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black sabbath guitar riff iron man

Iron Man - Black Sabbath - Guitar TabI really thought that the song “Iron Man” by the Black Sabbath was written for the Marvel comic book hero but after reading a couple of trivia about the songs, looks like it has really nothing to do with Anthony ‘Tony’ Stark.

But considering that Iron Man the hero was created in 1963 and the song in 1970, it makes sense to associate the song to the hero, right?

This song really is a sci-fi story and idea of the Ozzy Osbourne and the band.

Iron Man is from their second album called Paranoid which was released in the year 1970.

How to Play the Iron Man Intro Riff

This is the main riff of the song “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath. This is the guitar part that happens during the verse part of the song. If you listen to the song closely, you’ll notice that when there’s no vocal, no singing, the guitar plays power chords.

Then, when the vocals enter the guitar plays the same root notes as the power chords, but only single notes. Furthermore, if you listen to the recording the guitar plays with vibrato.

What’s vibrato?

It’s when you wiggle your finger on the fret so the pitch wavers slightly. Play the whole song with down strokes. The part marked in red is a slide; you strum the first chord and slide your left hand down the fret board. In the second part (The singing part) this same part is a hammer-on.

The song actually starts with an open E note on the 6th string that runs a couple of bars. The string will be bent and release to produce that airplane engine-like sound. Then the actual intro riff comes in.

The first note is the B5 power chord with the first finger on the 7th fret of the 6th string and the third finger on the 9th fret of the A string (5th string).

It will then followed by the D5 power chord and slides to the 12th fret or position forming the E5 power chord. and the final note/chord is the  E5 power chord on a different position. In the songsterr diagram its in the first position, open E position with the first finger fretting the 2nd fret of the D string (E note) and open B string.

After that is the series of 16th notes on G5 powerchord on the 15th fret first finger and 17th fret A string for the third finger. It will go back and forth one fret behind to the 14th fret which is the F#5 power chord. and slides further down to 10th fret (D5powerchord).

Please refer to the image to get a clearer picture or better yet, watch the video.

How to Play the Verse of Iron Man

how to play black sabbath

Paranoid Track listing

All lyrics written by Geezer Butler, except where noted, all music composed by Black Sabbath (Iommi/Butler/Ward/Osbourne).
Side one
No. Title Length
1. “War Pigs” 7:57
2. “Paranoid” 2:53
3. “Planet Caravan” 4:32
4. “Iron Man” 6:00
Side two
No. Title Length
1. “Electric Funeral” 4:53
2. “Hand of Doom” 7:08
3. “Rat Salad” (instrumental) 2:30
4. “Fairies Wear Boots” (Butler/Osbourne) 6:15

Iron Man Guitar Chords

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Riff Richard is an IT person, a husband, a dad, a couch potato and a passionate guitar player

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