Angus Young

Angus Young was born Angus McKinnon Young in Cranhill, Glascow, on the 31st of March 1955.

In 1963 Angus moved from Scotland to Sydney in Australia with his Mother and Father, older brothers Malcolm and George and his older sister Margaret. His older brother Alex stayed in Scotland and formed the London group “Grapefruit”.

Angus started learning on an inexpensive acoustic guitar bought by his Mother, before that he played a banjo restrung to accommodate six strings. Angus bought his very first 1967 Gibson SG in 1970 from a local music shop not far from his home. He played the guitar until it developed wood rot and the neck began to seriously warp.

Before taking up the position of lead guitarist in AC/DC, Angus played in a number of local bands, one of these groups was called “Kentuckee Kentuckee’s” after the departure of lead singer Bob McGlynn the band recruited lead singer and rhythm guitar player Mark Sneddon and changed their name to “Tantrum”.

In 1973 at the age of 18, Angus and Malcolm young came together to form AC/DC. The early line up consisted of Angus Young as lead guitarist, Malcolm as rhythm guitarist, Colin Burgess on Drums, Larry Van Kriedt on bass guitar and Dave Evans on vocals.

The young brother chose to call the band AC/DC after seeing the letters on the back of their sister Margaret’s sewing machine.

During this time Angus began experimenting with different costumes on stage, a few of his early out fits included a Zorro costume, a spider man costume and a “Super Ang” costume as a parody of Superman.
At the suggestion of his older sister Margaret, Angus settled with his school boy outfit, wearing a school uniform originally designed and made by his older sister. After the costume was worn out, Angus began wearing the uniform of his former Sydney high school Ashfield Boys High School. The iconic “A” embroided on Angus’s school cap actually stood for the name of his former high school, not his own.

The band also experimented with different onstage looks, one of which was a Glam-Rock look popular with rock bands during the 1970’s, this look was abandoned as it had already been adopted by Melbourne band “Skyhooks”.

In 1974 after growing tensions with then lead singer Dave Evans, and mutual opinions that he was not a suitable member for the group, Dave was replaced by vocalist Ronald “Bon” Scott a mutual friend of Angus and Malcolm’s older brother George.


Angus Young has maintained a loyal relationship with the Gibson SG for the majority of his career and has sustained an equally loyal partnership with Marshall amplification.

Musical Techniques, Concepts and Approaches

Angus Young is renowned for his fiery and soulful blues rock phrasing, frantic vibrato, masterful mixtures of major and minor pentatonic and fast scale runs.

Like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, Angus achieves most of his trademark speed through rapid hammer ons and pull offs and fast picking.

Angus is considered one of the most popular rock riff composers in the electric guitar playing world, along with his brother Malcolm, Angus has penned some of the rock worlds most iconic and beloved riffs.

Angus’s rhythm style uses a mixture of power chords and open chords for a full bodied, uncompromising rock sound.

Angus is celebrated just as much for his wild and energetic stage persona as he is for his guitar playing. Borrowing heavily from Chuck Berry, the duck walk, guitar spasms and audience invasions are all characteristic components of an Angus Young performance.

Influence In Rock Guitar Playing

Angus Young is considered one of the most influential rock guitar players in history.

His distinctive rhythm and lead guitar style have since become the standard for aspiring rock guitar players, and his energetic stage moves and persona has had a profound influence on the live performance world and is replicated by many rock musicians the world over.

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