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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

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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.]

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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.”

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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!]

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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:

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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

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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.]

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