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In this famous riff lesson we will be learning how to play the acoustic intro to “Diary of a Madman” by Ozzy Osbourne as played by the late great Randy Rhoads.
If want to play along with this lesson and the original recorded version you will need to tune your guitar down 1/2 half step. The tuning starting from the low E string will then be Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb.
In this Diary of a Madman guitar lesson you learn not just one riff but two. The riff that starts the song then the acoustic riff he goes into at the end that is almost note-for-note the same as the main electric guitar riff when the band comes in.
The inspiration for this acoustic intro is firmly planted in the classical guitar world. In fact, the opening riff is a pretty much a “re-imagining” of composer Leo Brouwer’s “Etudes Simples No.6”.
He uses the same chords as that Etude with a different right hand pattern that is picked instead of played fingerstyle. It’s pretty cool sounding though so I guess if you are going to rip anything off it should be something like this. 🙂
There are some big stretches in this opening riff along with some pretty intricate fingerings. Be sure to keep your frethand fingertips nice and arched so you don’t mute out any of the adjacent strings by accident.
After this opening riff we then kick into what would become the main riff of the song albeit played on acoustic guitar.
Once again we have a pretty repetitive riff here with just a few picking variations in there. In this Diary of a Madman guitar lesson I will try to point out where any patterns may lie so you can memorize everything a little bit easier.
Ok enough of the small talk, let’s learn to play it!
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