Newsletter Archives:

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

Subscribe to Advance Updates to get early access notifications.
You can contribute here! View our privacy policy

April 2019 • Newsletter


Spring Greetings!

This month we’re sharing a few pages from Barbara Franklin’s book, My Life with the Chord Chemist dealing with some of Ted’s very early philosophical thoughts about life, music, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. (Although Barb later mentioned that his views about Rock and R&B changed over the years.)

* * * * *

Although Ted continued his musical exploration with the utmost zeal, he began to feel there was something missing in his life in the area of higher purpose and meaning, so began his quest for an awakening in personal and spiritual growth. There were many avenues to explore, especially during this era, and Ted tested quite a few different paths. Some he readily discarded, some he found a small amount of wisdom in, and a few paths, one such as Paramahansa Yogananda, he found much to benefit from.

After exploring many options, he distilled the wisdom from the sources he felt most applicable to help engender the most positive aspects in his own life as well as utilizing his newly discovered philosophies in the area of teaching. The following thoughts and conclusions dated 5/12/74 were written as a result of his search for meaning and his subsequent understanding.

Reasons for Staying with Music as a Profession

1. Latent therapeutic powers for healing and awakening virtues in others, generally improving the quality of life due to the uplifting vibrations radiated out. A person who is striving for things consistent with these concepts can accomplish these things to a much greater degree. The healing forces can have a hard time getting through if the human channel is clogged up with too much ego, self-pride, arrogance, love of flattery & adulation, desire for self-gratification, etc. The wise person is consistently on guard to detect and dissipate these lower vibrations by remembering thoughts that inspire compassion, humility & sacrifice.
2. A person can set an example for others when he is in the position of exposure that the entertainment field creates. Remember the man who reforms himself will reform others.
3. The money earned can be used beneficially in a multitude of ways.
4. My talents lie in this area so it seems that the Creator would have it be this way, although math, puzzles, or COLOR are also possibilities.

Reasons for Self-Control

1. To decrease the focus on self and concentrate on helping others.
2. To build up the positive quality of will-power which coupled with kindness & reason (wisdom) or common sense can produce very great results in the world, positive vibrations are contagious, have repercussions, just as negative ones do. Will-power can transmute a negative emotion such as jealousy into a positive one such as kindness. Imagine that 10 people were kind to you on a certain day - you would be more prone to be kind to someone else (the contagious aspect) a cynic might say, “I would be surprised if 10 people were kind to me.” Well, eventually kindness wins out because it reaches that essential spark of goodness in all (I must confess to just a few doubts but I am confident time will hold the answers).
3. To not hurt others through lack of control of self. Remember, the quality of harmlessness; do not “use” others; do not be deceitful to satisfy your own selfish desires; do not radiate thoughts which can harm.
4. To set an example for others: “First become that which you want others to be.”
Helpful hints:
a) a cosmic viewpoint of life helps in a moment of heated emotion - just relax & think of the universe & how small and insignificant most things really are: “Is it really worth getting mad at others so much?” Life is too short for most worries.
b) Controlling one aspect can often help in controlling another (be careful here though, not to go so far overboard all at once that you over compensate in another area to make up for the emotional need).

Ted admitted to experimenting with recreational drugs (never ‘hard’ drugs), for a short time in his very early 20’s. He told me he tried psychedelics a few times and did not enjoy the experience. However, he did admit to a penchant for marijuana, but stopped using it for the reasons he listed in the following:

Reasons for Giving up Dope

(Quite a few years earlier was the actual occurrence)

1. Self-delusion (illusions, distortions in general)
2. Increased self-gratification sense is more often the case than not. The world needs more unselfish people, more healers, more people devoted to a life of service. This type of life is impossible to one who is too “high to cope” with the physical plane.
3. Dullness of logical thinking - unable to learn quickly and especially to retain information.
4. Unable or unwilling to cope with problems, crises.

Ted gave these reasons for giving up Rock n’ Roll, R&B, and ceasing to play in bands:

The Combination of High-Energy, Pounding Beat, Excessive Volume in Music

1. Causes riots.
2. Generally increases frenzy, chaos in the world occasionally if not often.
3. Stimulates the already over-stimulated self-gratification tendencies of mankind.
4. Fosters a high degree of competitiveness: Everybody trying to be the “hottest” or “funkiest” player, trying to “outblow” everybody else. Also, it creates more of these feelings in the listeners, they get caught up in who is the “hottest” etc.

What is needed instead is more music that inspires kindness, service, unselfishness, compassion and similar virtues to help mankind to live amongst each other in a harmonious way. Alarming sidelight: In some experiments plants died when exposed to loud hard rock music, while they flourished on Bach organ music.

Along with Ted’s spiritual awakening, he continued to formulate new musical ideas, improve his teaching methods, and find new ways to organize and categorize the material that he wished to expand. Part of this would eventually become incorporated into his second book. Ted often wrote out extensive and detailed “Organization Sheets” to clarify his ideas. This also helped Ted organize the material in his mind and he found making these sheets to be a very satisfying and productive way of thinking.

~ Barbara Franklin, My Life with the Chord Chemist

* * * * *

~ Your friends on the Team


* Let It Be Me, 1989-08-30. [This is Ted’s arrangement of this 1955 song in “outline format.” He wrote, “You have to add the missing melody notes to stitch this page together. Also, the right hand broken-chord texture is needed to keep the whole thing flowing.” In our write-up, we’ve provided standard notation, lyrics combined with Ted’s grids. In the notation we added the “missing melody notes” that you’ll need to add to the chord diagrams as you play. We could have added Ted’s usual X, square, triangle to his grids...but we’ll leave that up to you. This song was originally published in French as “Je t’appartiens” and became popular with an English version by the Everly Brothers, Jerry Butler in the 1960’s, and Elvis i 1970. For our write-up, the format and lyrics include verses that were not sung in these recordings.]

* Dominant7b9, Root on Top, Middle Strings, V7-I.
* Dominant7b9, Root on Top, Top 4 Strings, ii7-V7-I.
* Dominant7b9, Root on Top, Top 4 Strings, V7-I (1987-05-03).
* Dominant7b9, Root on Top, Top 4 Strings, V7-I (1987-06-16).
* Dominant7b9sus, Root on Top, Middle Strings, V7-I.
* Dominant7b9sus, Root on Top, Top 4 Strings, V7-I.

[All of the above pages provided beautiful voice-leading moves of the different 7b9 chords to I. We could have combined them all on one PDF file, but it just seemed to make more sense and for clarity sake to post them separately. Ted was meticulous about documenting specific chord voicings and in finding as many useful possibilities for practical application. This series is all about 7b9 chords with the root on top, and specifically, resolving to the I chord. On most of these pages he left out the chord names, and asked the student to fill them in as homework – sometimes also asking for the chord tones to be written below the grids. We’ve included an “answers and translation” page for your reference.]
* Dominant Approach Chord Catalogue for Blues and..., 1985-08-16. [This is collection of F9 chords with its various approach chords. Each of the F9 chords are voiced with the 3rd in the bass. The movement of the two chords creates a contrary motion melody (soprano) line. Translation page provided for those who have difficulty reading Ted’s handwriting.]
* Dominant Approach Chord Catalogue for Reference & Gradual Learning, 1985-08-16. [This is a series of five lesson pages for approach chords moving to 1) E7#9; 2) B7/6 or B13; 3) C9; 4) D7#9; and 5) F7/6 or F13 (with some altered tones too). Translation page provided for those who have difficulty reading Ted’s handwriting.]

* Playing Thru Changes, More – Basing Your Solo on Arpeggio Fragments, 1978-03-22 & 24. [We wrote up this lesson unaware that it had been included in Ted’s Single-Note Soloing, Vol. II, because the title of the lesson is slightly different from that in the book (Condensed Arpeggios vs. Arpeggio Fragments). Nevertheless, we’re including it here so you can see some of Ted’s original pages that he used for the book. New notation pages provided.]

* Ted Greene String Gauges.
[This list was compiled by Tomas Campbell. Here’s what he wrote about this list: “I first wanted to send my sincerest thanks for all the information you have shared about this wonderful musician. For the past 6 months I have been studying Ted Greene in the most detailed way that I can absorb. One thing I was writing about was his experimentation of different string gauges (I take notes on all his lessons, seminars, audio files, and lesson plans). It took me a while on a multitude of platforms to find as much as I could about his string preferences. Since I didn’t see anything about this posted in the Archives, I felt that this list might be helpful for others. It provides a list of all the string gauges he tried. Many thanks for your help and your time.” Thank you, Tomas! If anyone comes across additional information about Ted’s string gauges that is not included on this list, please contact us and we’ll update it.]

* “Shred with Ted” from Bob Holt. [This page was written up by Bob based on a private lesson he had with Ted. We had it posted on this website several years ago, but it somehow got misplaced or removed by accident. Thanks Bob!]

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

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 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.


Don't forget to visit the Newsletter Archives :)



Your contributions keep this site healthy and growing.
Every contribution is gratefully appreciated. Get more info HERE

Visit the Official Ted Greene Forums

Read Our Latest NewsletterSubscribe to Advance Updates

Follow us on Twitter • Like us on Facebook


© 2005 - 2016 |