Level: Beginner - Intermediate
I've always loved Angus Young. Many guitarists get on their high horse about his "overuse of the pentatonic scale," but he has so many solos of fist raising win. I learned this solo in my teens and it has stuck with me for over a decade.
This solo is predominantly the most common box of a G minor pentatonic across 2 octaves. There's nothing in this solo I would deem too complicated or outrageous. As usual we'll break the solo down into problematic sections. I'll leave a tab for the solo and a link to the YouTube lesson at the bottom of the article.
Section 1 Tips:Firstly let's get this out of the way ... The basic G minor pentatonic box shape. (See diagram below)
Okay. Now we've got that out of the way let's talk about this first section of the solo. There's a few tricky things like bends and flat fingers over a few strings at a time. Let's take a look at the whole phrase. (See excerpt below)
I recommend baring the 3rd fret of the first 2 strings and alternating between the pinky finger for stretches and the ring finger for bends. Obviously keep in mind the G pentatonic shape and mess around with a few fingering options if my finger choices don't suit you.
Section 2 Tips:Section 2 uses a branch of the pentatonic that's more relative to the key of G major/E minor. This is the 4th branch in the 5 E minor pentatonic shapes. (See diagram below)
Angus doesn't use the full length of the scale in section but I think it's good to know what he's using and where his ideas are derived from. I find Angus will tend to use a minor pentatonic over a major chord progression to get more of a straight blues rock sound, but he will also use the major/relative major (like in this instance) to get more of a "good time" fist raising vibe. I've heard BB King and John Mayer do similar things to change the emotional and mood by using the same scale in a different position. Let's take a look at the lick. (See excerpt below)
Pay close attention to the slides and bends. Keep in mind all the bends are full tone and try keep them in tune as this will add to the fist raising delivery of classic rock.
Section 3 Tips:The 3rd section begins with a G minor pentatonic which is played up the octave to the first G minor pentatonic shape we saw in section 1. Let's take a look at the full scale. (See diagram below)
We don't use the full length of the scale but it's good to know what this section is derived from. The main thing we'll need to focus on once again is Angus' full tone bends. (See excerpt below)
Like we had in section 1 bar the 1st and 2nd strings with your pointer to help out on the first bar or this phrase. In the 3rd bar I bend the 17th fret with my ring finger and while sustaining that bend I play the 18th fret on the second string with my pinky. This technique and sound is a really cool tool to have in your rock soloing arsenal!
Have fun with this one guys and happy shredding! Tab can be downloaded here.