Table of Contents
Guitar Control presents instructor Darrin Goodman teaching The Forbidden Devils Third That Started Metal. This is from the song Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath. Be sure to get the tabs to go along with this The Forbidden Devils Third That Started Metal lesson.
Hey everybody how’s it going? This is Darrin from GuitarControl.com bringing you this video lesson. Today I want to show you one of the most iconic, most important guitar riffs of the 20th century. This riff in my opinion, I’m sure this is subject to opinion to a certain extent, but in my opinion the song that started the metal genre is this song. We’re going to be looking at the song Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath from their 1970 debut album. One of the things that really makes this riff so cool is that it uses a diminished fifth.
The Devils Third
So for those of you that don’t know what I mean by that, if you take the major scale… and when you create a major chord you use the first, third and fifth notes of the major scale; so in this case G, B, and D… makes your G major chord. Then if you wanted to make it minor you just flatten the third a half step and you get G minor. Now if you take the third out completely and just play the one and five then you get a G5 power chord. Now if you take the fifth and you flatten it a half step you get a diminished fifth… it’s very dissonant. It used to be referred to as the “devils third” and a long time ago if a composer used that interval it was very frowned upon and thought to be of the devil. Using it could land you into a lot of trouble. But we have come to love it and it’s a staple in the sound of metal. So be sure to get the link for the tabs and lets get close up and break this down and go over this riff from Black Sabbath.
Black Sabbath Riff One
So this riff is actually pretty easy and it’s really repetitive and there are only a couple of different parts. So for the first main riff we start off here… we’re playing G5… so your first finger will be on the third fret of the low E string and your third finger will be on the fifth fret of the A string. Now you can also pick up the fifth fret of the D string with your fourth finger… it has a fuller sound because that note is the octave from your root, one, five, eight… and eight is the same note as one, just one octave higher. So first you play the G5 for beats one and two and then you play the fifth fret of the D string for beats three and four with your third finger. Then you take your first finger and move it to the fourth fret of the A string and then flutter with hammer-ons and pull-offs between the third and fourth frets of the A string for one measure… So the riff so far… that’s the first half. So the second half we go back and do the G5 and then the fifth fret of the D string like before and then the fourth fret of the A string with an exurbanite amount of vibrato for a whole measure… so that’s our whole riff… it repeats twice for the whole intro. Then it goes into the verse.
Black Sabbath Riff Two
So for the verse riff I like to back off my volume on the guitar a little bit so it’s a little quieter and softer and not so much gain. So for this part you simply hit the third fret of the low E string with your first finger for beats one and two and then the fifth fret of the D string with your third finger for beats three and four and then the fourth fret of the A string with your second finger for a whole measure… so you can put all of your fingers down together for this, but you want to make sure the notes are separate and don’t ring over each other… This riff repeats many times over the duration of the verse and then it goes back into the first riff again… and then back into the verse again. So those are the two main parts of the song and then it goes into this riff…
Black Sabbath Riff Three
So for this third and final riff we start off on the third fret of the low E string with your first finger three times as triplets and to the fourth fret with your fourth finger to the third fret of the A string with your first finger to the fifth fret with your third finger and then to the sixth fret with your fourth finger and then back to the third fret and then to the fifth fret and then to the fourth fret of the low E with your fourth finger and then back to the third fret of the A string to the fifth fret; so slowly… So you want to put a little bit of palm muting on it so it gets that cool dampened sound that’s a signature part of metal. So this sequence is faster and I am just alternate picking the whole thing… So after it goes through that part of the song it goes into a solo that finishes out the song, but we wont be covering that. The main thing we wanted to get today is that important riff that was a game changer for the musical world; it’s something that you want to have in your arsenal. It’s good to see the theory of it and see why it has such a dark sound. I love the riff since the first time I heard it.
Well I hope that you enjoyed that and got something out of it. If you like the video give it a thumbs up. Leave a comment if you have any questions or if there is something you would like to see covered in a future lesson. That is all I have for today. Thanks for watching The Forbidden Devils Third That Started Metal and have a great day.