In this free online guitar lesson for kids, I will teach your child how to play one of the most iconic guitar riffs of all-time, “TNT” by AC/DC. While it’s super easy to play on guitar, “TNT” does make use of open power chords. That’s why I recommend starting with “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple and “Seven Nation Army First” by the White Stripes first. Once your kid gets those songs down, he or she should be ready to rock this AC/DC classic.
The Australian hard rock band, AC/DC, released “TNT” in 1975 by Bon Scott, Angus Young, and Malcolm Young. It was featured on their album by the same name that year, where it peaked at number 19 on the Australian charts. A year later, AC/DC included “TNT” on their first international album, “High Voltage.”
The song features Bon Scott on vocals, Mark Evans on bass guitar, Phil Rudd on drums, older brother Angus Young on lead guitar, and Malcolm Young playing his signature brand of open power chords on rhythm guitar.
On the album, Angus Young later said “It was actually recorded in ten days in between gigs, working through the night after we came off stage and then through the day. I suppose it was fun at the time, but there was no thought put into it.”
What Makes “TNT” so cool?
Malcolm Young had a gift for creating simple power chord riffs that sounded absolutely huge on the guitar! It’s hard to believe that those enormous sounding chords at the beginning of the track are just two notes, but that’s what makes power chords, so fun to play on the guitar. Add to that Bon Scott’s snarling vocals, Angus Young’s fiery blues licks on lead guitar, along with a killer rhythm section, and AC/DC had the recipe for one of the best hard rock grooves ever recorded.
How do I play “TNT” on guitar?
When it comes to learning how to play “TNT” or any other song on the guitar, the following three tips will help your kid learn the song faster and more accurately:
- Practice slow: I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but slow is fast, and fast is slow when it comes to playing the guitar. In other words, slow it down to learn the song quickly and accurately. On the other hand, go really, really fast, and learning it will take forever.
- Play with the band or find a backing track and slow it down: Rock is all about groove and attitude. Playing with the original track will help your kid acquire both! That being said, he or she is going to need software to slow it down. That’s why I highly recommend Anytune to all of my students, and I recommend it to your kid for slowing down songs, looping sections, and quickly learning songs.
- Memorize it: When your child learns a guitar song, it’s wise to use the guitar tab. Once your kid has got it down, I recommend losing the guitar tab as soon as possible and committing it to memory. This will help your kid build a repertoire, develop a sense of groove, and build confidence as a musician. After all, when’s the last time you saw a rock band playing from a score? My bet, the answer is never!
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