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First Songs: Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

Hey Everybody! It’s Bill Uhler here! I’m a guitar teacher from The Music Gallery. Today we’re going to take a look at the Green Day song “Good Riddance (Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life)”. Let's break it down.

This one is in the key of G. It has 3 chords in the beginning. A G5 chord, a Cadd9, and a D5 chord. Lets check out the fingering of these three chords.

G5 Chord Diagram

A G5 chord is made by placing your second finger on the sixth string, second fret; and your third finger on the second string, third fret. I bump up against the fifth string with my second finger and I bump against the first string with my third finger. This mutes out those strings.

Cadd9 Chord Diagram

The next chord is a Cadd9. We’re going to leave our third finger down on the second string for all three of these chords - the G5, the Cadd9, and the D5. For this Cadd9, bring your second finger down to the fifth string and add your first finger to the fourth string, second fret. We’ll be strumming from the fifth string for this one.


D5 Chord Diagram

For the D5 chord, you’re going to take off your middle finger and bring your index finger to the second fret of the third string. We’ll be strumming from the fourth string, and we’ll only be strumming three strings. The fourth, third, and second.


Now the picking pattern

G5 Tab

We’re going to strike the sixth string first and we’re picking downward. Then, the fourth string, picking down as well. Now, we’re going to pick up on the second string, up on the third string, down of the fourth string, and up on the third string. So the picking directions are Down, Down, Up, Up, Down, Up. (D DU UDU) and the string numbers are 6, 4, 2 , 3, 4, 3.


The picking pattern over the Cadd9 is almost the same, but we’ll start from the fifth string instead.

Cadd9 Tab

So the string numbers are 5, 4, 2, 3, 4, 3.


Then for the D5 chord, we start on the fourth string.

D5 Tab

So the string numbers are 4, 3, 2, 3, 4, 3.

Good Riddance Chords 

The chorus starts with an E minor chord and we are going to use the rhythm from the verses to strum all the chords. So the strumming pattern for all these chords is Down, Down, Up, Up, Down, Up (D DU UDU). Then to a D chord, C chord, and a G chord. You could also do G5.

Good Riddance Chords Continued 

Then the next part goes E minor, G, E minor, G, E minor, D. Then, we are backing to the picking verse section. 

So there you have it! Green Day’s Good Riddance. If you would like a free transcription, please leave your email address in the comments below. Check out my youtube channel for more free lessons and free transcriptions. Thank you so much for viewing this video and I hope you have a great day!

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