Diary Of A Madman Guitar Lesson – Ozzy Osbourne

In this Diary Of A Madman guitar lesson, I will show you how to play all of this Ozzy Osbourne classic with the late great Randy Rhoads note-for-note.

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.

The first video in this Diary Of A Madman guitar lesson series shows you how to play Randy Rhoads' acoustic intro. 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.

In the second video lesson, we pick up where the entire band enters and we are playing that same familiar riff albeit with a heavy, distorted and palm muted tone.

Diary Of A Madman contains many different sections. The verse has a really cool chord/arpeggio progression that leads into a simple power chord progression with clean guitar arpeggios over it.

I will go though each of these sections in the order that they appear, including the little interlude and the entire acoustic arpeggio based bridge section.

For the third and final lesson, I will take a look at the solo section starting with the challenging guitar riff that Randy repeats 3 times before launching into the solo.

The solo itself isn't a very long one, but contains some classic Randy Rhoads licks. The solo is taught phrase-by-phrase, which is a great way to learn it. After practicing each phrase individually, you can then begin to put them together.

I hope you enjoy this in-depth look at one of Randy Rhoads coolest songs, "Diary Of A Madman"!


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Diary of a Madman Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - Acoustic Intro

Diary of a Madman Guitar Lesson Pt.2 - Verse, Interlude, Bridge

Diary of a Madman Guitar Lesson Pt.3 - Solo


  1. Jack Fleming on January 30, 2015 at 12:26 am

    I am not able to find tabs for this song pls help.

    • Carl Brown on January 30, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Hey Jack, unfortunately I can’t provide TAB for any songs that aren’t in the public domain. However, the lessons do go slow enough that you should be able to easily TAB out any section you may need for your own personal use. 🙂


  2. Josh Rubin on July 6, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Carl – excellent lesson!!!! thank you!! Question – any chance of doing the rest of the song and also what level of difficulty do you think this is? -Josh

    • Carl Brown on July 8, 2015 at 11:24 am

      I would be happy to finish it if enough people want to see it. I would put just about any Randy Rhoads track at an advanced level.

      Ranking songs at a difficulty level is hard to do these days in the land of 6 year old virtousos on YouTube. But in terms of the average guitar player’s learning track, this entire song should be considered an advanced song. The intro by itself probably just intermediate. 🙂

  3. Scott Jones on February 26, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Any chance of finishing this one? Awesome song, awesome lesson, but I’m no proficient enough to learn the rest on my own.

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