Arts & Entertainment, Music

Different Strokes: Drum Demo With Jim Keltner and Gregg Bissonette

Ringo Starr

Lesson time 16:27 min

Legendary drummers Jim Keltner and Gregg Bissonette join Ringo and share how Ringo’s early career influenced theirs. The three demonstrate their different styles, showcasing different paths open to members pursuing the profession.

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Topics include: Case Study: “Come Together” · Play to Your Strengths · Creating Musical Fills · Early Influences: “Topsy Part I” and “Topsy Part II” by Cozy Cole · The Left-Hand Advantage · The Back Side of the Beat


[MUSIC PLAYING] - This is such a thrill for me to have Jim Keltner right there. On my right is my favorite drummer and we're really good pals. And my second friend over here, Gregg Bissonnette, longtime member of the All Starr Band and the world-famous drum teacher himself. A long time ago, I did a track with The Beatles called "Come Together." And I decided, several years ago now, that that was so special, that piece, that I'm not going to play it for anything else now. It's only on that record will you ever hear me playing it. But because I have friends, we can separate the parts, whoever played them, and that's one great one that everybody knows, that it has three distinct parts. And we're going to show you what it actually sounds like. You ready, Jim? JIM KELTNER: Yeah. - OK. [MUSIC - THE BEATLES, "COME TOGETHER"] Isn't not great? Now imagine one person doing that. You got any questions? GREGG BISSONNETTE: Well, I noticed on the verse of "Come Together," you played your kick drum alone for the whole-- (SINGING) He wear no shoeshine-- - Yeah. GREGG BISSONNETTE: What a great concept for the verse. And then you played the floor tom-- [PLAYING NOTES] --and the beat. [PLAYING NOTES] (SINGING) Come together. Didn't even have a cymbal. There's so many parts that identify that song. It's so classic. - You've just played them all, so I don't have to. - [MUSIC - RINGO STARR, "BACK OFF BOOGALOO"] (SINGING) Back off, Boo-ga-loo. I said, back off, Boo-ga-loo. I said, back off, Boo-ga-loo. Yeah, "Back Off Boogaloo" is a great story because I wrote the song and gave it to George Harrison. And he was producing me at the time. And he had this idea that it should have this drum pattern. [PLAYING NOTES] I still find that difficult to play. So to make him happy, I played a snare situation with the same sort of feel, which-- [PLAYING NOTES] And it just was one of those moments in the studio when the other players and myself, we were doing this, putting it down. It was like, wow. That really works. So sometimes, I have to shift the track to where I could be comfortable with it, and that was a great example. To this day, this is not the best thing for me. [PLAYING NOTES] I'm too busy trying to get that kick drum to do the three that I don't do it anymore. Now you can do it. Do it. [PLAYING NOTES] Yeah, see? That's what George wanted. And I did-- [PLAYING NOTES] And it worked. - You know, that's a perfect example of what you did that changed the musical world, really, because-- no, I'm serious, because all the session guys that I listened to coming up, those guys were all pretty much told what to do and they were expected to do it. And that's how they made their living. And it was brilliant, all the things that the Hal Blaines, the Earl Palmer, all those guys. But ...

About the Instructor

Music legend Ringo Starr helped create rock ’n’ roll drumming as we know it today. Now the 9-time Grammy Award winner wants to inspire new and seasoned drummers alike. Through demonstrations behind the kit and personal stories from his time in The Beatles, Ringo shares his principles for creative collaboration, finding your unique playing style, and embracing your musical journey with joy.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Ringo Starr

Legendary drummer Ringo Starr walks you through his approach to creative collaboration, playing with heart, and embracing your musical journey.

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