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Lyle Ronglien >> Guitarists Who Shaped the 80s >>


Lesson Topic: AC/DC style

In this lesson you will learn how to play a lead solo in the style of one of the '80s most influential guitarist, Angus Young from the band AC/DC. Even though Angus and the band started to release albums in the later '70s, it was their 1980 release of "Back in Black" that really shook the rock 'n roll world. Huge power chords, heavy beats, and a sense of space combined with blues licks turned up to "11" made up the style of Angus Young.

 Listen to the licks sample. You'll be learning how to play this solo during tonight's lesson.

intro licks sample


Lyle: Hi class!

Lyle: Let's get started. Here's a jam track for you to work with.

Looping Sound Clip 1

Lyle: The jam track is a classic AC/DC rhythm riff.

Lyle: It's made up of 3 chords, B - A - E



Lyle: This is called a 5-4-1 chord sequence in the key of E.

Lyle: A great place to start is to learn this lick.

Lyle: Notice how the chords A and E are "pushed".

Lyle: They are played on the & of 4, or just before the downbeat of 1.

Lyle: These chords are just power chords.

Lyle: Tonight's licks are based around the B minor pentatonic scale.

Lyle: This is the most common scale to use for most blues and rock soloing.

Lyle: Learn this simple scale pattern if you don't know it yet. It's used all the time and comes in handy.



Lyle: Practice it forward and backward, and also in different places or keys on the neck.

Lyle: Each lick of the lesson tonight is taken from the sample licks at the intro of tonight's lesson.

Lyle: The first lick is made up of the minor pentatonic.



Lyle: Lick 2 is a continuation of lick 1.



Lyle: Learn these 2 licks and play them against the jam track.

Lyle: The licks are in order tonight taken straight from the sample at the top of this lesson.

Lyle: Here's a video clip of licks 1 and 2 played together.

licks 1 and 2

NedFlanders: reminds me of Billy Idol too for some reason. White Wedding I think.

Lyle: Yes Ned, you're right. Same chords.

Eddie_solo: Do you use alternate picking for this?

Lyle: For the fast licks, you should alternate.

Eddie_solo: Do you bother for the slow stuff 'cause at college the teacher says alternate pick everything?

Lyle: That isn't true.

Eddie_solo: thanks, I prefer to down pick bluesy stuff u get more attack.

Lyle: In order to play FAST licks and runs, you will need to alternate your picking.

Lyle: Exactly Eddie

Lyle: Here's lick 3



Lyle: Licks 1, 2, and 3 are up now. Play them back-to-back against the jam track.

Lyle: Also try playing the 3 licks in different orders. It will help you memorize them by switching them around.

Lyle: When learning these licks, use LOTS of vibrato.

Lyle: It really makes the difference between just a simple lick and a great sounding lick.

Lyle: Lick 4 is a good simple lick.



Lyle: Lick 3 and 4 are very much lick a Chuck Berry riff.

Lyle: Again, use heavy vibrato.

NedFlanders: sounds like you have some delay on there or something?

Lyle: Correct Flanders, I forgot to turn it off when making some of the tab files.

Lyle: Angus did use some delays but  just a few spots and not nery noticable.

Lyle: Lick 5 is a quick one that uses a pull off once in the beginning.



Lyle: Here's a video clip of licks 3, 4 and 5 played together.

licks 3 thru 5

Lyle: Did I mention you should be playing these licks LOUD?

Paula: how loud?? you mean LOOOUUUDDD!!

Lyle: The paint should be peeling off the walls!

Lyle: Who knows what guitar Angus from AC/DC plays?

GFSalles: A Gibson SG!

Eddie_solo: gibson sg

SEAN: malcom plays a old Gretsch

Lyle: Yes, the Gibson SG.

Lyle: I see we have several Angus fans in the class tonight!

Lyle: Let's move on to more licks...

Lyle: In lick 6, you'll use your first finger to bare the 3rd and 2nd strings.



Lyle: The interesting part of this lick is the slight bend of the two barred notes.

Lyle: Notice on the tab where there is a 1/4 bend. This type of bend really gives the lick a certain amount of tension.

Lyle: Remember to play these licks back to back against the jam track. Also memorize these licks and put them into your own improvs.

Lyle: You should now have 6 licks you can play together in any order.

Lyle: You can play these into any keys just by moving the lick pattern to a different place on the neck.

Lyle: Lick 7 combines a pull off technique with the slight bend sound from the last lick.



Lyle: Here's a video of licks 6 and 7 played together.

licks 6 and 7

Lyle: All these licks are short and simple which makes them sound powerful and thick.

Lyle: Angus Young has made a darn good living by playing these types of licks with lots of power and feeling.

Lyle: Remember, vibrato will add "feeling" to your licks. Check out lick 8...



Lyle: When playing heavy rock and blues, play the notes hard. You'll get several things like better tone, better sustain, and unique harmonics.

Lyle: Lick 9 starts you right off with a quick hammer on and pull off.



Lyle: Then at the end of the lick, bend the 17th fret of the second string up a full step and give it lots of quick vibrato.

SEAN: nice

Lyle: You're still in the same key of B minor pentatonic.

Lyle: Lick 10 is all about "feeling". Learn to control your bend and vibrato here with this lick.



SEAN: im just learning to bend right after playing for a good 3 years

Lyle: Sean, when bending, use several fingers to support the bend,

SEAN: ok

Lyle: Here's a video of licks 8, 9 and 10 played together.

licks 8 thru 10


Lyle: Lick 11 uses the techniques we went over in the other licks, just that you're higher up the neck now.



Lyle: We started the solo down low and have built it up to a higher place on the neck.

Lyle: This is a good idea to help give your playing more dynamics.

Lyle: Lick 12 is...."the show stopper" made from a series of pull offs. You can try using your 4th finger instead of your 3rd for the top note in each sequence.

Lyle: The tab on the virtual fretboard shows using the 3rd, but you can try your 4th finger too, it will give you a good workout.



Lyle: Here's a video of licks 11 and 12 played together.

licks 11 and 12


Lyle: Now put all these licks together, in order, to be able to play what's on the sample at the top of this lesson!

Lyle: Also try to make up your own solo by playing these in any order you want with the jam track.

Lyle: That's about it for tonight. I'll be glad to answer questions for the next few minutes.

jerry: what kind of guitar do you play?

Lyle: Jerry, I play a Brian Moore Custom

Lyle: model i9.5 prototype with built in midiaxe(tm) technology.

Eddie_solo: what do u think are best seymore dunkans or dimarzios

Lyle: Eddie, I seem to like Duncans the best.

Lyle: I have used many brands of pickups, but the Duncans on my new guitars sound great!

Eddie_solo: which duncans are they?

Lyle: I'm looking that up...

Lyle: neck: alnico II

Lyle: middle: APS-2

Lyle: bridge: JB

Lyle: Thanks everyone for coming tonight, it was fun.

Lyle: See you all next Monday night for my next live lesson.

Lyle: Good night!



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