Thunderstruck (Angus)

Animated Thunderstruck (Angus) tab by AC/DC on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

We looked at Malcom's rhythm guitar riffs here. Now we'll look at Angus on Lead guitar. Many of the song riffs are the same, but of course the famous intro and solos are different. We've take out Malcom's rhythm guitar here so you can concentrate more easily on the Lead. Listen to the Normal Speed audio to hear everything together.

Intro - Pick the open B string, and from there on the rest is played using the hammer on / pull off combination. Check out the Core Skills section on this technique to learn more about it.

Because all the notes are played using only your fretboard hand you can use your picking hand to mute the other strings. This will stop unwanted string noise. Keep your pick between thumb and forefinger as usual. Touch the high E string with the tip of your 2nd finger, and rest your thumb along the rest of the strings to stop the strings vibrating while you play. Keep the B string free so all the notes on it can be heard clearly.

There are 3 licks for the intro, and they are all played in the same style. That is, each note is a hammer / pull off. This means the open B string is sounded out between each note. It will take some practice to get each note sounding cleanly.

The First Lick:

Pick the B string to get the ball rolling. The rest is played using your 1st and 4th fingers at frets 4 and 7. Think of it as 4 notes:

4 - 0 - 7 - 0 Repeat those 4 notes 8 times, then switch to the next lick.

The Second Lick:

This is exactly the same as the First lick, except move your hand up by 1 fret to play at frets 5 and 8 with your 1st and 4th fingers. That gives us this sequence of 4 notes:

5 - 0 - 8 - 0 Repeat those 4 notes 8 times, then switch back to the first lick again.

Swap between these 2 licks a few times, and then it's the big one...

The Third Lick:

Basically, here Angus taps down through the B mixolydian scale along the B string. (Mixolydian is the B major scale, with a b7 note). The pattern is:


Repeat that a lot. This lick occurs many times in the song.

While the open B note is sounding you have time to move your hand along the fretboard to play the notes. This takes some practice, but isn't as hard as it first seems once you get the flow going. Start slowly and only build speed after your fingers have got the lick correct.

After that the riffs get easy:

Pre-Chorus - Just 3 powerchords here (B5 - A5 - E5). Then repeat them in this order:

A5 - B5 - A5 - E5

Chorus - After the huge build up in the song, this short chorus riff kicks in and rocks. It's based on the same 3 powerchords again (B5 - A5 - E5), but watch out for the 'hammer-on' chord here. You can pick it instead, but it works best as a hammer on.

Pre-Solo Riff - Just play the third intro lick again.

Solo - Begin with a pick slide.

Interlude - Just 2 chords (B5 and A5) while singing 'Ahhh-ahhh-ahh-ahhh'. Followed by a small lead lick which follows the vocal line (it's played quietly in the song).

After that the chorus is repeated again, and towards the end of it Angus plays this little lick. This is followed by this easy riff:

Pre-Outro - This simple riff is played during the 'Hey it's alright, we're doing fine' lyrics.

Outro Solo - The last solo.

All of the rest of the song parts are just repeats of the sections we've outlined here!

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