“Tom Sawyer” by Rush

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Difficulty: Intermediate

Composer – Dubois / Lee / Lifeson / Peart

Where to find this song – Moving Pictures track # 1

Release Date – February 1981

The Bio:

Over the course of their career, the Canadian trio Rush emerged as one of hard rock’s most highly regarded bands; although typically brushed aside by critics and main listeners of mainstream pop radio airplay, the group nonetheless won an impressive and devoted fan following, while their performance skills solidified their standing as musicians’ musicians.

Intro/Verse



Here you will be playing the “low E” open quite a few times. Begin the first measure by playing it open three times. Then, place your 1st finger on the second fret on the “A” string and the “D” string. Do this by barring your 1st finger. Place your 3rd finger on the fourth fret on the “G” string. Last, place your 4th finger on the fifth fret on the “B” string. All strings are to be played.

For the second measure, you once again start out playing the “low E” string open three times. Next, you will be playing a Dsus2 chord. Do that by using your 2nd finger on the second fret on the “G” string, and your 3rd finger on the third fret on the “B” string. Allow the “high E” string to play open, as well as the “D” string.

For the third measure, you will start out again with the “low E” playing open three times. Then, keep your 3rd finger where it was from the second measure, move your 2nd finger to the second fret on the “D” string, and place your 4th finger on the “high E” string. Play that once.

For the fourth measure, leave your 3rd finger where it was, and just use your 2nd finger to play the third fret on the “A” string. Play accordingly, and don’t forget to start out with three open notes on the “low E” string.

Riff Resources

Complete Transcription To “Tom Sawyer” (PDF)

Complete Transcription To “Tom Sawyer” (Power Tab)