This is probably ACDC's most well-known tune and for good reason. The simple mix of distorted open chords with a driving rock drum beat seems to cut to the core of most listeners. Its power is in its simplicity. Lot's of cool riffs here for us to learn too.

Chords: Open powerchords

For this song, we are using open power chord shapes, which is where we get that very thick and rich sound. We are using them through the verse and chorus, alongside a fair bit of gain! Here are those chords:

The licks Pentatonic and chromatics

During the verse, Angus Young is using a really cool set of licks in between the chords. For these licks, we are first using the E minor pentatonic shape 1, as shown below. As well as a cool chromatic idea that simply leads back to the E. There is also a cool chromatic based idea in the bridge, which can only be described as a "badass riff" and needs no further explanation! Enjoy!

The scales: Bluesy fun!

The solo is predominantly using the E minor pentatonic and E blues scale apart from a few occasions where he deliberately follows the chords, as Thomas points out during the solo. The main takeaway though is recognising the positions you are using during the main solo from the shapes below. Have fun!

E Minor Pentatonic

E Blues Scale

Ready to move on? Remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Highway to Hell

When it comes to guitar riffs, they don't get much better than this! Just like Back In Black, AC/DC use the power of musical space and driving drums to create something truly magical. The song only consists of a few open chord shapes, but we'll also tackle the guitar solo so that you can really get your teeth sunk in to it!