Phrasing, vibrato and rock-solid timing: inside the essential elements of AC/DC's legendary guitar style

Angus Young
(Image credit: Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images)

The sound and playing style of AC/DC’s Angus and Malcolm Young is legendary and constantly emulated. The core elements, though rarely complex, are harder to master than you might imagine, however. 

Malcolm’s open shapes and powerchords are delivered with unrelenting, rock solid groove. And Angus’s leads? Well, his phrasing and vibrato are instantly recognizable – which, while making him the icon he is, does mean you’ll be aping quite an individualistic style. 

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Jon Bishop

Jon Bishop is a UK-based guitarist and freelance musician, and a longtime contributor to Guitar Techniques and Total Guitar. He's a graduate of the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and is touring and recording guitarist for British rock 'n' roll royalty Shakin’ Stevens.