“Basket Case” by Green Day

Riff Rundown

Difficulty: EasyIntermediate

Composer – Armstrong

Where to find this song – Dookie track #7

Release Date – February 1994

The Band:

Billie Joe Armstrong – vocals, guitar

Mike Dirnt – bass, vocals

Tre Cool – drums

The Bio:

Out of all the post-Nirvana American alternative bands to break into
the pop mainstream, Green Day were second only to Pearl Jam and Soundgarden
in terms of influence. In truth, Green Day were simply punk revivalists,
recharging the energy of speedy, catchy three-chord punk-pop songs.
Though their music wasn’t particularly innovative, they brought the
sound of late-’70s punk to a new, younger generation.


This song is quite popular and will help with many of you on working
with power chords and timing with them. There have been numerous requests
on this song, so here it is!

Notice that you relatively similiar power chords throughout the riff,
but there are some subtle changes in there that are VERY important
in playing it accurately. There will be some palm mutes in this as
well, so watch closely for that to achieve the desired sound. As with
all power chords, you will be using your 1st finger and your 3rd and/or
4th finger. The option is out there because some find it much easier
to just barre your 3rd finger or your 4th finger, but it CAN create
some problems doing it that way. Try using all three fingers.

At the end of the second measure notice you are to play the fourth
fret on the “D” string. That is getting you ready for the
third measure to play power chords again. Just use your 1st finger
and prepare for the next measure. The same goes with the end of the
fourth measure. It just transitions into the fifth.

Remember to play the “A” string open at the end of the sixth

Riff Resources

Complete Transcription To “Basket
Case” (PDF)

Complete Transcription To “Basket
Case” (Power Tab)