One of the most popular Green Day songs of all time, Basket Case technically consists of like ten chords. Be sure to bring that up next time you hear someone call Green Day a “three-chord band”. Nevertheless, it’s still relatively easy to play if you’re familiar with barre/power chords.

Now, at the end some of you might freak out when you see that E3/E4 and C#aug business. It sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. The E3 to E4 change is just a two string ordeal. To play the E3, you place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the A (5th) string, and your first finger on the 6th fret of the D (4th) string. To shift that into an E4, you just keep your 2nd finger in the same place, and then put your 3rd finger right behind it on the 7th fret of the D (4th) string. Then from the C#5 power chord, which is of course your 1st finger on the 4th fret of the A (5th) string and your 3rd finger on the 6th fret of the D (4th) string, you will then let your pinky in on the action to make what I can only describe as a C#aug, even though its technically not a true C#aug. Basically you just keep your first finger in place and then have your pinky take over on the 7th fret of the D (4th string) and sound out those two notes.

Once you actually implement all of that you’ll see how simple the transitions are, and then you’ll be playing the end of the song like a pro. If you can’t be bothered, just play an E to a C#m and ignore those little subtleties and it will still sound fine (but it won’t be correct!).

Tuning: Eb

Green Day - Basket Case chords and lyrics