American Idiot chords



You can learn how to play American Idiot by Green Day!

Released on Green Day’s seventh studio Album, American Idiot was the lead single off the album bearing the same name.

As an instant success, it hit the charts the world over during 2004 and was destined to become yet another signature song for the band alongside Basket Case, and Time Of Your Life.

American Idiot is essentially a punk pop protest song, criticising the American media for dumbing down its population around issues like war by intercutting footage from Iraq with ads, all in the name of more publicity.

On the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list, it claimed the #432 spot.


American Idiot chords and lyrics


||: Ab Db Gb | Gb Db Ab Gb :||

||: N.C | N.C G | Ab Db | Gb Db Ab Gb :||
Don’t wanna be an American idiot.
Don’t want a nation under the new media.
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mind fuck America!

| Db | Db | Ab | Ab |
Welcome to a new kind of tension, all across the alien nation,
| Eb | Eb | Ab | Ab |
where everything isn’t meant to be OK.
| Db | Db | Ab | Ab |
Television dreams of tomorrow, we’re not the ones who’re meant to follow,
| Eb | Eb | N.C | N.C G |
for that’s enough to argue.

||: Ab Db Gb | Gb Db Ab Gb :||

||: N.C | N.C G | Ab Db | Gb Db Ab Gb :||
Well, maybe I’m the faggot America.
I’m not a part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along to the age of paranoia.

| Db | Db | Ab | Ab |
Welcome to a new kind of tension, all across the alien nation.
| Eb | Eb | Ab | Ab |
Where everything isn’t meant to be okay.
| Db | Db | Ab | Ab |
Television dreams of tomorrow, we’re not the ones who’re meant to follow,
| Eb | Eb | N.C | N.C G |
for that’s enough to argue.

||: Ab Db Gb | Gb Db Ab Gb :|| x4

| Db | Db | Ab | Ab |
| Eb | Eb | Ab | Ab |
| Db | Db | Ab | Ab |
| Eb | Eb | N.C | N.C G |

||: N.C | N.C G :||

||: N.C | N.C G :||
Don’t want to be an American idiot.
One nation, controlled by the media.
Information age of hysteria.
It’s going out to idiot America.

| Db | Db | Ab | Ab |
Welcome to a new kind of tension, all across the alien nation,
| Eb | Eb | Ab | Ab |
where everything isn’t meant to be OK.
| Db | Db | Ab | Ab |
Television dreams of tomorrow, we’re not the ones who are meant to follow,
| Eb | Eb | N.C (Ab Db Gb) | N.C (Gb Db Ab) G |
for that’s enough to argue.

||: Ab Db Gb | Gb Db Ab Gb :|| x3
| Ab Db Gb | Gb Db Ab |


American Idiot chord progression

Being in the key of Ab (one could easily falsely assume they’ve tuned down a semitone and actually play in A), the verse chords cleverly disguise the I chord by finishing the initial verse progression on the bVIIx before a rest. This creates tension.

||: N.C | N.C G | Ab Db | Gb Db Ab Gb :||

At the end of the rest in both the verse and chorus, Billy Joe plays an open G. This chord has loads of tension as it is outside the key by a semitone.

This quick G chord also gives away that the guitars are note tuned down a semitone, clever stuff!

As the chorus kicks in, we start on chord IV, before moving to I – V I. Repeat this but finish with a rest instead of chord I and the tension is maintained.

All chords of American Idiot are played as either E shapes or A shapes and should probably be 5 chords for maximum punkiness.

Staying true to their simplistic punk pop roots, there are no more chords to worry about in American Idiot.


American Idiot – Lyrics

Don’t wanna be an American idiot
Don’t want a nation under the new media
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mind fuck America!

Go to American Idiot lyrics.


Green Day – Biography

Green Day’s third album, Dookie (94), took the band to superstardom. With fifteen million copies sold, they became everyone’s favorite punk trio.

After a few more albums, Green Day released American Idiot (04). This firmly established them as one of the best-known bands in the world.

Go to Green Day -Biography.


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