Ted Greene Arrangement - June 29, 1977
Ted’s recording of the 1931 Klenner/Lewis jazz standard “Just Friends” on his Solo Guitar album is a classic, and one of my all-time favorites. That rendition begins with a beautiful and well-crafted intro which leads seamlessly into a rubato treatment of the song, resplendent with harmonics and lots of moving lines. Ted then modulates and plays a very hip single-note line that slips right into a walking bass + melody + chords section that is to die for. Doesn’t get much better in my book!
Ted’s album came out in 1977, which is the same year he wrote up this lesson page. No doubt it was written upon the request of several students wanting to learn Ted’s arrangement (or at least something closely resembling it!). However this is just a “basic version” arrangement and is quite different from the recording. They share many similar chord moves, but they’re in different keys and on completely different levels. The written page is devoid of all the additional frills that Ted would add spontaneously when he performed. There are no harmonics, no modulations, no inner voice movements, fancy substitutions, walking bass lines and the like in the basic version. If you want all that you’ll have to create your own or transcribe Ted’s recording (or find someone else who has already done so). Hopefully in the future there will be a transcription book published for the entire Solo Guitar album. In the meantime I hope you find this lesson satisfactory and it’ll get you going in the right direction.
In 1977 Ted’s grid notation wasn’t fully developed yet. The playing order was dot, X, square, and star (the triangle and diamond weren’t used here). Ted left out some of the melody lines—possibly on purpose, for the student was expected to add these. On my “compilation” page I’ve added these missing lines with red ink. Ignore them if you prefer to play them some other way.
In measure 9 you’ll notice that the melody goes G, E, G, E, although Ted didn’t illustrate the second G and E. If you just follow the notation you’ll be fine. Also note that Ted left out the melody and chord for the F9 in measure 20. I added an F9 fingering, based on his suggestion indicated in measure 4. Again, use another voicing if you prefer.
This is a fairly easy-to-play arrangement that you should be able to learn quickly.
‘Nuff said… go play!