I Will Survive chords by Gloria Gaynor


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I Will Survive | Chords + Lyrics


Intro (piano)

||: E (Fdim7 arpeggio) :|| x3

Verse 1 (no drums)

| Am | Dm7 |
At first I was afraid, I was petrified.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong.
| Esus4 | E |
And I grew strong, and I learned how to get along.

Verse 2 (with drums)

| Am | Dm7 |
And so you’re back, from outer space.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key.
| Esus4 | E |
If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me.

Verse 3

| Am | Dm7 |
Go on now, go, walk out the door.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Just turn around now, ‘cause you’re not welcome anymore.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye?
| Esus4 | E |
You think I’d crumble? You think I’d lay down and die?

Verse 4

| Am | Dm7 |
Oh no, not I, I will survive.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
I’ve got all my life to live and I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive.
| Esus4 | E |
I will survive, hey, hey.

Solo 1

| Am | Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 |
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 | Esus4 | E |

Verse 5

| Am | Dm7 |
It took all the strength I had not to fall apart.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
And I spent oh-so-many nights just feeling sorry for myself.
| Esus4 | E |
I used to cry, but now I hold my head up high and you see me.

Verse 6

| Am | Dm7 |
Somebody new.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
I’m not that chained-up little person still in love with you.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
And so you felt like dropping in and just expect me to be free.
| Esus4 | E |
Well, now I’m saving all my lovin’ for someone who’s loving me.

Verse 7

| Am | Dm7 |
Go on now, go, walk out the door.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Just turn around now, ‘cause you’re not welcome anymore.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with goodbye?
| Esus4 | E |
You think I’d crumble? You think I’d lay down and die?

Verse 8 (with held last line)

| Am | Dm7 |
Oh no, not I, I will survive.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
I’ve got all my life to live, and I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive.
| Esus4 | E | E | E | (ritardando)
I will survive.

Verse 9

| Am | Dm7 |
Oh. Go on now, go, walk out the door.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Just turn around now, ‘cause you’re not welcome anymore.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with goodbye?
| Esus4 | E |
You think I’d crumble? You think I’d lay down and die?

Verse 10

| Am | Dm7 |
Oh no, not I, I will survive.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
I’ve got all my life to live and I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive.
| Esus4 | E |
I will survive. I will survive

Solo 2

| Am | Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 |
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 | Esus4 | E |

Verse 11 (same as 5)

| Am | Dm7 |
It took all the strength I had not to fall apart.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
And I spent oh-so-many nights just feeling sorry for myself.
| Esus4 | E |
I used to cry, but now I hold my head up high and you see me.

Verse 12 (same as 6, no strings)

| Am | Dm7 |
Somebody new.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
I’m not that chained-up little person still in love with you.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
And so you felt like dropping in and just expect me to be free.
| Esus4 | E |
Well, now I’m saving all my lovin’ for someone who’s loving me.

Verse 13 (same as 7, no strings)

| Am | Dm7 |
Go on now, go, walk out the door.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Just turn around now, ‘cause you’re not welcome anymore.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye?
| Esus4 | E |
You’d think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d break down and die?

Verse 14 (same as 8, no strings, no ritardando)

| Am | Dm7 |
Oh no, not I, I will survive.
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive.
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
I’ve got all my life to live, and I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive.
| Esus4 | E |
I will survive. I will survive.

Outro (to fade, with strings and solo first half)

| Am | Dm7 |
| G7 | Cmaj7 |
| Fmaj7 | Bm7b5 |
I’ve got all my life to live, and I’ve got so much love to give and I’ll survive.
| Esus4 | E | (fade)
Yes, I’ll survive. Yeah, I’ll survive.



I Will Survive Chords: Learn the progressions!


I Will Survive Analysis + TAB

Centred around a cycle of 4th chord progression, I Will Survive‘s chords give us a great opportunity to practice all our chords in the key of Am.

Once you’ve gone through the cycle, move up to the next position! Here’s the full movement with Roman numerals:

||: Am (VI) | Dm7 (II) | G7 (V) | Cmaj7 (IV) |
| Fmaj7 (V) | Bm7b5 (VII) | Esus4 (IIIsus4) | E (IIIx) :||

Only that last chord is not 100% technically diatonic, although many would argue that in Am, E is more appropriate than Em. Posh folk call it the mediant major.

Using the original (very long) tune at the top of this page, I challenge you to play all of I Will Survive’s chords, starting in the lowest area possible, and then climbing the neck for every verse.

When you simply can’t go any higher, go back down again. Can you do it without getting lost or losing the groove?

Members get TAB with rhythm for how to best do this, here’s a direct link: I Will Survive – Guitar lesson with TAB.

The question is; will you survive I Will Survive’s chord exercise challenge?

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

I Will Survive might be the greatest female anthem of all time!

Easily up there with Respect and Man! I Feel Like A Woman, I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor is one of the most recognizable female anthems of all time.

Since its 1978 release, it has remained a given on the Disco band’s set list and I suspect it will remain there for the foreseeable future.

VH1 and Time Out even named it the #1 best Dance and Pride tune of all time.

Perhaps I Will Survive is somewhat dated these days and many bands avoid it because it feels like it’s been played to death. However, try it towards the end of the night when everyone is going for it and you’ll probably find it works just as well as it always has,

If you’re in a Disco band, or playing any kind of LGBTQ event, it’s a no-brainer.



I Will Survive Chords | Related Pages


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play I Will Survive's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.

Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor tunes

Starting out on the club circuit, Gloria Gaynor got signed in 1971 and started to release disco versions of famous songs in 1975.

Her best tunes include Never Can Say Goodbye, I Will Survive, You’re All I Need To Get By, and Stop in the Name of Love.


Gloria Gaynor on the web

Listen to Gloria Gaynor on Spotify.


Dance, Disco & Funk

Dance, Disco & Funk tunes

The genre’s Dance, Disco & Funk have a clear goal – To make people dance! Study these songs and you’ll get better at playing rhythm guitar.

Learn tunes by Chic, Sister Sledge, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Justin Timberlake, Prince, James Brown, Dua Lipa, and many more.


About me

About Me Dan Lundholm T

This article was written by Dan Lundholm, Spytunes guitar guru. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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