The biggest thing I stole from Charlie Watts was the hi-hat lift.
I think I first noticed it in the video for “Start Me Up:” that thing he did where he never hit the snare and the hi-hat at the same time. Watch any video of the Stones and you’ll see it: instead of “tick-tick-tick-twhack-tick-tick-tick-twhack,” his sound is “tick-tick-tick-WHACK-tick-tick-tick-WHACK.” It was a little thing that was also a big thing. There was a lot of that in Charlie Watts drumming — a whole series of little things that were actually big things.
And while the hi-hat lift might have made him look less fluid than peers like Keith Moon or Ringo Starr — all of that lifting of the right hand — when I started playing a few years later, I decided to use that technique because I liked how it made the snare even louder. And I loved — love! — teeth-rattling snare.