It’s a song, it’s an album, and now it’s even a musical. However, on this specific web page, we will be looking closely at American Idiot the song (the chords, to be precise).

We’ve received a lot of emails asking about this song. The one question everyone seems to ask is what that “noise” chord that Billie plays in between lines is. Well, it’s not really a chord at all. I suppose if you wanted to be really technical about it, it would be an A9sus4. However, it’s really just a bunch of open strings being struck. For that reason, instead of calling it an A9sus4 in the chart below, we simply chose to call it !#%.

Important: American Idiot is in standard tuning (same goes for the rest of the album…and the musical). There has been some debate about this online. All you need to do is watch a couple live videos and you’ll see the band playing it on the 4th fret position, indicating G#. It’s important that you are in standard tuning because when you strike the !#% noise chord, it will only sound the same way it does on the recording if you are in standard E tuning.

The intro:
G# C# F# C#-G#-F#
G# C# F# C#-G#-!#%
G# C# F# C#-G#-F#
G# C# F# C#-G#-!#%

Yes, they are actually 5 chords (G#5, C#5, etc). We know!

The rest:

Green Day American Idiot accurate chords and lyrics