Now we'll take a look at the track behind the solo. It's so important to understand the backing track as well as the lead, and we take this opportunity to talk about how ACDC approach the chord and rhythm parts when writing their amazing tunes! We discuss open-position power chords, single-note riffs, space in between the chords, and even go into detail about how long to hold the chord down for and how much space to leave. All of these subtleties add up to a massive rhythmical sound that, with a healthy dose of gain, equal BIG rock grooves! Check out the first video to get started!
Before we get started with the full rhythm track, let's talk a little bit about the two key elements we need to put it together: Open chord powerchords and space! For the powerchords, we are taking most of the basic major chord shapes and removing the major third. This creates the powerchord!
For this style of rock, we want to generally use the powerchord, as it allows us to be much looser with our pentatonic major and minor scales over the top. The scale itself defines the tonality (major or minor) rather than the chord. Plus, powerchords sound amazing with high gain!
Let's dive into the verse of the track. We're using the E5 and A5 to create a pretty solid riff, that's also based around the notes of the E minor pentatonic scale. The combination of using powerchords and single notes is a classic in this genre. In terms of the rhythm, check out the tab and video. Here is the structure of the verse:
There is a really cool little riff at the end of each of the lines here as well, using the E minor pentatonic box 3, which we've drawn up for you to visualise. Your first task, get this verse section together!
For the second section within the track, we're using all of our new powerchord shapes to put together a much fuller sounding chorus. This is a classic trick in ACDC's repertoire... Take away space from the verse and fill it with more rock! Then, when we return to the verse the sound will open up again and you'll really feel that groove! The chord chart for the chorus looks like this:
It's now time to piece this track together and learn the whole structure. The first thing to note is that the solo section is simply half a normal verse, as shown here:
With that understanding, we can now put the whole track together. Your task is to learn to play along to the whole song, without having to reference the tab or chord chart. This is when we know that we have the song nailed! Crank up the amp and have some fun!
Time for your first challenge of the course! We want you to try and put together your very own ACDC track, using all the ideas we have worked on within this unit. Use the drumbeat provided, which is set to 80BPM, to have a bit of fun. We recommend getting together a verse and chorus so that you can work on the difference between the two, as well as utilising powerchords combined with single note riffs. This is an important part of the learning process! Learning by doing - Working through the ideas by yourself and coming to your own conclusions on the sound that works for you! Have some fun with this before the next unit.
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