The Simple Chord Technicalities That Built AC/DC’s Discography

via @worldrocknroll | Instagram

They say that AC / DC have it very easy, that with the same chords and riffs they fill you a whole album, or even two.

All human beings borrow habits and behaviors from those we admire to build a personality. It can be an artist, a writer, a friend, a musician, or a band that provides us with a definite route on which we will find our passions. The same is true in rock: today’s bands are the result of an elderly father who has left an important legacy on his children.

This character stands out for Angus’s skill with the guitar and because in his presentations has the original idea of ​​going on stage in a schoolboy outfit, an artist with character and energy that in each presentation delivers its soul to a dedicated audience. AND When I say skill, I mean that he doesn’t give a damn about playing unorthodoxly. Make your Gibson SG talk, period. Do not give it more laps.

The guitars that are featured are brutal, one of them is the one used on the Back in Black tour. All SG, of course. The curious is that most Angus guitars are repainted because of the sweat like a condemned man.

And what most freaked me out is that a guy like that carries only 3 guitars on stage! Obviously, he has many more, but the madman only gets on stage 3 and does not know to change guitar unless out of tune. 

But obviously, he’s not just carrying those 3 guitars. On all AC / DC tours around the world, he has been seen playing:

  • His own signature model, the Gibson Angus Young SG
  • Gibson SG Standard and Standard Black
  • Gibson SG from 1968 and 1970
  • Gibson ES-355
  • A ’58 Gibson Les Paul
  • Gibson Custom Brian Ray and an SG Custom 3 Pickup
  • Plus a Fender Mustang for some tracks where he tunes in D

The sound of Angus is defined by the heads and amps that he uses, all Marshall of course and older than the foot, of the years 1976, 1977, and 1979. As for heads, he uses the Marshall Plexi models 1959 and 2203 In addition, it also uses the Marshall JTM45.

Their technicians’ comment that a few tubes burst at each gig and that there is an amp technician who goes from bolus to bolus changing them and repairing heads and amps that pertain. Poor uncle.

It would be impossible to name all the mythical guitar riffs that Angus has given birth to, but among the best known are undoubtedly: Thunderstruck, Back in Black, Money Talks, Riff Raff, Highway to Hell, Shoot to Thrill or You Shook Me All Night Long

Some of the characteristics of his style are:

Single string picking

The performance can be performed in many ways tied, with a pick, with tapping, or with the open string. An example of this technique is the AC/ DC song intro Thunderstruck.

Fifths and Fourths

Hard-hitting riffs using fifths and fourths.

Bend and Slide

Cliches-phrases with resources such as connected slide and bend.


Trills and linked with one hand (leaving the other hand untouched).

Major and minor Penta, or Mixolydian mode, which is a mix of the two-plus an extra note. His aggressive guitar and furious solos make up the AC / DC sound. His technique relies on linked rapids, stretches, and slides, moving mainly on the pentatonic and blues scales.