Play Lead Guitar Like Angus Young

Lead Guitar

View Category

GuitarLessons.com is now a part of Guitareo, where you'll get carefully designed video courses, play-alongs to apply your skills to real music, and a supportive community of students and teachers from around the world. Click here to see how Guitareo can help you reach your goals.


In this guitar lesson, we'll be learning about the techniques that Angus Young from AC/DC uses to play lead guitar. Angus employs many different techniques when he plays solos, but in this lesson, we'll be focusing in on the main three. Before getting into this lesson you'll want to make sure you have some fundamental lead techniques under your belt. You should know the basic picking technique, how to read scale diagrams, and how to play through a scale.

The Minor Pentatonic Scale

The first thing we'll look at is the scale that Angus likes to use. Most of his solos are based in and around the minor pentatonic scale. While he does use more than just this shape, you can start coming up with leads like his by using the standard 6th string root minor pentatonic shape.

A Minor Pentatonic Scale

2-String Double Stop Bends

The next of Angus' techniques we'll look at is something called 2-string double stop bends. To do this, simply fret the B and G strings at the same fret with one finger. Then bend those up a half-step. You can do this in a few different locations, and it's a great way to add some flavor to your licks.

Extreme Vibrato

For the third technique, we'll get into Angus' unique vibrato. When you listen to many of his solos, you'll notice he tends to have pretty wild vibrato. Especially when he bends up to a note and stays there for a moment. Practice using your whole arm to shake the note when you're doing this to sound more like Angus.

Open Strings

As a bonus technique, Angus likes to use open strings in a lot of his licks. A great example of this is in the song 'Thunderstruck'. He uses the open B string between every note to create those wide intervals.

Download the jam track below the video at the top of the page and work on applying some of these things into your playing. Hopefully, using these techniques will make your playing sound just a little more like Angus Young.