AC/DC has been a pioneering and influentional band since the late 1970s. Founded and driven by guitarist brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, their driving, riff-based songs are favorites of budding guitarists as well those with years of experience. Many might even cite some of the bands' songs as the reason they took up the guitar.
This set of electric lessons, masterfully crafted by Max Rich, will tickle and challenge players of all levels. The songs range from pounding rockers like Back In Black to the shredding of Thunderstruck. Also included are Highway To Hell, Dirty Deeds and You Shook Me All Night Long.
Lesson 1: Back in Black
Back In Black is a hugely popular AC/DC song from their album "Back In Black" which was released in 1980. With its iconic opening riff, this is one of the most recognizable classic rock songs in history! While most AC/DC songs typically revolve around standard power and open chords, this song is more riff oriented with some great Angus Young licks that will take a bit of focused practice to really get down. There are also some great solo licks to learn that you'll be able to incorporate into your regular playing, which are particularly interesting because they're broken up into phrases instead of all being crammed into one long solo section. They're full of a ton of different guitar techniques and will give you a great chance to really work on your slurs, vibrato, bending, and string skipping. This song is actually the first song that I ever learned how to really bend strings on, which is really crucial to get that opening lick down, so lets get started!
Lesson 2: Dirty Deeds
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap off of AC/DC's 1976 album "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is one of their most popular tunes, and for good reason! It was released as a single and has been regarded as one of the best hard rock tracks of all time. It's fairly simple to play, which gives you a great practice opportunity to work on your power chord timing and positioning. This song is very rhythmic and groove oriented, so when you're playing this one you'll need to have a solid pocket, or sense of time. This is a good chance to pull out the metronome and really lock your groove in. The solo section is also really cool. I'll break it down and show you how to get through the ascending scale and those tricky sixteenth note triplets, so get your fingers ready and lets get started!
Lesson 3: Highway To Hell
Highway To Hell is a hugely popular song from AC/DC's album "Highway To Hell" released in 1979. This one incorporates a pretty tricky strumming technique in your fretting hand. You'll need to wrap your thumb over the top of the neck and use the rest of your fingers to get these chords fingered right, which is a pretty common Angus Young guitar move. In the true AC/DC style, this song's also got a bunch of open and power chords to rock out on. The guitar solo has a great lick that revolves around a very common blues guitar pattern, but with a classic rock, Americano blues shape on the neck. There's a lot of blues bending in this one as well which will be great practice for expressive playing, so lets get going!
Lesson 4: Thunderstruck
Thunderstruck is the first tune off of AC/DC's album "The Razor's Edge" released in 1990 and it's a heater! This is definitely one of their more complicated songs. As far as the introduction goes, it's all 100% legato in your fretting hand where you don't use your pick at all, which can be pretty hard to get down correctly. This was actually the first song that I practiced for hours and hours on end in order to really get that intro line down. In the song itself, the rhythm guitar holds down a bouncing rhythm that's not very typical for Angus Young, but is nonetheless a very cool rhythmic pattern that sounds more complex than it plays. On top of all of this, there are some great solo licks that are based around the pentatonic pattern and incorporates some odd note groupings, pull offs, string bending, and very vocal style of phrasing.
Lesson 5: You Shook Me All Night Long
This is one of AC/DC's most popular songs, heard all over the radio and in almost every setlist they played! You Shook Me All Night Long from their massively successful1980 release "Back In Black" is a really cool jam particularly because it incorporates suspended chords. AC/DC has a knack for blending suspended chords with the major form of the same chord for an interesting effect. this one has a repeated riff that's used throughout the song and is very rhythmic and based on having a lot of space around the chords. Without having that empty space, this song loses its groove, so it's a very good song to practice your locked groove and learn to play in the pocket.