AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” New Series

14 Nov AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” New Series

Heh. I think I am getting closer.

Highway To Hell seems “easier” to get to in terms of tone replication. I am convinced strongly, more and more, that Angus recorded many parts with a Marshall 2203 or 2204.

This one was recorded with a 2204. One Microphone (AT4047) for the rhythm, two for the solo, but I had to change positions for the solos as it seemed that the solo was recorded off axis. So did I.

Now, a tutorial will come, a new one, for this one too. But I am pleased to ask you to notice WHERE I am playing the main riff: over the neck pickup.

I spent a good number of hours trying to figure out how Angus had been muted possibly on tape, when he was stopping the strings and changing positions (i.e., if you listen to the record, there is NO noise whatsoever of him moving into position for the riff chords). At first, I thought it had been edited, as it was so silent and I just couldn’t be as silent, putting my hand back on the bridge. So after a while I tried the most natural position that comes spontaneously to mute the strings while playing this: it was with the pick over the neck pickup. Not only did that completely solve the mystery (otherwise, you would have heard a lot of buzz while changing chords for the riff) but also, the SOUND changed for a good part, and for the better: it finally gave it an additional “raw-ness”, hard to describe, but it’s a fact. The strings are also softer on that spot, and rhythm chords bounce marvelously. So I made it a little mission to aim at the screws on the neck pickup lol. I was in heaven when I found out. Absolutely try this for yourself when you have a chance.

Guitar is also a first timer here, and it’s not catalogued either yet here (boy, didn’t have time). It’s a got a few issues on the fretboard, despite a re-fret job and a PLEK job, the D string “plinks” too much. Will have to send it back to the shop. Tone is great though, as you can hear. It’s a late ’68 early ’69.

avatar
Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

I like Geetars!

177 Comments
  • avatar
    stefano915
    Posted at 20:32h, 12 August

    Ciao Fil intanto complimenti per i video, sto leggendo molto su questo tuo sito ultimamente, lo trovo molto interessante e ben curato nei minimi dettagli. Da poco ho realizzato un clone del marshall 2204 e la mia chitarra è una gibson sg 50th anniversary 24 tasti con i 57 classics. visto che l’amplificatore è un MV credo che non dovrei aver bisogno di nessun pedale overdrive come per esempio il secret 1. Da quello che ho capito quel pedale o meglio lo schaffer vega sono piu adatti ai NMV giusto? Poi sul discorso del presence credo che non in tutte le canzoni siano a zero con questo ampli, infatti impostato da 6 in su credo ci si possa suonare per esempio riff raff. che ne pensi? P.S. anche io vorrei formare una cover band AC/DC ma sono di Roma, se siete interessati fatemi sapere.

  • avatar
    madmax
    Posted at 21:18h, 05 February

    Which speakers have you been using?

  • avatar
    kg_fenderbender
    Posted at 16:06h, 06 September

    Hey Fil… is the guitars tuning different in this video… cause i tried playing along in standard tuning and it sounded almost COMPLETELY different 😛

    • avatar
      Ryley
      Posted at 18:19h, 06 September

      yeepp its aboutt 1/4 step down, a bit closer to a half step

      • avatar
        kg_fenderbender
        Posted at 13:53h, 07 September

        thnx a ton :p

  • avatar
    OldSchoolRocker666
    Posted at 22:21h, 04 August

    Fil, i gotta ask, does the muting include the parts when Bon sings ”i’am on the highway to hell” parts of the song or is it only on the ”normal” riff parts?

  • avatar
    banane
    Posted at 20:28h, 25 January

    It’s so much fun to play along with you here, Fil. Thanks again :)

  • avatar
    madmax
    Posted at 20:22h, 22 January

    what are your amp settings???
    are they still : presence zero
    treble six
    middle five
    bass eight ?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 20:31h, 22 January

      More or less, but I had to put bass at 0. It may be this particular cabinet, or the room, or this 2204, but with bass higher than 2 it really gets bassy when the master is at 8. So I put the bass around 0-2- Treble and mids as you noted. Really, it makes no big difference, not huge that is. Microphone position is more important.

      • avatar
        madmax
        Posted at 20:46h, 24 January

        thanks for your reply Fil I really appreciate it :)

  • avatar
    chals
    Posted at 00:56h, 10 January

    Great Job Fil! You totally nailed that opening Riff, I’ve been chasing that sound for I don’t know how long. You were Playing the neck for that opeing riff? lol that sounded sweet, do you remeber what your guitar volume and tone controls were at? – Thanks for your time
    -Chals

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 20:32h, 22 January

      Chals, thank you. Guitar tone at 10, guitar volume at 5 for rhythm, 8 for solos.

  • avatar
    sith12
    Posted at 22:13h, 27 December

    hey solodallas
    could you do an highway to hell guitar lesson where you show and explain the notes that you play?
    i know you have one on youtube but i dont know what you play there
    please main part i need is the solo
    thanks

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 20:33h, 22 January

      I will. You have my older hth tutorial here though, did you see it?

  • avatar
    quicoto
    Posted at 00:12h, 27 December

    Great sound mate.

    Keep this AC/DC rocking :)

    Regards

  • avatar
    Devil'Fingers"
    Posted at 09:26h, 24 December

    I wish everyone merry christmas, lots of money , good health, guitars and amps which are in your dreams and very happy new year!!
    Paweł

  • avatar
    Angusrocks
    Posted at 11:17h, 20 December

    I thought this fits to this video (-:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUbwOdE1jaQ

    • avatar
      whiskeyontherocks
      Posted at 20:16h, 20 December

      Reupload elsewhere? Says it’s not available in my country.

      • avatar
        Angusrocks
        Posted at 12:22h, 21 December

        Aaah, this is stupid )-:
        Mmmhh, unfortunalety i don`t if it is elsewhere available.

  • avatar
    Angusrocks
    Posted at 19:39h, 14 December

    With me it is completely different.
    I had a teacher for acoustic guitar when i was 15, but it bores me all the time so i stopped playing guitar. Decades later i started to play electric guitar and it was always in mind to learn and play ACDC guitarriffs. From my bad experience with a guitar teacher i decided to teach myself. I never knew that i`m so good in teaching myself and with all the help of books, videos, listening and internet it worked very good. Now i`m proud that i can play the most ACDC songs. What is still pretty hard to me, is playing solo, with all these bendings and so on.
    For playing solo i need a lot more training.
    The point is for example, if you bend a string you go to 1 or 2 different notes and the problem is to keep all these different notes in my head. Yeees practicising……(-:
    When i would play in a ACDC coverband right now, i would defently play Malcolms part.

    • avatar
      rjofig
      Posted at 19:52h, 14 December

      A teacher not aligned with your interests is indeed boring – well, worse, things may look so intimidating that you feel so unmotivated you drop it. That’s why I think, if you want to learn rock and roll style, better make sure to choose a teacher that appreciates and teaches rock and roll style. I think having had some experience with a teacher that cover the basics (grip, fingering, notes, scales, etc) is quite useful.

      Having said that, again, there is lots you can do as a motivated self-learner now – bless the Internet :)

      Your story sounds familiar :) it’s great to get to a point where you play rhythm decently enough you are actually having fun, and being able to look at solos and think: challenging? of course; impossible? no; just keep at it.

      Cheers,

      • avatar
        Angusrocks
        Posted at 20:19h, 14 December

        Thank you, yeees, i will keep learning !!
        Maybe things were going different/better if i had a different teacher, that`s right, but it is like it is now (-:

        • avatar
          banane
          Posted at 07:54h, 15 December

          Yeah, same here. I teached myself a lot of things and I know it’s possible to become a good player just by self teaching.
          On the other side, a teacher (especially a rock n roll addicted teacher) would speed things up a lot when it comes to the basics of playing.
          It took me about a year to play rhythms at least as accurate enough that my neighbors asked me if I’m playing AC/DC on a guitar last week :)
          Yeah, the solos are a different thing, I’m working on the solo from “You shook me…” for some time, but it’s very hard to learn, you need so take care of so much details…this just takes a long time. So I’m alternating between learning the solo and learning new AC/DC song riffs.
          Maybe we should just start posting videos of us here and discuss about it and giving uns hints one another? :)

          • avatar
            rjofig
            Posted at 14:16h, 15 December

            I’ve been meaning to try to get a video posted, but the camera’s been a little flaky and I’m having a hard time getting digital audio directly from guitar rig; looks like the only way is to record video/audio separately and sync/merge later. Hints on how to do this would be very useful!

            • avatar
              banane
              Posted at 15:51h, 15 December

              Yes, thats hard. You’ll need a video editing program for this, where you replace the audio track with the one from guitar rig. Thats a hassle. I would, if possible, record with a microphone, so you’ll get video and audio in one shot.

              • avatar
                rjofig
                Posted at 19:41h, 15 December

                This is probably the easiest way; it’s a pity the signal has to go analog and digital again :)

                • avatar
                  banane
                  Posted at 20:14h, 15 December

                  Yeah, thats right. Right now, I’m playing around a bit. Recorded myself with the cam of my laptop while playing to a backing track. Guitar is recorded through microphone at the cabinet, and I’m adding the backing track in a video editor. Could send you a link if you are interested.

                  • avatar
                    Angusrocks
                    Posted at 21:33h, 15 December

                    Recording ?
                    Yes, would be fine, but how ? I have nothing else than a digicam. No mic and no software or webcam. Hmmmm……i think about…

                    • avatar
                      banane
                      Posted at 21:44h, 15 December

                      Well, if it can record movies too, give it a try :)
                      I think, it’s time for us beginners to come out here :)

                    • avatar
                      Angusrocks
                      Posted at 21:55h, 15 December

                      yes, i
                      should
                      do that.
                      If the
                      fight
                      against
                      the snow
                      let me
                      try this.

                    • avatar
                      rjofig
                      Posted at 22:08h, 15 December

                      Yeah, I’ll try next week when things start to wind down.

                    • avatar
                      Angusrocks
                      Posted at 22:15h, 15 December

                      Yes,
                      good time
                      I have
                      vacation
                      next week.

                    • avatar
                      banane
                      Posted at 22:30h, 15 December

                      Same here. Will also try to shoot a nice video.

                    • avatar
                      Angusrocks
                      Posted at 22:38h, 15 December

                      Good
                      luck (-:

                    • avatar
                      banane
                      Posted at 22:46h, 15 December

                      Hehe, thanks. Well, it’s going to be hard not to blame myself :)

                    • avatar
                      Angusrocks
                      Posted at 22:50h, 15 December

                      Aaaaaah
                      nobody
                      is perfect
                      here.
                      Don`t
                      think about
                      that !!

                    • avatar
                      banane
                      Posted at 22:53h, 15 December

                      Yes, well, was mostly meant as a joke :)

                    • avatar
                      Angusrocks
                      Posted at 23:00h, 15 December

                      ???
                      What
                      was
                      meant
                      as a
                      joke ?

                    • avatar
                      banane
                      Posted at 23:11h, 15 December

                      That it would be hard not to blame myself :) I mean, it’s a bit uncomfortable to show off as a beginner with so many pro’s around here, but it’s ok anyway. They were all beginners somewhen :)

                    • avatar
                      Angusrocks
                      Posted at 23:17h, 15 December

                      achsooo
                      ja klar,
                      stimmt

                    • avatar
                      Angusrocks
                      Posted at 23:19h, 15 December

                      it is
                      always ok
                      and
                      nobody
                      has to blame
                      It is just
                      a hobby
                      an interest.

  • avatar
    Kinglance
    Posted at 21:42h, 13 December

    Hey,
    I have a question… What’s your (Fil and rest) opinion on guitar lessons…? I followed last year 8 lessons (8 hours) with a private teacher. And I learned a lot!! I liked it!! Was pretty fun, very nice guy, and a very good teacher!! What do u think about this?

    • avatar
      rjofig
      Posted at 22:00h, 13 December

      I’d say it’s always good to have private lessons, but for them to be really motivating I think it’s important to find a teacher who’s aligned with your musical inclinations and aspirations.

      My experience, encouraged by my dad who is into classic guitar, I had acoustic guitar lessons as an early teen and learned a good deal of theory, scales, etc… but never a power chord, or a pentatonic lick, or bending, or vibrato – so what I learned didn’t match the style of music I was into, and eventually I lost motivation. Still, the fundamentals of what I learned back then were pretty useful when I started picking up again a couple decades later.
      There’s lots of great info here, on YouTube,etc for beginners, but starting completely from zero without having ever had a teacher/tutor in the beginning would have been much tougher, I think.

      • avatar
        banane
        Posted at 22:29h, 13 December

        I can acknowledge this. I started last year from the beginning without a teacher, but with youtube and books. And with real lessions I would be much further than I am now.
        And yes, it’s important that your teacher and you are into the same music style. I found someone here who’s also from vienna and more experienced. Maybe he can teach me some things when we ever get the time to meet.

    • avatar
      Hardrockerdave94
      Posted at 19:47h, 14 December

      I think lessons are really good, but not for me. I love the satisfaction of working my own stuff out, I’ve never had a lesson yet. There’s nothing wrong with lessons, they’re really good if you need a bit of a headstart or there’s something too difficult, but I think that if you rely on your teacher too much, 1. Your ear for music won’t develop as well and 2. you don’t learn your own style, you often end up just copying the teacher. But all in all, lessons are a good thing so long as you teach your self some stuff too and don’t just rely on them. :)

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