Arts & Entertainment, Music

Navigating Your Kit: Tips and Technique

Ringo Starr

Lesson time 11:44 min

For new and seasoned drummers alike, this lesson lays out technique-oriented suggestions, such as how to sit, different footwork patterns, effectively using and quieting cymbals, and ways to approach rhythm.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Get Comfortable · Efficiency in Footwork · The Left Foot · Lift the Chorus · Artful Transitions: Muting Your Cymbals · Lead With Your Limitations · Single Strokes and Double Strokes · Triplets in Action: “Long Tall Sally”


[MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC - RINGO STARR, "EARLY 1970!"] (SINGING) Lives on a farm, got plenty of charm. Beep Beep. - What I'd like to do is two things. One, I'd like to tell you why I sit like this. And the other is what I did with the sticks. As you can tell, I like to be a little high in the seat. And the good sign is if the stick hits me in the thigh, it's perfect. I'm at the right height. You know, I like to do snare shots. That's where you hit the rim and the drum head at the same time. You know, sometimes it's a mellow song and you hit it softer in the middle of the snare drum. And then, it's all about positioning yourself to make the most of your kit. You know, you can hit things harder. You can hit them lighter. Hit them with the brushes. Some guys have beaters around that gives you like a timpani type of noise. Some drummers, if they're playing the role of a Latin thing or a rim shot, they turn the stick this way. And I don't bother. I just drop down. I mean, you can place it in certain places and get it deeper and higher. So there's rhythm and everything, you know? This is the grip. I just held them because that's the only way I knew. Just for fun, you know, like Charlie Watts holds them like this. A lot of drummers still do. But for me, this was always for the marching band cause the drum was so close to the body. Anyway. That's the only marching stuff I know. And here's something I did on a break once, listening to playback on the film "Help." and I just did it because I did it. Like a one-handed rule. Just things you do when you're sitting around. But I just fitted myself around how I held them, you know? You do have to keep them a bit further away from you. You know, I'd love to say, oh, well, that was because, you know, somebody said this or that. It's the only way I knew and that's what I did, and what I did did me good. With the bass drum, once I've hit it, that's what I've done. I've done the job. And then the beater comes off it. Some people like-- they deaden it. They keep it on all day. You know, they sort of let it off a little or something. You know, the way I play is sort of a purposeful way. And if I'm going-- It's off. The beater comes off as soon as it's finished. Off, you know? Off. Off. Off. So while the right foot hits the bass drum, the left foot controls the hi-hat. Well, that was to get that. This heel is keeping time, that's what it's doing. The left leg is playing what the snare drum plays. Then you can-- can you tell? You can let your toll come off of your foot and you can get that. You know, I got a story about that. [MUSIC PLAYING] I was at home in this apartment I shared with George and Klaus Voormann. If he ever came...

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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