AC/DC Shoot To Thrill tone question

Discussion in 'Tone Workshop' started by Bipartisan, May 7, 2009.

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  1. Bipartisan

    Bipartisan New Member

    Hi Folks,

    My question relates to ACDC tones in general, but a good example can be found in Shoot To Thrill.

    Right at the beginning, the fourth note is held and it sustains. Does anybody know how they achieve that sort of 'vocal' quality in their power chords, its hard to describe but it sort of sounds like somebody saying 'yeowwwwwww' starting when the chord is played and decaying away.

    The dynamic feel of this is very appealing. When I play this, the chord is uniform and doesnt speak like theirs. Is there some kind of effect applied like an autowah / flange, or is this some magical quality of the amp or guitar?

    Thanks for any comments.
  2. Fill Brisell

    Fill Brisell NI Product Owner

    I hear a long feedback note - is that the one?
    For controlled feedback like that, stand relatively close to your speaker, play a note and let it ring. A few centimetres change in position may make a huge difference, and if you move while it rings you can indeed get the "yeoww . .". I hear no digital effect here, but indeed: manipulating the tone control on your guitar or using a wah pedal may be the trick too. Some notes and strings are more prone (in a positive sense) to feedback than others; usually the G and B strings, and between the 3d and 12th fret - but this is different on every guitar. Volume, some compression and distortion helps. A cheap poor guitar will just squeal. To get the note to 'sing' like those guys you need some practice.

    AC/DC hardly use any effects at all, to my knowledge. Rather the 'magic' of their fat chord sound is how the two brothers Young blend with their tones. Angus use his SG of course (although in the studio there could be other guitars on some tracks), while Malcolm use a semi acoustic Gretch(?) - very unusual in hard rock, but you could say it definetly works well for them :D . They seem to split the chord voicings; on a D chord Malcolm will have a F# on the deep E string, and perhaps only play up to the A on the G string. Angus plays a more ordinary D chord. I've tried this together with students, and at least it comes closer the 'that' sound then.
    The two brothers play extremly tight, but different voicings and shifts in emphasis gives a wide (subtle) pallette of variation within their format.
    Soundwise, go for 'overdrive' instead of 'distortion', and don't use too much of it!
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
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