Riff Of The Month: Black Sab­bath: War Pigs

War Pigs

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

As the opener on Black Sab­bath’s best-sell­ing 1970 al­bum, Para­noid, and fea­tur­ing gui­tarist Tony Iommi’s mas­ter­ful riff­ing, Warpigs rates as one of the most im­por­tant tracks in heavy metal his­tory.

The song has an un­usual struc­ture, kick­ing off with a slow, spacey in­tro in 6/8 time, break­ing down for a spars­esound­ing verse and even­tu­ally reach­ing this month’s riff. Though there are no vo­cals here, the riff es­sen­tially forms the song’s cho­rus – it comes af­ter the verses, af­ter all, and it’s the ear­worm part of the track.

You’ll find whilst play­ing the in­ter­lude sec­tion that you’ll be us­ing two-note pow­er­chords in the main, but keep an eye out for the vig­or­ous vi­brato and trill in bars 2 and 3. The trill is trick­i­est; it’s just a rapid flurry of ham­mer-ons and pull-offs, but you’ll need a good turn of speed.

We’ve also tabbed out two more of Iommi’s rhythm grooves to take you well into verses 2 and 3.

Cheat sheet…

Ap­pears at: 1:46-2:39

Tempo: 91bpm

Key: E mi­nor

Main tech­niques: Pow­er­chords / vi­brato / trills / al­ter­nate pick­ing

what youwill­learn Use pow­er­chords as a melody Fast ham­mer-on/pull-off trilling Wide, ag­gres­sive vi­brato tech­nique

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