Anyone covered Tom Sawyer on a small kit?

Mastiff

Senior Member
I'm working through this song. It pushes my technical ability, but I think I can get it with work. Thing is, I have a 5 piece kit, which is currently configured as a 4 piece, and no double bass pedals. It's really not an issue up to the drum fill section after the guitar solo. That's where the fills cover the whole huge Peart kit and double bass becomes (potentially) essential. I might be able to do the 32nd bass doubles on a single pedal... Anyway, just looking for thoughts.
 

spelman

Senior Member
Tempo for Tom Sawyer is quarter note=88 bpm, you might be able to do it with a single pedal. Otherwise, just do Bonham-triplets.


Tom Sawyer 1.jpg

becomes:

Tom Sawyer 2.jpg
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I have covered it on a four piece, with a single pedal. I just did Bonham style triplets for the big fill in the middle.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
I have covered it on a four piece, with a single pedal. I just did Bonham style triplets for the big fill in the middle.
Thanks guys, I'll go that route. Were you able to pull off the other 32nd doubles in the song with single pedal? They are sprinkled throughout the song. I've been practicing getting through at 75% speed so far, and I can easily do them at that rate. Full speed would be like 16th doubles at about 160 bpm, which is fairly speedy.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Thanks guys, I'll go that route. Were you able to pull off the other 32nd doubles in the song with single pedal? They are sprinkled throughout the song. I've been practicing getting through at 75% speed so far, and I can easily do them at that rate. Full speed would be like 16th doubles at about 160 bpm, which is fairly speedy.
The 32nd note doubles are fine with a single pedal, it's only the extended rolls that needed adaptation, in my case. As for the toms rolls, I just played the pattern on fewer toms. You'd be amazed at how well it works.
 

BenjaminCamelot

Senior Member
I feel like I could bring up In the Air Tonight alongside Tom Sawyer in the sense that these two songs require you to have a lot of drums, but I still think it's do-able on a smaller kit. Just play around on the kit and see what you think works best.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
This isn't narcissistic, but I've always heard this beat in Tom Sawyer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L44EsXysEg0

On a small kit no less!

When you think about it, Neil only uses all his toms on the fills. The song is still 90% bass/snare/hi-hat like a lot of songs. I think Bill Bruford is one of the masters at utilizing more of the kit in the rhythms he made, especially in a lot of the 1980s King Crimson stuff.
 

supermac

Senior Member
I covered the song on a 'small' kit when it came out.

As others have said, Bonham triplets sound fine for the second solo fill (after the guitar solo). No-one will notice.

From memory, the only time, Neil uses the small toms and goes right around the drums is in the first solo fill (after the guitar solo), but you can just use a good old-fashioned fill, starting on the snare drum and going to the toms instead.

There are some double-kick embellishments during the 7/4 guitar solo section. If you have a fast right foot, you might be able to play them. If not, only drum-playing Neil fans will notice if you miss then out.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Funny how he just powers through the 7/8 as 4/4 anyway. His chops are still apparent even in the simplified form though...
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I feel like I could bring up In the Air Tonight alongside Tom Sawyer in the sense that these two songs require you to have a lot of drums, but I still think it's do-able on a smaller kit. Just play around on the kit and see what you think works best.
I've played in the air tonight dozens of times on a 4 piece. Not hard at all and nobody knows the difference. I just use flams, a bit of dynamics and do half and half on each tom. Even gets the echo-ey sound going. Everyone loves that song full-stop so it's really not a problem.

People vastly over-estimate the "need" for lots of toms. Using dynamics (not hitting the drum the same velocity each time) between two toms is almost always enough in most settings.
 

DaleClark

Senior Member
I've played in the air tonight dozens of times on a 4 piece. Not hard at all and nobody knows the difference. I just use flams, a bit of dynamics and do half and half on each tom. Even gets the echo-ey sound going. Everyone loves that song full-stop so it's really not a problem.

People vastly over-estimate the "need" for lots of toms. Using dynamics (not hitting the drum the same velocity each time) between two toms is almost always enough in most settings.
I agree. Although it would be nice to have the 6 and 8 inch toms for YYZ, they would just be visual "bling" for 98% of my playing. A set of roto tioms would do just as nice if you did not rely on the high toms much.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I've played it in a small pub on a four-piece bop set and we pulled it off (sorta). I played the double bass fill with one and did the Bonham triplets instead. The most difficult fill to transpose is the long fill he plays around the toms on the first drum break. You obviously have to play it on fewer drums, but there's also that one crash you have to work into it.
 
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