Riff Of The Month: Black Sab­bath: Iron Man

Iron Man

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

This iconic riff ap­peared on the clas­sic 1970 Black Sab­bath al­bum Para­noid. Tony Iommi is of­ten re­ferred to as the father of heavy metal, and riffs like this prove why. The first sound that we hear is a huge de­scend­ing droning note, which is ac­tu­ally an open-string bend from be­hind the nut. Since Tony used a fixed bridge Gib­son SG this is the only way an open string can be bent. In later years Tony added an E oc­tave on top of the string bend, so we have tabbed the ‘live’ ver­sion for you.

The riff con­sists of root 5th pow­er­chords all played with the root on the sixth string. This gives the chords more weight and a darker tone than if they were played on the thinner fourth and fifth strings.

When play­ing along with the back­ing track keep a solid tempo by tap­ping your foot and when you play the riff, try to make it feel as slow as pos­si­ble; this will add the re­quired sludge and heav­i­ness that de­fined the sound of Sab­bath.

String bend­ing be­hind nut Pow­er­chords Slid­ing chords shapes what youwill­learn

Iron man Mu­sic and lyrics by Ter­rence But­ler, Frank Iommi, John Os­bourne and William Ward © 1970 Westminster Mu­sic Lim­ited World­wide re­pro­duced by kind per­mis­sion of Es­sex Mu­sic Group All Rights Re­served. In­ter­na­tional Copy­right Se­cured

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