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February 2017 • Newsletter


Welcome to our February Newsletter!

To start things off this month we wanted to share an excerpt from the Ted Greene Memorial Blog. This one is from our good friend, Nick Stasinos:

Ted’s ears were exceptionally accurate! I would occasionally ask him if he had perfect pitch. He denied having it, but claimed you could train your ears to be acute. I started bringing songs I was transcribing for the major publishers and he would nail a chord or a note I was having trouble identifying. He would hum the note he was trying to ID while playing a section over and over again, saying it was nature’s best slow-down machine.

I decided to turn my focus to Ted’s music and started using my lesson time to have him slowly play through the songs from his Solo Guitar album so I could write them out. I asked him to consider having a book of transcriptions published. At first, he was doubtful, questioning whether there was much demand for it since his LP was long out-of-print. I would periodically bug him about a book on Solo Guitar, as well as to release his album on CD. Well, happy day! His CD was released last November [2004]. I went to see him play at Spazio’s Sunday brunch the following month. We shared our thoughts on the mixing and artwork of the CD, but didn’t really receive any affirmation from him about a book until I overheard him say, while autographing his CD for a fan, “My friend is working on that for me!”

I had the pleasure of inviting Ted to see Tommy Emmanuel play at Gary Mandell’s Boulevard Music back in 2000. I used to bring Tommy’s arrangement of the Beatles’ “Michelle” (full of harp-harmonics) to my lessons back in ‘94, so Ted was excited to meet him, too. My daughter and I had a blast hanging out with Ted that night. During the workshop the next day, Tommy brought up Ted’s name as having a major influence on his playing. After playing the stock changes for “Watch What Happens” that lead up to the bridge, he then played Ted’s chord substitutions for the same passage, saying in his thick Aussie accent, “Isn’t that killer! I could take a holiday just playing that! In that small passage is Ted’s heart and soul!” Indeed it is, Tommy! [Go here to view:]

- Nick Stasinos

Thanks for those reminiscences, Nick. This story ties in with some recent intensive interest in transcribing more of Ted’s recordings. As you may know, last year we started a new section on our site called “Transcriptions.” Now that we have a central spot for collecting all transcripts of Ted’s work this makes it is easier to find them, compare different versions of the same tunes, and most of all, learn to play them. One of our most avid transcribers, François Leduc has posted a complete transcription book of Ted’s Solo Guitar which includes standard notation, Tab, and “basic” grids chord diagrams (not Ted’s grids with symbols for moving lines). We’re also happy to have Mark Thornbury’s grid transcriptions posted, which he did back in 1977 and reviewed some of them with Ted. And of course, a more transcriptions have come to us, taken from various videos of Ted, and some excerpts from audio lessons. I’m happy to report that this month we’re posting the first transcription from the recording we released last year, “Private Concert at Alec Silverman’s Home, 1975” — “Have You Met Miss Jones?” and it was written up by François. This is wonderful to have and I’m sure you’ll love working through it. We’re hoping other transcribers will do some of the other pieces on that fantastic recording. Also to note is a new transcript of Ted’s “Your Song,” taken from the Joey Backenstoe Wedding recording that we posted last year.

As stated in the transcription section, “Due to the rich harmonies and complexity of Ted’s playing, we understand that there are bound to be errors in these transcriptions...” And we encourage people to share typos or corrections if they discover them in our posted files.

Recently Gareth Rixton has joined up with François and together they are reviewing and revising all of the transcriptions of Ted’s Solo Guitar album…one song at a time! Gareth has a team of guitarists who do transcriptions, and he’s working on getting them to pitch in whenever they can. He’s also rewriting the notation in Sibelius. Having Mark Thornbury’s grids is proving to be especially helpful for determining exact chord forms that Ted used. Maybe one day we’ll even be able to include Ted-style grids in these scores…keep your fingers crossed!

Earlier François had combined all of his scores into a single “Solo Guitar” book. However, because of the many revisions that will be coming in the next several months, and the frequent need to replace/update some of these pages, we’ve decided to post all these songs individually. The book version would be too difficult to maintain with multiple revisions, so that will be deleted. If you’ve already downloaded the book, you might want to delete it (since it’s now has known errors) and then download the individual files. Then, if you like the book format, you may wish to combine these files yourself into a book. We’ll let you all know whenever we update any of the pages. The first major revision is of François’ write-up of Ted’s “Danny Boy.”

Another thing to look forward to is that Damien McGowran is coordinating to have some of Ted’s pieces from “Live at the Seashell Restaurant” video transcribed. That will be a nice treat. Thanks in advance, Damien!

And last but certainly not least, we want to draw your attention to a new YouTube video that Tim Lerch has just made for Ted’s arrangement of “I Cover the Waterfront” which is the new arrangement-of-the-month for February. Tim always does a fantastic job in reviewing Ted’s material, giving tips, alternative fingerings, and insights that help in learning these pieces and provides some understand of what’s going on “behind the curtains” of the music. Be sure to check it out here: YouTube. Tim did this on short notice as a special request from me, and of course he did a bang-up job. Thanks, Tim! (If you guys really like this, please be sure to visit Tim’s site and tell him so!

Well, that’s all for the fun-filled month of February. Enjoy the new material!

~ Your Friends on the Team


* I Cover the Waterfront, 1982-12-15. [Here we have Ted’s written arrangement of this classic jazz standard. This file contains new notation with lead sheet and lyrics, combined with Ted’s grid diagrams. We added some blank grids for the turnarounds at measures 15-16 and 31-32 for you to write in your own fills. Also included is Ted’s original handwritten lead sheet from 1973. See Newsletter message above regarding a new YouTube video lesson of Tim Lerch reviewing this arrangement.]

* Ted Greene - In Tribute An article about Ted shortly after his passing, written by Oscar Jordan for Music Connection magazine, August-September 2005 issue. Thanks to Oscar Jordan for giving us this copy to post.

* Cadential Bass Formulas, 1975-11-08. [Ted gives us 40 examples of bass lines formulas. He expects us to experiment adding various harmonizations. New notation included.]
* Summary and Bass View of Baroque Harmony, 1978-07-08. [On this chart Ted provides commonly used chords for every possible bass note as relating to a particular key – the key of C and Am is used for this page. A resource for composing and you want to experiment with different harmonizations on a bass note. Typed page provided for easy reading.]

* Big Band Blues - I-IV-V & 3 Statement Form (key of C), 1985-05-18. [Another one of Ted’s One-chord-per-beat blues pieces. This one has all V-2 voicing group chords, as 6, dominant 7 or 9 chords. Notation provided combined with Ted’s original grids.]
* Big Band Blues - 3 Statement Form (key of Bb, middle & top strings), 1985-06-20. [Another page of V-2 chords, here focusing on the middle and top 4 strings. Notation provided combined with Ted’s original grids.]
*Big Band Blues - 3 Statement Form (key of Bb, middle strings), 1985-06-22. [This is almost the exact same voicings as the other page in the key of Bb, but this version utilizes only the middle 4 strings. Previously posted we’ve now condensed the new notation page so it all fits on one page.]
*Big Band Blues # 2 - 3 Statement Form (key of Ab), 1985-06-29. [Previously posted and combined with the other “Big Band Blues #2” in the key of G – we’ve now separated them and condensed the new notation pages so it all fits on one page.]
*Big Band Blues #2 - 3 Statement Form (key of G), 1985-06-29. [Previously posted and combined with the other “Big Band Blues #2” in the key of Ab – we’ve now separated them and condensed the new notation pages so it all fits on one page.]

* Harmonic Vocabulary: Progression Study, 1984-02-28 & 29. [Ted walks us thru some basic diatonic progressions of I-ii and I-iii, I-iii-ii using a variety of voicings and treatments. This is good fundamental info for those new to playing solo guitar. These lessons were previously posted as “Harmonic Vocabulary Progression Study_1 (I-ii)” and “Harmonic Vocabulary Progression Study_2 (I-iii and I-iii-ii).” We’ve combined them, provided an improved scan copy and another copy of the same lesson sheets with additional comments by Ted, and we’ve added a “compilation” version that combines Ted’s grids with standard notation.]
* Mastering Inner String Dominant Chords, 1988-09-24. [In this lesson Ted gives some tips for how to visualize dominant chords (7, 7/6. 9, and 13) on the middle 4 strings. This is another assignment page for the student to fill in the dots…but, we included a translation page and filled it out. Ignore this page if you want to do the work yourself.]
* R537 with R536 Chord Scale Studies, 1986-10-13. [This page is located under the Chord Scales header of the Chord Studies section. Two original pages of scale-wise descending harmonies, with broken-chord treatment for variety. Notation and “filled-in grids” added for clarity. Ignore the notation pages if you want to do the homework without the answers.]

* Summertime, V-1 Comping (Key of Am), 1990-08-08. [Well, it’s wintertime, but I guess we can be dreaming about summer! These comping chords sound wonderful and modern, but you may need to spend some time getting friendly with them because of the long stretches. Most are V-1 type voicing groups, but there’s some others mixed in. Notation and lyrics combined with Ted’s grids provided for easy of reading and seeing how the chords are played with the melody.]

* String Transference Studies (part 1), 1988-08-03. [Ted explains the concept of string transference, gives examples, and homework. Two pages: for transferring bottom 4 strings to the top 4 strings, and also for top 4 to the bottom 4. Translation pages included for easier reading.]

* Night and Day - Soloing Thru the Chromatic Spot, 1990-07-06. [Ted gives us a single-note solo for 8 measures of this classic jazz standard – in two different fingerboard positions. This involves ideas for soloing over the Am7b5–Abm7–Gm7–Fm6 section. New notation combined with Ted’s grids aligned to the lead sheet provided.]

* V-1 and V-2 Major Type Chords on Top 4 Strings, 1985-02-03. [This has been posted in the “Combined Groups” folder of the V-System section. Two original pages. Page 1 is all A root major type chords, and page 2 has examples of Eb, D, Db, and A. Ted organized them according to the top voice: as Root, 9th, 3rd, 5th, 6th, or 7th in the soprano. Good reference page for when you’re looking for something new to spice up one of your chord-melody arrangements.]
* V7-I Progressions from V-2 Forms on Top 4 Strings, 1984-12-02. [This is posted in the V-System section / V-2 folder, under the “Progressions and Other Stuff” header. One page of grid diagrams showing some very interesting resolutions of a dominant 7/6 chord to various major type chords.]

* Have You Met Miss Jones? (from Ted’s “Silverman Concert”) Notation, Grids, Tab - François Leduc.
* Your Song (from “Joey Backenstoe Wedding”) Notation, Grids, Tab - François Leduc.

Ted’s Solo Guitar album, individual files (see Newsletter message above), transcribed by François Leduc with notation, Tab, and Grids:

A Certain Smile
Danny Boy
Just Friends
Ol’ Man River
Send in the Clowns
Summertime / It Ain’t Necessarily So
They Can't Take That Away from Me
Watch What Happens

Ted on YouTube

Ted on Facebook

Ted on Twitter

The Official Ted Greene Forums

* Of course, most of the videos are posted right here in our Video Section

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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - My Life with The Chord Chemist - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

My Life with The Chord Chemist
A Memoir of Ted Greene, Apotheosis of Solo Guitar
By Barbara Franklin

BUY NOW - Available at

Publication Date: Nov 24 2009
Page Count: 276
Trim Size: 8" x 10"

A retrospective of Ted Greene, virtuoso solo guitarist, beloved music teacher, world-renowned author and innovator of unique music concepts for guitar. This book also includes an overview of Ted Greene's early life and musical development, plus an insightful narrative of the 13 years prior to his death

Six agonizing months after losing my beloved Ted, I slowly emerged from a state of profound disbelief, almost coma-like. At that time I didn’t know what to do with the remnants of my life; then a path began to unfold before me. This website was started and became a saving grace.

During the ensuing years, I organized and categorized Ted’s material and personal studies. Upon completion of that massive undertaking, once again, I didn’t know what to do, so I began writing.

I wrote pages, and then threw them away, until once again a path began to unfold. What I wrote is mostly a personal memoir. I suppose it was what I had to write first.

From the preface:

“The decision to reveal parts of our personal life was something I deliberated over for a long time. Because our lives became so inextricably bound, I included what I felt necessary, but not without a considerable amount of apprehension. This book illustrates the many parallels between Ted the musician and Ted the person. I felt it was important to convey how Ted was driven compulsively not just to pursue music, but so many other things he loved.”

With this in mind, here is our story. It IS very personal and I still have apprehensions about publishing it. My hope is that it brings you closer to Ted, as you begin to get to know and understand this unique and extraordinary man and musician.


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