Songs Songs with scores Tips for students

Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor

Here’s my drum cover of Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor

This is one of the world’s best known songs and it sounds relatively easy to play drums to, and for the most part it is. However, like a lot of songs, once you get into the details, there are little things in there that can trip you up if you’re not careful. This song has two such things – that introduction and the third chorus. Let’s take a look at these areas.

Let’s get introduced

This intro to this song is instantly recognizable… tense guitar, stabs with the whole band… and it sounds pretty easy to play… but… there’s a twist…

Listen to it carefully and count along… not all of the stabs are the same…

Don’t stab me…

The stabs mainly follow the same rhythm. We first time we have a hit on beat 1, then beat 3, the “ah” of 3, and the “&” of 4… then we repeat the stabs on beat 3, the “ah” of 3, and the “& of 4 two more times.

The second time, we start the same way – beat 1, beat “3”, the “ah” of 3, and the “&” of 4; however, the next set is offset by an 8th note, so it’s the “&” of 3, the “e” of 4″ and beat one. The final set is back starting on beat 3.

That little 8th note offset makes the last two sets feel strange, the second to last set comes too late, and the final set comes too early. Practice it slowly with a metronome and count.

The Third Chorus

The third chorus is very much the same as the first two, just that it’s a bar longer. This a common musical device used to add tension to music. The chorus is normally 8 bars long and you’ll easily get used to playing that 8 bar phrase with the fill on the 8th bar. The third chorus puts the fill on the 9th bar and adds an extra bar of groove. It’s easy to play the fill a bar too early here – I did it several times myself. I can only suggest counting all the bars here and maybe writing a note on the score to remind yourself.

Other Areas Requiring Attention

Hopefully you’re paying attention to your groove and are focused on not flamming between the snare and bass drum on the backbeats.

The drum fills for this song may require a little work. The main fill that’s played after the chorus may need you to count, note that the fill is slightly different after the third chorus. It’s pretty much the same rhythm but is orchestrated differently. Here’s the counting and orchestrating for the fills.

The fills

The first fill is played between the first two verses. The second fill is played at the end of the first two choruses. The final fill is played after the third chorus.

Truth be told, if I was playing this on a gig, I would probably just play the second fill after each chorus. The third fill feels awkward to me even after practicing it.

Here’s the full score courtesy of

I hope you enjoy playing Eye Of The Tiger. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.