Fretting Hand Strength Exercises: Thunderstruck


If you want to build some fretting hand strength and get on the track to amazing legato technique, look no further than Thunderstruck by AC/DC.  Angus plays a riff using all pull-offs and absolutely no picking. 

ThunderstruckAC/DC

Riff 1

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0h4p0h7p0h4p0h7p0h4p0h7p0h4p0h7p0h4p0h7p0h4p0h7p0h4p0h7p0h4p0h7p0
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Riff 2

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5p0h8p0h5p0h8p0h5p0h8p0h5p0h8p0h5p0h8p0h5p0h8p0h5p0h8p0h5p0h8p0
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Riff 3

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12p0h10p0h9p0h10p0h9p0h7p0h9p0h5p0h7p0h4p0h5p0h4p0h5p0h4p0h5p0h4p0
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In the song the order of the riffs is: Riff 1, Riff 2, Riff 1, Riff 2, Riff 3, Riff 3, Riff 3, Riff 3, cont.

As you can see in the tab, the whole thing uses hammer-ons and pull-offs.  There is no picking.  Therefore this is a great workout to build up fretting hand strength. Make sure when you execute a pull-off you do not simply lift your finger off the string.  You must pull the string down towards the floor slightly to make the note sound.

If you have any questions or comments please email me at mdguitarteacher@gmail.com.

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5 Responses

  1. Thanks, I’ll give this a try tonight. I’ve been trying to learn the Brian Setzer riff in his version of “Sleepwalk” that’s all pulloffs and looking for any exercises to help that along!

  2. Great lesson…

    It does give you hand a good workout!!!

  3. Actually, Angus Young does pick the notes. Some say he picks every note, but most likely he picks and pulls off. In some of the live shows he will go to just hammers and pull offs but this is just for show and he always starts off picking.

  4. This is a great exercise – I never thought about that part of the song as being good for strengthening the fretting hand, but yeah this will definitely do.

    Also, VintageP is tackling a mighty good song but a good challenge there, and I remember the legato part to Setzer’s Sleepwalk very well, and this exercise will definitely help him as they require the same kind of legato.

    Great work master guitar teacher :) – you never disappoint!

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