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  Seminar at Papashon Restaurant, Encino, CA 1999-01-29


[ From Barbara Franklin’s Book:
My Life with The Chord Chemist A Memoir of Ted Greene, Apotheosis of Solo Guitar Available at amazon.com ]

Ted wrote rather comprehensive notes about his Friday night seminar,
“Jan. 29 NAMM Show Weekend (hired by Guild/Fender) Friday Night Seminar:
Topics covered by request & my own initiation:
1.) The near foolproof method for learning all scales in all positions: descending from the pinky.
2.) How to memorize chords, a) hook the new to the old friends, b) Visual roots: mandatory,
3) My Voicing System up to V-10,
4) My double “G” style: simultaneous pick style ‘Freddie Green & me, Ted’ Greene me on melody, the rhythmic diverseness, suggestions & demonstrations for solo guitar using “Here’s That Rainy Day”
5) ‘Andrews Sisters’ chime chords.  
Four Guilds though the supplied Fender amps, I bring Brandy (who feeds back), Savannah (likewise), Deedee (who sounds cool except in the weak 1st string) & the Duane Eddy. Analysis: My playing was just average or worse except for my ‘double G’ stuff on ‘Foggy Day’ & ‘Stompin’ at the Savoy’ Public debut: Savannah.”

That night I brought my journal with me and wrote my own notes about the evening, later Ted slightly embellished and amended them. Ted’s notes are shown here in bold italics. From my Journal, Ted’s seminar:

“We are now at Papashon’s and the lighting for writing is miserable. Ted’s attention is immediately taken by setting up his equipment (he brought Deedee, Savannah, the Duane Eddy and one more, who? (Brandy) and by numerous people vying for his attention. He was surprised extremely dismayed to find upon arrival here, that the room set aside for the seminar was “now” too small to accommodate the rather large crowd assembling for this event. So he is on a stage in a larger dining area and soon hundreds of people will be descending upon us. It’s a quarter to seven, hardly anyone is in the room but just now there’s an announcement that everyone is welcome to enter and be seated. He seems slightly anxious but is hiding it well.

The seminar is about to start. No one at first seems to be comfortable asking questions, Ted is comfortable, uncomfortable or so it seems and therefore tries humor. Finally someone asks, “How do you break down the fret board?” which he explains through scale steps, and easily digresses into other areas; pentatonic scales and where the same note exists. Second question, “How do ‘you’ remember all the chords?” – the massive amounts in his books for example. Visual root, voicing systems, spacing’s, another digression, “Teddy Greene” rhythms, segues into the quality of sound contingent on where one’s right hand is placed.

He started on Deedee but for rhythmic examples went to Savannah. Someone wants him to play – just play a song – so he switches to the Duane Eddy and renders a beautiful version of “Let it be Me.” Then rhythmic variations on “Rainy Day” The normal & in essence here dismissed grooves being: a) ballad, b) swing, c) bossa. 1. Gospel 3/4, 2. jazz waltz, 3. 12/8 gospel & doo-wop which is just south of jazz swing jazz waltz vs. gospel through phrasing.  Question on harp harmonics - back to Deedee, which sounds fine. adequate.  Then it’s over.

Ted comes to sit with us. Earlier I had invited Ted’s good friend William Perry, and his friend Ahndrea, to join us at the table reserved for us by the management. I’m also thinking about the seminar now that it’s over and realizing that the atmosphere is not really appropriate for learning. Ted carried it a lot on his own, elaborating on the questions, and only having an hour to disseminate information is not long enough, even though Ted had planned and prepared material. Mundell Lowe sounds great, mellow and gets the “right” sound, I can’t explain, hollow and deep woodsy like Gigi. Easy it’s a 1965 aged Gigi (Bl. X 500 with mini-hums)

That night when we came home Ted was still energized, sat on the living room floor and played the X150 Savannah Savoy and sounded great! Generally after a performance he was rarely pleased by the way he played. He would ruminate over the details or other aspects that troubled him, for example the sound, amps, all the many areas for potential problems

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