18 Best Green Day Guitar Songs You Need To Learn

With a discography spanning more than 30 years, Green Day has inspired countless artists. I essentially learned guitar to Green Day – and I would argue they taught me well. So, I wanted to share the best Green Day songs, which taught me something valuable.

Green Day is proof that a good song does not need to have the most complicated riffs and epic solos imaginable. Sometimes less is more. So for budding guitarists, Green Day songs are a great way to learn new skills, gain confidence, play music with others, and impress your friends.

Here are the 18 best Green Day songs you need to learn on guitar.

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Wake Me Up When September Ends is one of the best Green Day songs to learn because you can learn multiple techniques. It has an easy solo, and you alternate between arpeggios and bar chords for the other parts of the song.

It has a special place in my heart because when I was a beginner guitar player, it was the first song I learned that actually sounded just like the original version.

Here are the tabs:


Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

Good Riddance, more commonly referred to as Time Of Your Life, is one of Green Day’s more mellow songs.

Although the song uses fairly easy open chords, you need to pick individual strings rather than strumming normally. This is a good practice in precision as it’s not going to sound great or like the original version if you just pick individual strings at random.

Here are the tabs:



If you’re sick of practicing scales, Warning is one of the best Green Day songs to play. The riff for the first guitar line is played similarly to a scale, so you can work on dexterity without feeling like you’re doing homework.

Here are the tabs:


21 Guns

Like many Green Day songs, there are three separate guitar lines in 21 Guns; the acoustic guitar, the lead guitar, and the rhythm guitar line. You can take a stab at all three or pick the one you feel more comfortable with. All three lines are fairly straightforward, so it’s a great song to learn to impress your friends.

Here are the tabs:


When I Come Around

You’ll need to tune your guitar down half a step from standard tuning to play When I Come Around; this is common with Green Day songs.

The song gives you room to practice bar chords and palm muting.

2. standard tuning vs half step down

Difference between standard tuning and a half-step down tuning.

Here are the tabs:



Holiday’s strumming pattern is immediately recognizable, which makes it one of the best Green Day songs to learn. This sound is achieved by playing more than one chord in the same bar. This technique helps you build up speed as you learn how to move between chords quickly.

The song is also a great way to get used to playing muted notes in between strings. You do this by playing the note in question with the tip of your finger and using the rest to slightly press on the strings below without actually activating them.

3. muted notes

Here are the tabs:


Hitchin A Ride

Hitchin A Ride introduces new guitar players to thrills. If you already know how to play hammer-ons and pull-offs, then this is not too challenging. You simply pick the first note, and then hammer on and off the next note repeatedly without actually strumming the string.

Here are the tabs:


Basket Case

Basket Case is one of Green Day’s most beloved songs.

You will need to tune your guitar down half a step to play this song. The chords are not particularly challenging. Newer guitar players might feel intimated seeing ghost notes in the tab.

Ghost notes are essentially muted notes since they have no pitch. When you’re playing this, you just mute them on the fret and strum as normal. You’ll also see these referred to as dead notes.

Here are the tabs:



Minority is one of the best Green Day songs to learn because it takes you through a few techniques. The song opens with picking some open chords and then alternatives between strumming bar chords and open chords. You can play the intro with a pick or fingerpicking.

Here are the tabs:


Brain Stew

Brain Stew is another song that is played half a step-down. Aside from this, there’s nothing too challenging.

There is a lot of breathing room between notes in this song, so you will need to make sure you are counting and playing. This song is an example of how you do not need to cram as many notes as possible into a bar to create a memorable song.

Here are the tabs:


No One Knows

No One Knows is another half a step-down song.

The song is best known for its long melodic intro. None of the shapes are too difficult. It should be no problem if you’ve mastered short slides and hammer-ons.

Here are the tabs:


Know Your Enemy

Know Your Enemy is another song to help master timing and dead notes. You’ll see on the tab, some bars finish with a dead note which continues into the next bar, while others are played normally, so you will need to pay attention while playing.

Here are the tabs:


Oh Love

Oh Love relies pretty heavily on dead notes, but aside from that, there is nothing exceptionally complicated.

If you’re playing on electric guitar, it’s a good way to get used to turning on and off distortion mid-song, which will come in handy if you want to play live music. But, if you only intend on playing this for yourself or an acoustic version, this isn’t something to worry about.

Here are the tabs:


Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

4. best green day songs
Acoustic guitar covered in stickers.

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams is one of Green Day’s most beloved songs. Although the recorded version begins with an acoustic guitar, which is phrased out for an electric guitar, you can play the whole song on either.

It’s pretty straightforward; you will have to use vibrato to play the intro, which means shaking the string up and down, making the note vibrate.

Here are the tabs:


American Idiot

The American Idiot intro is arguably one of the most recognizable punk intros, but it’s also one of the easiest to learn. It’s a great way to get used to quickly changing chords within the same bar.

Here are the tabs:


Macy’s Day Parade

Macy’s Day Parade is a fairly mellow Green Day song, with a funky strumming pattern. It mixes bar chords with open chords. The only one some players might not be familiar with is G#m.
5. gm chord green day song

Here are the tabs:


King For A Day

Many guitar players struggling with learning long tabs, especially if you want to play music live. Fortunately, many Green Day songs only rely on a few chords and simple progressions they repeat; including King For A Day.

Here are the tabs:


Jesus Of Suberbia

The main struggle with Jesus Of Suberbia is the length of the song. Newer players will find their hands ache after playing lengthy songs, but this gets easier with practice. Since it’s a nine-minute song, feel free to break it into sections when you first start learning it.

Overall, Jesus of Suberbia is not too challenging. It will teach you chords like Ab and C/B.

6. Ab green day song

Here are the tabs:



Green Day is proof that a great guitar player doesn’t need to show off or over complicate things. If you love punk and Green Day, you might also like our guide on how to play metal on guitar.

This round-up of the 18 best Green Day songs will help you master some essential techniques without overwhelming you or making you feel like you’re doing homework. Happy playing!

1. best green day songs