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Songs Songs with scores Tips for students

Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor

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

Eye Of The Tiger - Drum cover (drumless track) - 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 https://www.drumlessonresources.com:

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.

Categories
Songs Songs with scores Tips for students

Stop & Stare – One Republic

Stop what you’re doing and Stare at this video!

One Republic - Stop & Stare - Drum Cover

Stop, Drop and Drum!

Stop & Stare is one of One Republics most popular songs and commonly requested to learn by students.

In terms of groove, this song is actually fairy basic. The beats used are 8th note rock beats that most students learn within their first 2 or 3 weeks of lessons. There are a few open hi-hats scattered through out the song, they can be omitted for beginners.

Stare at my Fills!

The toughest part of this song is the fills, but they are great to learn as you will find them very transferable to other songs. It should be noted though that some of these fills start left handed. The original drummer seems to be comfortable playing the regular fashion and also open-handed. You can see him in the band’s original video for this song playing both ways. Check this live video to see the drummer playing open handed.

Here’s the fills from the song with my suggested stickings:

Drum Lessons Singapore Stop & Stare Fills
Stop & Stare Fills

Note that on the 2nd fill I switch hands on the hi-hat on the & of 3 to give my right hand enough time to get over to the floor tom on the ah of 3. You could just play the whole bar with the left hand on the hi-hat. It would be a good idea to learn to play the whole song open handed, it’ll work wonders for your co-ordination!

If you are struggling with the 2nd fill you can just replace it with the first fill as it’s the same rhythm.

The 4th fill is much easier to play if you start it left handed. The 5th fill looks the same as the 4th but it uses the bass drum on the e of four which allows us to play it starting with the right hand. These two fills are also interchangeable so you can play whichever is easier for you – just keep the snare & bass drum patterns of the 2 beats proceeding the fills same.

The 6th fill is easily the most challenging to play. Work on it slowly with a metronome & make sure you count. I’d also recommend listening to it a lot & try to copy the sound & feel.

Stop & Stare at this Score!

This song marries fairly simple rock beats with fills that are very musical and are great to have in your vocabulary. Have a go at playing it yourself with this score courtesy of DrumLessonResources.com.

If you’re in Singapore & would like a free trial drum lesson you can arrange one here.

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You can stop staring now 😉

Categories
Songs Songs with scores Tips for students

Gary Moore – Still Got The Blues (For You)

Got the blues? You’re not alone, Gary Moore has them too… and just for you!

Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues (For You) - Drum Cover

Still got the blues (for you) is one of legendary guitarist Gary Moore’s most popular songs. The version in the video is the shorter version, the original is over 6 minutes long, this version is missing the last 2 minutes of guitar solo. If you only have the longer version, just continue jamming along at the end!

The tempo of this song is really slow – it’s at 55bpm. The song has an eighth note triplet feel and you can count time either as eighth note triplets (1 puh let, 2 puh let etc.) or as 12/8 (1 2 3 4 5 6 etc.). This tempo makes it a great song for you to try figuring out the drum part for yourself; that’s a skill you should work on developing.

Being able to listen to a song and figure out – at least roughly – what the drummer is doing is a skill that will really help you to learn songs quickly. These days it’s very tempting to just google for a drum score or a drum tab or find a youtube lesson on how to play the song, but by doing that you miss out on developing your listening skills. I would encourage you to at least have a go a trying to work it out first before turning to other sources.

I started learning drums before the internet was really a thing and if I wanted to learn a song, I had to listen to it (a lot), try and play it (a lot), make mistakes (a lot), make note of mistakes and try to correct them and then ask other drummers or my teacher for help on the bits I wasn’t sure of. The more I tried to do it, the better I got, the more my listening developed, the faster I could pick up songs & play the songs I wanted to play. Try it!

This song presents a few challenges:

1) The speed… it’s S L O W! Playing slow is hard! Luckily we’re playing triplet 8th notes here and not just regular 8th notes, that means there’s less space between the notes we’re playing and that helps with the time-keeping. Where the slow speed is really felt is during the breaks, the moments when we’re not playing. There’s one 2 bar break toward the end of the song (3:29 in the video); make sure you keep counting during this break; to begin with you may want to keep tapping the triplet hi-hat pattern on your leg to help you keep time. Also listen for help from the other instruments – take note of the bass note on beat 1 of the 2nd bar.

2) Unison figures…. at 4 points in the song you need to play triplet 8th notes with your right hand, left hand & bass drum simultaneously… practice this carefully and don’t flam!

3) The crashes…. there are a number of crashes in this song, during the guitar solo there are 3 in a row (2:45). If you have 2 crashes practice playing the 3 crashes L R L and R L R, see which feels best to you.  Don’t just use one hand, practice crashing with your weaker hand. Listen to make sure your crash and bass drum are really together.

4) The fill at 2:05…

drum lessons singapore
Drum Fill @ 2:05

This fill features a 16th note triplet between the Puh & Let of 4. If you play the fill as notated above your right hand will play a nice smooth 8th note triplet – 4 puh let – and your left will play beat 4 and then the 16th note triplet between puh & let. You don’t need to count every note in the fill, you can just feel it. Listen to the fill and try to imitate it. If you still can’t get the rhythm, try saying 4-patti-cakes:

drum lessons
4-Patti-cakes

After you have tried to play the song on your own you can click here to check out this score courtesy of our friends at www.DrumLessonResources.com. Enjoy!

If you’re in Singapore and haven’t had a free trial drum lesson with us yet, click here to arrange one!

Categories
Songs Songs with scores Tips for students

INXS – New Sensation

In 1987 Australian band INXS rocked the world with their 6th studio album that eventually sold over 20 Million copies. New Sensation was one of 4 songs to reach the US Billboard Charts top 10. Here’s my attempt at playing this song:

Inxs - New Sensation - Drum Cover

Drummer Jon Farris lays down a straight forward groove on the verses of this song and then a driving snare groove on the chorus of the song. Playing quarter notes on the snare is a great way to change the feel of a song, drive it more, and make it more aggressive.

What I’ve always enjoyed about Jon Farris’ playing is his drum fills and his drum fill placement. He creates memorable moments in songs with his choice & placement of fills. The fill on the 8th bar of the first verse is easy to play but fits the song perfectly. Check the fill at the start of the 5th verse, it really punctuates the lyrics and creates a memorable moment.  At a couple of points in the song he uses a ghost note to give the groove a little push. Some drummers would have been tempted to add more, but he showed great restraint and as a result the ghost notes are very effective.

Here’s a copy of the score courtesy of our friends at DrumLessonResources.com. Have a go at playing it yourself!

Things to focus on when learning this song:

  1. Playing a consistent groove during the verses. The verse groove may be simple, but playing it accurately and with conviction takes practice. Record yourself playing the groove & nail it with a metronome first.
  2. For the chorus, the focus has to be on not flamming the snare and bass drum. Play the beat slowly at first and really concentrate on getting hi-hat, snare and bass hitting at exactly the same time. Slow and careful practice will reap rewards that you’ll be able to take forward with you onto to other songs.
  3. Getting the fills and crashes in the correct spots… they aren’t always where you’d expect them. Concentrate & listen to the song 1000 times! (Check out the whole Kick album, it’s a classic!)

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