The Genius of Malcolm Young

AC/DC have given us nearly 50 years of rock and roll masterpieces. Songs that have stood the test of time and still get people singing and bouncing to this day. It’s not hard to notice lead guitarist Angus Young, strutting around the stage in his schoolboy uniform with his Gibson SG, laying down tasty lick after tasty lick… but in this quick lesson we’re going to talk about the man behind the groove. Angus’ brother Malcolm Young is the riffmaster and powerhouse that drives the engine that is AC/DC.

Here are 5 of Malcom’s top AC/DC riffs which you can learn and rock out too. You can hear them in the video attached below which also talks about Malcolm Youngs guitar tone and style.

It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock N Roll)

This 70s AC/DC classic is a fun rhythm work out. It showcases Malcolm’s use of groove on a single chord as it alternates between strummed and muted notes.

If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)

Malcolm was no stranger to some fast paced chord riffs. This riff is fast and furious and a lot of fun to play through a cranked amp.

Back In Black

Space can also be very important in a riff and there isn’t a more iconic riff in the AC/DC catalogue that showcases this as much as Back in Black. 3 chords, a lot of space and a killer groove.


TNT is simple, to the point and it’s got a tight groove that is a trademark of Malcolm. The riff has plenty of space to breathe but still retains a driving feel.

Girls Got Rhythm

Girls Got Rhythm might not be one of the obvious choices, but it’s a great bluesy riff that showcases some of the busier playing moments from Malcolm. It’s often easy to imagine him just crashing through chords, but this riff shows off his melodic finesse.

Check Out the Full Video

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Leigh Fuge is a guitar player, content creator and educator. He is also the owner of Right Notes Music Tuition.He has over 15 years experience in the music industry and has also worked with many major guitar brands such as Blackstar Amps, Boss, MXR, Gretsch, Jackson Guitars, Hughes & Kettner and many more. Leigh has helped hundreds of students realise their potential with their guitar playing. Start your journey today and learn guitar online with Leigh!