Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (from Freaks and Geeks)

Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (Chords)

It might just be me that remembers Freaks and Geeks, and I was mostly there for Linda Cardellini and the theme tune. As I understand it, the series didn’t even make it to the end in the US. But we got the whole thing here in the UK. Apparently, it’s now a cult hit. There are certainly plenty of people involved with it who went on to bigger things. Most notably, it was the first time actor Seth Rogen and director Judd Atapow worked together (going on to make The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad together).

The theme tune to Freaks and Geeks came from the days when even the punks wore shoulder pads and is fantastically catchy. And it has the best guitar solo shout out since, “Go, Nigel, go”: Pedal boys!

The tune is perfect for a bit of punk uke and would make a great uke club song (oh God, I’d love to hear GUGUG do this song). I’ve made the chords a little more uke club friendly by shifting them up from B to C. If you want it in the original key, you’ll have to shift everything down a fret (or tune down half a step).

For the first half of the song, the chords are C, F and G. Then there’s a key change to D and everything shifts up two frets (to D, G and A). The strumming shouldn’t trip you up either. Down, up, down, up should do you fine most of the way through the song.

View Comments


  1. Paul March 23rd, 2008 3:07 pm

    Dude! You rock so hard!!

    I’m sitting here with the Freaks & Geeks box set next to me! My sister lent it to me and it is an awesome show!

    And now the ukulele gods reward me by inspiring you to post this!!


  2. Woodshed March 26th, 2008 9:12 am

    Thanks, Paul. You’ve got me thinking about buying the DVD now.

  3. Joe March 31st, 2008 10:41 am

    Haha what an awesome song

    Sounds so kick-ass with the uke!

  4. Ukulelezo September 25th, 2008 8:53 pm

    I love a song that’s 3 chords to greatness! Is the chorus in D really DGAG? or DGAD?

  5. Woodshed September 29th, 2008 7:03 pm

    Ukulelezo: Thanks for that, you’re absolutely right. I’ll have to get that changed.

  6. SoNGX April 27th, 2010 5:19 am

    came across this two full years after joe’s comment and guess what, the song was used on kick-ass’ hitgirl showdown scene which i believe will become one of the cult stuff pretty soon lol.

  7. Songs with Chords You Know | Ukulele Hunt August 11th, 2010 6:03 pm

    […] the Machine – Kiss With A Fist (don’t panic, you can use E7 instead of E in this song) Joan Jett – Bad Reputation Kate Micucci & Ted (Scrubs) – Screw You Paolo Nutini – Pencil Full of Lead The […]

  8. Hillery July 27th, 2012 6:10 pm

    I’m late to this party, but I am so glad to have found this!

    I love Freaks and Geeks and was so sad when it got cancelled. But now by learning this song it can live on! At least in my living room. (:

    Also, I am a total newb too. I am stilling learning how to actually strum my uke so this is really a perfectly rockin’ song for a new uke player. Thanks so much!

  9. Woodshed July 28th, 2012 6:55 am

    Hillery: You’re very welcome!

  10. tbone October 10th, 2013 2:46 am

    Loved this show. Great tune, too.

  11. Woodshed October 10th, 2013 11:16 am

    tbone: I agree!

  12. Amaka July 11th, 2014 6:14 pm

    AMAZING! Thanks a million :)

  13. Woodshed July 12th, 2014 10:55 am

    Amaka: You’re welcome!

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