Are you a fan of Green Day and want to learn how to play their iconic song “Wake Me Up When September Ends” on the guitar? Look no further! In this article, you will discover step-by-step instructions and easy-to-follow chord progressions that will have you strumming this captivating tune in no time. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced guitarist, this guide will help you master the rhythm and melody, allowing you to impress your friends and enjoy the satisfaction of playing one of Green Day’s most beloved songs. Grab your guitar, and let’s dive into the world of “Wake Me Up When September Ends”!
To play “Wake Me Up When September Ends” on guitar, you will need to tune your guitar to standard tuning. This means that your strings should be tuned to the notes E, A, D, G, B, and E from low to high. Standard tuning is the most common tuning for guitars, so it’s a good skill to have.
Additionally, to play along with the original recording of the song, you will need to place a capo on the first fret. This will allow you to play the song in the correct key and match the pitch of the recording.
There are four main chords used in “Wake Me Up When September Ends”: Em, G, D, and C. These chords are relatively basic and commonly used in many songs, so they are a great starting point for beginners.
To play the Em chord, place your second finger on the second fret of the A string and your third finger on the second fret of the D string. Strum all the strings except for the low E string.
The G chord is played by placing your second finger on the third fret of the low E string, your first finger on the second fret of the A string, and your third finger on the third fret of the high E string.
The D chord is played by placing your first finger on the second fret of the G string, your second finger on the second fret of the high E string, and your third finger on the third fret of the B string.
Finally, the C chord is played by placing your first finger on the first fret of the B string, your second finger on the second fret of the D string, and your third finger on the third fret of the A string. Strum from the A string down.
The verse section of “Wake Me Up When September Ends” consists of a repeating chord progression and a specific strumming pattern.
The strumming pattern for the verse is down, down, up, up, down, up. This pattern is repeated for each chord in the progression.
The lyrics for the verse are:
[Verse] [Em] Summer has [G]come and passed [Em] The innocent [G]can never last [D] Wake me up [A] when September [Em] ends
[Em] Like my father’s [G] come to pass [Em] Seven years [G] has gone so fast [D] Wake me up [A] when September [Em] ends
The pre-chorus section of the song follows a similar structure to the verse. The strumming pattern remains the same, and the chord progression changes slightly.
The lyrics for the pre-chorus are:
[Pre-Chorus] [Em] Here comes the [G] rain again [Em] Falling from the [G] stars [D] Drenched in my [A] pain again [Em] Becoming who [G] we are
The chorus of “Wake Me Up When September Ends” brings a dynamic change to the song. The strumming pattern becomes slightly more energetic, enhancing the emotional impact of the lyrics.
The strumming pattern for the chorus is down, down, down, down, up, up, down, up. This pattern is repeated for each chord in the progression.
The lyrics for the chorus are:
[Chorus] [G] Summer has [D] come and passed [Em] The innocent [C] can never last [G] Wake me up [D] when September [Em] ends
[G] Ring out the [D] bells again [Em] Like we did [C] when spring began [G] Wake me up [D] when September [Em] ends
The bridge section of the song provides a change in the melody and adds depth to the overall composition. The strumming pattern remains consistent with the pre-chorus and verse sections.
The lyrics for the bridge are:
[Bridge] [Em] [G] [C] [C] [Em] [G] [D] [D]
The outro of “Wake Me Up When September Ends” serves as the final section of the song, bringing it to a close. The strumming pattern for the outro is the same as the verse and pre-chorus.
The lyrics for the outro are:
[Outro] [Em] [G] [D] [A] [Em]
To successfully play “Wake Me Up When September Ends” on guitar, it is essential to focus on smooth chord changes. Spend time practicing transitioning between the Em, G, D, and C chords until you can switch between them easily and without hesitation.
Another crucial element to master is the strumming pattern. Each section of the song has a specific strumming pattern that enhances its unique sound and feel. Practice the patterns slowly at first, gradually increasing your speed as you become more comfortable.
When learning the song, it can be helpful to break it down into smaller parts and practice them individually before combining chords and strumming.
Start by practicing each chord separately, making sure you can play them cleanly and accurately. Practice transitioning between chords until you can do so smoothly and effortlessly.
Once you feel comfortable with the individual chords, start practicing the strumming pattern for each section of the song. Begin at a slower tempo and gradually increase it as you improve. Focus on maintaining a consistent rhythm as you strum.
Finally, bring together the chords and strumming pattern for the different sections of the song. Work on playing through each section slowly, gradually building up to the full tempo. Remember to pay attention to any chord changes or variations that occur in each section.
Learning to play “Wake Me Up When September Ends” on guitar is an exciting journey that allows you to delve into the world of music. Remember to enjoy the process and have fun while practicing and playing the song.
Feel free to experiment with your own variations and interpretations of the song. Add your personal touch to the strumming patterns or make slight changes to the chord voicings. Music is an art, and interpreting it in your unique way can bring a sense of fulfillment and creativity to your playing. Keep practicing, stay patient, and enjoy the beautiful sound of the guitar as you master this iconic song.