<< back to newsletter home

Newsletter Archives:

2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

August 2020 TedGreene.com Newsletter

Welcome and summer greetings to all Ted Greene fans, friends, and students!

The focus for this month’s new lessons has been in writing up Ted’s remaining pages of Bach Chorales. We all know that Ted had a profound love for J.S. Bach, and tried to imbibe his music into his own playing and thought processes. Not many have done this as extensively or successfully on electric guitar as Ted. He got to the point where he could improvise fluently with much of the same harmonic progressions, moving lines, textures, and feelings that are part of the Bach and Baroque language. Not to say that Ted’s improvisations could compare to a Bach composition, but the musical elements were in play and the feeling was there. Having the ability to jump in and out of this world was something that charmed Ted’s listeners. He might begin playing a jazz standard or an Americana piece, float into an extended Baroque-ish interlude, then perhaps segue into a groovin’ blues…all the while changing keys as whim suggested him.

Let’s look at how some of this developed from Ted’s early years onward, as taken from three published accounts:

* * * * *

Barbara Franklin wrote in her book, My Life with the Chord Chemist:

At 22 years old [Ted] was fast becoming legendary and in demand. Despite all the positive recognition and people raving about his playing, Ted was not satisfied with the level of musicianship he had attained. He realized that there was so much more he wanted to be able to express musically, and also realized he lacked the knowledge to do so. Therefore, around this time he began to apply and experiment with the vast amount of music theory and harmony he had been accumulating and assimilating.
In his own words: (c.1968) “This is likely when I fell in love with J.S. Bach et al and when I started composing those classical pieces, and when my ear progressed to the point where I shocked and thrilled myself by figuring out Johnny Smith’s chords to “What’s New.”
[p. 5]

Ted composed many original “Baroque” pieces in this period of his life. His first piece was written in winter/spring 1968 and appropriately titled, “My 1st Classical Composition.” This was shortly followed by a Processional in B minor. In late October he began a Fantasia in E minor, which he did not complete, but resumed work on it again several years later (June of 1970). Among other pieces written around this time were an Invention in F, and in January of the next year his Pastoral No.1.

[Ted also admitted that he was still] “Nuts about & obsessed with composing and playing Bach, tuned up high.”

From the summer of 1969 through spring 1970 two more changes of residence took place, the second landed the family in a house in Encino on Havenhurst Place. It was here in this house Ted observed, “I’m in Classical music listening Heaven and (doing) some of my very best composing.” Among his collection of compositions from this period there is a Sarabande in B minor, and later that year a “Bachian” Invention, (however in 1999 when he reviewed the invention, he offered this comment, “But as usual as if thru a Russian ‘Autumn Leaves’).”
[p. 6]

Another idea Ted had been pondering for a while was how to teach Baroque harmony on a fundamental level. He began this method by organizing all bass moves in units of 2, a method he would later revise.
[p. 19]

In mid-May, on Mother’s Day, after brunch with my family, Ted took me to one of his favorite music store haunts called Musician’s Supply. Ted wrote, “Pick up new Bach lute suite music folio and Counterpoint in the Style of J.S. Bach by Thomas Benjamin, and old book Bach’s Orchestra by Charles Stanford Terry. Then sitting in car in front of her place on a beautiful day, explain my ‘magic formula’ for Baroque cycle of 4th’s: Hold the R & 3, lower the other two tones one diatonic scale step. She loves its ease.” I was so impressed that Ted had figured this out. Now as I pondered this “magic formula,” I began to slowly understand the workings of his incredibly gifted musical mind.

Despite the apartment problem, which Ted viewed as only a temporary setback, he utilized the time to work on ideas for new books he intended to write. Some nights, much to my delight, I’d find Ted excited about writing again. “Breakthrough in Baroque classification for my book: 2 voice counterpoint, 2 intervals (2 units) at a time, 2-to-1 motion (oblique motion) in one voice only at a time, 3rds & 2nds (and of course 2nds & 3rds) 8 + 8 = 16 motifs available. Bring Barb a new ‘Bach of the week’ a collection of Bach’s greatest organ preludes, fugues & fantasias (The Great...)”

And Ted began organizing the big categories of his “How Bach Generated Chords & Chord Progressions” book. All was relatively well.

When the day for our first live Lakers game finally arrived, Ted still had a bad cold, but we risked the possibility of my catching it, as we wanted to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience together. When we arrived at Staples Center that night, Ted was carrying his usual old grocery bags full of music, books, papers, and pens. This triggered the alarm as we walked in, and Ted had to empty everything out. The management at that time (post 9/11) didn’t allow anything to be brought in, but Ted argued so effectively they made an exception. We found our seats, and as we waited for the game to begin Ted took out the Bach Chorale book and began analyzing Chorale #17; he did not stop when the game began. Somehow he was able to work and enjoy the game, including catching an out-of-bounds ball!

Later, upon my analyzing some music (perhaps one of the chorales) and finding myself confused as to naming some of the chords, Ted explained the “Root unplayed” Bachian 7b9’s (Ted said Bach used thousands of them). For instance, here is Ted’s example of one group: E7b9: G# B D F, G7b9: Ab B D F, Bb7b9: Ab B(Cb) D F, Db7b9: Ab Cb D F (or the enharmonic of this one). When I continued my study, I was amazed at how often “root unplayed” occurred. Ted had a way of opening one’s eyes to grasp a clearer understanding of a concept. And by using just one example, he opened up a world for one to discover. Ted found it equally thrilling and rewarding when I grasped a concept, and in turn got so excited by all the possibilities.

On March 13th Ted played his seventh brunch at Spazio’s. The one Sunday a month at Spazio’s had become somewhat of a salon, a meeting place for friends. It was a comfortable environment to which Ted had now grown more accustomed. Ted’s playing continued to be dazzling, but he grew braver and braver, and this time he culminated with a 20-minute Bachian improvisation that was totally brilliant and stunned everyone….

Ted also recollected much of that Sunday, “…Sort of a personal milestone, drenched in reverb – long final improvisation ala J.S. Bach – 1st time unleashed upon the public. Went very well, as well as the 10’s of 1000’s of times I’ve done this in solitude.”

…Our celebration of J.S. Bach’s 320th birthday on March 21st. The entire evening was devoted to Bach listening. Although we availed ourselves of this pleasure frequently, we felt particularly inspired to pay special tribute that night.

* * * * *

And now for some observations by Terrence McManus from his thesis, Ted Greene – Sound, Time, and Unlimited Possibility:

Studying Bach’s music may have been one of the things that convinced Greene to make knowing countless voicings a priority. In his 1993 clinic at the Musicians Institute, when speaking about Bach he stated “…He’s got so many voicings and so many ways of implying the chords by playing two notes or three notes that you have tons of variety that lasted a lifetime for him.”
…Green often stresses the importance of the IV - V - I progression in the music of Bach, and how Bach would use that specific progression. Green explains that as he improvises contrapuntally, he often shifts his focus between the top voice and the low voice. He also states that at times he is thinking harmonically and at other times he is just “grabbing” what he can.
[p. 8]

In the first video of the Baroque Improv lesson series, as [Ted] improvises, he describes his thinking and what he is doing or trying to do. The videos make absolute sense when comparing Greene’s ideas about the style to the way he actually improvises. A close study of what Greene says will not only yield the ability to play in a similar fashion to Greene, but to study and understand some of the key mechanisms that give Bach his sound and allow Greene to tap into it.
Greene gives a general blueprint for Bach’s harmonic process, stating at 5:04: “Many times his themes involve his stating something with the tonic, and then going off either into a V or a IV, and whichever one he didn’t do, he’ll come and get that pretty soon. Sometimes with a stopover on the I, in between.”

* * * * *

And finally, from Omar Haddad, in his article, Ted Greene: The Legacy Lives On:

Greene also explains his conception of Bach’s music: “Implied chords. That’s what Bach did. Bach teaches us that his music is about chord tones that are stitched together with either scale tones or chromatics, and the genius is that there are motifs binding it all together, themes…but if somebody wrote in a similar style but didn’t use actual themes, they could still get the effect of the harmonic environment of a Bach, if they knew his harmonic vocabulary.” (2:41)
Based on all these accounts, it is possible to establish that Greene’s interest in and knowledge of Baroque music aided him in the development of his solo arranging style capable of polyphony. Additionally, the incidental connection between jazz and Baroque music through similar chord progressions (cycle of fourths) and moving bass lines (the Baroque basso continuo and jazz walking bass line) made the music of Bach a practical model whereby Greene could develop mature arranging and performing techniques.
[p. 3]

* * * * *

In Ted’s regular Teaching Archives we still have a few pages yet to post that are related to Bach and Baroque music, but most of the collection is already available in the Arrangements / Classical section or in the Baroque section.

We’ll investigate the Ted compositions that Barbara mentioned and see if we can post them:

  • “My 1st Classical Composition” (1968)
  • Processional in B minor (Already posted, now credited to Ted)
  • Fantasia in E minor
  • Invention in F
  • Pastoral No.1. (Already posted, now credited to Ted)
  • Sarabande in B minor
  • “Bachian” Invention
  • Thanksgiving Chorale (Already posted, now credited to Ted)

And I believe that the uncredited “Chorales” posted this month are actually Ted’s own compositions, written around the same time he was immersed in studying Bach’s Chorales.

Once we begin working on posting pages from Ted’s Private Music Studies, our Baroque fans will be happy to discover a small treasure of ideas and tips for improvising in the that style. Ted collected 43 pages of notes for the “Bachian Harmony and Counterpoint” book that he intended to write, plus a couple hundred pages for general Baroque playing. Most of these pages are just rough sketches of ideas to be flushed out by Ted at a later date, so it will take time for us to decipher and present them in clear way. Stay tuned….

Hoping that you’ll find something interesting and rewarding to work on from the new lessons. Enjoy!

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


Under the “Classical Pieces” header:

* Bach – Chorales No.1, 2, 3 (Ted Greene Analysis), 1995-09-09. [This is the first page in the book, 371 Harmonized Chorales that Barbara Franklin shared with us. It shows Ted’s handwritten detailed analysis of the first 3 of Bach’s Chorales. Transcription pages with clear notation is provided for those who wish to investigate this study. Ted’s notation often includes the chord with a forward slash followed by a number. This number indicates the chord tone that is either in the bass or as a moving inner line. Sometimes he uses a backslash to show the soprano tone. And he has indicated V numbers in some instances to define the exact voicing according to his Voicing Groups System (the V-System).]
* Bach – Chorales No. 5, 6, 1968. [Ted wrote on this page, “My 1st playing of Bach Chorales, in the summer of ’68.” Ted transcribed from the original Bach score, first the bottom two parts (transposed to treble clef for guitar), then the top two parts. He wrote out Chorale No. 6, then No. 5. We have written them in order (first No. 5, then 6) and combined both the top and bottom parts together on two treble clefs. I believe that this was Ted’s process of making an arrangement for guitar. The next step would have been to work the top and bottom parts together, which may include moving some of the notes up an octave in order to make them playable on guitar. Also, Ted would have analyzed the chord names for each vertical structure. If you’re interested in following through with this process, it is up to you to finish the arrangement. Good luck!]
* Chorales (and Ideas), 1971-02-02. [We believe that this page has one of Ted’s original compositions in the style of Bach’s Chorales, along with several “ideas” that he jotted down. We notated these ideas as well as possible, assuming certain rhythmic figures, since sometimes he wrote only the note heads. Grid diagrams added for easy of reading, and chord names added when Ted didn’t include them.]
* Chorales (and More Ideas), 1972-03-24. [As above, this page has a collection of Ted’s Chorale-like ideas, along with a full piece that we believe is one of his original compositions. Notation and chord grids added for easy reading.]

* Bach Key Changes and Progressions, 1974-01-20. [This lesson sheet was requested a few years ago by Robert S. Sorry it took so long to write up, but as you can see it was a big and tedious project, and I had my doubts about the value of making a priority of posting this one, but we’re happy to be able to present it now. My guess is that this is not what Robert expected. Ted took the time to detail these pieces in Roman numerals, so he must have seen the value in this kind of analysis – especially as a learning tool for composing. There are some gems in there, such as Ted was of describing Bach’s modulation: “One method was to introduce melodically first the tones which destroy the old key feeling and create the new.”]

* Chord Sounds for Group or Solo Playing (top 4 strings), 1977-02-02 and 1977-03-19 [This is a 2-page collection of chord diagrams showing various I (major type) chords, followed by V7-I sounds…all in the key of D. The second half of page 2 also includes chords of the middle 4 strings. Here Ted is showing us a treasure of good voice-leading for the most common progression of all: V-I. These pages seem like something out of Ted’s Modern Chord Progressions book (but they’re not!).]
* Combining Diatonic and Extra-Diatonic Colors, 1986-08-06. [Four examples in the keys of F, Ab, G, and Eb. The title also includes: “Heading in a sub-dominant direction….And Modulation into bIII.” All of the chords are open triads, and Ted left it up to the student to provide the chord name. We’ve added an extra “answers page” if you need it. If you teach guitar, this might be a good lesson to give to your intermediate students.]
* Extra-Diatonic Progressions with Beautiful Majors, 1986-08-09. [This page is simply three different add9 chords that are moved in parallel up and down the neck. Possibly related to Ted’s exercises for “expanded diatonicism.” An extra copy is provided with the “dots filled in,” as the student would have been expected to complete.]
* Some Resolutions of Modern Dominants to Tonics, 1973-10-02. [This is another collection of V7-I progressions that Ted compiled back in 1973. He alternates Key of D and key of G. Undoubtedly Ted felt that these chord moves were useful tools to have under your belt, and good examples of voice-leading. This page also includes some bII7 – I progressions (which are related to the V7-I by the flat-five substitute rule). The original page is pretty difficult to read, so we made new grid drawings that are easier to follow.]
* Using Diatonic Chord Scales and Expanded Diatonic Colors as Well, 2001-03-14. [Here Ted gives us four examples in the keys of A, C, E, and Eb that blend diatonic 7th chord scales fragments and non-diatonic chords with extensions. Standard music notation and chord names combined with Ted’s original grid diagrams.]

* I Have the Feeling I’ve Been Here Before, 1992-08-31. [Here’s another wonderful comping study for a jazz standard. As usual, Ted gave only the letter name of the chord and assigned his students to write in the chord quality, as well as the chord tones (root, 3rd, 9th, etc.) below the grids. We’ve combined the lead sheet with the “normal” changes, lyrics, and notation for Ted’s comping chords, all aligned with Ted’s diagrams.]

* Dominant 7th Sounds, 1974-09-09. [The class is “Dominant 7th Chords 101.” The teacher is Professor Greene. If this is new material for you, please play close attention, for you’ll use much of this information for the rest of your musical life. Newly drawn grids and text for easy reading and reference.]

* Come Rain or Come Shine, Transcribed by Francois Leduc. [Another brilliant transcription from the ever-prolific Francois Leduc. This one comes from Ted’s “Private Concert at Alex Silverman’s Home” recording. Complete with standard notation, Tab, and chord grids. Thanks, Francois!!]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

July 2020 TedGreene.com Newsletter

Summer Greetings to all Ted Greene friends, fans, students, and lovers of harmony!

This month Ken Lasaine shares with us some of his recollections of times spent with Ted over the 30 years that he knew him.

Ted Greene Remembrances
by Ken Lasaine

I met Ted Greene in 1975. I was 13 years old, spent my Bar Mitzvah gelt on Guild D-35, and I began taking guitar lessons at Dale’s Guitars in Canoga Park where Ted taught. I had been playing for a couple of years and knew my basic cowboy chords. Dale’s shop had several outstanding teachers, and my first instructor was Daryl Caraco. Daryl introduced me to Ted and my father bought me my first copy of Chord Chemistry. (I’m on my third copy at this point.) Both Daryl and my dad encouraged me to have Ted sign this tome, which I’m not embarrassed to say was completely incomprehensible to me at the time.

I would usually get to my lesson a few minutes early, and I could hear Ted playing in his teaching studio, or sometimes he’d be in the showroom trying out a new amp or pedal. Needless to say, there was always a crowd around him, and he would be playing this transcendent stuff that you never heard any other guitar player even attempt. This was right before he recorded his “Solo Guitar” album, and I distinctly remember hearing him play through “Danny Boy” and “Summertime” quite a bit.

My teacher Daryl, a lifelong student and friend of Ted, knew how to interpret Chord Chemistry, and he would assign me little bits within the book and suggest here and there how to use one of the “Ted” voicings within a song I already knew. What Daryl was doing was showing me how to use the book – a “road map” so to speak. He also gave me some “Ted sheets” about chord scales or chord streams as Ted liked to call them, and beginning harmony and theory – triads and seventh chords stuff.

Ted’s schedule was always completely full but he didn’t like cancellations. If you were a student of Ted and had to miss a lesson you had to “send a sub.” Daryl and the guys at the shop knew that I was eager to study with Ted. His waiting list was quite long and there were always scheduling issues, so when Ted had a cancellation without a sub from the student, they would often call me. I was really just a beginner, but I liked jazz. During most of those sub lessons Ted worked with me on his Chord Stream pages, especially learning the major 7, m7 and dom7 in all keys. Knowing all those “jazz chords” really helped me when I auditioned for my high school Jazz Ensemble a couple of years later.

Both Daryl and Ted left Dale’s (then Bob’s) Guitar Shop, and I then started lessons with Dana “Chips” Hoover. Chips was another Ted disciple and a fabulous chord melody player in his own right. He is really the one that got me started on solo guitar playing. In fact, Chips showed me my very first TG arrangement – Neal Hefti’s “Girl Talk.” He also told me to buy Ted’s book, Modern Chord Progressions. Like many others, that book at that stage of my development blew my mind!

I continued to study with Chips for several years, but I was also still on the Ted “sub list.” When I would take a lesson with him, he would ask me where we’d left off and then continue on as if no time had elapsed. Ted encouraged me to continue studying with Chips because at that time I was really interested in focusing on my single line playing and Ted, being the ever-humble guy that he was, felt that Chips was a better teacher for me at that point in my development. Needless to say, I always jumped at the chance to take a sub lesson with Ted.

Fast forward a dozen years or so after I’d finished high school: I attended college as a classical guitar major, started working as a musician, teaching guitar at few different guitar shops, and I found myself working at Guitar Ville in Sherman Oaks. The owner, Bruce was good friends with Ted. Ted would usually come in at least once a week to kibbutz, to try out some of the cool vintage archtops and 50s black guard Tele’s that Bruce had, and to just “hang out.” Many times, when Ted was there and in a playing mood, Bruce would close and lock the front door and turn on the “Closed” sign. Whoever was in there would get a free TG concert and master class.

Ted would also sometimes be up for jamming with one of us or with a customer in the shop. He would play anything, and he seemed to know every tune ever written, regardless of genre. You don’t get to hear it much on any of the extant Ted recordings or videos, but trust me, he was a monstrous single line player, especially conceptually. He was as hip as they come in regard to harmony, and man, he could really play the blues! Sometimes he’d play with his fingers, or sometimes he’d grab a pick.

This photo (above) is Ted and me in the Guitar Ville shop I mentioned. I'm the dark, curly haired guy, and the other cat is Michel ? who used to own a shop called "Guitar Guitar" also located in Sherman Oaks. He was a student of Ted's and a fantastic player.

And speaking of harmonically hip, one of my favorite moments and memories of Ted during the Guitar Ville days was one of those times when Bruce locked the shop and a particularly inspired Ted graced several of us with an eye-popping display of drop-tuned Gershwin and Cole Porter songs. He would alter his tuning within the segues from one song to the next. He would drop the G down to F#, and maybe the B down to A, etc., all the while talking about what was unique and cool about each individual selection as well as the tuning.

After about 90 minutes Ted had to leave, and as he was saying his goodbyes, when the owner, Bruce asked him, “Ted, is there anything about harmony or music theory that you don’t know?” Now, keep in mind that Ted Greene, as revered and respected as he was then and is now, was one of the most humble and respectful people that you could ever meet. Ted just kinda looked down for a second, and then looked back up at Bruce straight in the eye, shook his head a little and said, “No.” Yes, Ted was humble and even a bit shy, but he knew what he knew. He said this without any sense of ego or boasting. Harmony and its applications are one of the things he absolutely knew.

Between 1992 and 2004 I was working a lot out of town, so I was only able to take a handful of lessons with Ted those years. At that point Ted would either load me down with enough lesson sheets to last a lifetime, or he wouldn’t write down anything at all! The times when he wouldn’t give me a sheet or write anything down, I would get in my car and frantically write down everything I could remember on a piece of scratch paper (or even on a less populated page of the Thomas Guide!).
I took my last lesson from Ted on November 11th, 2004. I still keep my notes from that lesson handy. We talked about how he would approach a long, static one-chord or modal section of a tune. He used Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” as the template. He showed me a voicing for a dom7susb9 (Phrygian chord) that I still use all the time. Anytime I’m struggling with a voicing or a modulation, I always say to myself, “What would Ted do?” My notes from my last lesson with Ted are now posted in the TedGreene.com “From Students” section under my name.

Anyone who ever witnessed Ted playing live in a comfortable environment always came away with the same impression: Ted Greene is the greatest guitar player ever. Though if you asked Ted, he probably would have said it was Lenny Breau.

Here’s to you Ted. We all miss you every day.

~ Ken Lasaine

* * * * *

Special thanks to Ken for sharing those wonderful stories, the photo, and his notes of his last lesson with Ted. We hope to hear more from Ken in the future. Be sure to check out Ken’s YouTube channel for his playing, reviews, and explanations of some of Ted’s lessons and arrangements. Even though many of his YT videos are not directly related to Ted, you can see/hear Ted’s influence in his harmonic approach. (By the way, anyone care to guess the exact name of the chord Ted is playing in Ken’s photo?)

Now, just a word or two about the Ted lessons this month. Most of the pages this month deal with Ted’s study of the EIS Murphy System, the Equal Interval System, also known as the System of Horizontal Composition based on Equal Intervals. Please read the brief Introduction to Ted’s Pages before jumping in, and realize that Ted was just doing some initial investigation into this system before deciding if he wanted to pursue it more deeply. Some of his notes are straight out of the early Murphy text books; some are some examples Ted devised for himself to apply the principles he was reading about. Ted’s pages were not meant as lessons for his guitar students, but just notes to himself. Dan Sawyer has reviewed these pages and made a few brief comments about them. Dan studied extensively with “Spud” Murphy and introduced Ted to this system and tried to get him to dive deeper into its study. Since these pages are part of Ted’s Teaching Archives, we wanted to share them with you in the hopes that they may reveal one angle of how Ted studied new ideas, and perhaps that they might inspire you in some way. Enjoy!

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* School Days (Chuck Berry), 1995-05-25. [This is Ted’s page showing how to play Chuck Berry’s riffs and fills for “School Days.” We present this exactly as Ted wrote it for a student who was interested in this song. No notation is provided, so you’re on your own for interpretation and rhythmic execution of the grids. Listen to the song and it may unfold for you.]
* Sleepwalk (Some Chords Used by Brian Setzer), 1990-08-08. [This page was filed away with Ted’s other arrangements, but it really is about chord forms. It was probably written down as a special request from a student who wanted to learn how to play this piece or how to play like Brian Setzer. We didn’t provide any notation for this page, so we leave it up to you to glean what you can from it. If anyone goes deeper into this version of Sleepwalk by Mr. Setzer (and there are several versions by him) and are interested in sharing any additional notation that might be helpful to others, please send us your notes.]
* Stray Cats Strut, 1996-10-10. [Here we have yet another lesson for a tune by Brian Setzer (probably requested by the same student who was interested in Brian’s “Sleepwalk.” This is an outline of the song with some possible chord forms to use and some riffs and fills that Ted transcribed. Once again, we leave the notation and interpretation in your hands. Good luck!]

* Expanded Key via Major (Extensions) Colors, 1996-05-18. [This is just a quick note Ted wrote for the key of Eb. He didn’t include the fret numbers for all of the grids on this page, so you’ll need to interpret them yourself...keeping in mind that he was thinking “expanded key.”]

* Introduction to Ted Greene’s Pages on the EIS Murphy System. [A brief general description from Wikipedia, and notes for Ted’s pages from Dan Sawyer.]
* EIS - Bass in Motion thru Harmonized Melodic Patterns, 1982-10-30. [This page has several ideas that were pasted on to one page, dated 1982 and 1984. Even though Ted didn’t write that these were EIS studies, the term “bass in motion” is one that is used in the EIS Murphy teachings. We’ve provided new music notation and typed text to make this page easier to read, but you’ll need to work out the chord forms and fingerings for each example, since Ted wrote: “For use in all sequences, all string sets, and fingerings, many keys.” So there are many, many possibilities for playing these.]
* EIS - Important Notes, Facts, Resources, and Devices of EIS Murphy System, 1977-10-07, 08. [These are Ted’s notes he wrote out while studying the early Murphy textbook. Retyped for easy reading.]
* EIS – Interesting Progressions Using Dominant 11th Chords, 1979-05-27. [11th chords progressions that Ted like, and he listed these progressions with the E3↓ and E5↓ symbols, showing that he was thinking of the EIS system. New notation given, but again, you’ll need to work out the fingerings. And since these examples are on the grand staff, move it up an octave for guitar.]
* EIS - “Spud” for Guitar, 1977-10-14. [More exercises for applying some of the EIS concepts. New notation and chord grid diagrams provided for easy playing. Although explained in the other sheets, the C.O.P. here = “Change of Position,” and S.V.L. = Substitute Voice-Leading. Some of the examples end with Ted’s comment, “And open.” This means that the example should be also played with open triad voicings, not just the close voicing that he wrote.]
* EIS – Variations on Basic EIS Murphy Triad Progressions, 1979-05-26. [More exercises of Ted working out some of the EIS concepts in notation form (grand staff). These are all for major triads. We re-wrote the notation and added grid diagrams for one way of playing on guitar.]
* EIS Concepts for Harmonizing a Melody, 1978-11-18. [These are probably the notes that Ted extracted directly from one of the early Murphy books. Re-typed text.]
* EIS Lesson #4, 1975-07-13, 20. [More of Ted’s notes from EIS “lesson #4”. Re-typed text.]
* EIS Murphy System – Guides or Rules, 1978-07-07. [More notes that Ted extracted from the EIS book he was studying. These are “rules” that were propounded in the early parts of the Murphy 12-book series, later to be consciously broken by the student.]
* EIS Murphy System - Resources and Devices, 1977-09-30. [A simple list of some concepts and terms used in the EIS Murphy teachings.]
* EIS Practice – Various Concepts, 1975-07-06. [Another page of Ted taking note of and applying some of the EIS concepts. New text and notation provided for easy reading.]
* EIS Resources for Writing, 1977-10-14, 1978-07-20, 1978-07-07. [Another collection of notes and lists that Ted collected for application of the EIS concepts as pertains to music writing. Note: 3P, 4P, 5P probably refers to 3-part, 4-part, 5-part harmony, and as you can see by observing the stacks of numbers at the end of page 2 and on page 3, the bass notes are not included in the number of harmony parts, thus 3P can mean 3 harmony notes and a bass note. Typed text for easy reading.]

Under the header: “Contributions by Ken Lasaine”

* My Last Ted Greene Lesson, 2004-11-09. [This is Ken’s notes that he wrote down immediately after his last private guitar lesson with Ted (see this month’s Newsletter message).]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

June 2020 TedGreene.com Newsletter

Summer Greetings to all home-sheltered guitarist and lovers of harmony around the world!

In last month’s Newsletter (May 2020) we spoke about Ted and his targeted approach to identifying and communicating various emotional feelings. Chord Chemistry was also mentioned, and as it turns out, there is still some confusion among guitarists about this book. Those of you who are reading this Newsletter probably know how to use Chord Chemistry and when and where it can help your playing. But out on the Internet it seems that there are many guitarists around the world who do not understand this, and sometimes criticize the book.

We’d like to ask your help: to guitarists who misunderstand Ted’s book, especially those who make negative or uneducated postings on message boards about Chord Chemistry – please speak up and offer them some clarity to help them better understand what it’s all about. When I saw the word “useless” to describe the book, it hurt. Perhaps when and if you cross paths with some of these folks (who probably never even bothered to read the Introduction) you could help explain the book’s content, the ways you have used it, and any tips you might have to help them realize what an important and groundbreaking book this was (and still is). It is on its own level, and it isn’t structured like other guitar “method books.”

At SixStringLogic.com we’ve recently re-posted the Trail Guide to Chord Chemistry book to help in this effort to provide some clarity. Everyone who visits the TedGreene.com site certainly has their own testimony of the many wonderful ways the book has helped them, the various way it may be approached, and when it may be too difficult for beginners – and most importantly how it has changed your playing and musical understanding. So you all can become ambassadors for Ted. Share your experiences with them.

After hundreds of thousands of copies sold, with published articles, forums discussions, and other sites (like Tim Lerch’s) testifying and praising Ted’s book, we might have come to the conclusion that this kind of “defense” is unnecessary. But there’s a new generation of players who are now just discovering Chord Chemistry for the first time, and I suspect they may never have experienced any teaching quite like Ted’s. Granted, it was printed long before computers were in use for making slick graphic chord diagrams, charts, and music notation. In addition, many of the contents are in Ted’s own handwriting – and this may be a challenge for some. Those comments in the book really capture an aspect of Ted, and we can all enjoy them in one way or another. One needs to look beyond the “rough” presentation and see the magnificent content and thoroughness that the book encapsulates – keeping in mind that these chord diagrams and concepts are not just fanciful musings of a music scholar, but the come from a person who not only played it all, but did so with easy, grace, elegance, and beauty. Ted “walked his talk,” or more accurately stated, he “played his teachings.”

New folks shouldn’t be frustrated with a book like Chord Chemistry, and we can help them understand when and where to investigate it as a REFERENCE, and make sure they keep in mind that it is NOT A METHOD. Ted would be the first person to say that his book was not meant to be read from cover to cover, but, like George Van Ep’s Harmonic Mechanisms for Guitar, one should skip around and find something they love and go deep into that one thing. Then come back later and find something else that they love. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Another possible solution for a response to outward criticism of Chord Chemistry would be to simply direct them to Ted’s other chordal book, Modern Chord Progressions. All one has to do is to play some of the examples in it – immediate gratification may be easily achieved that way.

In any event, we hope you’ll help to support and explain what you know about Chord Chemistry when you encounter these types of confusion or negativity. None of us can really speak for Ted, but we can speak for ourselves and tell others how we have applied Ted’s wisdom and beauty to further our own musical understanding and expressions. There is a definite shortage of beauty in the world right now. Thank you.

* * * * *

Just to add to Leon White’s above message, I’d like to encourage you all to periodically go to YouTube and do a search for “Ted Greene” and then filter the search for recent uploads. It seems that every week there are one, two, or more postings of guitarists playing some of Ted’s arrangements or other lessons. Some of them are simply beautiful. These players are bringing life to Ted’s pages, and this can help others to get at least an inkling of one way to interpret them. Be sure to “like” their videos and also to add a comment if you want to show some support to the artists. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it can be a nice boost to someone who is making a determined effort at trying to learn to improve his playing. These videos do bring some needed beauty to this world, as Leon stated above..

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* A Ticket to Ride, 1989-11-22. [Here’s yet another one of Ted’s arrangements for our “Beatles Tunes” section. Ted made grids for the A section, but nothing for the B section. There are several places where Ted indicated to use the Intro arpeggiated figure as a fill. We’re provided notation and the lyrics, combined with Ted’s grids, and we also have given the notation for the B section. I guess your homework assignment would be to complete the arrangement. This seems to be about a level 1 lesson: fairly easy to play and a lot of fun.]

* Distinctive Color of bII to V in Minor Key, 1996-05-18. [This is an interesting study that involves the minor key bII to V, partly for the fretboard exercise, but mostly for the ear-training element inherent in it. Ted wants us to make a mental note and file away in our musical memory this “distinctive color.” Notation provided combined with Ted’s original grids.]
* Soprano View of Low-End Dominant Chords, 1987-05-28. [This presentation is another way of looking at the dominant chords you’re probably already using. These exercises can be helpful when you’re getting into learning “walking chords” or walking bass with chord punctuations. At the bottom of the second page Ted wrote: “Please: put emotion and taste into these studies. It’s ‘no good’ if you’re not having fun with them.” I guess that would apply to almost everything, huh? Another noteworthy comment from the first page: “Memorize everything on this page a little at a time. Transposition to other keys is certainly in order, but don’t overdo it here…meaning, once you know something, move on, rather than going over and over the material. Use good judgement.” Notation provided and chord names in blue given when needed.]

Under the “Chord Streams” header

* Mixing Functions of Close Harmony 3-Note Major Extensions, 1985-08-31. [This is a nice study for 3-note “stretch” chords with a pedal for major sounds – very useful for fills. Notation provided.]

Under the “Triads” header

* 1st Inversion Triads and Pedals in Short Song-like Passages, 1985-08-31. [Fun with triads and pedal bass notes. On Ted’s original page he wrote rhythmic instructions for each grid (such as “and of one, two and…” etc.) but in writing up the compilation page we eliminated these handwritten words from the grid diagrams, but followed their instructions for the notation. This make is easier to see the chords. Clutter free. Just follow the notation for details on the timing and the sustained notes.]
* Wild Triad Progressions. [From Ted’s Personal Music Studies files. A few weeks ago, there was some discussions in the TedGreene.com Forums about Expanded Diatonicism, so we hunted down anything related to this and/or “Bass-Enhanced Triads.” For this page Ted wrote out the notation only, and we’ve given suggestions for the possible chord forms that Ted may have been thinking, based on the sustained notes. Other chord forms may be possible. New grids and notation given for clarity.]

Under the “Bass-Enhanced Triads” header

* American Expanded Diatonicism or Multi-Key Colors, 1990-08-22. [Here’s another short passage from Ted’s Personal Music Studies files that we dredged up to shed some light on his thinking on expanded diatonicism. Note the use of his 4th finger barre on the first and third chords. This may seem awkward at first, but Ted often used fingerings like this in order to facility the best economy of motion for transition to the next chord. Notation provided and new grid diagrams drawn for a cleaner presentation.]
* Endings, Intros, or ? Using Expanded Diatonicism and Chromatic Triads & Pedals, 1984-01-28. [Another interesting tidbit from Ted’s PMS files. Here the melody (staggered 3rds, as indicated with his see-saw illustration) is the main focus, and the harmony follow the melody using descending parallel chord forms (alternating soprano on 1st and 2nd strings). For the first example (and the alternate variation), learn it first without the 6th string bass note, then add that after you got the fingering and spacings down. It’s easier that way. Hopefully, this page will give us some understanding about Ted’s concept of “Expanded Diatonicism.” Notation and new grids provided.]

* (unknown song), page 2 only. [This page was mistakenly filed in Ted’s comping folder as the second page of “Wait till You See Her.” But it doesn’t fit the progression in any way, and the “Wait till…” comping lesson page is complete and doesn’t need a page 2. The only similarity I can see is that they both are in the key of D, have a B minor section (bridge?) and end on a D add9 chord. They’re even in different time signatures. So, after wracking our brains trying to make them fit, we (Paul V. and David Bishop) concluded that this page is an orphan. (I even checked Ted’s other comping studies to see if any of them were missing their second page. Nada.) So, you’ll have to look at this page as simply a chord study, and try to glean something from the chord choices and voice-leading that Ted put together. (I personally do like the A7b9/D to D/9 at the end!) Notation and chord qualities are given for some clarity. If anyone recognizes this progression as part of some song, by all means contact us and let us know what you think. Thanks.]
* Wait till You See Her, 1993-04-12. [Here’s a nice comping study that isn’t too difficult to play, but there are some challenges, so it’s probably for about a level 2 player. As usual, Ted provided the letter name of each chord and then asked the student to write in the chord qualities. He sometimes asked students who were new to chord tones and chord formulas to write in the chord tones numbers below each string on the grids (3, 9, R, b7, etc.). We’ve gone ahead and added the names in blue, plus added notation and the lead sheet with the standard chord changes and lyrics.]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

May 2020 TedGreene.com Newsletter

Welcome to the Ted Greene May Newsletter.

Spring is here. Amidst the masks and media, nature is following a well prescribed path, and so are we with the newsletter. Leon White reminds us about Ted, his view of emotions and values, and where they can be found in Ted’s approach.

Below is part of a prior newsletter that may help inspire in these rather unique times. This is from Ted, as noted in Barbara Franklin’s book My Life with the Chord Chemist.

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 and think of the universe and 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 overcompensate in another area to make up for the emotional need).

...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.

* * * * *

Ted had a unique perspective on what influenced music and listeners, and he certainly summed up his ideas in clear language. Remembering some of these ideas might ease the confusion of the current challenges we’re all dealing with. And it can remind each of us that there are more crucial elements to playing music then just the hypogordian four-note chords in a drop-3 voicing. In fact, Ted’s thoughts may be why we all want to learn the things we work on.

And that leads us to a rarely discussed Ted phenomenon: his ability to evoke specific emotions in his listeners. Behind all the beauty he created are these very personal reactions we each experience when hearing him play. His own studies show that he worked on finding, categorizing, and developing ways to express the emotions. The main vehicle in his musical study was film music.

Film music is not a common discussion here on the site, or in general, but Ted’s appreciation of film composers is fairly well known. The best of these composers showed how to use music to communicate emotion. The examples are clear, well-defined, and often universal. To follow in Ted’s emotional music tracks we might all take a page from his own studies and find the emotions so beautifully portrayed in classic film music.

From the ‘40s you can’t go wrong with major Max Steiner scores as a starting point:
Gone with the Wind, most 40’s Bogart films, Now Voyager, The Big Sleep, Since You Went Away, and The Searchers are all films that have melodies treated to a variety of emotions. Casablanca may be the most recognized score by today’s players. Steiner also worked closely with director John Ford.

There are other incredible composers as well, but Steiner’s music might be a good place to start, as so much of it is easily accessible.

Why film music, and why should guitarists care about film music for their own playing?

Ted’s answer might very well be his performance of Ol’ Man River on his Solo Guitar album – short melodies called leitmotifs. He was definitely influenced by the Gone with the Wind score and source music from the era of Stephen Foster. The effects he sought were intentional.

Many of us are often looking for “licks” that we can use to make a solo. Sounds familiar?
A Gibson 335 plugged into a classic Fender Bassman (4-10s) might seem a long way from film music, but we’re all looking for melodies we can use to communicate something. Ted found film music to be a great source for study as the instrumentation and popular medium of film spoke to modern listeners. John Williams has restored the “big score” movement to film making and today’s kids are used to hearing that music.

How can a small intimate instrument like guitar deliver this kind of instrumental music? Answer: Ted Greene.

Barbara’s book is entitled, My Life with the Chord Chemist. His book Chord Chemistry is certainly influential globally. But what we hear from Ted’s playing is more than just chords – it’s emotion via harmonized melody.
Since most of us are still cooped up, now might be a good time to look at what was underneath those beautiful chords and why they speak to us so powerfully.

I often give my students a two-chord example: play E major in the open position, and then an inversion with a G# in the bass (often played on the 6432 strings). Every student feels the ‘pull’ that the E/G# gives. That is the emotion. Ted just went a little farther – and I think we all could.

With spring here, a fresh visit to Ted might give us all a pleasant change, and help us find more beauty. I think that would please Ted.

~ Leon and your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* April in Paris, 1997-05-30. [This 1932 Vernon Duke song was originally composed for the Broadway musical, “Walk a Little Faster” before becoming a popular jazz standard. Ted wrote this arrangement up during a private lesson, and he added a few spots for you to “fill” and for “your choice” on the final chord (probably some kind of C major type). We’ve provided standard notation along with the lyrics combined with Ted’s grid diagrams.]

* Harmonizing 3rd Interval-Oriented Melodies, 1985-02-26. [Ted subtitled this page as “with ‘triads and basses’ (consonant major polychords).” Notation added to Ted’s grids.]

* ii-V-I-VI, 1994-09-12. [Aside from learning to play the 9 exercises, the homework assignment is for the student to add the full name of each chord. We’ve gone ahead and added them in blue on a separate copy (ignore this if you don’t need it, or use it as an “answers” page). If desired, you could take the assignment a step further and add the chord tones for each dot below the grids.]

* Modern Chords in Common Progressions, 1976-05-16,19 and 1976-07-10,11. [Ted wrote out 5 pages of these progressions. Many of the examples are slight variations of previous examples, and it may seem a bit redundant at times. But Ted often had the student work through multiple variations like this to really drill the concepts, chord forms, and movements into his brain and fingers. As usual, the examples start off fairly simple and easy, and then build up to more challenging ones near the end. Redrawn grids to save you from squinting at Ted’s jam-packed pages.]

* Modern Dominant 7th Chord Forms Catalogue, 1978-12-18. [On this lesson sheet Ted wrote: “The following forms are the main building blocks for modern dominant family voicings.” Years later he added a comment for his own teaching purposes: “Show and use these dominant brothers first in progressions (quite a few) – then come back and give this as a catalogue.” So, this page will be best served after one has become familiar with most of these chord forms. After that, it’s a reference catalogue for finding “just the right chord” you were hunting for. The chords are organized by the top (soprano) note, so this makes is easy to review and choose. Redrawn grids provided.]

* Wild is the Wind, 1996-01-08. [This is an interesting composition that I was not familiar with, but found it to be quite powerful after watching several YouTube performances of it. Ted wrote on his page, “Hope you dig this.” We’ve provided notation for Ted’s chords, plus the lead sheet with “original changes” and lyrics – all combined with Ted’s original grid diagrams so you can easily follow it.]

* Major 6, Add9, Major 6/9, and Suspended Chords, 1977. [These pages are Ted’s early drafts that eventually were included in Chord Chemistry (p.18-21). There are some subtle differences (including the chord tones listed below each grid), so we thought to share them with you. Redrawn grids for easy reading.]

* General Harmonic Tendencies – Tonality Oriented, 1976-10-28. [On this page Ted was listing 6 different types of chord families, and then all the harmonies that generally or commonly follow it. It’s unclear if he intended to list more chords, but he stopped after D7. This page was mostly likely a preliminary worksheet for Ted’s own studies, and was not intended as a lesson hand-out. Typed text provide to save your eyes from squinting.]

* V-2, All 35 Types Dominant Listing (Top 4 Strings), 1984-11-18. [This is a monumental series that took us over 2 years (on and off) to prepare. It is for the serious V-System student who wants to see Ted’s work pages for defining all of the V-2 dominant chords on the top 4 strings – including all altered and “super altered” variations using Ted’s 35 4-note chord types. A helpful 3-page introduction/comments page is included, and should answer many questions on what this is all about. Some of the chords are rather dissonant sounding by themselves, but a creative person should be able to make them work in a musical context of moving voices. We’ve redrawn the grids and made a few slight format modifications to make it all easier to read. Blue text shows editorial additions, provided for clarification. Special thanks to James Hober helping with the comments page, and for proofing all the grids. Whew!]

* Ted’s G&L and Baroque Pt.1 Videos (excerpts) – by Tomás Campbell. [Tomás wrote out short excerpts from two of Ted’s videos: “G&L ASAT Evaluation, 1997-09-18” (provided by Nick Stasinos), and “Baroque Improvisation” June 26, 1996, part 1 (provided by Steve Herberman). Grids only. Links to the videos are given in the intro comments page.]


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

April 2020 TedGreene.com Newsletter

Spring Greetings to all Ted Greene friends, fans, and students!

We’re continuing with the article that we started last month from Ted’s student and friend, Nick Stasinos.

Once Upon A Time in... Canoga Park

By Nick Stasinos

Part 2

My private guitar lessons and my subsequent introduction to Ted Greene began at Dale’s Ernie Ball Guitars, 7210 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, CA, in the mid-1970s. I first started fingerstyle lessons with Derol Caraco, then onto Chips Hoover, who taught me from Ted’s very own lesson sheets while I was on Ted’s waiting list. When I got the call from Ted in 1977 to start with him, he had already moved his teaching operation to his parent’s home in Woodland Hills. Eventually, Ted moved into his own cramped little apartment on Burbank Blvd. in Encino, where he continued to teach guitar to eager students for $20 an hour. He actually apologized for raising his rate! No joke! By this time, my understanding of music harmony and ability to read sheet music grew to the point that I started transcribing for major music publishers such as Hal Leonard, Mel Bay, and Warner Brothers. I used much of my lesson time for Ted to proofread many of my transcriptions for publication. While my music copyist/harmony teacher, George Heussenstamm, provided me with the tools and rules for music copy work, Ted’s ears and his ear training methods, I prized above all. .

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

After completing these five books shown above, I decided to turn my focus to Ted’s music. I started using my lesson time to have him slowly play through the songs from his “Solo Guitar” album so I could notate them. I asked him if he would consider having a book of his 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 making a “Solo Guitar” transcription book, as well as to release his album on CD. Well, happy day! His CD was finally released in November 2004. I went to see him play at Spazio’s Sunday brunch the following month. We shared our thoughts on the mixing and the artwork of the CD, but I didn’t really receive any affirmation from him about a transcription book until I overheard him say, while autographing his CD for a fan, “My friend is working on that for me!” Ted, is that a green light?

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 1994, so Ted was excited to meet him. My daughter, Nicole 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 that 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! He mentioned it at another seminar: YouTube.TommyEmmanuel - Ted Greene.

I donated my first transcription of “Watch What Happens” from Ted’s “Solo Guitar” debut recording to this wonderful website and it’s free to download here.

Ted had a great love for the history of music, and especially American music. He and I often exchanged books, jokes, CDs, etc. The “Binky” cartoon below is one that I keep in my Harmony notebook of something that I gave to Ted back in 1993. He had good laugh looking over it. Quiz: Find where “American Harmony” fits in. Lol!

Note to Ted: Thank you, my dear friend, for believing in me, for giving me the best education I could ever imagine, for not only helping me to stretch my abilities musically, but also as a person. Your kindness, compassion, and generosity are contagious! Most of all, thank you for befriending me and allowing me to be a part of your life. I miss you!

Forever your pupil and friend,
~ Nick Stasinos

* * * * *

Thanks Nick, for sharing your remembrances of Ted. For those of you who missed Part 1 of Nick’s story, you might want to visit our Newsletter Archives. We’re always happy to hear from any of Ted’s private students, and we’d like to invite those of you who may have had the good fortune to study with him to contact us so we can possibly work out the details for getting your stories and memories written up and posted here.

This is a crazy time in the world with the COVID-19 situation, and many of us holed-up in our homes waiting for the threat to diminish. Hopefully we can use this time to do some woodshedding and dig into some of Ted’s amazing and challenging lessons and arrangements. We’d also like to encourage you to record some of those arrangements, comping, blues, and chord studies on YouTube and then share the links in our Forums. Let’s try to keep virtually connected and support each other. Please stay healthy, positive, “eat clean” to boost your immune system, get plenty of vitamin C and D, wash your hands, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and use caution when interacting with others. We can contain this virus if we all do our part.

Our new monthly lessons offerings from Ted is a bit less than usual, due to my living and work situation being turned upside-down. In addition, James Hober and I were focusing on a big V-System page that we’ll have ready for you next time around. So we should be back to normal for our May newsletter.


~ Paul and the TedGreene.com Team


* Corcovado, 1992-02-00. [This arrangement was filed in Ted’s folder “Student Individual Lessons” and it appeared to be a comping study, even though it says “solo guitar” on it. As it turns out, this was given to a student who knew the tune, so Ted wrote it as an “outline format” as he has done for other arrangements. This simply means that the player needs to add the moving melody lines on top of the chord forms that Ted is providing. For our write-up, we’d notated it as such, and you’ll need to work out the fingerings. We did not write in Ted’s X, square, and triangle symbols on the grid diagrams, although you might find it helpful to do so yourself. As usual, Ted would recommend to have the notes in the chord to sustain as much as possible while the melody is played above it. For example, for measure 11 on the E13b9 chord, you might want to play the E melody note on the open 1st string, rather than the 2nd string. This will allow the most sustain on the lower chord tones. Also, Ted did not complete this arrangement, leaving measures 17-28 for the student to finish. We’ve provided the basic chord changes and the melody for you to write in your addition to this piece. I think you’ll find it fairly easy to do, although you might want to take it a step further and do some colorful reharmonization or harmonic enhancements. Good luck!]

Under the “Beatles Tunes” header:

* You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, 1989-10-29. [Here’s another addition to Ted’s Beatles collection. This is another lesson that was written up as a request during a private lesson, and again Ted used the “outline” format. Normally this song is played in the key of G, utilizing a lot of open chord strumming, but Ted moved it to Eb. Perhaps he was trying to get the student to break free from the need to use open chords, so he moved it to a key that doesn’t facilitate the use of any open strings. We’ve notated it and added lyrics and chord names, plus added the flute solo section to be played on the guitar (since Ted provided 3 chords to be used “for the flutes in the middle.”]

Under the “Lead Sheets Written by Ted” header:

* Desafinado – Lead Sheet (plus Arrangement Sketch), 1977-06-26. [This is Ted’s lead sheet for this well-known Bossa Nova piece. He wrote three sets of chord changes, but didn’t label them as he usually does. If he was following his normal practice, the lowest set of changes are the “basic changes”; the middle set is a “simplified version”; and the top set is a reharmonization. Ted often used the reharmonization changes as a starting point for doing a full-blown arrangement, so these chords might give you some insight on how he might have approached playing this piece for solo guitar. New notation provided with lyrics.]

* Chord Forms by Soprano and Bass – Major Types, 1983-06-29. [Ted labeled this page as “level 1” but some of these chords are not for beginners! Here Ted gives major type chord forms with a number written below the grid top string, indicating the soprano chord tone. Your assignment? Write in the chord names (which we have done for you).]
* Chord Forms by Soprano and Bass – Minor 7 Types, 1983-08-03. [Just as in the above page, but this lesson is for minor 7th type chords.]
* Dominant 7th Family Chord Voicings, Important, 1978-11-09, 19. [In this lesson page, Ted gives 177 chord grids of various dominant 7th chords, including extended and altered variations. We also attached an alternate p.1 that Ted later wrote “rejected.” We wanted you to see how he often worked and reworked his hand-out sheets.]

Under the “Harmonization of a Given Melody” header:

* Minor Key: 2-to-1 Stepwise Ascending Bass Motion, 1985-12-03. [Ted wrote out 18 versions of this 4-note melody with the same basic harmonic treatment, but in different keys, registers, and voicings, and fingerings. He wrote of this page, “Really study all the subtleties between the different examples. As you may have noticed, minor keys have much to offer, one reason being the various minor scale types which all generate their own harmonies, and yet which can all be mixed together, still keeping a form of diatonic harmony, in a larger sense anyway. Notation and some chord names provided as suggestions. Other chord names interpretations are also possible.]

* Desafinado (End Section), 1989-06-06. [This is a quick 12 measure chord study written out by Ted during a private lesson. Apparently, the student was looking for a more colorful way to play over the basic changes. Ted wrote a basic chord name for each grid, but left it up to the student to give the full name (which we have done so in blue). Notation and lead sheet added with Ted’s grids so you can see what it’s all about. Be sure to also check out Ted’s lead sheet and alternate changes for this song in the “Arrangements/Lead Sheets Written by Ted” section of this website.]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

March 2020 TedGreene.com Newsletter

Welcome to our March Newsletter!

This month we have some reminiscences about Ted from one of his long-time students and friends, Nick Stasinos. Most of this was taken from his entries in the Ted Greene Memorial Tribute page, but Nick went thru it and updated and expanded some of it. Part 2 will be presented in our April Newsletter.

Once Upon A Time in... Canoga Park

By Nick Stasinos

Part 1

I am deeply moved by all the folks who have posted here [in the Memorial blog], from some whom I’m sure our paths have crossed at one time or another, bringing back so many precious memories and feelings for the one whom I am honored to have known as my teacher, my inspiration, my mentor, and my friend.

At the Lighthouse, a famous jazz club in Hermosa Beach, California, there was this opening act called “The Blue Light District” featuring a very cool Stevie-Wonder-styled chromatic harmonica player. Sitting in with the band was a session guitarist with long red hair, who played the most amazing string of harmonics I had ever heard. It was harp-like, fed through a flanger. Angelic! During the break this guitarist leaned over from the stage to answer someone’s question in the front row. I heard him say, “Ted Greene taught me those!” Yes, that guitarist was Jay Graydon! Wow! Even the pros go to Ted for a lesson!

I first met Ted at Dale Zdenek’s Ernie Ball Guitar Shop on Topanga Canyon Blvd. at Sherman Way, Canoga Park, in the mid-70s while taking lessons from Darol Caraco. Ted taught in one of the other small practice rooms there. I never saw much of him until late one Saturday afternoon. I walked in on an impromptu concert given by a very talented black male vocalist, and Ted was accompanying him on a modified Tele with Humbuckers and lots of toggle switches. Playing song after song, I was in total awe! I never thought it was possible to play guitar the way he did. Where’s the bass player?! In addition to Ted playing complex bass lines, he was also the harpist, the horn section…he was the whole damned orchestra! He could emulate the nuances of other instruments while sounding like more than one person playing! His deep rich tone and intricate arrangements were so beautifully moving. Mesmerizing!

After seeing Ted’s paste-ups for Modern Chord Progressions (1976) lying about Dale’s shop in preparation for publication, I knew I just had to hook up with the author for lessons. There was a two-year waiting list! No problem! Another talented teacher at the shop, Chips Hoover, got me started on some of Ted’s copious handwritten sheets until there was an opening. That opening came much sooner in 1977 after Ted moved his teaching operation to his parent’s home. Being 21 years old and not having very much in terms of a musical education, I was so nervous yet very thankful that Ted was gracious enough to take me on as a student. My very first lesson was on Baroque harmony, closed triads, and voice-leading – all for only $15. “Broke” harmony? All I wanted was to learn was those big, lush jazz chords and harmonic chimes! Ted eventually changed my mind when he made all those little triads, moving lines, and related nuances dance, taking on a special magic all their own. He opened a door to a much larger world musically that I never knew existed. He insisted on my recording every lesson, and I am so grateful he did! I recently listened to that same lesson I recorded decades ago. It is just as fresh and as exciting as it was back then. I will cherish and revisit all those tapes and videos with very fond memories of our time together.

How much could you get out of a single lesson? It was good for months, even years’ worth of study and practice. Those who have taken lessons with Ted know! So, I never really felt adequately prepared before for the next lesson. Again, the material he gave in one single lesson was a lot to wrestle with, and his sheets were damn difficult to play even after doing all those knuckle bending, finger stretching exercises he showed me. “You know, nature will reshape your hand if you do it enough!” He had a lot of patience and was always ready with a word of encouragement. I never doubted that the next lesson would be as exciting as the last. Ted was a goldmine of information, and his creative well never ran dry! He always had the right chord or set of changes for any song I would bring to him. “Harmonic Improvement” was an understatement!

This humble man was not a self-promoter and he shunned public attention. It used to drive me crazy finding out about his gigs after-the-fact. I didn’t even know he had an LP out until I stumbled upon it at Valley Arts Guitar. It took me years to get around to asking Ted to autograph it for me, but what a sweet sentiment it was! When it comes to guitar heroes, Ted is right up there at the top!

~ Nick Stasinos

* * * * *

We hope you find something inspiring in the new lesson material this month. We have a lot of items in the “Chord Studies” section, and this trend will continue to the end of our dissemination of Ted’s teaching files….he is, after all, the king of chords!

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* Maria (from West Side Story), 1994-05-23. [Here we have Ted’s arrangement of the classic song from the very popular musical, West Side Story, music written by Leonard Bernstein, whose compositions Ted loved very much. There’s a short version and a long one for this song, and Ted’s arrangement uses the longer version. It was hastily written out during a private lesson, which might have spanned two different sessions, hence the somewhat sloppy presentation in the original sheet. As usual, we’ve added the notation and lyrics, and included Ted’s chord diagrams. We hope this makes it easier to learn. It’s a beautiful piece. You’ll notice that the grids and the notation for the first measure don’t exactly match up very well, but they do in measure 5 as the repeat. (Just follow the notation for an accurate reading). Thanks to David Bishop for his help in proofreading this arrangement.]

* Chord Name Quiz – Modern Dominants, 1978-12-18. [Take this quiz after you work through the “V7-I Progressions” and “V7-I Resolutions” pages listed below. Separate pages are provided with the answers in blue font...but don’t peek until you’ve finished! Great lesson for checking yourself, and you might also want to give these to some of your students. Even though Ted listed this quiz as “page 1,” we don’t have a page 2 for this subject. You can find other similar quizzes in our “Fundamentals” section. Check ‘em out.]
* V7-I Progressions – Organized by Melodic Considerations, 1978-11-10, 12, & 19. [In this lesson Ted is presenting a variety of dominant chords (mostly altered to some extent) resolving to a major type chord (usually a major 9, major 7, 6/9, or 6). The page is subtitled, “organized by melodic considerations.” Notice the melody and the voice-leading that are used. Memorize a few of your favorites, and leave the rest for “future study and inspiration.”]
* V7-I Resolution Quiz – Modern Dominant Chord Forms, 1978-12-28. [Take this quiz after working though the below “Preliminary V7-I Resolutions” page. Notice that most of the chord could be named several ways. On the provided answers sheet, you’ll see that we chose the chord names (interpretations) that matched with the chords presented in Ted’s “Preliminary” page. This would be a great lesson page for discussion with your advanced students.]
* V7-I Resolutions, Preliminary – Organized by Melodic Considerations, 1978-12-17, 18, & 27. [This is an excellent reference page for V7-I chord moves. Play thru all of the examples, mark the ones you love, and dig into them….and ignore the rest until a future date when you may wish to discover something new.]

Under the “Triads” header:

* Gospel Low-End Open Triads, 1999-02-04 and 1999-03-04. [Ted gives us some interesting and lovely “Gospel-ish” sound with open triads, mostly on the lower 4 string set. There are some nice moves here that you may want to add to your harmonic bag of tricks. Notation provided.]
* Minor Open Triad, 1994-06-01. [This is by no means an exhaustive examination of the minor open triad. It seems to be just the beginning of a bigger project that Ted never completed. The focus here seems to be on the lower 4 strings. If you love this sound and want to take it further, you might take the forms from this page and, using the “string transference” principle, move them to the middle 4 strings, as well as the top 4 strings.]

Under the “Harmonization of a Given Melody” header:

* Varying Harmonic Rhythm Under a Melodic Pattern, 1985-04-21. [Ted subtitled this lesson: “Also study in 1) colors, 2) modulation, 3) mild counterpoint, 4) phrase development.” This lesson is more than just the taking a set melody and harmonizing it. Ted takes the given phrase and moves it around to different degrees of the key, harmonizing it differently, sometimes expanding on the phrase. There’s a lot of food for thought here, especially for someone who is looking to develop his skills for creating rich, melodic intros, endings, interludes, and solo fills while playing solo guitar or comping. Notation and chord names provided – although other rhythmic interpretations may also be possible, and likewise, some of the chords might be differently named.]

* Songbird, 1993-09-27 and 1993-10-27. [This is Ted’s comping study for this beautiful but little-know song, written Loonis McGlohon and recorded by Daryle Rice in 1980 (you can hear it on Youtube). Ted certainly was attracted to the unique melodic and harmonic content of this piece. I found the following interesting comment in a blog about this song: “There is a double connection to be made with the performance of ‘Songbird.’ It is a song that conveys appreciation of an avian recital in much the same way that Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer provided in ‘Skylark’.”
Ted’s chords are for comping, not chord-melody, and so you will find some instances where the melody of the song clashes with the voices in his chords – see measure 9, beat 4, and measure 10, beat 4 (and several others) for examples. Perhaps Ted was only looking at the progression itself and enhancing that, not taking into account the melody, and possibly constructing his progression for the use of comping behind a soloist. By themselves, his chords have a melodic integrity that stands on its own. Notation and lyrics provided combined with Ted’s grids for easy analysis, reading, and learning.]

Under the “Harp-Harmonics” header:

* C Dominant 7 Chords for Harp-Harmonics, 1979-05-25. [This is an untitled worksheet that Ted filed along with his other harp-harmonic pages. Here he’s focusing on C7 type chords in 3rd inversion (7th in the bass) and also in root position. At the bottom of page 2, you can see that he had a note to himself, “Write out [right-hand picking] patterns for harmonics on 4-note chords.” Redrawn diagrams for easy reading.]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

February 2020 TedGreene.com Newsletter

Welcome to our February Newsletter!

This month we’re posting some excerpts from Barbara Franklin’s book, My Life with the Chord Chemist. These quotes focus on Ted’s kindness – in particular, to strangers with whom he happened to cross paths.

From Barb:

“Ted’s compassion for humanity was boundless; he was ultra-sensitive to the injustices on the planet, and to the plight of the poor. In fact, he was so filled with concern for anyone in trouble or need, friend or stranger, he would go to great lengths to help in any way that he could. Through knowing him, his compassion was so intensely felt, one often became infused with his sense of empathy and kindness. Consequently, that aspect of Ted’s nature was passed on from person to person.”
(from the Preface)

Ted wrote on 5/12/1974:

“…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).”


“…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.”
(p.8 & 9)

Again from Barb:

“Unquestionably, the pleasure he [Ted] derived from small acts of kindness was immense, and as much a necessity for his own wellbeing.”

“Soon I discovered something else very special about Ted: the extent of his humanitarian nature. While out doing errands, we noticed a girl trying to push a large full-size car. We drove on for a few blocks, but his intuition told him to go back and see if she needed help. Ted was right: when we drove back, we discovered a young couple in trouble, the boy was in a wheelchair, they were lost and out of gas. Somehow, we made room in our car, Betsy, for them and the wheelchair and then took them to a gas station for a can of gas. I offered to let the boy use my cell phone to call his grandmother whose house they were looking for. He was incredulous and exclaimed, “You have a cell phone!” He arranged for his grandmother to meet them at the gas station in fifteen minutes. We took them back to their car, waited until they got it started and followed them to the gas station to make sure they made it there. Afterwards it dawned on me why they were so surprised that we had a cell phone: I surmised it was because they thought we were a homeless couple living in our car.  And that is exactly how we appeared, driving around in an old dented-up Plymouth four-door, the interior and the trunk completely filled to the brim with everything you could imagine, besides the fact that we were both dressed in somewhat of a ragged manner.  When I mentioned this to Ted, he also thought this to be the case, and we had a great laugh.

“Ted’s compassion for humanity was boundless. Many times when we were out and about, we would encounter homeless people pleading for assistance, and Ted was ever sensitive to their plight. He never passed by someone in need. He always stopped, not just to help them a bit financially, but also to chat, to inquire as to how their lives had taken such a difficult turn, and to offer encouragement. They always appreciated his caring.”

“There were always some unique and humorous experiences while we were out on our errands. One incident in particular gives some insight into Ted’s fascination with just about anything. We had planned to make one brief stop at Tower Records then go home. We parked in back where Ted noticed a man servicing fire extinguishers. Ted thought this was a great opportunity to learn something and walked over to talk with him. The serviceman was delighted by Ted’s enthusiasm and interest. They conversed at length about fire extinguisher use, function, care and longevity – basically everything there was to learn about fire extinguishers. Ted was very excited about this discussion and pleased to have acquired new and useful information.”

“A week later the Ford Bronco took what we thought would prove to be its last blow. Ted was heading east on Ventura Boulevard, went through a yellow light and collided with a Lexus turning left. No one was hurt, but apparently the Bronco took the brunt of it. Ted was able to make it to my house, only because he didn’t need to make a right turn! A friend came to help, and, armed with a crow bar and a two-by-four he pried at the fender for over an hour as Ted periodically turned the wheel to check for clearance.Eventually they were successful. However, the radiator was leaking and then we noticed the fan blades were pushed into the housing, not allowing the fan to turn. Ted and his friend were able to cut the housing out, enabling the blades to rotate, but still the radiator would not hold water.

“Ted was quite shaken by the experience; he just sat on the curb and stared at the Bronco for a long while. When he came in, we attempted to discuss the ramifications and options, but soon both of us were frustrated as our opinions differed. Ted insisted he wouldn’t file a claim against the other party. He reasoned it was both of their faults and felt it wouldn’t be right. No matter how I tried to explain how the “insurance system” worked he held his ground.

“This was Ted’s point of view: The other driver was a very nice man, had a young son, and Ted didn’t want to further inflict difficulties on this person.  Ted gave the man his word that he wouldn’t file a claim, and must uphold it.  He felt since they were both at fault the other man should not have to compensate him (Ted) for the damage to the Bronco.  He said this is what was right in his heart and must follow that feeling. There was nothing I could say to change his mind.”

* * * * *

So now the question arises:  was Ted able to play beautiful, uplifting, and inspiring music because he practiced and lived the qualities of kindness, compassion, unselfishness, etc., or did he acquire these personality traits from studying, listening to and playing that kind of music?  Is it possible for a person who is often filled with anger, envy, jealousy, and hatred to play beautiful music?  If a person is established in peace and love for his fellow man, does he thereby have a foundation from which to express beauty in the art that he practices (talent and training taken into account as well).  Does extended exposure to certain types of music change us from the inside out?  Is it possible to be completely emotionally detached from the music you’re playing/expressing and just “play the notes”?  What do you guys think?  What is your personal experience or what have you witnessed in others?

Enjoy the new lesson material!

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* I’m Just Wild About Harry, 1991-04-30. [Here’s Ted’s arrangement of an old Eubie Blake song (words by Noble Sissle) from the 1921 musical, Shuffle Along. Ted loved the Great American Songbook type of songs, and this is one example of the kind of tunes he loved to play. He actually wanted to write a book on that subject, but it never was realized. As with many songs in musicals, there’s a verse that precedes the refrain, or chorus – which is often excluded when the song is performed separate from the context of a play or film. Ted’s version simply begins on the refrain – so the first part of the song is omitted. We’ve notated Ted’s diagrams and added chord names and the lyrics in order to make it easier to follow/read. However, he wrote on his original page, “Many anticipations are available and natural rhythmically (i.e., the top notes may sound first before the bass in certain spots to help give it more zip.” We suggest that you first learn the arrangement as notated to get a send of the song and its basic sound and chord forms used. Then experiment with rhythmic variations and anticipations, etc., as Ted described.]
* My Blue Heaven. [This arrangement is incomplete, and possibly one Ted wrote up during a private lesson, with the second half to be finished in the following lesson. Or it could have been a homework assignment for the student to finish. Some of the melody notes are in octaves, so I’m guessing that Ted intended it to be played à la Wes Montgomery. We’ve notated Ted’s diagrams and married them to the score, and included the portions that Ted didn’t do. And we also added the chord names and lyrics. You’ll notice that we removed the “counting” numbers on each of Ted’s grids – this was done to unclutter those diagrams to make them easier to read. The notation tells the full story of the rhythm he was indicating.]

* Baroque Practice Program, 1975-04-01 &1975-02-11. [This schedule was probably for Ted himself, not for any student, but may have also been given to some of his more advanced players studying classical/Baroque. Some of the exercises may be unclear, being cryptic reminders for himself. Typed text included for easy reading.]

* Major 7th Chord Voicings, 1975-03-30. [This may have been one of Ted’s early attempts to define and number the many different voicings/chord forms for one type of chord. This page predates his V-System of cataloging all the 4-note chords, so you’ll notice that the two systems are completely different. We have regenerated Ted’s notation and combined it with grid diagrams. The chord forms that are drawn were derived from Ted’s fingering numbers that he wrote for each chord. All the chords are Amajor7. For further study Ted advised to do all the diatonic chords in the major, minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minors – and in various keys! That’s a big task!]
* Resolutions of V7b9 - i, Incomplete – (diminished triads to i), 1976-03-20. [In this lesson Ted presents 44 different E7b9 (or just E7) chords and shows how they can resolve to various Am or Am6 chords (one E7 to 2 to 5 different Am’s). As stated in his title, that E7b9 chord may also be considered as a diminished triad. The “incomplete” refers to the E7 chord as not containing all the notes of the chord – sometimes omitting the R, sometimes the 3rd, sometimes the 5th. The times that the b9 is omitted, it is just an E7 chord. We re-drew the grid diagrams to make it easier to read….(you’re welcome!)]
* Resolutions of V7b9 - i, 1976-03-19. [In this lesson Ted presents 32 different E7b9 chords and shows how they can resolve to various Am or Am6 chords (one E7 to 2 to 6 different Am’s). This E7b9 may also be thought of as a diminished 7th chord built on the seventh degree of the key (or the vii). Ted called this a Rviio7 – the “R” referring to a “raised” 7th, not a flatted 7th as would be the case in some minor keys). Re-drawn grids provided for clarity.]
* Resolutions of V7 - I, Some of the Most Common, 1974-06-13. [Here Ted gives use 43 different A7 to D resolutions. He grouped them into different “densities” – small, medium, large, and no density. He also includes “incomplete 7ths.” Many or most of these chord forms will be familiar to you – the lesson is mostly about the voice-leading used. Study how each A7 flows to the D. Ted advises, “Practice these exercises to train your hands, ears, mind, and eyes (visual knowledge of the neck). Do also in the relative minor key.” Re-drawn grids added.]

Under the “Harmonization of a Given Melody” section:

* Harmonization – Studies in the 4 Main Ingredients, 1982-11-30. [Ted subtitled this page as “Studies in the 4 Main Ingredients: 1) Color, 2) Texture, 3) Harmonic Rhythm, and 4) Register.” Some of the grid diagrams do not include Ted’s usual X, square, triangle notation for moving melody lines on the chord. Instead he just wrote, “Add melody,” so you’ll need to work that out. The seven groups range from “one chord, one form” to “two forms” to “four forms” or “Chord on every melody note.” And in 9 different keys: C, E, Eb, B, G, Bb, D, Gb, and A. Standard music notation added and combined with Ted’s original grids.]

Under the “Triads” section:

* Major Triad Voicings, 1975-02-09. [How many A major triads can you play? Test yourself before reading this lesson, and compare them to Ted’s. (someone recently made a YT video showing how they could play 100 C major chords. Well, here we have Ted mapping out 134 different ones – only two of which include open strings. New notation provided along with chord diagrams, constructed by using the fingerings given by Ted.]

* Once You’ve Been in Love, 1993-08-02. [This page was written up during a private lesson. It was filed in Ted’s arrangements folder, but it turns out that it’s actually a comping study. The student’s assignment was to add the chord quality to the letter Ted wrote…at least that’s how it started out. For the second half Ted included the full name of the chords. Some interesting instructions that he penned in the left margin: “Please avoid using the infamous + sign, except at the end of a chord where it near universally is understood to mean #5 or ‘aug.’ ” Notation of Ted’s accompaniment chords, combined with his grids and with a lead sheet of the melody, basic changes and lyrics.]

* Chord Construction (Formulas) and Symbols – Reference Page, 1977-10-15. [This is a similar page to one that we already have posted, but this one includes commonly used chord symbols. This is the fourth version of this lesson, previous versions are from 1973, 1974, and 1976. Both posted versions are somewhat unique and are good reference pages. Newly typed text for easy reference and searches.]

* Misty (from Mark Levy’s Ted Recording #1)
– Transcribed by François Leduc (Notation/Grids/TAB). [Here we have another wonderful transcription by François, taken from Mark Levy’s recorded lessons with Ted. This is Mark’s tape #1, from 1975. LessonsWithMarkLevy
The sound quality is a bit rough, so François admits that there may be some errors, but “I sure it’s pretty close.” Notation + diagrams + Tab makes this transcript accessible to all. Special thanks to FL for sharing this with us. Be sure to check out his website for more transcriptions.

* You’ll Never Walk Alone (Joey B Wedding) – Transcribed by Robert Smith (Grids). [Robert shares with us his transcription of Ted playing during Joey Backenstoe’s wedding on March 4, 1989. This is a “grids only” write-up, so you’ll need to watch/listen to the video to correctly interpret the rhythmic figures if you want to play it as Ted did. Sorry, but you’ll need to listen beyond all the background noise and chatter as Ted plays. Video/TedGreene_JBWedding. It’s from a medley with “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Our Love is Here to Stay.” It starts about 2 min.+ from the start. Thanks, Robert!]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

January 2020 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

New Year’s greetings to all Ted Greene friends, fans, students, and family!


Happy New Year to you all, hoping you had a wonderful holiday season. The month of December is often called the season of giving, but this month I’d like to focus for a moment on a similar quality: sharing. Ted Greene was all about sharing: sharing the beauty he discovered in his music, sharing his wealth of knowledge of the guitar and music in general, his enthusiasm and time during private lessons, sharing material things when needed, and his insights for a sane perspective on life and the universe. Below are a few reminiscences about Ted’s sharing, taken from the TG Memorial Blog:

* * * * *

Ted in essence, was that of a true musician. He lived and loved music, and wanted to share the love he had for the music with anyone willing to learn or listen.
  ~ “Full Metal” Mike

Great beings and artists that are from the outer reaches of human experience, and who guide lesser creatures to view and share their realm, grace and inspire us only once in many lifetimes. We were so blessed as musicians to be here when Ted passed through with his sharing nature to inspire, motivate, and challenge us to explore music far beyond our dreams.
Ted, you had a very fruitful visit, thanks.
~ Mike S.

Ted loved to share his insights and discoveries with all who would come his way. We were all blessed to have not only made his acquaintance but to have spent time with this wonderful and beautiful human being.

I can’t thank Ted enough for the monumental influence he had on not only my guitar playing but on the way I looked at the world, and the respect for each person’s individuality both musically and otherwise. I have taken his lessons with me throughout my life and dealings with people. Not only will his genius be missed, but one of the kindest souls to traverse this planet will be remembered and cherished always. We thank you, Ted, for sharing your achievements and love with us.
  ~ Ron Freshman

[As addressed to Ted:] Lending out instruments? Hell, I remember the day you handed me one of your guitars and told me to take it down to Norman’s and see what he would give me for it, so I could purchase my own archtop! You were actually going to give me a guitar so I could get another guitar! I was not one of the unfortunates that needed a guitar (my wife would have disowned me if another one came into this house), nor was I financially strapped. Were you trying to tell me, “Ricky, enough is enough, go get your own archtop”? I think not. You were getting joy out of helping another human being share YOUR joy, and in this case, utilizing a guitar to help bring the joy. Frankly, I thought you were nuts! (That’s the difference between the master and the pupil.) You were just being you: one of the most generous, unselfish people I have ever known.

What amazes me is that I now realize you were a true master. My ego thought that you had a special place in your heart for me! You never let on, you never discriminated, you were just being the master that you were – EVERYONE was made to believe that they had (for whatever reason) a special place in your heart. The fact is, you were able to make all of us your “special” people.

Ted, as humble as you were, now I know, you knew the whole truth. I am not just talking about music here. Many people believe that you were put on this earth to teach. But your teachings ranged from the simple, “Put your fingers here and strum,” to the most complex theories of music that any one of us has ever been privileged to witness.
I believe it even goes farther than that. Those lessons, Ted, were about life! So many times, the lessons had nothing to do with music, but on how I could be a better human being, how to understand and cope with the everyday trials and tribulations that life had to give out. I need to be very careful here, I do not want to offend anyone, but from my perspective, you are one of those very rare individuals put on this planet to help other human beings to grow and to learn life. You did it thru the music. God wants and desires for us to be happy – that’s all He/She wants for us. Like our own children, we don’t care what our kids are doing just as long as they are safe and happy. That is you, Ted. You didn’t care what we played, just as long as we were safe and happy doing it.

We now grieve because we miss you...I will miss you deeply, my friend.
  ~ Ricky Katz

Thank you, Ted for your incredible generosity in sharing your knowledge of the guitar, music in general, and all the minutiae of the world, with me and with all those you touched. You are unforgettable.
  ~ Anthony Wilson

Ted Greene’s impact on the L.A. guitar community was monumental. He shared his knowledge unselfishly with all, and many successful musicians owe an extreme debt of gratitude to him.... Everyone that knew Ted will miss his beautiful playing, but most of all will miss his kind spirit and demeanor.…
  ~ Norman Harris

Ted was the single biggest inspiration in my young life. He shared everything he knew so graciously, and with such compassion and understanding for individuals. I miss him so much.
  ~ Cade Carradine

I hope that Ted’s many friends and students can find some way to share his unpublished lesson sheets and tape recordings, perhaps on a web site… What better way to pay tribute to this wonderful man than to make his recorded legacy available? I sort of have the feeling that he would prefer it be given away freely than distributed any other way.
  ~ Thomas Brown

* * * * *

Yes, Thomas, we have done just that, and the sharing continues! Our aim here is to pass along to you all – guitarists all over the world today and in the future – Ted’s lessons, recordings, writings, transcriptions, and “all things Ted.”

An interesting coincidence that one of the lessons for this month – “3-Note Chords for the I Chord in G Blues” – includes a letter from Ted wherein he talks about sharing. An excerpt from that letter:

“I’ve never given this material out before – it’s just you and me with it. Let’s keep it for ours for a while…. I’d like to publish all my stuff, and God willing, I will. Sharing is cool (you know). For now, I’m sharing this material with you and only you. I’ve never quite codified it before so it’s kinda new for me too.”

This was written in 1995, so perhaps enough time has passed and Ted would approve of us posting this lesson for the world.

And now we’d like to ask you to pay it forward. How? Tell your guitarist friends about this website, give them a copy of Ted’s Solo Guitar CD, loan them a copy of Chord Chemistry or Modern Chord Progressions. If you’re a guitar teacher, perhaps you might print out one of Ted’s lessons or arrangements and use it as a teaching tool. Go to Ted’s Facebook page or YouTube channel and “like” us. Share/post those links so that others can be directed to this site. And let people know that Ted’s legacy is being offered in the spirit of his generosity. And of course, you can make regular donations to help keep this site up and running. And most of all, one of the best ways you can really share Ted’s music and teachings is for you to improve your own playing, to become a better musician. Absorb and exemplify the lessons that he taught. Enrich your harmonic vocabulary. And maybe when people ask you how you learned to play so beautifully, you’ll be able to say that Ted Greene was responsible for at least a part of it.

Enjoy and the new lesson material… and share with others!

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* Born Free (partial), 1978-12-25. [Here’s a partial arrangement that Ted wrote the chords for the first 5 measures only, and left the rest for the student to finish. We included the notation for Ted’s chords, and then melody only for the remainder of the song, with plenty of space for you to add your grid diagrams. This could be considered as a fairly easy chord melody.]
* Norwegian Wood, 2000-05-04 & 1992-11-11. [We’ve added this under the new “Beatles Tunes” header in the Arrangements section. I think this arrangement was used as an example to illustrate mixolydian melody, or a song in a mixolydian key – more than just to show how to play this song. There are actually two versions here: one is complete, the other partial. The 1992 partial version is in the same key (E mixolydian), but has the melody up an octave, so could certainly combine them anyway you wish. For some reason Ted didn’t include his normal dot, X, box, triangle notation for the first couple of chords, and then later went back and added red dots to show the additional melody notes. You’ll need to watch the notation to follow along (or just use your ear if you’re familiar with this song). Notation with lyrics provided.]

* Vintage Guitar Magazine, February 1996 - “Spotlight” - Ted Greene - Solo Guitar.
[We posted a new copy of Ted’s original article with his handwritten comments, and have now added another PDF which has the text of the original article, with Ted’s handwritten comments in a red font, and a copy of the VG magazine cover. I think you’ll find it a lot easier to read than the scan of Ted’s original copy.]

* Chromatic Dm Fugue, 1970-09-03. [This piece is a bit of a mystery. One guess is that it is an early attempt of Ted’s to compose a classical piece. This was written around the time that he was diving deep into Bach Chorales and other classical pieces. It appears that in 1983 he went back to the page and added something, but it’s not clear what – so apparently, he valued the page enough to save it, even after a review 13 years later. At the bottom of Ted’s original page, he added notation that seems to be some kind of variation that may or may not be related to the “Fugue.” We provided new notation and “suggested” grid diagrams for at least one way to play it.]

* 3-Note Chords for the I Chord in G Blues (w/letter), 1995-12-16. [This page is from a letter Ted wrote. Ted had some students that took lessons via mail. This wasn’t as effective as a private face-to-face lesson, but for those living hundreds or thousands of miles away, was a good way to connect with Ted’s ocean of knowledge. In this lesson he shares some cool two-chord phrases that work well over the I chord of a blues. We typed out the letter and notated the chord moves (with some rhythmic interpretation) to make them clearer.]

* Harmonizing Melodic 3rd Intervals, 1985-02-23. [This page is located under the “Harmonization of a Given Melody” header. Like all lessons in this series, it gives you wonderful insights into the Ted’s mind as to how he approaches variations for harmonizing simple melodies. Notation combined with Ted grids for easy assimilation.]

* Two for the Road. [This lesson sheet is undated, but based on the way it was written out and his handwriting, I would venture to guess it is circa 1991. After learned to comp the song with these chords try this: move the melody up an octave incorporate it into the soprano portion of Ted’s chords. You’ll have experiment and make some slight (and sometimes drastic) modifications to his chord forms in order to do this, but it can be done with wonderful results. Notation and lyrics combined with Ted’s original grids.]

* Chord Progressions – What to Expect in Popular Music, 1974-03-23. [We get a little bit of music theory here, some of which is redundant to information that is contained in other lessons by Ted. The reason for this is that he was constantly revising and improving his hand-out sheets; upgrading them or making completely different versions. Some great teachers say that repetition is an essential part of learning, so a little redundancy will only help to reinforce the process. Typed text provided for easy reading.]
* Common Chord Progressions and Harmonic Principles, 1974-12-28 & 29. [There’s another lesson page by Ted from 1973 with the exact same title as this lesson, so we’ve added “(1974)” at the end of it so as to differentiate the two. But actually, the full title of this new lesson is “The Most Common Chord Progressions and Harmonic Principles Used in 20th Century Popular Music” – but that is too long, so we shortened it. This page has some good basic music theory, and there’s some overlap of information with the above listed lesson on “…What to Expect in Popular Music” – but repetition, repletion, repetition…. Typed text for easy reading.]
* Favorable Matings of Qualities and Degrees – List, 1975-09-19. [In 1990 Ted wrote another lesson page with the same title as this new lesson, but they are very different. Similar lesson material, but different presentation. The 1990 version deals only with Dominant chords, whereas the 1975 version includes dominant, major, and minor chords. It is suggested to study both pages together. Typed text for easy reading, thank you!]

* Cumulative Ear-Training Program, 1993-01-06
. [Using chords, Ted wants us to hear the changes of the moving 3rd (minor 3rd, major 3, 4th), and moving chords by minor 3rds. Notation provided combined with Ted’s chord diagrams. Notes in red indicate the moving notes to listen for.]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

- back to top -



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 - 2017 TedGreene.com | support@tedgreene.com