I didn’t really click with Green Day until they released the American Idiot album. After listening to it and becoming obsessed as a 15-year-old. I did a well needed deep dive on their discography. I was blown away by the raw energy and the early signs that they would go on to become stadium sell-outs. I have being a fan ever since. Let’s learn to play Holiday, Longview and Reject on the ukulele.
What Are We Learning To Play?
The tabs are from a fun little video I made for my TikTok account recently. It’s pretty much showcasing the various levels of playing difficulty for Green Day riffs. It starts easy and ends on a super challenging riff. Scroll down to give some of them a shot.
Easy - Holiday
This one is “easy” if you are experienced with barre chords. If you are not, my 3 tips on how to improve them will absolutely help you.
Although the first chord is not a barre chord, I want you to barre the 3rd fret anyways. This is going to make it much easier to get to the next chord. It also means you will be prepared for when you repeat all the chords as the final chord is barring the 3rd fret too.
The x on the tabs stands for chuck. For these chucks, you need to perform them on the upstroke before the start of the next chord.
Medium - Longview
This isn’t so much a “riff” as we are just playing over the bass line. However, it’s a fantastic bassline and the bass has four strings so who’s complaining right?
There are two points I want to make when playing this. Firstly, use your first finger to barre as much as you can. You can see in the video that I’m barring ALL the time. It just makes it much easier as our fretting fingers are moving less.
The second thing is the timing of the note right before the start of each measure. It’s very quick and it almost feels like you are playing them both at the same time. That’s just something to listen out for as you are playing it.
Hard - Reject
This is a bizarre song to have as Green Days “hardest song”. It’s one of the deep cuts on Nimrod and by no means one of their most popular. The combination of the bass and the guitar is what makes it pretty challenging for a ukulele player.
Use your first finger to barre the 4th fret on the top two strings. We then need to rapidly alternate between the two strings. Use your thumb for the low G and your first finger for the C string. you want to keep your first finger barred and move it up to the 7th and then eventually the 11th fret.
The chords are short and stabby.