How To Play “You Shook Me All Night Long” by ACDC | Easy Guitar Solo Lesson | Tabs & Video
Step 1: The Opening Lick
The first step is knowing what key it is in. This Solo is in the Key of G and most of the scale choices come from the G minor pentatonic. Which a lot of times a great option for a rock sound. Angus starts this solo with a whole step bend on the 5th fret 3rd string with his ring finger. This bend has a ton of feel. Then he barres his pointer finger down on the 3rd fret holding down both the 2nd and 1st strings. Then he picks the notes he is barring, one at a time. First picking the 1st string and then the 2nd, of course, while they are still holding that barre shape. Then he places his third finger on the 6th fret 2nd string and picks this note, then he goes straight into another bend on the 3rd string 5th fret.
This is a bend and release so we bend it up and bring it back down, pulling off to the 3rd fret 3rd string with a slight bend, and ending by placing your ring finger on the 5th fret 4th string. That is the opening lick to this solo. If you are enjoying learning this solo, be sure to check out John’s other video lessons on how to play You Shook Me All Night Long Intro to get that killer riff down!
Step 2: The Descending Lick
After that opening lick, you are going to play a descending lick using the pentatonic scale. You are going to descend all the way down to the root with a little pause in between so it doesn’t quite sound like pure scale.
Starting on the 4th string playing the 5th fret with your ring finger to the 3rd fret with your pointer, then on the 5th string doing the same thing, playing the 5th fret with your ring finger to the 3rd fret with your pointer. Then on the 6th string, play the 6th fret with your pinky finger to the 3rd fret with your pointer finger ending on the root, the G. The pause happens on the 5th string 3rd fret, right before you go to the 6th string. Then he jumps up to the 3rd fret 3rd and 2nd strings to play a double stop. Use your pointer to barre these strings, holding them both down with the same finger. He kind of gives the double stop a slight bend, with tons of attitude of course, and then plays the 5th fret 4th string with his ring finger.
Pick that note twice adding tons of vibrato to the note, both times. Then go back to the double stop on the 3rd and 2nd strings with your pointer holding them both down on the 3rd fret and lift them a little bit, bending them slightly. He does this just to get a kind of blues-ed-out bend in there. Go to the 2:38 minute mark to play along with Jon, all we have learned so far.
Step 3: The Slide Lick
Then he slides up to the 7th fret on the 3rd string with his middle finger, leaving his pointer to be totally ready for the next note. Now use your pointer which is basically already hovering over where it is supposed to be, to grab the 2nd string 6th fret and pick it twice. Then you are going to move up two frets and do the same thing. Slide to the 9th fret 3rd strings with your middle finger and then grab the 8th fret 2nd string with your pointer and pick it twice. This is just a sequence.
Step 4: The B. B. Box Lick
The next lick puts us in the position that Jon likes to call the B. B. Box. For B. B. King style. So after you slid up and played the 8th fret 3rd string to the 8th fret 2nd string picked twice. Then go back to the 9th fret 3rd string once, and back to the 8th fret 2nd string once.
Now inside the B. B. box bend the 10th fret 2nd string and as it’s bent up take your pinky and grab the 1st string 10th fret with it. This actually makes for a great, cool-sounding country lick. But in the context of this song, when I pick both of these notes with a pick and add a lot of distortion, it sounds classic rock. So bend the 10th fret 2nd string, while its bent place your pinky down on the 10th fret 1st string, and pick this note.
Then pick your bend that is in the air and bring it back down, pulling it off to the 8th fret 2nd string, and then picking the 10th fret 3rd string, back to the 8th fret 2nd string. Then he bends the 11th fret 2nd string and holds it out for a second, and then a really quick bend on the 10th fret 2nd string, and then quickly grabbing that 8th fret 2nd string, to the 9th fret 3rd string, back to the 8th fret 2nd string, back to the 9th fret 3rd string with some vibrato. Then you end way up the fretboard on the 18th fret 2nd string, bending up a whole step with lots of vibratos.
Recap: Easy ACDC You Shook Me All Night Long Guitar Solo Lesson
I hope you enjoyed learning how to play “You Shook Me All Night Long Solo”. Angus Young, if you’re talking about rock n roll guitar, it just doesn’t get much better. Spend time learning and mastering these licks, but also spend time taking Angus’s ideas and concepts and try mixing them in with your style and playing to come up with our own unique licks and sounds.
Whenever you’re learning a song by one of the greats, remember that it is much more than a song lesson, it’s also a lesson in discovering why their playing and songwriting sticks out more than others, why are so many people drawn to their music, and what details do they add to make their riffs and licks special. Really try to think about that and apply that same thinking to your own writing.