Ted Greene Blues Study - July 7, 1985
Compilation pages with notation by P. Vachon
Ted's Original Lesson sheet
My compilation page, changes and comparisons
This original composition by Ted is a tribute to Wes Montgomery, one of his all-time favorite players. It’s a 12-bar blues in E, to be played at a “Lazy Blues Tempo.” Ted wrote at the top of his page that this was a good study “For applying V-2 top 4 (mainly).” V-2 refers to a chord structure in his chord voicing system. V-2 chords are can be described briefly as a “drop-2” voicing, as it is commonly called.
In my compilation pages I’ve put this tune into standard musical notation and aligned Ted’s chord diagrams directly above the notes. I removed some of his counting numbers in order to un-clutter the diagrams, as these are not necessary if the notation is written out.
On the forth beat of measures 1-10 Ted has a short bass line. On the first grid diagram (the pick-up measure) he wrote the counting as, “4 & a”, which led me to interpret this as a quarter-note followed by two sixteenth notes. This rhythmic figure is to be played throughout the piece for all of the base lines. However, if you prefer you could play these bass line passages as triplets instead. Both ways work fine.
For the first Bm7 chord in the first measure, Ted indicated (in red) that this could also be thought of as an E11 chord. He also wrote below that same chord, “Add an E (or?) note on each & of 3 if you feel there is too much space.” So if you want to add another bass note (E open sixth string), go ahead and play it on the second half of the third beat.
In the fifth measure he wrote, “Careful” to indicate that the bass line here may be different from what you might be expecting to play, so be careful to play G, G#,A (rather than the same bass line from the previous bar).
In the sixth measure there is an A(m)7/11 chord in which Ted put a parentheses around the “m.” He did this to show that though the chord contains no third and technically isn’t minor, the implied harmony from which it is derived is the minor family. He did the same for the G(m)7/11 in measure 9, and the F#(m)7/11 in measure 10.
This piece doesn’t present too many tough challenges until you get to the last 2 measures. The melody here is an E blues scale, harmonized with a parallel chord structure. This is a very cool passage. The last four chords in measure 11 may instead be played “on top strings” if you wish.
If your guitar isn’t a cutaway those chords at the 17th and 15th frets may pose some fingering issues. As an alternative I’d suggest to play those chords as stacked 4ths instead (first one with an E on top: C#, F#, B, E). This will have a very similar sound and make playing a lot easier.
For the last chord in the twelfth bar I added the chord name B11, since Ted left it unnamed. I find my ears wanting to hear a B7(#9) chord there instead, so give that a try as a variation if you wish.
This is a pretty hip tune that I think you’ll enjoy. (Thanks Ted!)