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December 2019 • Newsletter


A warm Winter greeting to all of Ted’s fans, students, friends, and Internet family!

This month’s newsletter is an inspiring, thoughtful, and uplifting message from Leon White:

I was asked to write a bit for this Newsletter, so here I am. The holidays can be a time for looking back and remembering. In the 2010 Newsletter Barbara Franklin included this:

“Continuing our tradition of offering thoughts to ponder as another year in our lives comes to a close. Ted kept this special quotation hanging in his apartment as it so well reflected his own idea on how to achieve any goal. (I posted this years (!) ago somewhere in the Forums.)

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and Determination alone are Omnipotent.

~ John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.”

Persistence is on my mind because of Paul and Jeff and our contributors. A milestone in Updates was reached this year – a huge and lengthy piece of work. I’ve been working through all the pages on the site myself, and quite a bit of work is ongoing on updating the site. Persistence is the quality moving the site forward, and it is a collaborative effort between those who contribute and those who support.

It seemed like a good opportunity to recognize what a beautiful experience that is for all of us. People from all over the world gather here, share their work, their lessons, and their good wishes without obligation. That is giving at its very best. We all benefit in many, many ways – some of which we don’t even recognize at first.

The engine for all this is Ted. If you stop and think about that for a moment, it is rather incredible.

We’ve all spoken of the many attributes and accomplishments of Ted, and his influence on guitarists. Putting that aside however, there is a gathering, with respect and kindness, that is global. And it sits right here.

I’ve recently been contacted by some Croatian guitarists about Chord Chemistry and Ted. I’ve no doubt they are connected to each other somehow – perhaps a teacher, class, or store. But they come here and join the tens of thousands of players that have become part of our family. Those of us that help out Paul and Jeff are lucky to be able to keep sharing Ted, and we get to feel the joy and gratitude that bounce back to us. That is another gift.

And lastly, persistence has taken us through all these years to where we are starting the journey of a new and enhanced, more powerful site. So many infrastructure pieces are getting improved there are too many to list. But here are a few tiny ones: The whole site will be “mobile device” friendly finally. There will the capability for serious searching and cross referencing. Better video file handling is another. These may not be glamourous, but what a difference they’ll make. And there will be lots of visible “eye candy” improvements that will provide more enjoyment for all of us.

Some of us have been around for the whole website journey, while others are just newly joining. The journey continues, as Barb and I committed way back in 2005 – and you are all the reason why. Take pride in your participation, share your enthusiasm and wisdom with younger players, and extend the gift that was Ted to others who might appreciate it.

During the holiday season gifts are a big topic – giving and receiving, sharing, and being thankful. I hope you’ll please take a moment and reflect on all that you’ve given and received. My father told a story about a man who got on a streetcar and had left his money at home. An older fellow behind him gave him the fare. The young man insisted on repaying the gift, but the older gentleman declined, “If you pay me back, the dime does one bit of good. Instead, lend it to someone else. Help that one dime keep doing good.” A gift? Perhaps. But look at how far just one of these Ted Lesson pages have gone – around the world a dozen times?

Persistence was a gift Ted lived. And we can continue his gift. And it’s easy to do when you recall how much you’ve been given. Keep the holiday spirit for those of us in our community, and keep sharing it. We’ll keep up our end of the gift. And…Thank You! May you have a very happy holiday!

~ Leon and your friends on the Team


* Killing Me Softly with His Song, 1975-09-05. [This is a very early arrangement by Ted of this hit song. At the time he made his “grids” for this it, he had not yet developed his playing order notation of dot, x, box, triangle. So, you’ll need to follow the included notation to add the moving melody notes on each chord, as per the original song. Ted’s lesson page also includes his analysis of the chord progression. Please note that his version starts with the Bridge section, then onto the verse. In writing up this arrangement, we reversed this in order so as to conform to the correct sequence of the song. Standard music notation and lyrics have been included for easy reading and following the form of the song.]

Under the “Lead Sheets Written by Ted” header:

* You Are the Sunshine of My Life, 1974-04-26. [This is a very early lesson page, to be used for learning the basic structure of this song, and to have a foundation for starting a solo guitar arrangement.]

* Chorale Ideas, 1972-05-20 & 1972-08-15. [These are some ideas Ted wrote out around the same time that he was working on some of Bach’s chorales. For brevity sake, Ted used just the head (dot) of the notes and omitted the stems – although the rhythms are implied or easily interpreted. We’ve added notation with defined rhythmic notation, and also included chord names as well as grid diagrams for “suggestions” on at least one way to play them.]
* Common Baroque Harmonic Tendencies, 1978-07-08. [Ted subtitled this page: “For use in building modulating and non-modulating progressions.” Newly typed text for easy reading. (There’s some text at the bottom of Ted’s original page that seems unrelated to the subject, so we didn’t translate this stuff…see if you can make some sense out of it.]
* Unusual Diatonic Chords in Baroque Minor, 1976-03-06. [Ted’s original page is notation only. We have provided new notation along with chord names and suggested chord grid diagrams using Ted’s playing order notation.]

Under the “Triads” header:

* Inversion Rows – Exercises to Learn Triad Fingerings, 1975-04-17. [Part of Ted’s comments for this lesson is, “The following exercises are offered to help one gain familiarity with these basic tools, to pave the way for inspired music.” Using major triads, we learn: 1) the same voicings on different strings, 2) diagonal shapes, 3) different inversions on the same strings, and 4) different ways of playing a Chord Stream. Typed text and newly drawn chord grids for easy reading.]

Under the “Chord Scales” header:

* String-Crosses Using Open Triads, 1979-12-19. [In this set of exercises, Ted gives us 34 ways to play an A harmonized scale with open triads, staying in one location at a time, moving across the guitar neck (instead of up and down the neck). He begins on various degrees of the scale (so it’s kind of like modes of harmonized scales). The exercises start in the 5th position, and then move up as far as the 14th position. These are given three ways: Root position, 1st inversions, and 2nd inversions. Newly drawn grids for easy reading, thank you very much!]

Under the “Harmonization of a Given Melody” header:

* You Are the Sunshine of My Life – Bridge Variations, 1978-03-16 & 1978-12-25. [Ted titled this page, “Chord melody > various treatments on Bridge of ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life’ 1st Phrase.” He gives us 12 examples, plus we included example #13 from a fragment from his Personal Music Studies files that he wrote out 9 months later. Lots of 4th chord harmony here. We added music notation to make it easier to follow along, and we drew new grids diagrams, as it would have been much too time-consuming to try to import and fix all of Ted’s original diagrams. This lesson page was used by Ted during his second National Guitar Summer Workshop on July 14, 1992. He had a total of 18 handout pages for this “Connoisseur Series,” and on this “You Are the Sunshine…” page he added the comment: “Discussed quite a bit.” (Someday we’ll post those pages as a packet, although each of the individual pages are now {or soon to be} included in the Teachings Archives on this site, complete with notation and clarifications as necessary.)]

* I’ll Be Easy to Find, 1992-07-06. [This song was written by Bart Howard in 1958. This lesson is for intermediate level comping. If you’re unfamiliar with this song, go to YouTube and listen to Johnny Mathis, Rose Colella, or Teri Thornton sing it. Notation and lyrics combined with Ted’s grids.]

* Standard Resolutions of V7 to I or i, 1973-11-16. [This is a good basic lesson for V7 to I voicings, with 4 explanations/instructions of bass movements: 1) 3rd of V7 in bass moves up to root of I, 2) Flat7 moves down to 3rd, 3) 5th moves up to 3rd, and 4) Root stays put and becomes 5th of I. Typed text and newly drawn chord grids to save you from eye strain.]

Under the “Harp-Harmonics” header:

* Harp-Harmonics (and Other) Misc. Ideas, 1978, 1979, and 1996. [This collection of ideas comes from Ted’s Personal Music Studies files. Writing up this baby took a long time to notate, add new grids, and try to get into Ted’s head to see what he was thinking for these flights of inspiration that he hastily jotted down. We hope we were able to bring some clarity to these ideas, and that you’ll be able to glean something useful for your playing and inspiration.]

* Harp-Harmonic Technique – Bottom 5 Strings, 1978-06-28. [Ninety-three grids of chords ripe for applying the harp-harmonic technique. Check ‘em out. Newly drawn grids for your sanity.]

Ted on YouTube

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The Official Ted Greene Forums

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

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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 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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