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|Lyle Ronglien >> Guitarists Who Shaped the 80s >>
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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
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
The jam track is a classic AC/DC rhythm
Lyle: It's made up of 3 chords, B - A -
This is called a 5-4-1 chord sequence in the key of E.
Lyle: A great place to start is to learn this
Lyle: Notice how the chords A and E are
Lyle: They are played on the & of 4, or
just before the downbeat of 1.
Lyle: These chords are just power
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
Practice it forward and backward, and also in different places or keys on the
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
Lick 2 is a continuation of lick 1.
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
licks 1 and 2
reminds me of Billy Idol too for some reason. White Wedding I
Lyle: Yes Ned, you're right. Same
Eddie_solo: Do you use alternate picking for
Lyle: For the fast licks, you should
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
Licks 1, 2, and 3 are up now. Play them back-to-back against the jam track.
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
Lyle: It really makes the difference between
just a simple lick and a great sounding
Lyle: Lick 4 is a good simple
Lick 3 and 4 are very much lick a Chuck Berry riff.
Lyle: Again, use heavy
NedFlanders: sounds like you have some delay on there or
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.
Here's a video clip of licks 3, 4 and 5 played together.
Did I mention you should be playing these licks LOUD?
loud?? you mean LOOOUUUDDD!!
Lyle: The paint should be peeling off the
Lyle: Who knows what guitar Angus from AC/DC
A Gibson SG!
plays a old Gretsch
Lyle: Yes, the Gibson
Lyle: I see we have several Angus fans in the
Lyle: Let's move on to more
Lyle: In lick 6, you'll use your first finger
to bare the 3rd and 2nd strings.
The interesting part of this lick is the slight bend of the two barred
Lyle: Notice on the tab where there is a 1/4
bend. This type of bend really gives the lick a certain amount of
Lyle: Remember to play these licks back to
back against the jam track. Also memorize these licks and put them into your own
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.
Here's a video of licks 6 and 7 played together.
All these licks are short and simple which makes them sound powerful and
Lyle: Angus Young has made a darn good living
by playing these types of licks with lots of power and
Lyle: Remember, vibrato will add "feeling" to
your licks. Check out lick 8...
When playing heavy rock and blues, play the notes hard. You'll get several
things like better tone, better sustain, and unique
Lyle: Lick 9 starts you right off with a quick
hammer on and pull off.
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.
Lyle: You're still in the same key of B minor
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,
Lyle: Here's a video of licks 8, 9 and 10
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
We started the solo down low and have built it up to a higher place on the
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
Here's a video of licks 11 and 12 played together.
Lyle: Now put all these licks together, in
order, to be able to play what's on the sample at the top of this
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.
what kind of guitar do you play?
Lyle: Jerry, I play a Brian Moore
Lyle: model i9.5 prototype with built in
Eddie_solo: what do u think are best seymore dunkans or
Lyle: Eddie, I seem to like Duncans the
Lyle: I have used many brands of pickups, but
the Duncans on my new guitars sound
Eddie_solo: which duncans are
Lyle: I'm looking that
Lyle: neck: alnico II
Lyle: middle: APS-2
Lyle: bridge: JB
Lyle: Thanks everyone for coming tonight, it
Lyle: See you all next Monday night for my
next live lesson.
Lyle: Good night!
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