Newsletter Archives:

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

Subscribe to Advance Updates to get early access notifications.
You can contribute here! View our privacy policy

December 2020 Newsletter


Happy Holiday greetings to all Ted Greene friends, fans, students, and music lovers.

Our final newsletter for this year comes from one of Ted’s long-time friends, Leon White:

* * * * *

Well, we’re at the end of 2020, and I can’t say it came too soon. For most of us it has been an emotional year at best – and just about every emotion. I have had on-line students for quite some time, including students from outside the US, but with all the lockdowns and such, they all seem to have relaxed a little and worked more patiently. It seems they have become more persistent, maybe because they have a sense of more time available for practicing. There is perhaps a lesson there for all of us. As students, I think we should grant ourselves a little more time to learn whatever we’re working on. More time to be persistent instead of under a deadline.

Ted’s persistence has been discussed throughout the site and in Newsletters, and his words should be an inspiration to us – and perhaps a goal for us in the new year. From My Life with the Chord Chemist, Ted wrote:

“Practice slowly, very slowly if need be, on anything that is difficult or not sounding right. And listen very carefully to yourself to hear what you are doing well and what you are not. Tape your playing from time to time. But don’t always listen back immediately. Give it a day or two. It can be a real eye-opener. The tape doesn’t lie. Just us humans do, sometimes to ourselves. Don’t do it; it’s a trap that will keep a person from ever getting really good on their instrument. I’ve seen it in almost more cases than my heart can bear. Search your soul to make sure you are being honest with yourself and then peacefully accept the consequences of who you are, or find out how to elicit changes for the better in yourself or your life, changes that will help you live your dreams. Keep the goals in your mind, in your heart, and in your ears. It may take a long time, but good things will happen.”

I can’t help but wonder what Ted would make of all the events we’ve suffered through this year. At this holiday season I like to think he’d be his old self – enjoying the music, his friends and students, and the wonderful spirit that he always seemed to get at the holidays. He was joyful, generous, thoughtful, and full of fun. And he had the ability to be very, very funny with his music when playing for or with friends. He could make everybody laugh by what he played and by the short off-hand remarks he’d slide in. Something Barbara Franklin quoted Ted as saying several times: “When life has us in a tight corner, one of the first questions to ask is ‘Can I solve this with some humor?’”

She also wrote: “Having Ted along to share the holiday activities certainly embellished the experiences — not just the overwhelming joy of his company, but observing him interacting with everyone, and their open and affirmative responses to him. He was able to draw out so many positive aspects of their natures, and of course, make everyone laugh.” This season perhaps you might try to play something to amuse rather than dazzle!

From everyone at we wish a peaceful and joy-filled holiday season.
And now, in the spirit of holiday gifts, we have 11 new items from Ted for you to enjoy.

~ Leon and the Team


* Ted Greene and Emily Remler – Jammin’. [A few years ago we posted this recording of Ted and Emily playing together sometime in the 1980’s. It’s a wonderful recording with a rare view of Ted single-note jazz soloing. We have now replaced it with a pitch-corrected version, thanks to Nick Stasinos.]

In the “Lessons with Mark Fitchett” section:

* 1991-05-29 and 1991-06-12, Part 1, Ted Greene Lesson with Mark Fitchett.
[Time: 45:44 The first part of this recording is the tail end of their 1991, May 29 lesson. Then the June 12th lesson begins. That was a 2-hour long lesson, and this file has just the first half. Both of these lessons are an in-depth deconstruction and review of harmonizations for “The Days of Wine and Roses.”]

* 3rds and 7ths Jazz Voicing Functional Tritones, 2001, 2004. [This is a collection of 4 page that Ted wrote for using 3rds & 7ths for chord voicing. The first two pages are kind of a “how-to-build” these chords starter, showing chord tones on the grids, and building them cumulatively. The last page is a fill-in-quiz, which we include an “answers” sheet. Ted often attributed this kind of playing to Lenny Breau, and has become very popular in recent years.]

* Chord Reference Charts and the Nucleus Concept, 1974-1976. [These pages are from 1974 and 1976, and was a staple hand-out for students wanting to better understand chord construction. Much of this information is also included in Chord Chemistry, but organized differently. The focus on these pages is to see the basic “nucleus” chord structure residing just behind or beneath all the different variations in the same area of the neck. Since these pages are hand-written and somewhat difficult to read in places, we thought it good to re-draw all the grids. These have been double-checked for accuracy, and so we hope you’ll use these as reference. You can always refer to Ted’s original pages if you prefer.]

* I – bVII – bVI – V Fill-in Quiz, 1990-09-23, 1990-12-25. [This is a fun lesson. Here Ted is using two scale degrees that are from the “expanded key” – that is, the bVII and bVI. This is a nice tie-in with some recent lessons and discussions in the Forums. The page is a fill-in assignment for the student to add the other voices below the given soprano voice. We’ve provided “answers” pages with the added notes in blue. These progressions can be used for turnarounds, or any other places where a I – vi – ii – V (or variations thereof) is normally used.]

* Modern Voicing on iii7 – VI7 – ii7 – V7, 1977-08-08, 1979-03-02. [Five examples given for the key of A, and ten examples given for the key of Ab.]

* Small Chords for Group Playing, 1977-02-01. [These are chord shapes that Ted felt we useful for a guitarist to know when playing in a band setting, mostly for comping purposes. Ted organized them according to the basic chord families: major, minor, and dominant. To note: a second copy of page 1 is included that has some additional notes written in by Ted at a later date, using a red pen. Redrawn grids for easy reading and reference.]

* Visual Chords, 1993 – 1999. [This is a collection of four sheets that Ted wrote up during private lessons. They all involve Ted trying to illustrate visual ways of seeing the chord shapes. Notation provided to align with Ted’s original chord diagrams. Chord names added when needed (except for the 4th chords, which can be analyzed various ways.]

Under the header “Harmonization of a Given Melody”

* America the Beautiful (harmonization assignment), 1978-11-28. [This page is simply the melody – no chords are given. Ted had this as an assignment for the student to harmonize using various methods as demonstrated in his other “harmonization of a given melody” series. See what you come up with and share your results with us in the Forums.]

* I Wanna Be Loved by You, 2000-04-24. [Here is a fairly simple comping study for this 1928 song, made popular by Marilyn Monroe in 1959 in the film “Some Like it Hot.” Ted wrote this sheet up during a private lesson, and at the top of his page he included three V-5 of F#7 forms in which Ted emphasized to use “glide” fingering – meaning, to slide the fingers up the same strings to arrive at the next inversion (except for the F#7 at the 9th fret, using a double-stop 1st finger on strings 5 & 6). He also included a progression in the key of Gb, which I don’t believe was intended as an intro to “I Wanna be Loved by You” in Ab – at least I couldn’t make any sense of it. Notation with lyrics provided.]

* So Rare (walking chords – fragment), 1985-01-08. [This is an unusual lesson sheet from Ted. My guess is that a student had questions about a certain part of this song, so Ted showed him just those portions. He started with the bridge, and then showed the “opening” or “2nd verse” section, in which three of the chords are indicated with only top notes. Perhaps the student was expected to fill in the blanks and to put it all together. We’ve provided the lead sheet with lyrics and placed Ted’s chord forms in the appropriate spots, and added the chord names. You’ll have to finish this on your own if you’re interested. Also, on Ted’s original page is a short passage he labelled as “Key of E, Rubato accompaniment, Bye, Bye, Blackbird.” This fragment was not notated, but you might find something useful there.]

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.


Don't forget to visit the Newsletter Archives :)



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 - 2020 |