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Spring 2023 Newsletter


Spring Greetings to all!

Let’s start off this newsletter with a transcript of an excerpt of guitar great Joe Diorio speaking about his good friend, Ted Greene:

Joe Diorio Remembers Ted Greene

From the video “What Every Musician Ought to Know, Part 2

This video was recorded at the Joe Diorio Fund Raiser/Jazz Guitar Workshop, hosted by John Pisano, at California Vintage Guitar & Amp in Sherman Oaks, California, on January 15, 2006 (about 6 months after Ted Greene’s passing). Joe had a stroke in 2005 that impacted the full function of his left hand, and thus, his playing. In less than a year, Joe’s ‘extended family’ came together to help him out. Joe’s words will impact all aspiring jazz guitarists worldwide on how they approach their music, the time spent developing it, and their attitudes towards others. There is no music, just Joe answering questions, sharing his thoughts, his ideas, and his stories of the incredible life he lived as a jazz guitarist. As Joe said, “Being at the right place, at the right time” and meeting people like Wes Montgomery, Tal Farlow, Joe Pass, and my teacher, Ted Greene. He underscores the humility and kindness of the greats!

Thanks to Nick Stasinos for providing this video and the above comments.
This short excerpt starts at 24:28 and runs until the end, 28:49.

John Pisano: Oh, I’d love to mention one thing. Ted Greene --- ah, Ted Greene’s…. Is Barbara still here?
Joe Diorio: Yeah, Barbara’s here, yes.
John Pisano: Anyway. Barbara, Ted’s lady. She was nice enough — this week I got a call from Dan* — and Ted loved everybody, including Joe. And this guitar, right there (points to a guitar in the room**), Barbara is going to put it up for silent auction, and all the proceeds go to Diorio. We didn’t---we said, “Oh, man, no, no, not….” Anyway, I said, “Look, ah, this---this…. Because it was Ted’s---ah, he would have demanded it. Barb, do you have anything to say about that? Please.
Barbara Franklin: Ah, it was just something that he always did. I mean, you see a need, if you can fill it, you fill it.

Joe Diorio: May I say something first? I got a moment and I don’t want to lose this moment. Barbara, I can’t thank you enough. It’s so…. I mean…. I’m usually not at a loss for words, because I can bullshit my way through everything, but this is something that is very touching to me and both my wife as well.

And let me tell you something, just so---. You know, I was---I consider myself a very good friend of Ted Greene’s, by the way. And at one time Ted and I were both writing for Zdenek Publications, so we were privy to go out to Christmas parties and book things, you know. And first of all, there was no one who could play guitar like Ted Greene ever in life, and ever will. I was privileged — I told you a many times tonight: I was at the right place at the right time. We are in Zdenek office, maybe an hour or so before a Christmas party starts, and Ted has his guitar, and he’s going tune after tune of Christmas carols with all these incredible voicings: sometimes the Renaissance voicings, the Bach voicings, the jazz voicings. And I’m looking, I’m saying, “I’m in the same room with this guy? [Joe makes a face of astonishment.] Man, I mean, Jesus! Talk about lessons between Joe Pass, between Wes, between Ted Greene – I mean I got to be the luckiest guy walking the planet earth! But I loved him, and he was very complimentary to me, and I could not be more complimentary in his playing.

And I’ll just give you one quick story. There was a club; The Smokehouse is located – I don’t know, exactly where down the road the studios are. Barham [Blvd., Burbank, CA.]. Yeah, okay. Anyway, he was doing a Sunday afternoon thing, so I went to hear him play. And of course, he’s thrilling everybody. He’s got everybody with their mouth’s down. But for me, the highlight that I ever heard anybody do in my life, was: he was playing a tune called, “With a Song in My Heart.” And after he got done playing the melody and with his great chords, he went into a Bach, you know, Johann Sebastian Bach improvisation that was his. And I said, “What I was hearing — I thought I was hearing Bach on guitar, but improvised!” And I asked him about it later, and he told me it was improvised. And he was very nice to tell me a few pointers on how he got there, which I’ve been working on all my life.

But I heard---. When he did this, Barry Coates and I were sitting at the bar with our drinks like this, you know. And after it was all said and done, we just looked…. [Joe makes a face of jaw-dropping amazement]. We didn’t know whether to drink, drop the glass, drop on the floor — because he had just heard history. We had just witnessed something so special. So Barbara, I love you, honey. We all love you, and we miss Ted. We all do; we all love him. Let’s take a break.

* Dan Duehren, co-founder and resident bluesman of famed California Vintage Guitar and Amp in Sherman Oaks, California.
** The guitar auctioned off was a sunburst 1958 Guild X350 which Ted had named, “Chubby.”

* * * * *

For the New Items this quarter, we’ve focused on some of Ted’s Personal Music Studies pages dealing with Baroque, 5-note chord voicings, and some general chord studies. We’re also catching up with including some older articles about Ted that were posted or published several years ago, hoping that you’ll enjoy reading more about Ted and how he impacted the worldwide guitar community.

One of our followers reported a typo in our write-up of Ted’s lesson on “Cadences.” You can find the new version in our Harmony & Theory section, and it’s listed as “Cadences (1973)”

Also, we’ve updated the set list for Ted and Cathy Segal-Garcia’s album “Live at Rocco’s,” found in our “Performances” section. It’s listed as “2000 June 13, Rocco’s, Los Angeles, CA.” Cormac Walsh from the UK reported to us that our set list was missing the song, “Up on the Roof and Under the Boardwalk.” This baffled me, so I pulled out my copy of Cathy's "Never Forgotten" DVD to check it out, and discovered that her set list of their Rocco's 2000 performance is indeed missing that tune in the liner notes. This song appears on the DVD between “That's the Glory of Love” and “Hey Jude.” I guess you could call it track 9.5. On the DVD it runs from 51:16 to 59:30. You can also find it on YouTube.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to Jimmy Cruz, Justin Scott Lucas, and Greg O’Rourke for sharing their articles about Ted. We greatly appreciate the consistent help from Mike de Luca for his expert proofreading of all the new Ted lessons write-ups, and to James Hober for proofreading and his V-System insights. Also, thanks to Nick Stasinos for the Joe Diorio video. To Cormac Walsh and Adam Levy for reporting errors/typos in previously posted material. Not to forget Leon White, as our commander-in-chief, and Jeffrey D Brown.

As a final word for this newsletter message, I’d like to invite anyone who might interested in joining our “TG Team” in helping us with the writing up of Ted’s lesson pages, to please contact us either through the Forums or our Contact page. We are volunteer driven. Donations that come in are used for the technical upkeep of the site. So, if you are willing to pitch in, it would be as a volunteer like the rest of us here – a labor of love. The “job” would require a very modest amount of graphics skills in order to notate and add Ted-style chord diagrams, and of course a fair degree of musical understanding and of the guitar. We’d be happy to work with you so you can help us serve Ted’s worldwide family.

~ Your Friends on the Team


* Four Great Chord Melody Jazz Guitarists - Part 2: Ted Greene - by Greg O’Rourke. [This article, published on on Jan 17, 2017, is a brief overview of Ted as a player with examples from YouTube. Thanks to Greg and the team at FretDojo for allowing us to post this piece.]

* Riffs of Wisdom - Ted Greene Chord Chemistry - by Justin Scott Lucas. [A brief review of Ted’s classic book, Chord Chemistry, published on Riffs of Wisdom,, on January 26, 2012. Thanks to Justin Scott Lucas.]

* Ted Greene - Guitarist Extraordinaire and Beloved Instructor - by Jimmy Cruz 2016 Guitar One Magazine. [Another very short biography and teaching career of Ted, posted on on March 8, 2016 and in Guitar One magazine. Thanks to Jimmy for permission to include this article in our collection.]

* 20th Century Diatonic Contrary Patterns, 1979-02-18. [Thirteen examples for contrary motion patterns. We created new notation for Ted’s, and added chord diagrams and added suggested chord names where relevant. The diagrams are merely our suggestions; however, you might find alternate ways to play each one. As Ted would say: experiment and find what works for you.]

* 4-to-1 and 3-to-1 Bass Dropping by 2nd, 1979-07-28. [Many examples Ted gave for getting you prepared for Baroque improvisation. Each example is just a starter which is to be elaborated upon by playing it in sequences in descending 2nds, or in ascending 3rds. New notation provided for easy reading. We have not added any grid diagrams here, since the fingerings and fingerboard locations allow for multiple possibilities. You’ll need to work out those details.]

* Application of 1-to-1 Counterpoint Studies, 1983-04-09. [Another counterpoint study from Ted’s PMS files. We added new notation and married it up with Ted-style grid diagrams. However, please note that out chord diagrams are just suggestions. You may find others that you prefer. Interesting to see how a half page of Ted’s notes turns into 6 full pages of new notation with grids! We hope that you find them clear and easy to study.]

* Classical-Romantic Progressions, 1974-08-03, 1980-11-15. [Ted examples given. At the top of the page Ted wrote: “Also good for Gospel, Blues, Pop, some Jazz. Derived from 1) bass lines, 2) “numbers” and 3) melodies.” We created new notation and provided suggested chord forms and chord names for each example. Mixed in with all the examples, Ted wrote out what he described then as “12 (+2) real useable densities” for chord voicings. This may be one of his very early thoughts that later became his “V-System.” James Hober provided us with the V number for each of the chords (listed in blue font below the chords)]

* A Minor Stuff, undated. [A mixture of 35 different root-position A minor-type chords, all centered around the root on the 6th string, 5th fret. It’s up to you to define the chord names, but they’re all minor types.]

* Choice 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-Note Major Types Chord Organization, 1976-12-06. [This is a worksheet that Ted wrote for including in a book he was intending to write, titled, “Chord Cyclopedia.” This was “A 1976 attempt” at some organization, which in retrospect may be unnecessary, considering the organization Ted did with his “V-System” and his “5-Note Chord Voicings” organization. This page focuses on C major types (group 1), and E major types (group 2). We’ve included a short “translation” page to help decipher some of Ted’s handwritten parts.]

* Contrary Motion into Beautiful Chords, 1979-02-19, 1980-11-16. [This page comes from just one line of notation Ted jotted down for his own personal studies. It seems that he was having difficulty deciding on the title – later adding “mainly chromatic” and “chord lines” and “or neighbor tone embellishment.” The material at the bottom of Ted’s original page doesn’t really go with the rest of the examples, but we included it nevertheless. New notation and suggested chord forms included for easy study. Enjoy!]

* ii7 - ii7 - V7 Progressions (untitled), 1985-05-14. [This is a collection of various ii7 - ii7, or ii7 - ii7 - V7 progressions. The possible uses are endless. We provided an extra “answers” page with the chord names included.]

* ii7 - V7 (with Various Colors) - I, 2004-04-00. [Here we have 9 examples of ii-V-I progressions in 8 different keys. We provided an extra “answers” page with the chord names included.]

* Major 1st Inversion Possibilities - Root on 4th or 2nd Strings, (undated). [Major chords. All 1st inversions. Root on 4th and 2nd strings. 3rd on 6th and 1st strings. Familiar with some of these forms. Some new. Some challenging. Find something you like. Use it.]

* Major Starting Chords for Jazz Turnarounds - Organized by the Soprano, 1985-11-24. [This is a collection of C major type chords with the 5th (G) on top (soprano). The first group has the top note on the 2nd string; the second group has the top note on the 3rd string; the third group with the top note on the 1st string. Though Ted titled this page “for jazz turnarounds,” there are no turnarounds given here - it’s just an organized listing of C chords. Homework assignment: name the chords: C/9, Csus4, Cmaj7, C6/9, etc.]

* Neighbor Tone Embellishment of Common Impressionistic Era Chords, 1973-07-07, 1978-12-15, 1981-01-29. [This lesson might be thought to be tied in with Ted’s lesson on “Chromatic Tones and Lower Neighbor Tones” (see “Harmony & Theory” section). However, this page focuses on Impressionistic era chords, rather than just the general uses of Neighbor tones. Ted would certainly have stressed the importance of making sure that all the notes ring or sustain through in each example. The sustain ties and fingerings are important. If you ignore this aspect of the lesson, you’re missing out on the beauty that Ted is trying to convey. The chord diagrams and fingerings are suggestions, but we took great care to try to find the “best” possible ways to play each example, hoping that this will save you the time and trouble of deciphering the notations. Enjoy!]

Under the “Chord Streams” header:

* Melodic Use of Small Major Type Chords (6ths), 1977-06-09. [This is a collection of 12 different chord streams with moving top line, given in 3 keys: E, Ab, and C. All of these use 6th chords on the top 4 strings. Chord names are not listed because they may be interpreted in a variety of ways according to usage.]

Under the Header of “5-Note Chord Voicings”

* 5-Note Amaj9 - Systematic Inversion Rows Angle, 1984-06-29. [Ted wrote out the voicings of 158 different chord forms for Amaj9. This page is organized by the size of the outer interval. There are many, many long stretches for your hands, and you often need to use your right hand to catch bass notes that are out-of-reach. Proceed at your own caution. We made new chord grid diagrams to save your eyes from squinting at Ted’s original page. (You’re welcome!)]

* 5-Note C6/9 Voicings Derived from Cmaj9, 1979-12-03, 1980-02-17. [How many C6/9 or C6/9#11 5-note chord forms do you know? Well, Ted shows us 104 different ones to stretch our hands and fingers on. These may also be interpreted as Am7/11, D11, and Fmaj13, or Am6/11, D9, and F#m7b5+ if you want to expand you mind a bit while working thru these monsters. Again, we have made new grid diagrams for easy of reading and study. Good luck!]

* 5-Note Choice Diminished Scale Derived Voicings, 1986. [This file contains all 21 original work pages from Ted, plus 7 “translation” pages that we have provided, for those who have difficulty reading and deciphering Ted’s handwritten notes scattered throughout the series. Ted used a color code, though he doesn’t explain it here. We’ve added a color chart that was taken from one of Ted’s other related worksheets, assuming he used the same coding system in both series.]

* Chromatic Tones and Lower Neighbor Tones, 1978-07-07. [Ted explains these two concepts and illustrates them using the C dominant 7th scale. At the end of this lesson Ted wrote, “Both of these concepts will be illustrated in the musical examples that follow.” However, we don’t have those exact examples that were tied to this lesson, but other related examples on Neighbor Tones exist and will be posted in the next Newsletter for Summer 2023.]

Ted on YouTube

Ted on Facebook

Ted on Twitter

The Official Ted Greene Forums

* Of course, most of the videos are posted right here in our Video Section

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - My Life with The Chord Chemist - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

My Life with The Chord Chemist
A Memoir of Ted Greene, Apotheosis of Solo Guitar
By Barbara Franklin

BUY NOW - Available at

Publication Date: Nov 24 2009
Page Count: 276
Trim Size: 8" x 10"

A retrospective of Ted Greene, virtuoso solo guitarist, beloved music teacher, world-renowned author and innovator of unique music concepts for guitar. This book also includes an overview of Ted Greene's early life and musical development, plus an insightful narrative of the 13 years prior to his death

Six agonizing months after losing my beloved Ted, I slowly emerged from a state of profound disbelief, almost coma-like. At that time I didn’t know what to do with the remnants of my life; then a path began to unfold before me. This website was started and became a saving grace.

During the ensuing years, I organized and categorized Ted’s material and personal studies. Upon completion of that massive undertaking, once again, I didn’t know what to do, so I began writing.

I wrote pages, and then threw them away, until once again a path began to unfold. What I wrote is mostly a personal memoir. I suppose it was what I had to write first.

From the preface:

“The decision to reveal parts of our personal life was something I deliberated over for a long time. Because our lives became so inextricably bound, I included what I felt necessary, but not without a considerable amount of apprehension. This book illustrates the many parallels between Ted the musician and Ted the person. I felt it was important to convey how Ted was driven compulsively not just to pursue music, but so many other things he loved.”

With this in mind, here is our story. It IS very personal and I still have apprehensions about publishing it. My hope is that it brings you closer to Ted, as you begin to get to know and understand this unique and extraordinary man and musician.


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