Many famous drummers have often quoted Ringo Starr as being one of their biggest influences for the way they drum. Ringo and Paul McCartney are the last remaining members of the Beatles and they are still making music themselves. To the average ear, Ringo plays simple beats and is in the back of the band. That statement could not be farther from the truth. You do not have to play complicated parts to be considered a great drummer. Ringo is one of the most unique drummers because of the way he stroked his hi-hats, his frequent use of toms for rhythm, and being left-handed playing on a right-handed kit.
1. Cymbal Splashes
Ringo has a unique way of splashing on cymbals most famously the hi-hat. If you listen closely, his hi-hat rhythm is not constant but a little jumbled. It sounds a little jumbled because he splashes on the cymbals rather than hitting them in the same pattern every time. This became a signature of how the Beatles iconic sound came to be. I have often seen Tré Cool of Green Day do the same thing when he plays a completely different genre of music.
2. Usage of Toms
Ringo also had this idea to use his toms more in the verses of songs. By doing this, he gave the songs a bit more of a groovy feel. "Come Together" and "Ticket to Ride" are prime examples of this technique. He adds flavor to the verses instead of just a traditional beat.
3. Being Left-Handed
This last fact is the most interesting of all. Ringo is a left-handed drummer playing on a right-handed kit. Back in those days every drummer just used a right-handed kit and that was just the way it is. Right-handed drummers lead fills with their right hand often going from the high toms to the low toms. Being left-handed, Ringo was unable to do this so he often went from the low toms to the high toms. By doing this, his fills sounded different than most and gives a little bit more low end in a band that has an emphasis on treble.
Thank you, Ringo for being the backbone of the greatest rock band of all time!