Ted Greene Arrangement for solo guitar - May 12, 1977.
Compilation pages by Paul Vachon
Ted's Original Lesson sheets
My compilation pages, changes and comparisons
This is a classic Ted Greene arrangement that he recorded on his 1977 Solo Guitar album. The song was written by George and Ira Gershwin and sung by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film, Shall We Dance? George Van Eps had recorded this tune on his Mellow Guitar album, and perhaps that influenced Ted to choose this song for his album.
Ted wrote the attached arrangement on May 12, 1977. This was around the same time of the Solo Guitar recording session. Many of the chord moves in the pages are similar to what he played on the album. Leon White, who was at the recording session, wrote, "I do seem to remember that it [“They Can’t Take That Away From Me”] was the most 'frozen' of the arrangements - he played it the way he wanted it more then once with little ambivalence or discussion, unlike some of the other songs where we did discuss each take before rolling another, and the takes were often widely different.”
My guess is that this written “outline” arrangement reflects very closely to what Ted played and what he was thinking. However, in the recording session his guitar was tuned down, plus he added a wonderful intro, a modulation, a splattering of harmonics, and a nice tag at the end. It starts with an out-of-tempo version, followed by a modulation that slips into a hip medium walking bass groove.
These pages are not transcriptions from that album, but a much simplified outline version that Ted later used for teaching purposes. Listen to the album in order to get the general feel of his arrangement and some of the fills.
I’ve included Ted’s original page, his handwritten lead-sheet, and his “roadmap” that he wrote up on 10/18/2001. The compilation pages align Ted’s original chord diagrams with standard notation and lyrics. In addition, I’ve included a suggestions for the fill at the end of the bridge and for an ending (both of which is similar to what Ted played on his album).
Be sure to check out Ted’s “Road Map” page that shows his analysis of the song, and his handwritten lead sheet that compares the original chord changes, a simplified version, and his ideas for harmonic improved version. This page was written the same day as his arrangement. Both these pages help one to better understand his thinking process for the song and for making an arrangement.
Some comments: (these refer to the compilation pages)
Page 2, line 2:
After playing the E6 chord, add some bass notes to fill in. Try open E on 6th string, B on 6th string, and then E on 5th string before going to the D#7sus chord.
Page 2, line 6:
For the F#7 chord, try using one of the fills on the page, “Alternate Fill at End of Bridge” The bottom one is similar to what Ted played on the album; the other is a slick little dominant 7th chord move with the same melodic line that works well here also.
Page 3, line 2:
If you have a hard time getting the Fmaj7 chord clean, try a simpler chord form using an F on the 6th string and an open E on the 1st string. (On my acoustic I need to do this).
Page 3, line 3:
The E13sus – E13 – E7 (#5#9) is probably the most challenging move in this song (at least for me!). Work on the moves very slowly, paying attention to economy of motion with the fingerings. Do this about a thousand times and then you’ll be able to play it smoothly in tempo during the song.
Hope these pages help you to learn and enjoy this arrangement.