New song: It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)

Yousician team 4 min read

Let’s learn this classic rock song. In addition to iconic riffs, a huge beat, and perfectly sing-along vocals, this song features something unexpected: bagpipes! This ancient traditional instrument is quite rare in rock music, but plays a big role in this song, carrying the melody during the interlude, and even trading licks with the guitar. Adding an uncommon instrument like this is a great way to add variety and interest to a song, and grab the listeners’ attention.

“It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)”, made famous by AC/DC, is now available in Yousician for Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, and Singing.

It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll) for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

In the basic riff exercise (level 4) you’ll play a simplified version of the original riff, using mostly single notes and power chords. You’ll also play a two-note variation of an A power chord using the open A-string and D-string (instead of the D-string fret 2). This is a common move, and great to add to your repertoire.

In the full rhythm exercise (level 6) you’ll play the original rhythm guitar part – at least the parts that Malcolm Young plays. It’s originally played by two guitars, so to explore the other parts check out the ‘rhythm & lead’ arrangement. It’s pretty repetitive, but with lots of small variations to look out for.

In the full rhythm & lead exercise (level 8) you’ll play mostly Angus Young’s part, along with some of Malcolm Young’s parts where he’s the only one playing. This includes lots of big open power chords and some classic blues licks in the solo. Have fun!

It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll) for Bass
by: Antti Halmetoja, Bass content specialist

In the basic bassline exercise (level 2) you’ll learn the fundamental elements of the song. It’s a long song (like the way to the top often is) so don’t forget to warm up first! By the way, there are many string skips so keep eye on them!

In the main bassline exercise (level 4) you’ll play all the important notes of the song. After this, it will be quite natural to move to the full version.

The full bassline exercise (level 7) includes the original bassline as recorded. At first it seems quite straightforward, but in fact there’s plenty of stuff to discover. And the best part is that this iconic rock song is extremely fun to play!

It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll) for Ukulele
by: Antti Halmetoja, Bass content specialist

In the chords exercise (level 5) you’ll be playing the main guitar riff of the song, which works beautifully on the ukulele! There are only three chords in the whole song (A, G, D), but watch out for those syncopated up-strums, and keep it tight and punchy.

It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll) for Singing
by: Arttu Juntunen, Music Education Designer for Singing

This song is all about the rhythm! Move to the rhythm of the drums and feel the beat. Try to also imitate the way the singer articulates. How do the vowels sound? How does the use of consonants emphasize the rhythm? Try to imitate what he does and match that to the tight beat of the song.

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