AC/DC – Back In Black

AC/dc back in black ukulele riff
Back In Black midi

AC/DC are the gods of riff. They’ve continually churned them out over their 70-year long career and this riff has to be the best of them.

The opening riff, I’ve tabbed in the key of A (it’s the same shapes as the original transposed onto the uke).

back in black ac/dc ukulele riff

Not content with one outstanding riff in a song, they decided this song deserves two. Most bands would base an entire career on a riff this could but AC/DC threw it away as a middle 8.

I’ve tabbed this riff in C (just to confuse/annoy you). The fingering gets a little tricky when the riff moves up to the fifth position. An alternative to the way I’ve tabbed it is to barre across the fifth fret throughout and play it the same as the open riff. Try out both and see which you prefer.

I heartily recommend you check out Baron Von Uke‘s version of the song.

Suggested by Stewart

Buy Back in Black

View Comments


  1. West October 3rd, 2007 10:48 pm

    “…their 70-year long career”

    Are you sure? Pedantry aside, another top choice! Keep up the good work!

  2. Woodshed October 3rd, 2007 11:04 pm

    Thanks, West. Yes, I’m absolutely sure it’s 70 years. Angus Young is 88 years old.

  3. Stewart Greenhill October 4th, 2007 3:22 pm

    Nice work!

    For the trivia-heads: The album “Back in Black” is said to be a tribute to lead singer Bon Scott who died in 1980 aged 33. Black is of course the colour of mourning, and the title symbolises the band’s resolve to continue their work in his honour. Bon’s final resting place is in Fremantle Cemetery, just a few blocks down the road from where I live. In 2005 the National Trust of Western Australia classified it as a place of heritage significance. Its become a bit of a pigrimage destination, not just for Australians but for people from around the world.

  4. Woodshed October 4th, 2007 8:22 pm

    Thanks for the info, Stewart. I didn’t know that.

  5. Josh February 15th, 2009 7:28 pm

    do you think anyone could tell me what the bracketed ‘2’ means in the second bar of the riff.


  6. Woodshed February 16th, 2009 5:57 pm

    Josh: The (2) is tied from the previous note – so you just hold the note rather than picking it again.

  7. FOLEY April 2nd, 2009 8:03 am

    Angus Young was born on March 31st, 1959, which would make him 50 not 80

    the source was

  8. Gull Able July 9th, 2009 6:23 pm

    original post:

    Angus Young was born on March 31st, 1959, which would make him 50 not 80.

    my remark:

    Oh, how I worry about people like you. So naive….
    I hope you don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
    There’s a great thing we call sarcasm. Get out of the house, talk to people more….get a sense of humor. Clearly Angus is not 80 and ACDC has not been around for 70 years.

    Good luck in life!

  9. soo December 11th, 2009 3:51 am

    angus young was born in 1955. go learn basic math

  10. bobchickenstein April 22nd, 2010 9:22 pm

    Great tab — I just got my ukelele and cant put it down !! I know some basic chords (C, Am, F, G,E,D and A7) and picking styles e.t.c. and any tips of what for me to learn next? Thanks

  11. Woodshed May 3rd, 2010 1:26 pm

    bobchickenstein: Have a look through the ukulele lessons pages for some pointers on what to learn when.

  12. greg July 10th, 2010 3:24 am

    Thanks for all your great work. With this riff, instead of playing G (0232) I play 0230 (Dsus4 ? Gsus2 ? ) – seems to sound better on my little uke.

  13. Woodshed July 13th, 2010 8:16 pm

    greg: Gsus2. If it sounds good to you, play it.

  14. Jimmy August 10th, 2010 8:16 am

    baron von uke has got some mad skills

  15. GiGiGurl October 15th, 2010 12:27 am

    ’70 Year long career?’
    Angus Young would have had to be in AC/DC before he was born.

    … I wonder if thats possible?…

  16. Duke Ukem June 1st, 2011 12:05 pm

    Angus Young lives in a different universe where time runs at a faster speed, hence the speed of his left hand. He might be 50ish in your Earth Years, but in his native timespace he’s over 80. Stop bickering (checks dates — oh, you stopped some time ago. There goes my 25 zooks of fame)

  17. Woodshed June 2nd, 2011 10:15 am

    Duke: Makes perfect sense to me. Let that be the end of the matter!

  18. Cody December 31st, 2011 5:27 am

    Angus Young isnt 80 years old. He was born March 31st, 1955. Which would make him 56 years of age.

  19. Woodshed December 31st, 2011 3:24 pm

    Cody: I wrote this 4 years ago so he’ll be 89 now.

  20. uke of lurve March 15th, 2012 1:14 am

    Just found this post. What rubbish. Angus obviously isn’t that old, as he still goes to school and drinks milk. ;)

    btw – this site is fantastic! keep up the good work everyone

  21. Peter March 23rd, 2012 8:03 pm

    I’m so glad the person who wrote this has a sense of sarcasm that so few have on the Internet now-a-days. I tip my hat to you. I really wish everyone would stop bitching about it though. stating the obvious doesn’t impress people.

  22. karl July 17th, 2012 2:53 pm

    haha angus young 80?? seriously? don’t even need to do the maths to know thats a load of b****ks

  23. Woodshed July 17th, 2012 11:38 pm

    karl: You’re right. He isn’t 80. I wrote this five years ago so now he’ll be 92.

  24. Maxx December 30th, 2012 6:51 pm

    Wooshed: Great thread… I wsh I could write one that lasts the 20 years yours have… Congrats!

  25. Woodshed December 30th, 2012 7:13 pm

    Maxx: Thanks very much!

  26. Tony Uker December 19th, 2013 7:34 pm

    I RARELY coment on internet posts but this one really made me laugh! “70 year long career” made me laugh so hard…………it almost seems like they’ve been around that long. But the people who can’t understand sarcasm are the real joke here!

  27. Woodshed December 20th, 2013 11:21 am

    Tony: I’m glad someone got the sarcasm!

  28. Sarah November 9th, 2014 3:41 am

    uhm this is very confusing

    also I pulled the ’70 year long career’ in front of my friends, and they were all like, ‘yeah, I know, right! They’ve been along for so long, im surprised they’re still alive!’ and they were being 100% serious

  29. Ray June 4th, 2017 2:21 am

    Can anybody tell me the key of A tuning?? This just doesn’t sound right in C tuning and a half hour search has left me fruitless. If someone couod help me, that woupd be appreciated. Thanks.

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