Green Day Time of Your Life

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day Guitar Lesson

  • 7th December 2017
  • Songs

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) is no. 1 on my Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME and is a fantastic song for developing your right hand techniques. Though I wouldn't say that Time of Your Life is the easiest song on the list, you can certainly start with it and hopefully it's not too tricky.

Originally Billie Joe Armstrong played it using a pick but many people prefer to play it fingerstyle, and as we're dedicated to the art of fingerpicking that's how we're going to learn it.

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) consists of just 4 chords - G, Cadd9, D and Em and thankfully it isn't too tricky to change between them. If you are unfamiliar with these chords I recommend practising the changes first by strumming between them:

Time of Your Life Chords

Try them in as many different combinations as possible so you can really get used to all the changes.

The song's structure isn't too tricky either and consists of an intro, verse and chorus, with an instrumental after the second chorus. Let's now have a look at the intro/verse.


G, G, Cadd9, D


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Time of Your Life Verse

One thing that is worth pointing out is that throughout the entire song your third finger will be glued to the 3rd fret of the B string. It never leaves that fret for the whole 2 minutes & 33 seconds. If you have not held your fingering on one single fret for that long before you may find it quite tiring and it may start to get sore but you'll just have to get used to it I'm afraid, and it'll develop in no time.


G, G, Cadd9, D x2

Em, D, Cadd9, G x2

Time of Your Life Verse

As you can see, the first 8 bars of the verse are exactly the same as the intro. In the second half of the verse it moves to E; remember here that your right hand will play the exact same fingerpicking pattern as it did on the G chord. The three remaining chords have all been covered already.


Em, G, Em, G, Em, D

Time Of Your Life Chorus

Again, here we are using the same chords as the verse, just in a different order.

After the second chorus there is an instrumental for 24 bars.

Instrumental Chords:

G, G, Cadd9, D x4

Em, D, Cadd9, G x2

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  1. Marcel left a comment on 2nd December 2018 at 12:49 pm


    Fitst I’d like to thank you for the information provided on this site.
    I’ve been playing my SG for years with a pick, sometimes strumming with my fingers, but never really fingerpicking style.
    Last year I got a steel string acoustic for my bithday, giving me the push to start fiddling with fingerpicking, starting with this song, working well.

    I only have a small comment on the remark about the third fret on the B string never leaving its position, but while plaing the Em chord said string shoulf be played open.

    Anhyway thanks again and keep up the good work!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd December 2018 at 11:08 am

      I think SGs are one of the coolest guitar designs of all time. I’m a massive Derek Trucks fan and the way he plays his is just breathtaking!

      In the videos lessons I sometimes (a lot more than I’d like) say the wrong thing. I say things like “pluck the B string” when I mean the G and things like that. I’m far from infallible, it was probably a silly mistake. Always trust my hands over my voice if you think I’ve said something a little odd.

      Thanks Marcel.


      • Marcel left a comment on 6th December 2018 at 7:47 pm

        No problem, everyone makes mistakes every now and then!
        I was reading the tabs, afte I read the text and it just struck me.
        So I figured it can help anyone reading your article.

        Happy playing.

  2. Bart left a comment on 27th January 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks for all the great lessons that you have provided for us lesser talented individuals. I enjoy your teaching method and am amazed at your skill set. You are a very talented man.

    What prompted this comment was your lesson for “The Time of Your Life.” I always felt this great song was forever out of my grasp. It was easy to play but I didn’t get the rhythmic pattern to make it sound right. As I watched your video I was sure I would still not get it until you stopped playing and explained the cadence. Wow, then I got it. Now I own that song and I owe it to you.

    Thank you again,

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 29th January 2019 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks Bart, it’s always very good to know I’ve helped someone out. All I can say is keep it up! Thanks again.

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