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July 2018 • Newsletter


Summer Greetings!

This month we have 12 new lesson pages for the Fundamentals section. Most of these pages come from a couple of folders in Ted’s teachings file cabinets that he listed as “Cumulative Teaching Program.” What the heck is that?

Cumulative: Merriam-Webster defines this as, “Increasing by successive additions; made up of accumulated parts; and formed by the addition of new material of the same kind.” This is a term Ted used several times (mostly during the 1980’s) for describing how to approach either learning or teaching new concepts. The idea is to expose the student with a small bite-size chunk of information first. Once that is learned, he would then add another small chuck to the first. Then another after those two were grasped, and so on. Thus, the pieces were absorbed accumulatively. The brain seems to better understand, absorb, and retain information gathered this way.

Sometimes Ted presented the cumulative method by introducing a basic chord form, then made slight modifications to it, one note at a time, thus resulting in a large collection of different chords all based off the original starter chord form. You can see this at work in some of the lessons presented this month, particularly the “Cumulative Chords - 5th String Root, Middle Strings, 4-Noters” page.

Since most of these “cumulative” lessons sheets deal with basic building blocks for chords, we have put them in our Fundamentals section. On some pages the cumulative process is not always clear. Perhaps it was Ted’s job as the teacher to explain what was going on in each lesson. Since we don’t have Ted to do this, you’ll be required to think deeply and analyze each lesson: play thru the examples, try to see what’s going on, and use some intuition to unlock the ideas. The concepts will come to you.

On some of Ted’s cumulative chord pages he has a symbol in the upper left corner with at number, a dot, and interval and an arrow or arrows. For example: 5R shows that the 5th string is the bass note and is the Root of the chord. If the arrow is pointing downward, that indicates that the chord forms are built on the frets above the bass note (towards the guitar bridge). If the arrow is pointing upward, then this shows that chords are built on the frets lower on the neck (towards the guitar nut). If the arrow is straight, then the chords are built straight across from the root. I believe these symbols were mainly meant for Ted himself, not the students, so you can ignore them if you wish….but it will give some idea about the organization of the lesson page. All of Teds’ little symbols and notes have a reason behind them.

This all may be an oversimplification of what Ted meant by the cumulative process, but at least it serves as a starter for you understand what these pages are all about. Next month we’ll be presenting another batch of similar cumulative pages. Please keep in mind that although most of these lessons are placed in the Fundamentals section, they’re not all just for beginners only. Even the veteran player may find something useful, or see new ways of looking at the guitar fingerboard, etc. So, give these pages a quick review – you may be surprised.

Thanks to James Hober for his help in proofing the very complex V-5 page we’ve posting this month. And much appreciation to Robert G. Smith for sharing his transcription of Ted’s improvised performance of “Autumn Leaves” from the Musician’s Institute seminar in 1993. (Check out the video if you haven’t done so already.)

Also, you may remember that in April we posted part 1 of an article about Ted published in Guitar Teacher magazine. Tony Darren was able to provide us with the full article, which we have now added to our “Articles & Interviews” section. Thank you, Tony and Jason Garoian!

~ Your friends on the Team


* Fools Rush In, 1997-08-04. [This arrangement was written up during a private lesson for one student. Standard notation with lyrics combined with Ted’s chord diagrams provided for easy reading/following.]
* Bach – Chorale No. 341 (BWV37), 1974. [Here we have yet another one of Ted’s Bach Chorale arrangements for guitar. As usual, Ted wrote out standard notation, and we’ve provided suggested chord grid diagrams for playing it. This is an incomplete arrangement. For some reason he only notated the first 6 measures. We’ve included the full original Bach notation as a reference, and for those who feel inspired you could continue with the remaining 11 measures.]

* Ted Greene – by Jason Garoian, Guitar Teacher magazine, Winter 2006 [Previously posted as an excerpt in our April 2018 Newsletter, this is the full article from Guitar Teacher magazine.]

* Chord Progressions Using Middle 4 Strings – Root in Bass Types, 1984-03-12. [One page of short progressions using Root position chords built off the 5th string. And extra page includes the chord names.]
* Cumulative Chords - 5th String Root, Middle Strings, 4-Noters, 1984-03-11 [One page of various 4-note chords in Root position, built off the 5th string. An additional page is attached with the chord names added.]

* Bye Bye Blackbird - V-1 and V-2, Key of F, Top Strings, 1989-06-29. [This is a very nice comping study on a familiar jazz standard. It has a nice mixture of V-2 chords (easy to play) with a few V-1 chords (“stretchy”, nice-sounding but sometimes challenging if too many are used at once). As usual we’ve added notation of the comping, combined with Ted’s grids, and another staff of the lead sheet: melody, basic changes, and lyrics.]

* 3-Note Voicings - 5th String Root in the Bass, 1984-04-01
[This has two pages that are excellent for new guitar players to help them to see the fretboard with chord intervals in relation to roots on the 5th string. Page 1 is a more general listing for major, minor, dominant, diminished, and augmented chords. Page 2 is a more complete listing of just major and minor.]
* 3-Note Voicings - 6th String Root in the Bass, 1984-04-01. [As above, but with the root on the 6th string, and only the general listing.]
* 5th String Root Chord Forms – Middle 4 Strings – Quiz, 1984-03-11. [Two pages of quizzes, plus we’ve added “filled-in” pages of the answers. Ignore these until you’ve done the work yourself. Great items to hand out to your students.]
* 6th String Root Chord Forms – Quiz 1, 1984-03-16. [Another quiz page as above, but for chords built on the 6th string root.]
* Chord Name Quiz – Forms from the 5th String Root, 1983-03-05. [This quiz deals with the chord qualities to be answered for each diagram. Again, an “answers” sheet it provided.]
* Cumulative Chords – Forms from the 6th String Root, 1978-11-26, 1983-03-13 & 14. [Two more wonderful pages for intermediate guitar players just learning the intervals of chords on the neck, with roots on the 6th string. Chord names added as “answer pages.”]
* Cumulative Chords – Forms from 5th String Root, 1974-05-20, 1978-11-26, 1983-02-15. [Two cumulative learning pages: on page 1 Ted first shows the basic intervals in relation to the roots on the 5th string, then builds more complex chords (an “answers” sheet is provided). On page 2 he shows some basic forms with lots of optional notes (shown with unfilled circles). You’ll need to figure out the chord names for page 2.]
* Cumulative Chords – 4th String Root, 1983-03-22. [Using the 4th string as an anchor for the root, Ted shows the intervals and then builds some chords. An extra page with the chord qualities is given.]
* Interval Layout and Their Combinations – Middle Strings, 5th String Root, 1984-03-11 [This is another great page for a beginner to understand and see how the intervals relate to a 5th string root. Chord names are not given, so you’ll need to work that out if you’re somewhat new to these chords. Information about chord spelling can be found on the “Chord Construction” page in the Fundamentals section.]
* Learning the Basic Chord Forms – Root in Bass Voicings, 1979-10-14. [As the title says, this is “basic chord forms” but I think many of these chords are for somewhat advanced players. Ted grouped them as major, dominant 7, and minor 7th types, but didn’t add the chord names or qualities to each. That will be your homework. This is another good reference page of chords.]
* Moving Line Chord Progrs. for Intro Page of 6th String Root – Major Chord Forms, 1984-03-01. [In this lesson, Ted is giving short progressions with 6th string roots, showing the inner line movements.]
* Root in the Bass Chord Forms from the 6th String – Introductory Page, 1984-03-01. [All examples given on A root, 6th string: major and dominant types.]

* V-5 – The 43 Four-Note Chord Types, 2000-08-22 & 24. [This is Ted’s exhaustive notation of the 43 4-note chord types using V-5 voicing group chords. If you’re unfamiliar with the 43 types, please refer to the corresponding chapter found in the V-System section under “Explanation by James.” Some of the chords on this page are rather unmusical when played alone, and many of them will sound better in higher registers. We’ve re-notated Ted’s page and added grid diagrams to help you work your way thru it. Ted would undoubtedly advise a student to play thru them, and make note of any that you like, and then use it and put the others aside. Special thanks to James Hober for proofreading the notation and chord diagrams.]

* Autumn Leaves (from MI Seminar, 1993-06-06)
, Transcribed by Robert G. Smith.
[Using Ted-style grids, Robert mapped out this fine improvised performance by Ted during a seminar at MI. You’ll need to listen to the video to follow along. (maybe someone might be inspired to notate it in standard notation and/or Tab as well.) Thanks to Robert for sharing this with us.]

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* 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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