Ok, let’s play this iconic rock classic! You’ll notice it’s a very simple song in some ways: except for the outro there are just 3 chords, a couple of relatively easy riffs, and a stomping groove. But, it’s deceptively difficult to write and play something with so many memorable ideas, from the sing-along chants of “Oy!” and “T.N.T.!” to the must-know guitar riffs (or air-guitar riffs for the non-guitarists). It’s worth a careful listen – there’s a lot of rock wisdom to absorb!
T.N.T. for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar
In the main riff exercise (level 4) you’ll play a slightly simplified version of the original rhythm guitar part, using single notes and basic power chords (E5 and A5). In the verse and chorus, you’ll need to start slow and memorise each riff so you can get it up to speed. In the outro, notice it follows a “chromatic” pattern, starting from the low E and going up one fret at a time to reach the high E string.
In the full riff exercise (level 6) you’ll play the must-know original rhythm guitar part, using big power chords and single notes. Pay careful attention to muting unwanted strings, so you don’t get extra strings ringing out, or chords lasting longer than they should – it should sound punchy and powerful throughout. This is a perfect song to add to your repertoire when people ask “so, what can you play?”.
In the full rhythm & lead exercise (level 9) you’ll play the original rhythm guitar part, along with the equally iconic solo. Notice the E minor pentatonic licks in the solo – they’re all classic blues-rock ideas, and definitely worth adding to your repertoire.
T.N.T. for Bass
by: Vellu Halkosalmi, Music Education Designer for Bass and Ukulele
The basic bassline exercise (level 3) takes full advantage of the powerful E-string. Even though it is extremely simple, don’t let it fool you. There is great joy in locking in with this groove. Timing is everything, they say. Couldn’t be more true with this one. Watch out for the ending, as the song speeds up and rises into controlled chaos!!
The full bassline exercise (level 5) includes the original bassline, as recorded. During verse, focus on the syncopated riff. During chorus, focus on the driving 8th note groove. In the ending, watch out for the accelerating ascend into controlled chaos!!
T.N.T. for Singing
by: Sonja Patrikainen, Music Education Designer for Singing
Another classic from AC/DC! This lead melody has a lot of upbeats. One tip for practicing the lead is to first listen to the basic groove of the song. You can practice for instance by tapping along the downbeats. Once your body is living along the groove, nail the lead! Pay careful attention to the rhythm of the text; When is it clearly on downbeats, and when does it fall heavily on the upbeats.