Ringo Starr Says He Never Practices Playing the Drums, ‘I Just Have Great Time’

Ringo Starr is a stellar musician on the drums, and he said his ability is honed by playing, not by practicing

Ringo Starr became a world-famous drummer after joining The Beatles in 1962. While he didn’t often play solos for the band, he shined in heavy songs like “Helter Skelter” and “Rain.” He has been playing drums since he was a kid, but he never practices. However, he always got better the more he consistently played.

Ringo Starr says he doesn’t practice and gets better by playing

Some people must practice tirelessly to perfect their abilities, while others are naturally gifted. They have an exceptional talent that they improve upon whenever they use it. That appears true with Ringo Starr, who has played the drums since childhood.

Starr has had several outstanding performances on the drums from his career, and he selected one in a conversation with Modern Drummer. In his response, the former Beatle said he never practices but keeps improving as he gets “more comfortable” with playing.

“‘Drumming Is My Madness’ is one, because it was fun,” Starr shared. “It was Harry Nilsson, Jim Keltner and I. For the Ringorama CD, we specifically made it sort of drum-prominent, and I sort of played some really good stuff. [laughs] Though I never practice, I do feel I’m getting better. It’s just how it is. The more you do it, the more comfortable you are with it.”

Ringo Starr first learned to play the drums in the hospital

Starr dealt with two significant illnesses as a child that put him in the hospital for long periods. While missing his school education, he picked up an ability that changed his life forever. Speaking with CBC Radio, Starr said a woman would bring in percussive instruments, and that’s how he first learned to play.

“That’s when I fell in love with drums, and I only wanted to be a drummer from then on,” he explained. “But of course, I had to work on the railways, I had to work on the boats, and I had to work in a factory for several years before it all came true.”

Starr believes he has a natural gift for drumming that comes from having ‘great time’

Ringo Starr has played the drums for several bands. Before The Beatles, he was part of the Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He is currently touring with his All-Starr band, first formed in 1989. Starr was asked how he finds his feel for drumming, and he humbly brags. He believes it “comes from God” and he has a natural ability to keep time and match tempo.

“I’ve been touring with the All-Starrs, I’m touring now with The Roundheads, I’m making records – I’m sort of back in the business,” Starr said. “I’m playing more, so I’m more comfortable. But the feel I have – many of you have asked me about my feel – that just comes from God. I truly believe that my heartbeat keeps the tempo, because I naturally have great time, as you all noticed, and that’s not blowing my own horn. I just have great time, and that’s the rhythm of my heart and my soul.”

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