Ted Greene Arrangement - August 29, 1986
Compilation pages by P. Vachon
This is a nice solo guitar arrangement that Ted had in his “advanced level” folder. It does have some very tough challenges, but equally difficult for me was to notate his grid diagrams. This can be very subjective, and I hope I’m not too far off from what Ted intended. There can be a lot of variants for rhythmic interpretation, and I chose what was most closely aligned to the original lead sheet. You’ll want to phrase the melody and chords as you prefer. Either way, I believe the compilation pages will make it easier to learn the piece.
Ted started out by writing very detailed grids with moving lines and sustained notes, but then abandoned that approach to “try” to keep it simple. However, in his enthusiasm he added much more than just the block diagrams plus melody. Still, he does advise us that we’ll need to “provide a similar degree of right-hand textural complexity to push the arrangement along. Also you must add the missing melody tones to stitch it all together,” and “You’ll still have to add a lot of right-hand ‘rippling’ and such.” There are a few spots where he says, “You fill here.”
In order to add some clarity to some spots I’ve gone ahead and added those missing melody notes on the chord diagrams, using red Xs, squares, and diamonds (according to Ted’s playing order system). It’s interesting that for this piece Ted used the diamond shape place of the usual triangle. There are spots where I’ve notated only what the chord diagram shows, but you’ll want to add more. For example, the Bm7 chord in measure 5 would probably be played similar to the Bm7 in measure 1.
Vernon Duke wrote this song in the key of F. Ted transposed it to G, possibly to utilize some open strings, but most likely just because he felt that G sounded good on that day. For the serious student, Ted might advise to transpose it into other keys after first learning it in G. One of the main secrets to playing any of Ted’s arrangements well is to keep the notes of the chords ringing as long as possible while the other notes move. Sustain is king. Most of his diagrams deal with illustrating this principle while showing exact fretboard placement
Measure 8: Finger the E7b9+ this way: Use the GVE 5th finger technique to cover strings 5 and 3. Use finger 3 for the top string, then add fingers 2 and 4 for the X’s on strings 4 and 2.
M. 10 (&12): It’s interesting that Ted named the F13 chord here as “F13 no 9.” In many of his other arrangements he labeled such chords as F7/6, to mean a dominant 7th chord with a 6 (or 13) added. For Ted, a dominant 13 chord requires a 9th, even though it is common among guitarist to omit the 9 and still call it a 13. You’ll find similar detailed chord naming throughout the arrangement. See the G(m)/9/11 in measure 12. The parentheses indicated that no 3rd is present in the chord, yet if it had been it would have been a b3, which would make this chord minor. The /9/11 indicates that there is an added 9 and 11 to the triad (without the 7th).
M. 11-12: The trick to playing the Bb chords here is to keep in mind the ascending/descending line on the 5th string.
For measure 12, here are fingering suggestions: Bb6: 2,1 then X with 3. For the Gm(maj9) hold finger 1 on the 3rd string (D note) but then lean it backwards (GVE 5th Finger) to catch Bb on the top string. Move finger 2 up one fret and add finger 4 to the A note on the 2nd string. Be sure to have the A and Bb notes ring together for a nice effect. Now, for the G(m)/9/11 chord, keep fingers 1 and 4 planted, then add finger 3 to the G on the 5th string, and finger 2 to the C on the top string. Finally, for the Bb9 chord, just slide strings 5 and 2 up one fret (a bit of a stretch). This sounds like a lot of words to convey this, but it is probably the best fingering.
M. 13: Similar to the Bb in measure 11, the trick for the Dm in measure 13 is to thing of the ascending line on string 5 then 4. A à A# à B à C à C# (then to a D in the E7 of the next measure). Let everything ring!
M. 14: I prefer the open 5th string A bass note for the A7+ chord.
M. 16: The Eb9#11 chord can be fingered this way (from Tim Lerch): “One fingering (the way I would do it) that will work is play the chord (solid dots) with a fingertip double-stop on the G and B strings, use the first finger to get the A# note while still holding the 3rd on the D string and then move the 2nd finger to the new bass note while the other notes continue ringing, then use the 4th finger (so far unused) to play the high Bb in the melody.”
So this would be: 2,1,3,3, then 1 for the X, then move 2 for the square, finally add 4 for the diamond.
Or as an alternate: 2,1,4,4, then 2 for the X, then move 3 for the square, finally flatten out finger 4 to catch the diamond.
Other possibilities exist. Good luck!
M. 20: This is a very nice V-1 fill over G moving to Dm in the next measure. Be sure to finger the first Gmaj9 as 4,3,1,1 then add 2 for the X.
M. 23-24: Think of the Eb on the top string as a pedal tone. Keep your 4th finger planed throughout.
Be patient while learning this arrangement — one measure at a time.