Guitar Heroes

Angus Young

Angus Young is an Australian guitarist in the hard classic rock band AC/DC. He’s best known for his schoolboy-outfit, Gibson SG, duck-walking and thumping blues inspired riffs. 

Posted: 27 October 2020

History

Angus started his journey into guitar when getting hold of a cheap acoustic purchased second-hand. He eventually got a Gibson SG in 1970 and played it until it had wood rot from so much sweat! After playing in different groups he eventually began AC/DC with his brother, Malcolm, in 1973. The name AC/DC came from seeing the phrase on the back of their sister Margaret’s sewing machine. 

Angus Young is a ferocious guitar player. His style combined with an iconic schoolboy stage outfit brought AC/DC to the spotlight, who formed in 1973 and released multiple albums through the 70’s, 80s and beyond. Their album ‘Back In Black’ received both commercial success and critical acclaim, selling 50 million copies. Since the 70s the band have regularly toured across the globe and have also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Equipment

"I EVENTUALLY CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE MARSHALL 100 WATT STACK WAS THE BEST WAY TO GO."

Angus Young

Playing style

As many others did in the 60’s/70’s, Young was influenced primarily by blues guitar players such as B.B. King and Chuck Berry. This style led him to learn different blues licks in the major and minor pentatonic scale. Learning different blues licks in the major and minor pentatonic scale. Many AC/DC songs gravitate towards power chords in the root and fifth position. A stereotypical AC/DC riff would be focused around the chords E minor, G, A and the pentatonic scale in the first open position. Hammer-ons are super important to nailing Angus’ style (see: Thunderstruck below, sometimes played with just the left hand, or both) but the most important aspect of his playing is the power and energy he expresses. Huge power comes from his picking hand and he’s not afraid to hit a huge chord.