Crazy Train

Animated Crazy Train tab by Ozzy Osbourne on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

For many people, this is Randy Rhoads and Ozzy at their finest. The riffs for this song are great, but the 'frilly bits' are a challenge even for experienced players. There are tons of flourishes, runs, pinch harmonics and whammy bar things that Randy throws inbetween the main song riffs. That's what we mean by 'frilly bits'. The solo is also fast, and difficult. Should that put you off learning the song? No....

The trick to learning this song is to forget about the frilly bits until you have mastered the main riffs. Once you know those, then start throwing in the fancy stuff. Some of those Randy Rhoads frills are very tricky, but the main riffs and chord changes are great, and not too hard once you get the rhythm technique right!

After the harmonic strike, there is a pick slide (drag the edge of your pick along the length of the strings and thrust any codpieces you may be wearing). We show it as a first finger slide - which you can also use to get a similar effect. There are quite a few pick slides in the song, it's up to you how to do them!

The intro riff is straightforward enough (and, by the way, sounds great if you palm mute it instead of regular pick). Notice that it's all downstrokes - this helps get that choppy timing right. End the riff with a D5 (powerchord) and E major strum. Then it's down to business with one of the coolest riffs ever...

The riff during the verses is best thought of as constantly alternate picking the open A string and at certain points striking down across these 3 chords:

A major - E major - D major - A major

Hold that last A major chord. Now, Randy does a frilly bit of some kind after this. As mentioned earlier, don't worry about doing those unless you are fit for it. Instead, just keep holding the A major a bit longer until the riff repeats, or do the simplest frilly bit (this or this).

Notice that as you are alternate picking the open A string, that your hand should be moved into place so it is ready for the next chord strike. The chord shapes aren't too hard once you get used to them, but getting the rhythm can be hard. The secret is to keep practicing picking that low A string and just try striking the A chord. Play it through using just that chord, not the others, until you get the hang of it. Then start concentrating on your fretboard hand again, and add in those other chords.

The riff ends and there's another pick slide into the pre-chorus / chorus. This is mainly solid powerchords, but beware the sneaky harmonics (notice the whammy bar is moved downwards on the second harmonic) and pinch harmonics during these parts. Again, if you are not at that level yet, there is nothing wrong with sitting back on the last power chord and getting back to those fancy bits. Get the song basics together first, then start throwing in the frills.

By the way, on those pinch harmonics... You can use your 1st finger for that segment of 4 notes instead of doing it the way we show here. It's a case of preference. As you are moving from the previous D5 using your first finger may be easier. However, changing positions to use your 4th finger at fret 5 (as we show), makes doing the pinch harmonics a little easier because your hand remains in 1 position.

Those are the main song segments and they are repeated throughout the song (albeit with frills). If you can get through the parts discussed so far, then the last thing to worry about is the solo (which is properly mental)!

The solo involves a lot of fingertapping, and whammy bar wiggling. You may prefer to hammer / pull off with your 3rd or 4th finger (rather than tap) this part of the solo. Beware that Randy loved to bend the string as he taps, this takes practice but is not too hard to do. You can use whammy instead if you wish, but it will be harder to do the tapping at the same time!

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