“Paranoid” by Black Sabbath

Difficulty: Intermediate

Composer – Black Sabbath

Where to find this song – Paranoid track # 2

Release Date – January 1971

The Bio:

Black Sabbath has been so influential in the development of heavy metal rock music and have become a defining force in the style. The group took the blues-rock sound of late ’60s acts Cream and Vanilla Fudge to its logical conclusion, slowing the speed, accentuating the bass, and emphasizing screaming guitar solos and howled vocals full of lyrics expressing mental anguish and dark fantasies. They merged them together with their edginess and formed one of metal’s most prolific bands in the world. As everyone knows, Ozzy began his career with this band, and through many ups and downs, became known as “The Prince of Darkness” thanks to this beginning.

Main Riff

The main riff to this song is really tricky. The first and third measures are identical, as are the second and fourth. Begin by placing your 1st finger on the twelfth fret on the “low E” string. Barre
it also on the “A” string. You will be using your 3rd finger for the hammer-ons in the riff. A hammer-on is when you go from a higher
note to a lower note, only striking the first note(s).

The second measure is a little trickier. You will be moving your 1st
finger to the “A” string. Use your 3rd finger to play the fourteenth fret on the same string. The rest of the measure is self-explanatory.


For the verse, notice that for the first two measures you are only
playing rather speedy power chords. Do this by placing your 1st finger
on the twelfth fret on the “low E” string. Place your 3rd
or 4th finger on the fourteenth fret on the “A” string.

For the third measure, just move the same fingers you are using to
the appropriate frets as designated on the tablature.

In the fourth measure, you will need to use your 1st finger to play
the tenth fret on the “A” string. Use your 3rd and 4th fingers
to play the twelfth frets on the “D” and “G” strings.
Then, move those same fingers back to the “low E” string
like you did in the measure before. Notice that once again for the
next chord you are playing what you did in the first and second measures. End the lesson by using any finger and barring the twelfth frets on the “D” string, the “G” string, and finally the “B” string.

Riff Resources

Complete Transcription To “Paranoid” (PDF)

Complete Transcription To “Paranoid” (Power Tab)