What Guitar does Angus Young Play?

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Do you love heavy metal music? If you do, you must recognize the hard rock band AC/DC as it is one of the most successful and renowned bands in the entire world. Angus Young is an original member of this hard rock band and he is also the lead guitarist, co-founder, and songwriter of the band. He is quite famous for his unique schoolboy-uniform stage outfits and he is very energetic as well.

Over the years, he has amassed a lot of fans throughout the world and many people are curious to know more about him. He has been a source of inspiration for many guitarists and many are curious to know about the guitars that he has played over the years. Let’s find out the details about the guitars that he used throughout his career. But please note that this article will only detail some iconic guitars that he still owns and plays. So, let’s begin.

The Guitars that Angus Young Plays

Over the years, Angus Young has used various brands and models of guitar to perform as well as record his songs. However, his first pick was the 1970/1971 Gibson SG Standard that he used to record his first few albums. After that, he started using various other models and brands of guitars out of which the most popular ones are listed below.

  • 1970-1971 Gibson SG Standard

1970/1971 Gibson SG Standard was the first real guitar that he bought. Previously, he had used a banjo which was restrung with six strings. Only after learning how to play the banjo, did he get the opportunity to learn to play guitar after his mother bought him a second-hand acoustic guitar.

As you might remember, Angus is relatively lightweight so he prefers to use a light guitar. The Gibson models such as Les Paul are lightweight so it is perfect for him. It had a devil horns-like double-cutaway look which AC/DC fans are familiar with. Additionally, it also became a valuable part of the band as well.

Angus had modified his Gibson guitar to make it feel more comfortable and perform well. One thing that’s quite unique about his guitar is that he wrapped the edges of his guitar with tape so that his sweat won’t damage the electronic components of the guitar. It was really tough for him as he put in a lot of hard work. He used to play guitar for soo long and continuously that his neck would drench in sweat and rot causing severe damage, making him retire early in the year 1978.

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  • 1970s Gibson SG Standard (Factory Second)

Another iconic guitar that he used was the Gibson SA Angus Young Standard. He bought this guitar from a music store which was located on 46th Street in New York City. The guitar was almost identical to his above-mentioned guitar but it had a Cherry finish instead of a Walnut finish.

However, when he checked the guitar it had a “#2” stamped on the backside of guitar. So, he asked the reason behind the stamp and the owner at the time said that it was a factory second, meaning a reject. As a result, he decided that he should buy the guitar and it became one of his primary guitars for the High to Hell album and tour.

Talking about its features, the hardware of the guitars was gold plated and the headstock was binding around the edges. We can also say that t was based on a 1970s SG Custom by looking at its features. Angus could have bought the guitar back in 1978 while he was visiting the US.

  • 1981 Jaydee Custom SG

Besides Gibson guitars, Angus Young has only been interested in Jaydee SG after someone gave him the guitar back in 1981. This model was based on the Gibson SG and it was made by famed British luthier John Diggins- “J.D.” He had made this guitar, especially for Angus but he wanted to surprise him so he kept it a secret and gave it to him only before AC/DC went onto the stage for performing at the 1981 Monsters of Rock Donington Festival.

Soon, Angus fell in love with this guitar and he started using it in the entire show. He had only got the guitar some hours before the live performance but he decided to play it nonetheless as he loved the guitar that much. Talking about its features, it has got gold hardware and a bright red finish. The pickups were custom-made Jaydee Hooligan and they had a built-in wireless battery pack as well. If you have been to AC/DC’s concert, you might have seen Angus sweat wild as he and other members of the band used to perform for hours with quite a lot of energy.

His sweat used to get into the guitar and he would get an electric shock from the guitar occasionally. After that, he once again modified the guitar and change the wireless battery with the strap-mounted battery packs. However, many of you might remember the guitar for its unique lightning bolt fret inlays which captivated the hearts of many and fitted well with the band as well as they always had an electrifying performance. Even though he used the guitar on various occasions throughout the 1980s, he switched back to his favorite Gibson SG model.

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  • Gibson SG Angus Young Signature

Gibson SG Angus Young Signature is the very first signature model of Angus as he got a chance to make his own guitar with Gibson. It is based on his first 1970s SG and it has got the same smaller neck profile as well. It was first introduced in 2000 and has been used to record albums. This guitar is one of his most iconic guitars as it was his very first signature guitar.

Talking about its features, the body of the guitar is quite similar to the contemporary SG Standard and was styled just like the 1966-1971 Batwing style SGs. It had a larger styled pickguard and had a 12″ radiused fretboard. Not to forget the lightning bolt fret inlays which you can see being printed all the way up the neck of the guitar. Additionally, he also added a devil schoolboy inlay in the headstock and his signature on the truss rod cover of the guitar.

Over the years, he has used this guitar while performing on various tours and live concerts. In 2003, he played the guitar while performing “Stiff Upper Lip” on the tour. Two years ago, he was once again spotted using this guitar in one of the music videos for AC/DC’s new album titled “Power Up”.

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