Me Down

Air-fills crucial to keeping this one together.

Old Brown Shoe

This is a B-side that doesn't fit anywhere else. Being a George song, it's relatively straightforward but still sports his favourite motif, a diminished progression! Ringo really drives the track here, playing on the off-beat and catch-up fills in the verses, but I've always loved the full-on middle-sections best, so solidly matching the riff's rhythm but pushing forward, you feel like you're flying.

LAST SINGLE: Let It Be /You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

The A-side is different depending on which solo you prefer (there are now 3 versions!), but Ringo doesn't do anything particularly special on it, although his ride cymbal is particularly splashy on the track. YKMN is a comedy track done in the medley style, and Ringo's work demonstrates just how good at parody they were.

Conclusion

So here we are at the end. Taking the Beatles from a Ringos-eye view is valuable. It shows us just how strongly the band could back up a style of songwriting that I find more peculiar the more I look at it. Ringo took the basic notions of rhythm behind many songs (except when Paul, who could hear everything it needed, gave him pointers), and fleshed them out with originality and intelligence. We haven't even got onto his incredible timing and ability to reproduce the same performances, but the key quality is his ability to see what the song needed, driving it and complementing vocals and instruments. I've only ever played with one drummer who came close to matching this kind of musical intelligence, they are the rarest musicians.

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Thanks for these fabulous posts, @ewe2. I found them very informative-- and  I understood nearly 60% of what was being said. a-hard-days-night-george-10

I can only imagine how much time this must have taken, to go through the catalogue like this and type it all up. Did you dream of Beatle drum tracks that night? apple01

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It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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Silly Girl said

Thanks for these fabulous posts, @ewe2. I found them very informative-- and  I understood nearly 60% of what was being said. a-hard-days-night-george-10

I can only imagine how much time this must have taken, to go through the catalogue like this and type it all up. Did you dream of Beatle drum tracks that night? apple01

I know it looks like a lot of work, but really, I've been a Beatles fan for well over four decades and have heard everything they did for about two decades, something has to rub off surely :D Also, I'm a musician and the curse of the way a musician thinks is to see the patterns and scaffolding around the Art. If I didn't, that would be a possibly greater problem! I hope it inspires people to take a look from a different angle, it certainly refreshed my picture of the songs. And yes, certain fills in songs have been repeating themselves in my mind for some days now a-hard-days-night-ringo-13, I've caught myself unconsciously beatboxing Beatles!

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ewe2 sang expressively

<big shear>

 Also, I'm a musician and the curse of the way a musician thinks is to see the patterns and scaffolding around the Art. If I didn't, that would be a possibly greater problem! 

<slice>

Yeah, I have the same problem-- or is it a problem? I can't listen to songs without thinking things like "Oh, nice rhythm strumming there," or "Wow, I wonder how long it took to get the vocals right?" I find it actually heightens my enjoyment of the songs, though. Many things I never appreciated till I discovered the Beatles. 

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Yes. The point of a good song is that you're not meant to notice the mechanics, how the fills are done, what the song structure is, you get the effect of the sounds and the emotion of it, but a musician comes along and goes my god what a great bass sound and that drumming is awesome and what's that effect on the piano and that can be the birth of something new in their mind. For better or worse, recordings ARE the new sheet music, because there's far more to the effect of several instruments and vocals than can be written down. Recently Pharrell Williams lost a lawsuit because he deliberately mimicked the sound of a 1960's RnB song and the fact that it was musically very close didn't help either. So in a very real sense that might force people to be even more experimental (which I detest, there's nothing to my mind wrong with quoting other artists, but that's the music industry for you).

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ewe2 said
Recently Pharrell Williams lost a lawsuit because he deliberately mimicked the sound of a 1960's RnB song and the fact that it was musically very close didn't help either. So in a very real sense that might force people to be even more experimental (which I detest, there's nothing to my mind wrong with quoting other artists, but that's the music industry for you).

I don't think there's anything wrong with it either. The problem is, he didn't want to credit the original and pay for its use. And Thicke's whole pre-emptive lawsuit to keep the family from acknowledging the plagiarism left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Okay, I'll stay-on-topic

Thank you for time and effort you're putting into these detailed notes, ewe2!

parlance

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Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at Vimeo or YouTube.

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Thought this would be a good day to re-read and re-vive this 'massively silly effortpost'. john-lennon-salute_gif

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The latest Something About The Beatles as of this post, on this Ringo birthday, talks a lot about Ringo's kit and technique. I haven't yet got the book, but interestingly they seem to be tying the last major kit (the Hollywood kit) Ringo used with a new phase in his style which actually doesn't end with the Beatles but beyond Plastic Ono Band. And another thing I didn't know was the influence of Levon Helm on him at that time, and they make a case for Paul's influence as well which is just as surprising.

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I didn't know that Ringo invented this.

 

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I'm Necko.  I'm like Ringo except I wear necklaces.

I'm also ewe2 on weekends.

Most likely to post things that make you go hmm... 2015, 2016, 2017. 

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