A Guide To Guitar Chords

Black Sabbath: Paranoid

Paranoid must be the most famous of all Black Sabbath songs and one of the most famous heavy metal or hard rock songs. Its main riff is fun and easy to play. The song was recorded in 1970 and appears as the title track on Black Sabbath' second album "Paranoid".

Here's a video of Black Sabbath playing Paranoid:


Here are the guitar tabs for the intro riff of Paranoid and a little interview with Tony Iommi, the guitarist of Black Sabbath. The riff is played on a Gibson SG through a Laney guitar amp. Tony Iommi plays the riff in the 12th position, while many guitarists play it on the 7th position. He explains the riff sounds much darker on the 12th position.

Black Sabbath Paranoid Tabs


Some trivia about Paranoid:

  • It was Black Sabbath's first single.
  • The song that was to become their biggest hit was written as a filler for the album. It is supposedly written in 10 minutes. Tommy Iommi found the riff while the other members of the band were having lunch. The lyrics were not written by Ozzy Osbourne, but by bass player (Geezer Butler).
  • The intro riff comes from Led Zeppelin's song Dazed and Confused. Led Zeppelin was a great influence for Black Sabbath.
  • It was played at the Queen's jubilee by Ozzy Osbourne. The Queen of England requested it.
  • The word "paranoid" does not occur in the song lyrics.
  • "I tell you to enjoy life" is a phrase in the lyrics that is often misheard as "I tell you to end your life".
  • The song appears in numerous movies and even video games (Rock Band, Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock).


Guitar song chords  Back to Guitar Song Chords