Where both the metronomic and rock patterns articulate all downbeats, syncopated patterns are defined by the absence of articulation on at least one downbeat. This gives a "limping" effect (imagine the instability of walking on a peg leg) since the rhythms are not as solid because they don't articulate all the beats.
From an analytic standpoint, syncopated beats are the most musically complex. They are also the least common. Where metronomic drumming is heard in 71 (33.6%) of the Beatles' 211 tracks and rock drumming is heard in 166 (78.7%), syncopated drumming is heard in just 44 songs (20.9%).
The previous blogs aimed to illustrate what the metronomic and rock beats were and illustrate how Ringo used them - NOT to create an exhaustive catalog of EVERY example of those two patterns. But because of the comparative scarcity and complexity of the syncopated beat, such an exhaustive catalog IS the goal for this post. I will systematically address and classify each of the 44 Beatles tracks on which Ringo plays a syncopated beat in order of frequency.
MISSING BEAT 3 AND ONLY BEAT 3
By far the most common syncopated pattern omits beat 3 and only beat 3. This is the case in 29 of the 44 tracks to employ a syncopated beat. (Another 9 tracks omit beat 3 but also omit at least one other beat. Those will discussed momentarily.)
Of those 29, 15 employ the pattern [1 |2 & | |4 ] or the nearly identical [1 |2 & | |4 & ] or a combination of the two.
Of those 15, seven articulate the bass drum on the & of 2, essentially taking the rock beat and moving up the second bass drum hit one eighth note to create a syncopated beat:
- 'Hold Me Tight'
- 'Baby It's You'
- 'From Me To You'
- 'Glass Onion'
- 'You Never Give Me Your Money'
- 'Carry That Weight'
Three of those six put the bass on 1, the & of 2, and the & of 4, the snare on 2 and 4, and a closed hi-hat on the & of 3:
- 'Anna (Go To Him)'
- 'It's Only Love'
- 'In My Life'
[1 &a|2 & | & |4 & ] is unique to third phrase of the verses in 'Please Please Me'
MISSING BEAT 4 AND ONLY BEAT 4
This is found in just three tracks. Each of these three employs a different variation within the "missing beat 4 and only beat 4" framework. Thus, no overall patterns emerge so they will be considered individually.
The choruses of 'She Loves You' maintain a two-measure drum pattern, the first of which is a standard rock beat, the second uses quarter note triplets which do not articulate beat 4.
MISSING BEAT 1 AND ONLY BEAT 1
Like the previous category, only three tracks fit this criteria: the third phrase of each verse in 'No Reply', some of the verses in 'Glass Onion', and parts of the beginning of 'The End'.
Unlike the previous category, however, all three of these songs fit into the same rhythmic pattern: hits on the & of 4 essentially anticipate the initial downbeat of the subsequent measure.
MISSING BEAT 2 AND ONLY BEAT 2
The last category to omit a single beat contains just two examples, both of which use the same rhythm: [1 | & |3 |4 ].
MISSING BEATS 2 AND 3
The turnaround (retransition?) in 'Twist And Shout' uses the rhythmic cliche of 3+3+2 in [1 | & | |4 ].
MISSING BEATS 2, 3, AND 4
The only song here is 'You Never Give Me Your Money', the second verse of which hits cymbals on [1 | & | | ] but leaves beats 2, 3, and 4 silent (except for the ring of the cymbals, of course).
MISSING BEATS 1, 3, AND 4
Here, too, there is only one song: The initial two phrases of each verse in 'No Reply' features a 2-measure rim click rhythm, the second of which articulates [ |2 | & | ].
Thursday, 14 July 2016, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Women's Civic Club of Stone Harbor, 96th & The Beach, Stone Harbor, NJ
A Four-Headed Monster: The 4 Beatles in 5 Songs
If you had to pick songs which represent each of the four Beatles, which would you chose? This 60-minute multimedia presentation observes and analyzes each band member through the lens of one or two songs: For Paul McCartney, “Yesterday”; for Ringo Starr, “In My Life”; for John Lennon, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and for George Harrison, “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun”.