My compilation pages, changes and comparisons
Ted Greene Arrangement — 1992
Ted wrote up this arrangement of Duke Ellington’s beautiful 1938 song during a series of three private lessons with a student October and November of 1992. Previously Ted had written an arrangement of this tune in 1985 in the key of C as a standard hand-out for advanced students. For some reason he chose to do a separate, but similar, arrangement in the key of A for this student. The chord voicings and moves are almost identical to the C version, so if you learn one of them the other will follow easily.
This student must have been a fairly advanced guitarist, for there are some tough chords here, and yet he must have been somewhat new to Ted’s chord diagrams, since Ted wrote in some basic explanations regarding playing order, sustain lines, fingerings, double-stops, visual roots, etc.
However, let’s not kid ourselves—this is a pretty challenging arrangement to play. It has a series of several V-1 chord voicings, which are usually difficult to play smoothly. But you can take refuge in the fact that it’s a ballad and you can play it slow enough to make it through without breaking your fingers. Those V-1 passages are truly beautiful, and after you learn to play it smoothly you’ll really appreciate Ted’s sense of voice-leading here.
Make whatever modifications you deem necessary in order to get the arrangement into a workable form. Later we’ll post Ted’s 1985 key of C version and you may decide to combine the two or make a hybrid version that works for you.
Some comments and fingering suggestions: (referring to the compilation pages)
Bar 1: On the original score there is no pick-up notes. These are additions by Ted. Notice that the first three chords share the same A bass note. Keep that planted and it will help. The dotted circles are “visual roots” that Ted indicates as a point of reference, or perhaps as optional notes you could play in addition or in place of other notes.
Bar 2: For the Dmaj9, Ted indicates an optional note to add on the sixth string with your right hand. That would be the D note, 10th fret.
Bar 3: Ted didn’t want to name the chord on bar 3, beat 4. Obviously he was more concerned about the voice movement between the C#13 and the C#m7 in the next measure, so he simply named this “Linear chord.” Give it a name if it helps you.
Bar 5: For the Bm7/11 – Em7b5 – E7, I would tend to finger it as 1,3,1,4 to 1,3,1,4 and then switch to the 1,2.1,3 as indicated by Ted. However, perhaps he was thinking to play the Bm7/11 and the Em7b5 with the same 1,2,1,3 fingering. If so, then you wouldn’t have to do a switch-a-roo. It requires a long stretch of the Bm7/11, but it’s definitely very doable.
Bar 7: If you wish Ted adds the option of playing the Bm7b5 with an open D instead of the B on the 5th string. Also note that Ted made a modification to the original melody on beat 4. Instead of F to F#, he has two E notes. If you know the song well and this bothers you, then figure out a way to substitute the F and F# notes for the E’s. Also, for Ted’s optional variation for measures 7-9, see the notation and diagrams at the end of the arrangement on p. 4.
Bar 9: Notice that Ted indicated the fingering on the B7b9 and E13 with the comment, “near base of finger” – which is the George Van Eps 5th Finger Technique.
Bar 13: Possible fingerings the E13: open, 1,2,2,1 then add 3 then 4; or try, open, 1,2,3,1 then add 4 then slide 4 up for the F#; or try open, 1,2,3,1 then roll finger 3 to get the E#, then add 4 for the F#
Bar 15: Here’s a couple more “linear chords” – I couldn’t help it; I added the names!
Bar 17: Okay, this measure contains one of the most difficult chord moves (in my opinion) that I’ve seen in one of Ted’s arrangements. To get the rest of the Dbmaj7 chord to ring when the X note (Bb) is played is really touch. Tim Lerch (and others) have offered possible fingerings for this move. You can find Tim’s comments and photos in the tedgreene.com Forums under the Harmony & Theory section, in the thread “Name That Chord Progression,” post #205. Good luck with this one!
Bar 19: For the Dbmaj9 no3, Ted wrote, “Twice” but it is unclear if he meant to play the entire chord twice or just the soprano melody note. I notated the melody only, but go ahead and strike the whole chord again if you wish. Now, fingering the Dbm6/9 is a challenge to keep the rest of the chord ringing when you go to the X’d note. I’m guessing that Ted would have fingered it as, 4,2,3,3 then rolled the third finger up to reveal the Db (X note), played by the first finger. This is difficult (at least for me) to make a clean 3rd finger bend and roll. It may also be possible using the Van Eps 5th Finger technique. That said, the solution that works best for me is to move both the Dbmaj9 and the Dbm6/9 chords to the middle 4 strings (thanks, Tim Lerch!). This is much easier to finger and sustain the notes.
Bar 20: I added the #11 that Ted omitted in the Ab7b9#11 chord name.
Bar 24: Nice chord moves with the G13 – Ab13/Bb – A13 – Bb13/C.
Optional Bar 9: Play either one of the E13 chords (not both). They contain the exact same notes, just placed differently on the neck.
That’s it, my friends! Thanks to David Bishop for his assistance with some of the music notation. We hope the compilation pages and these comments help you to learn this TG arrangement.
Good luck and enjoy!