Nandi Bushell Challenges Self By Taking on Neil Peart’s Drumming From Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’

We've seen Nandi Bushell's talent and musical education grow almost in real time as she's thirstily taken on many of rock and metal's greatest songs via her YouTube channel. That's led the young multi-instrumentalist to cross paths with many of her idols. But there's always another challenge and you never stop learning, and for her latest challenge young Nandi is learning from "the professor," late Rush drummer Neil Peart.

In the description for her drum cover of Rush's Neil Peart, Bushell writes, "This one is for you Professor Peart. I wanted to try a @rush song that would really challenge me. I watched an interview where the Professor said 'Tom Sawyer' remains so difficult to play.' So I thought I would give it a try."

The interview that Bushell is referring to took place in 2012, with Peart reflecting on exactly how much of a challenge it was to perform the beloved track. "It remains so difficult to play. Though it seems a slow tempo, my right hand most of the time is going about as fast as it can go and every beat is full force – my feet and hands are playing full force for that whole song," recalled Peart. "Just to execute it with strength and smoothness, and I mention that duality force that I've worked on all these years … wanting to combine those elements. First I wanted technique and you work hard on technique and then I wanted accuracy and all strength. And in the studio with click tracks and sequencers, accuracy was the gold standard. And then I wanted feel."

Adding about the drum cover, Bushell commented, "It's actually really fun to play. I really hope I have done the song justice, Professor Peart's playing is incredible. I hope I got the strength and smoothness balance right. I have a new found love for Rush now too!" You can watch her cover below.

Nandi Bushell, "Tom Sawyer" (Rush Drum Cover)

Bushell's cover, like many of her performances, garnered the attention of the band who initially performed it. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson wrote via Twitter, "Oh @Nandi_Bushell, you brought a tear to my eye with this tribute! 'Tom Sawyer' is a difficult song to play drums to and you made it so much fun. Neil would have loved your performance and wonderful smile, as both Geddy [Lee] and I do!"

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