American Idiot – Green Day

Ninjas! In this lesson we’ll be learning how to play American Idiot by Green Day which was released in September 2004 as the first single from their album of the same name. It peaked at #61 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 in the UK Charts, #7 in Australia and #1 in Canada helping to put the band back on the map once again.

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American Idiot is a fast paced punk track which is full of energy and has some nice little twists and turns to keep you on your toes. Tre Cool drives the band primarily with a slushy eighth note hi-hat groove and syncopated bass drum pattern.

On the verses you’ll find two bars of quarter notes played on the bass drum and punctuated by a crash/snare on beat four of the second bar. This leads into two bars of the groove, creating a four bar pattern that repeats itself.

The main eight note groove drives the chorus with crashes on the one of every second bar and a tasty little eighth note tom break that leads you back into the verse.

While you should always strive to be as accurate as possible, this track (as with most punk songs) is all about the energy. Play hard and put some serious intent behind each and every stroke. A few rounds of American Idiot a day will get a good sweat on, that’s for sure! ;-)

Now Kill It! DN


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