AC/DC are a well-known rock band for their Iconic creaming voice, heavy rock guitar sound, and the classic schoolboy uniform. Some music critics consider AC/DC one of the defining bands of ‘70s hard rock music. Even though the band defines itself as simply rock and roll.
It was formed in 1973 in Australia by the Young brothers and saw initial success in 1976. However, in 1980 their lead singer Bon Scott died, which almost led to the band breaking up.
But they managed to overcome this tragedy and, a year later, they released their 8th album, which reached number one in the U.S charts. Overall They sold over 200 million records worldwide and got nominated in several lists as the best artists/bands of all time.
Although AC/DC uses simple chords and scales to create their unique bluesy-rock sound, don’t let it fool you. Some of their songs are quite hard that will require some advanced techniques. But no matter which one you choose to play, you will most definitely enjoy playing it!
What is known to us now, as one of the most famous songs of AC/DC started as a “little trick on the guitar” Angus showed to the band, and then Mel had come up with a good rhythm to it.
Thunderstruck was released back in 1990 as the lead single from “The Razors Edge” Album. The song peaked on various music charts across the world, and it keeps appearing on them even today.
Thunderstruck starts with an amazing riff that uses pull-offs and hammers on, without any picking. So you will need to work on those techniques to make it sound good!
Black In Black
Black in Black was written in memory of their previous singer Bon Scott by Brian Johnson. Even though the lyrics contain mambo-jumbo phrases like “Nine lives Cats eyes”. At that time, the band liked it and saw Bon’s life in them.
The song was released back in 1980 as the lead single from the Black in Black Album. The song rose quickly to the top and reached number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was a massive hit and gained multiple gold and platinum certifications around the world.
The song has a well-known opening riff. It is considered one of the best guitar riffs of all time.
T.N.T is one of AC/DC’s famous signals that was released while Bon Scott was still alive. The song appeared on commercials and video games and even got covered and played by several artists such as Anthrax, Slash, and Kirk Hammet.
The song was first released in 1975 in their second album T.N.T which was only available in Australia. Later on, it was also released in 1976 on their first international album, High Voltage.
As usual, AC/DC are known for their simplicity, and this song is no exception. The chords are simple, even for beginners, and the solo isn’t hard as well.
Hells Bells is one of those innovative songs, considering the period. AC/DC used something that you usually won’t consider as a musical instrument, a 2000 pound bronze bell. They managed to incorporate it so well into the song. Thus, pushing the song to the top of the music charts.
The song was released in 1980 as the first track and the second single in their Black in Black album. The songs appeared on multiple music charts around the world and gained several certifications of gold and platinum.
The song isn’t beginner’s material nor super advanced. The opening riff and the chorus are simple, but you will have to work quite a bit to master the solo for sure.
You Shook Me All Night Long
You Shook Me All Night Long is one hell of a kinky song, not just the lyrics but the video clip as well. But you can’t deny its popularity. Even so, it became a regular song on their live concerts.
The song is the first single on their famous Black in Black album that was released in 1980. It was a massive hit. It has appeared over the years on various music charts, VH1’s, and Guitar World lists. Some music critics consider it as one of their best works.
The song uses quite some arpeggios in the chorus. For some, it can be challenging to play arpeggios with a pick. Other than that, it uses simple G-C-D chord progressions.
Highway To Hell
Highway To Hell was one of the last songs Bon Scott and the Young brothers had written together. The song was written as a result of the tough time the band experienced while touring and being on the road.
The song was released in 1979 as a single on their Highway To Hell album. It appeared on several weekly charts around the world. But, remained for almost a whole year on the German Singles Chart.
The riff of this song is one of the classics. Even if you are not an AC/DC fan you probably heard it somewhere. It is totally easy to play and well suited for beginners.
Rock N Roll Train
Rock N Roll Train was first heard several weeks before it was officially released. That’s because it was leaked on YouTube by one of their fans who had memorized the riff while they shot the music video.
The song was released in 2008 as the first track on their Black Ice album. It gained massive popularity and success and reached No. 1 on Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Billboard in the U.S, and stayed there for three weeks.
The main riff of the song is simple enough for the beginners of you to play. The solo isn’t hard at all and very enjoyable.
Shoot To Thrill
Shoot To Thrill is one of those songs that you will recognize immediately, even if you aren’t an AC/DC fan. That’s because it appeared in the movie Iron Man 2, which is a huge blockbuster.
The song first was released in 1980 in their famous Black in Black album. Like many songs on that album, it received several silver and platinum certifications and appeared on few charts over the years.
The song is easy and beginner-friendly, but that doesn’t mean the advanced players won’t have fun with this one.
Whole Lotta Rosie
Whole Lotta Rosie was written after Bon Scott had a one night stand with a plus-sized woman named Rosie. One of the exciting things AC/DC does on their current live performances is to inflate a huge Rosie doll while they play the song.
The song was released in 1977 as the final track on their Let There Be Rock album. The Young brothers and Bon Scott wrote the song. It didn’t receive any gold or platinum certifications like many others. But, it appeared on several music charts and several bands like Guns N’ Roses covered the song.
Like many other AC/DC songs, it is beginner-friendly. But several parts of the solo can be challenging.
Who Made Who
The music video of Who Made Who has a sci-fi plot in which scientists try to replicate Angus Young and succeed. As the video continues you see the crowd of Angus look like chanting the chorus of the song.
The song was released in 1986 on their Who Made Who album. It was featured on several music charts at that time including U.S mainstream Rock Billboard and stayed there for three months.
The chords of the songs are that hard. But the solo will require some good pull-offs and hammer-ons technique.
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was inspired by a cartoon Angus watch as a child. Later on, Bon Scott added to it a phrase from a mosquito advertisement he saw.
The song was first released in 1976 in Australia on their Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album. The songs ranked on several music charts and received a gold certification. Also, it appeared on VH1’s Greatest Metal Song list.
The main riff of the song can be easily played by beginners. As for the solo, you will require some work to master the hammer-ons, pull-offs, and tapping.
Let There Be Rock
Let There Be Rock lyrics resemble the first chapters of the biblical text. But instead, it focuses on the creation of Rock N’ Roll.
The song was released in 1976 on their Let There Be Rock album. This is one of the songs that were written by the Young brothers and Bon Scott. It is one of the most popular live recording songs of the band, as it was included in 6 of their live albums.
The song isn’t that difficult. Everything is easy except for the solo that will require some work, especially for the beginners among you.
For Those About To Rock
For Those About To Rock was inspired by an ancient Roman salute. However, the inspiration to use the cannons in the songs and as props on the stage came by sheer luck. The band was recording the song while Princess Diana had her wedding on TV and the cannons were going off.
The song was released in 1981 on their For Those About To Rock album. Later on, in 1982, it was released as a single. It appeared on a couple of music charts including, the U.S mainstream Rock billboard at number 4.
The song is slow-paced compared to their other songs. The chords are fairly simple. However, the solo can be quite challenging for some players.
While the band played Moneytalks during their world tour they dropped thousands of Angus Bucks at the audience.
Moneytalks was released in 1990 on their The Razors Edge Album. It is one of their biggest hits. It is their highest-charting single in the U.S Hot 100 billboard.
The song has just several chords and the main riff. But it gets challenging as usual on the solo.
If You Want Blood You’ve Got It
If You Want Blood You’ve Got was inspired by the response Bon Scott had to a journalist during a festival in 1978, in which Scott replied “Blood”. It was also performed on the BBC music show a few days before Bon Scoot’s death.
The song was released in 1979 on the band’s HighwayTo Hell album. The album managed to get the band into the top of the ranks of hard rock bands in that time because it managed to get into the Top 100 U.S billboard. It is their second highest-selling album.
Unlike many other songs, the solo on this one can be learned easily by beginners.
Touch Too Much
Touch Too Much was one of the songs that were last performed with Bon Scott. It was performed on the BBC music show, just a few days before he died.
The song was released in 1979 on the band’s Highway to Hell album. The song appeared on several music charts in 1980 but not in the U.S. However when AC/DC toured with Axl Rose he mentioned that it was one of his favorites.
This song isn’t hard and beginner-friendly. It has several power chords that are played on the chorus. The solo isn’t hard but it will require you to know bends and slides.
It’s A Long Way To The Top
It’s A Long Way To The Top uses bagpipes in their song, which is played by Bon Scott. Actually, using the bagpipes was recommended by George Young while the band was jamming in the studio. It was a good suggestion because it was a great fit to the song.
The song was first released in 1975 on their T.N.T album which was only available in Australia. One year later the band released the song on their internal album, High Voltage, as well. Although the song didn’t appear on any music chart that year it became popular over the years. It has appeared on TV, several well known even like Tour de France and it was in the blockbuster School Of Rock.
The song contains only 3 chords: Bb, Ab, F. So even beginners can play it. The solo isn’t hard as well but does require some bending and sliding techniques.
Big Gun was played in the blockbuster film Last Action Hero with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold also appeared on the music video of that song, imitating Angus Young on stage.
The song was first released in 1993 as a single from the movie soundtrack Last Action Hero. It appeared on quite several music charts including reaching first place on Mainstream Rock U.S Billboard.
The intro riff of the song resembles a bit of the Black In Black riff. Nevertheless, the song is fun to play and the solo is a bit challenging.
Walk All Over You
Walk All Over You, like several other songs on this album is about sex. Bon Scott loved writing lyrics about lust, sex, and party.
The song was released in 1979 on their Highway to Hell album. It was featured on the blockbuster Grown Ups and the expansion of the video game GTA 4.
The song contains just several easy chords, so every beginner should be able to play it easily.
Hard As A Rock
Hard As A Rock music video features Angus Young playing guitar on a wrecking ball as it swings and hits the sign of East West Records. He did it even though he has fear heights. It just shows you the band’s dedication to their music and performances.
The song was released in 1995 on their Ballbreaker album. The song appeared on dozens of music charts including U.S Mainstream Rock Tracks at number 1.
The riff that Malcolm plays (Rhythm) contains just three chords, and mostly played with two. That makes it really easy for beginners to start rocking right away!
Play Ball is a song about sports and all the traditions that involve watching a game live in the stadium.
The song was released in 2014 on their Rock or Bust album. It appeared on more than a dozen music charts including U.S Hot Rock & Alternative Songs Billboard.
The song isn’t the easiest of AC/DC’s songs. But it isn’t the hardest as well. Most of the songs have simple chords and double stops. Few sections will require some combination with bends release and pull-offs.
Hell Ain’t a Bad Place To Be
Hell Ain’t a Bad Place To Be is one of the songs that the Young brothers and Bon wrote. AllMusic described the album as “sweaty, dirty, nasty rock” and this is pretty accurate about this song as well.
The song was released in 1977 on their Let There Be Rock album. Although the album itself wasn’t a huge success it has seen mostly positive feedback from music critics. It managed to sell over 2.5 million copies worldwide.
The song is one of the easiest on this list. The intro has just three chords and the main riff is simple as well.
Stiff Upper Lip
Stiff Upper Lip song is about keeping unemotional when faced with trouble.
The song was released in 2000 on the band’s Stiff Upper Lip. It appeared on several music charts that year, including at the top of the U.S Mainstream Rock Billboard.
This one is quite challenging. But if you get the hang of the riff you pretty much know the entire song.
Are You Ready
The song was released in 1990 on their The Razors Edge album. It appeared on several music charts including the top of New Zealand’s chart. Also, the song received gold certification.
The song starts with a few chords in arpeggio. Although the chords are simple, playing arpeggio with a pick can be challenging, especially for beginners. So, don’t rush it, start slow until you get it right.
JailBreak music video features the band playing the song dressed up as prisoners and guards. But, Angus being himself is known to stand out. So he dressed in “little convict pajamas”.
The song was released in 1976 on their Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album. At that time, the U.S record labels didn’t like this album so it wasn’t released until 1984.
The song’s main riff contains just a few chords, as usual. However, the solo can be challenging, especially if you try to play the live version.
High Voltage is one of the most popular songs of the band. Because it was on 4 of the band’s live albums. The song is played at their live concerts to this day.
The song was released in 1975 on their T.N.T album. One year later, it was released as a single in the UK and Europe. Although the song didn’t reach any music charts that year it appeared on UK Singles in 1980 at number 48.
The song isn’t that hard. The main riff contains several power chords, as always. However, the solo can be a bit tricky for beginners.
Heatseeker was released in 1988 on their Blow Up Your Video album. It appeared on several music charts, including the UK Singles. It remained their biggest hit in the UK for 25 years.
This song will be challenging for the beginners of you. It mostly contains double stops and several barre chords.
The song was released in 2008 on their Black Ice album. It reached number 53 on Rolling Stone’s list of Best Song of 2008.
The intro of the song features only two power chords: B, E. The riff continues with the variations of those chords. If you ask me this song is quite easy, even for total beginners.
Ride On is a very unusual song for AC/DC. It has a very slow tempo and a bluesy vibe to it.
The song was first released in 1976 on their Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album. Although the song didn’t appear on any music charts at that time, it is often cited as one of the band’s best songs.
This song can be considered beginner-friendly due to the slow tempo. Also, the song contains only four main chords and several variations of them. However, the solo contains can be challenging.
Have a Drink On Me
Have a Drink On Me was released in 1980 on their best-selling album Black In Black. It was one of the first band’s singles to hit Top 40 in the U.S.
This isn’t an easy song. But if you get the hang of the main riff, it pretty much sums the song. The solo is challenging as well, contains bends, slides, pull-offs, hammer-ons.
It is undeniable that AC/DC is one of the best Rock N’ Roll bands in history. Their song inspired many other rock lovers and bands like you and me. The simplicity in their riffs and solos just shows you that you don’t need to know a lot to sound great.
Although many of their hits are found on their Black in Black album, there are quite a few gems found on other albums as well, so make sure to check them as well.
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