In this free drum lesson I’ll be showing you another extract from my eBook teaching the classic verse drum beat from the song “Tom Sawyer” by Rush.


Tom Sawyer” Drum Beat Demonstration

View the video on YouTube HERE – Learn How To Play Drums Song Tom Sawyer Video Drum Lesson (Rush & Neil Peart)


Why The “Tom Sawyer” Drum Beat Is So Great

Proof that music can be both demanding and commercially successful! Rock’s finest technician navigates changing time
signatures with intricate patterns flowing one after the other.

Tom Sawyer Verse Drum Beat Free Drum Lesson Neil Peart Rush


How To Play It

This is the first eight bars of the song. The right hand plays sixteenth notes on the hi-hat throughout, only stopping for the occasional crash cymbal.

Neil slowly increases the complexity of the bass drum part as he moves through the drum beat, keeping it simple at the beginning and adding more syncopation as it progresses.

Bars 3 and 4 both have a bass drum on the ‘e’, straight after the snare drum backbeat. These bass drum notes are played at the same time as the hi-hat is opened. The hi-hat closes again on the next sixteenth, on the ‘+’ of beat 4. This occurs variously throughout the eight bars with Neil opening and closing the hi-hat for a single sixteenth note, at the same time as playing bass drum notes.

Bars 5 to 8 all have a crash cymbal on beat 2, played at the same time as the snare drum. The right hand is required to move to the crash cymbal pretty quickly after playing the hi-hat on the ‘a’ of beat 1. If this is too quick for you to play then you could leave out the hi-hat note on the ‘a’ all together and just play the bass drum on it’s own instead.


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