You’re watching HowToPlayAnySong.com. My name is Joe Wiles with the Rock and Roll Conservatory and in this video we’re going to take a look at “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day.
This song comes from their 2005 “American Idiot” release and although it is popularly believed it’s a tribute to the 9/11 tragedy. Billy Joel Armstrong confirms that this song was written about his father a jazz musician and a minor league baseball player, interesting. In this video we are going to take a look at the introduction, the chorus as well as the solo in the middle of the song. Lets get started.
Now the introduction to this song is done on an acoustic guitar. Later on in the song it kicks in on an electric. That’s the part we’re gonna be looking at. Just know that the acoustic part is very similar to the part I’m about to show you.
When the electric guitar kicks in, we’re on the 5th fret of the D string with our ring finger and we’re on the 3rd fret of the B string with our index finger. We’ll hit them in order like this: D string, G, and B string.
And then we’ll do it again.
Lay our index finger down to the 3rd fret of the high E and then we’ll hit that as an answer. Sounds like this.
Let’s try that to speed. Here we go. 1, 2, 3, 4…
Not a lot to it.
Now the verse of the song is similar to the introduction. It sounds like this, make sure you put your fingers in the same spot. Now we do that twice like I just did.
Then we move down to the 4th fret of the D with our middle finger, we do that twice as well. We’re going to do a quick switch up on our fingers.
Our index fingers going to go to the 2nd fret of the D and you can put your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the B where our index finger was. Hit that twice.
Then just take your index finger off. That riff sounds like this. To speed that sounds like this, one, two, one, two, three.
The chorus of this song, it kind of starts off with that same verse riff but then in goes into a bunch of major and minor chords.
The first major chord is a C major, your index finger is going to be on the 3rd fret of the A, and we’re going to lay our ring finger on the 5th fret of the D, G and B. We’re going to hit that eight times.
We’re going to turn that C major chord to a C minor chord. This is how you do it. Leave our index finger in the same spot on the 3rd fret of the A, Put your ring finger on the 5th fret of the D, pinky on the 5th fret of the G. Those are all the same.
Now we are going to take our middle finger and put it on the 4th fret of the B. We’re going to hit that eight times and then we’re going to end it off with a G-5 power chord.
That’s on the 3rd fret of the low E string with our index finger, 5th fret of the A string with our ring finger and 5th fret of the D string with our pinky. Hit that eight times or sixteen times rather.
Now the whole chorus with the introductory riff to the chorus sounds like this. Switch to the chorus, down to the G-5 power chord. Lets try that with a metronome to speed, one, two, three, four.
Now we’re going to take a look at the solo for “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” It starts out by sliding up to the 12th fret of the G. We’re going to hit that twice. Then hit the 12th fret of the B. So these two, you just use the pad of your finger for it.
The picking order goes G, G, B, G, G, B, G, B. It looks like this.
Now take your index finger, slide it down to the 11th fret of the G. We’re going to put our middle finger on the 12th fret of the B. Do the same picking order.
We’re going to take this same form, slide it up to the 12 of the G and the 13 of the B. Do the same picking order.
Now take your ring finger, lay it on the 15th fret of the B string. Hit it, what, four times.
Then slide your index finger down to the 11th of the G. So the first half of the solo sounds like this. And the second half starts out the same as the first half like this.
Now we’re going to hit that 12 on the G, 15 on the B eight times. Slide our finger down to the 11 fret of the G. Slide it back up. And slide it back down. And then we’ll start off with the intro section again, but this is the whole solo slowly.
Eight times. Slide it down eight times. Slide it back up for eight. Slide it back down for eight. And then we’d go back to that part. Let’s try that to speed. Here we go. One, two, one, two, three.
Hey, thanks for watching. I hope you learned something. Make sure you click on the button and request any song that you want to learn, and we’ll make a video and post it on the website. I’ll see you next time.