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December 2019 • TedGreene.com 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 TedGreene.com 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 TedGreene.com 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.]

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November 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

November Greetings to all students, fans, and friends of Ted Greene.

Before we jump into the new Ted lesson material, we wanted to give you a brief update on the status of the site related to the posting of Ted’s lessons. We’re very excited about the progress made over that past 14 years since this site began. We’ve created a monster resource of guitar lessons that are for serious guitar students and players, and for those who’d just like to improve their understanding of the guitar – and specifically on harmony as Ted Greene played and taught…and all freely offered to the world.

To begin with, last month we posted the final installment of the “Lesson Files Upgrades” project. This project began 3 years ago in November of 2016. At that time, we did an inventory of all the lessons posted on the site, and discovered that there were about 320 files that really needed to be cleaned-up and clarified. And over the years we discovered several more that we added to that list, so all in all we fixed up about 335 files. Whew! That was a big undertaking – more than I expected, and because of it the regular monthly lessons were a bit short-changed at times. Hopefully we’ll be back on track, providing a better assortment of new lessons each month.

Some files which didn’t receive upgrades are the “Original Tunings” collection in the “Other” section. These pages will have to take a back seat and wait for their upgrade sometime in the future, since it was determined that these are not a high priority. Possibly we missed a few others, and so we’d like to ask your help: if you come across any lessons pages that appear as though they were overlooked and need some “sprucing up,” please contact us know and we’ll try to do an upgrade on them.

Now that the upgrades are complete, this clears the road for us to start working on developing a revision or complete revamp of the site. Some preliminary work has begun, but this is very labor/time intensive and will require hundreds of hours, and will probably be done in bits and pieces. We’re not trying to pinpoint any completion target date, but we’re hoping for sometime late in 2020. You can help hasten this project immensely by continuing your donations to support this site. Thank you!

Looking at the TG Teaching Archives, there are roughly 150 lessons still to publish. At our current rate we should finish posting these in about 3 years or less. Many of these are pages that we’ve avoided over the years because of the amount of work needed to get them ready. On some of his early hand-outs Ted crammed hundreds of grids onto one page, making them hard to read, and which will require that we redraw each chord. So some of these pages will take a lot of time to prepare.

Here’s a brief summary of the different sections:

Arrangements:Currently we have 173 arrangements in the general area + 41 in the Classical Pieces area + 25 in the Christmas Tunes = 239 total. And we’ve got about 18 yet to post. We usually add one or two each month. In addition, there are 39 lead sheets written by Ted with 9 more to go.

Baroque: About 25 left to go here; however, some of the pages that Ted filed away in his Baroque folders actually seem more appropriate for placing the Chord Studies or Harmony & Theory sections, since they often deal with exercises that go beyond just the Baroque style. In Ted’s Private Music Studies archives there are hundreds of pages of miscellaneous Baroque ideas. These will be fun to explore and post.

Blues: Except for 5 pages that are very difficult to interpret, this section is finished. However, in Ted’ Private Studies files there are hundreds of Blues fragments that may be of interest. We’ll have to wait on these for now, but they’ll be a subject of interest once we jump in.

Chord Studies: This is the biggest section, and most of the remaining unpublished lesson pages will go here. We may have to define some additional sub-headers as it grows and we can see logical groupings of what ends up in the final collection.

Comping: Currently we have 100 posted, and there’s 12 more coming.

Fundamentals: A few more pages left for this section, coming mainly from Ted’s early hand-outs.

Harmony & Theory: The pages in this section deal mostly with Ted’s written words of instruction. Most of this has already been posted, but there may be a few stragglers in the files that could fit here. However, most of his “explanations” were given verbally during private lessons (and much is also contained in Ted’s published books), so there’s not as much of these kinds of text-heavy lessons.

Jazz: Pretty much finished, but we’ll probably have some items from the PMS archives in the future.

The “Other” section: This seems to be a catch-all folder for miscellaneous items. We may have to expand on and add more headers as it grows.

Single-Note Soloing: Mostly finished, but a few pages still waiting to go. Again, there is a lot of SNS tidbits in the Personal Studies files, and of course Ted’s two published books on SNS covers most of what he taught on soloing.

The V-System posting was completed a couple of years ago. Many unpublished “work pages” in his PS files could also be posted…but these are ones that would require a lot of work to make legible and would require some sort of explanations. Quite of few of these pages are not suitable for posting (or useful or helpful in any way), so not everything will be released. Trust us on this one!

What will happen once we’ve finished posting all of Ted’s Lesson pages? Don’t worry, we’ll have many, many years left of new material to post each month from Ted’s Private Music Studies files. This is an area entirely separate from his regular “Teaching Archives.” Only a few of these pages have been posted in recent years, but there are thousands of them – a mountain of ideas Ted collected over the span of his lifetime, waiting to be sorted out, cleaned up, and shared.

Some of these pages may translate well into something that could be seen as one of Ted’s regular lesson pages, but most are just fragmented ideas, written using either grid diagrams or standard music notation. There’s also quite a bit of pages of “rough drafts” that he used for developing lesson sheets or catalogues of specific harmonic techniques, and exploring new concepts. And lots of lists and work sheets of systematic approaches to different subjects. And he did this all by hand, not being a “computer guy” at all.

The Private Music Studies index needs to be finished (…I gotta get on that!). Currently I have about a third still left to do. A big THANK YOU to Barbara Franklin and Leon White for the wonderful scanning job they did years ago for all these pieces (not to mention the regular Teaching Archives as well). We’ll begin to seriously look at this collection after Ted’s regular lessons are completely published. When we post these Personal Studies pages we may have to create new sections for all those “Fragments, Ideas, Sketches, and Misc.,” since it may be confusing to mix them in with the already overwhelming number of regular lesson pages.

If anyone is willing to help with some of the graphics work involved with these lesson pages, please contact us. And of course, we always welcome and appreciate any transcriptions of Ted’s recordings you may create and are willing to share in our growing “Transcriptions” section. Also, other insights, analyses, lists, indexes or other helpful information related to Ted and his music that you’ve done may be sent to us, and we’d be happy to add them to our “From Students” section.

Enjoy the new lesson material!

~ Paul and the TedGreene.com Team


* Here, There, and Everywhere. [Here’s a very early Beatles arrangement by Ted. It was written up during a private lesson and is incomplete. Please see the introductory note attached to the file to understand what was done in the notation and “follow-thru” of this arrangement.]
* Red River Valley. [This was posted in the Forums years ago, but somehow was absent from our official lessons section. It comes from a private lesson, and was given to instruct how to spice up a very “straight” or ordinary song. Notation provided. Also see our “Single-Note Soloing” section for Ted’s “Red River Valley - Basing your solo on the given melody.”]

Under the “Lead Sheets Written by Ted” header:

* Tell Me a Bedtime Story. [This is Ted’s very early write-up of a Herbie Hancock tune. We don’t have a date on this page, but Ted’s handwriting here is similar to his other late ‘60s or early ‘70s pages.]

* Expanded Diatonic Color. [A simple example of a progression using the bVIImaj7 chord. Notation and chord names added.]
* i7 – bII (and vice versa), i7 - bvi7 in Large Voicings, 1987-02-09. [A collection of 16 beautiful voicings for i7 to bII or bvi7. The “large voicings” refers to 5-note chords, not to a particular V-System voicing group. The wrote on this page, “I tried to write warm successions of chords. I hope you stay with them until you can play them smoothly, although this may not come for quite some time – a lot of the juiciest chords on the guitar are tough…but so what…man, you feel great when you get ‘em!” Notation and chord names provided to make it easier for you to dig into this stuff!]
* i7 – bVI in Large Voicings. [Another set of 16 beautiful voicings and textures of i7 to bVI. Notation is provided based on Ted’s directions for the first example, but at the end of the lesson he gives homework for the student to play other textures and feels. He wrote, “…have fun with this material and I hope you will share my love of large, rich, juicy chords.”]
* Ideas for Gm7, Ideas for Key of G, 1995-01-16. [Three progressions for Gm7 ideas, and Two long progressions for key of G major. There are some excellent voice leading or chord streams patterns that you might want to add to your library of chord licks/fills. Notation provided for easy reading.]
* Dominant 7b9#9 Color: Chord Forms and Some Application. [This page is one that Ted started and probably had plans to expand to a full lesson page, but it only has one example. The focus here is on a dominant chord with both the b9 and the #9 (and the 3rd). Notation and chord names added for clarity.]

* Wes Montgomery – Dominant 7 and its Companion Minor 7 Colors. [Ted’s original file isn’t labelled as “Wes Montgomery” but it was filed away with his other “co-minor” pages by Wes. This was a concept that Ted often associated with Wes’ style of playing. We didn’t provide new notation since the original page is easy to read and self-explanatory.]

* Red River Valley. [Three “jazz treatments” for “basing your solo on the given melody (even if it’s really ‘straight’) plus some “variations” that we found in Ted’s Personal Music Studies files. New notation and TAB provided for easier reading.]

* Ted Greene on the Guitar Sound. [This file is placed under the header, “Contributions by Tomás Campbell.” It contains bullet points that Tomás collected from various video and audio recording of Ted. Subjects include: Guitar Set-up and Build, Guitar Playing Technique, and Ted’s Guitar Heroes. Thank you, Tomás.]

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October 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

Fall greetings to all Ted Greene students, friends, and fans!

This month we’re sharing with you a few excerpts from an interview with Ted that can be found in Barbara Franklin’s book, My Life with the Chord Chemist. This section touches on some of Ted’s thoughts about his practice/work habits and his performances:

TG: …Talkin’ truth, I couldn’t practice for beans back then anyway. Very little discipline, lots of emotion. Lazy but excited – hmm, that sounds better than “excited but lazy” doesn’t it?

AA: So how on earth did you ever acquire your fantastic work habits and ability to focus so intensely – qualities somewhat legendary among those close to you when your name comes up. Did some thing or someone play a key role?

TG: Yeah. The doctors. They took out a lot of excess catnip from my blood. But seriously, eventually I went through a lot of changes as a person, probably grew up a bit, and reached a dead end as far as “feel” getting me through everything – because the music I really wanted to play asked for lots of discipline. There was no way out. I had to change – I was a sad guy.

AA: You say ‘sad’....

TG: Sad about the state of my playing not providing a zing any more, and sad because I didn’t want to work, certainly not work hard. Especially not at music, which I started up with to have fun. I fought with the work part of it – I still fight with it. But I dig results an awful lot so I’ll stay in there. Most people like me don’t have any choice really, you know. Music is too great to say goodbye. Terrible grammar but I know you can dig what I mean. Even when the work knocks a person out of their sleep over and over: “Wake up, there’s work to do, Toneman.” “I don’t think so.” “Alright, just forget the whole thing.” “Wait a minute, I’m up, I’m up.” “Now you’re talkin’. What are we workin’ on today?”

AA: Did you set goals?

TG: That’s exactly it. Goals, little goals. Step by step. That gets it done. No news to anyone I guess, but it’s sometimes good to remind oneself. Time out for playing too – groovin’ – so I wouldn’t get too grouchy about it all. That’s still me. My work habits aren’t that strong.

AA: What did you study?

TG: Everything I could get my hands on that seemed to have any knowledge I was attracted to.

AA: In many fields of music?

TG: Yes, it’s true, many fields.

AA: Were you trying to develop your mind?

TG: No, I just wanted to be a righteous player. I did have to develop my mind some in order to help my playing. I don’t regret it. I found out it’s a good thing to do.

AA: You wrote books.

TG: Yeah. It happened. I couldn’t stop it. No kidding, I often do seem to behave like a cat, and this is close to catnip when it happens. No shakin’ it. Close the doors and put in 5 to 15 hours a day until it’s done. My mom used to say when she’d see me in this state, “Ah, you’re pregnant with a new book, are you?” Terrific lady, my mom was.

AA: What’s the story on those great organizational skills you’ve shown? Were they there as a kid?

TG: Nah, except for a school project once, they were hidin’ out. But they just seemed to gush up huge suddenly, God knows from where. I was certainly overjoyed to see them, showing up and all, like they did, right when I needed them most. Maybe it’s about just wanting something so much.

AA: I know you believe in this.

TG: I think human beings have pretty deep unsuspected reservoirs of strength that kick in when they really love something and have to work to get it. I know I certainly was surprised. Anyway, I’m grateful for the passion I’ve been given. I need it.

* * * * *

TG: I’m out there playing and enjoying it when I can get a party, wedding or something... though I’m still not real keen on concertizing.

AA: Why, Ted?

TG: Aw, it’s embarrassing. I’ve had trouble handling that much love coming at me. It’s a bit overwhelming. Everybody showering me with praise when I only occasionally think I deserved it. Crazy. People are crazy. ‘Course, I know that includes me! A wise person might say, “Take it you chucklebunny, even if you don’t think you played well – it makes up for the times when you played so beautifully and nobody cared. Lord knows you’ve had some gigs like that.” This is a not-without-some-sense attitude, and I normally embrace it outwardly, but I know inside when I’ve played up to my potential, and my mind wants to know why when I haven’t – so I can do my part towards making it right next time. This is more important to me than basking in the praise of others when I haven’t earned it by my standards. I do console myself in such a situation with the glow that at least I made other people feel good.

AA: …Many famous guitarists I’ve talked with about you just lit up when I mentioned your name. And they said things, continue to say the most wonderful things, statements of praise that I think would make even you sit up and feel proud. Can’t you find it in your heart to accept this?

TG: It’s very flattering, but...I’m afraid not, not all that often. I do feel some pride when I do really well, but since that’s not too common for me, most other pride I might start to feel usually feels near-instantly like false pride and I have to say goodbye to it or try to beat that sucker down if it keeps coming back. Sometimes it lingers and gets the best of me for a little while, and sometimes I let it because praise is such a nectar. But ultimately, I have to chase that drug away each time and go forward.

AA: But Ted, you are one of the greatest of guitarists. How can you deny this – and deny others the pleasure of hearing you? Why can’t you accept this?

TG: I sure wish I could, I certainly did when I was younger – when my playing at the time was close to everything I dared ever dream it could be. Ah, now that was sweet, and it lasted for years, actually so many good years of loving my playing, and receiving such heart-warming high compliments from others about it. It was really something. This was from about 1965 to 1977. But life moves on, and gradually, as I was able to really better hear more of what the very greatest players, arrangers, and composers were doing, my playing paled before me, and wouldn’t sound even adequate to me on any consistent basis again for many years. I’ve been fighting to come up with sounds and ways to play that I could enjoy again for quite some time now, and I’m happy to say that it’s working some of the time. So I’m excited to be on the right track. All I need is more consistency and then I’ll be ready to try to share it more. Given my nature, I do know there’ll still be some problems – things I haven’t mentioned – but I’ll try to deal with them as best I can.

AA: You can mention them. Someone else may draw comfort in knowing that even respected players have to deal with the same problems they do. It might provide hope.

TG: Let me try to put it this way: when things are working well for me, I like the way I play very much, am genuinely thrilled and honored to make others so happy, and I know that there are accolades and applause that come with this. But it’s a strange feeling to have a lot of love directed at you at once. Maybe it’s something one gets used to. I never have. So I’ll have to do better there. Another big trouble is, playing in public: I often have to turn up way too much for the sound I like getting, so I’m unhappy about that from moment number 1. I’m working to find ways to deal with that. Additionally, the feels that I love can, too often for my taste, refuse to show up in anywhere near their full form. Not a good thing. This is a huge part of the consistency thing I had just mentioned. And, last but far from least, if my hands aren’t working right – which happens too much – I’m in big trouble. I’ve limped home from a lot of gigs. But then there’s always hope that the next one will be a thrill. I never gave up hope altogether. Well maybe at one point. But that’s the past. We were talking about the future.…

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We hope you can find something in the new lessons that will inspire you to become a better musician and player. Enjoy! And please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences about these lessons in our Forums. We’re always happy to know that people are digging into Ted’s lessons, and if there are questions that arise, we’d encourage you to bring these up for discussion.

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* Hey Jude, 1992-10-15. [Here’s yet another Beatles song that Ted arranged. He loved the Beatles, but many of his arrangements were written up during a lesson at the request of the student, and are not always elaborate arrangements, and are sometimes incomplete. This song falling into that category. Ted transposed it from F to the guitar-friendly key of E. Notation with lyrics combined with Ted’s grids provided for easy learning.

* Progressions Using Open and Incomplete Triads – Sample Solutions, 1980-11-02. [Apparently this lesson sheet provides “solutions” for exercises presented in one of Ted’s other lessons, but we don’t know which one he is referring to. Nevertheless, there is some good open triad exercises with moving lines. New notation, grids, and chord names are given for easy reading and study.]

* Chord Patterns for Dominant Suspended Color. [This is a very short lesson for a few Ab7sus and Ab7 sounds that Ted liked the way they sounded together. Try this in different keys and with rhythmic phrases in order to give them some “life.”]
* Multi-Style Progressional Colors. [Another short lesson. Of course, the chords for the 2nd and 3rd examples are: C – Eb – F – Eb, and G/C (or Cmaj9no3) – C/D (or D11) – Bb/Eb (or Ebmaj9no3) – G7/6sus. This page may have been intended more for ear-training purposes rather than a chord study.]

* Haunted Heart, 1984-07-18. [This sheet was filed away in Ted’s arrangements cabinet, but it’s really a comping page. The song is from 1948, and Ted write-up – made during a private lesson – is a bit difficult to follow. Hopefully our new compilation will make it more approachable for you. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, go to YouTube and listen to Jo Stafford (in key of Bb), or Frances Langford (in key of Ab) sing it. (And Bill Evans did a real nice instrumental version, of course.) Notation provided with lead sheet combined with Ted’s grids to make it easy to follow.]
* How High the Moon, key of F, middle 4 Strings, 1987-04-11. [Compare this to last month’s comping lesson: same song, different key, different string set, but the same voicings. This is great for advanced comping with rhythmic punches. Notation, lead sheet with lyrics combined with Ted’s grids.]

These all are under the “Ear-Training” header:

* Ear-Training: Focus on 1 or 2 Tones at a Time, 1992-12-06. [Lines for singing and hearing.]
* Ear-Training for the Students, 1992-12-30 and 1992-08-02, 3. [Ted wrote out lines for singing/hearing for descending diatonic 5ths and 4ths, but the assignment was to do all intervals as descending and ascending. New notation for easy reading. Also included is Ted’s page on “Understanding How to Draw Melodies from Chords” – which he never completed, and was intended as an ear-training lesson.]
* Ear-Training thru Melodic Moves, 1984-10-02. [This page contains ides Ted wanted to expand upon in a book or lesson series on ear-training. In the first example Ted shows The I-IV progression (Bb to Eb in this case). The rest of the notes after the squiggly lines are target notes to be played on the IV (Eb) chord AFTER playing the I (Bb). The idea is to hear the melodic differences with the same progression. Nothing difficult to play on guitar or piano, since this is a lesson for the ears. Similar follow-throughs are needed for the other examples on the page…each one staring with a Bb chord. These “idea kernels” could be vastly expanded. New notation with chord names provided.]
* Fingerboard Hearing or Hearing the Fingerboard, 1986-09-28. [Drone an open 4th string D, and play/sing the melodies. Hear and say the intervals as Ted indicated. There’s also some notation for unrelated chords on this page that we didn’t notated. These are no doubt some ideas that Ted jotted down for himself.]
* Inner Hearing - Acquaintance Page. [It’s a bit of a mystery of what is being shown here. Not exactly sure what the numbers in parenthesis for. New notation provided.]
* Learning to Hear i Diminished Colors, 1991-03-04. [This page goes with Ted’s other “Learning to Hear” series. Notation provided for Ted’s grids.]

Under the “Contributions by Tomás Campbell” section:

* Bass-Enhanced Triads (Slash Chords) Primer – by Tomás Campbell. [A few months ago we completed posting all of Ted’s “Bass-enhanced Triads” pages. He intended to write a small book expanding upon this concept and giving examples, but he never got beyond the pages we posted. In this “Primer” Tomás is giving his explanation for getting starting in understanding and using these chords. Thank you, Tomás!]

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September 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

Fall Greetings!

This month we’d like to share a few short excerpts of thoughts about Ted, as taken from the Ted Greene Memorial blog:

When we were young, I met and jammed with Ted on many occasions. He loved to improvise in counterpoint and harmony, which was something we shared. Always a gentle and respectful friend, I envied his home life and the appreciation his family all showed toward his obvious genius. Three weeks ago we shook hands and laughed a little together, and I was amazed at the strength he had maintained in his exquisitely facile right hand.
Music incarnate, and a heart of pure gold, I will miss him a lot.
~ Jimmy Smith

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I studied off and on (mostly off) with Ted since I was twenty. I am the least of his students, but that I am eking out a living playing solo guitar is all due to Ted. He was a marvelously complex and brilliant man, as kind as he was intelligent, as musically gifted as he was disciplined and diligent. He set the bar high. Let us all at least attempt to strain to those heights!
~ Bob Sobo

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He was the sweetest, most giving human being I ever met. We both grew up in the same part of Westchester County New York. Lessons would almost have flashbacks about local guitar legend Link Chamberlind of the Orchids and Blue Eyed Soul singer from White Plains, Billy Vera. His harmonic prowess was as tall as Everest, and his patience was as deep as the ocean.
~ Bob Schuster

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I have known Ted since 1967 and have always considered him the most amazing guitarist, the kindest man, and one of the most honorable men it has ever been my privilege to meet.
~ Derek Dickson

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Ted and I knew each other for over thirty years. He was an inspiration as a teacher and player. He showed me the perfect chord for a certain note in one of my own compositions.
~ Barry Zweig

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Ted Greene was a very humble giant. His contributions to the world of music has made us all better – not only musicians, but as human beings. We all owe a lot to you, Ted.
~ Del Casher

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I loved Ted and was a student of his since 1985. He changed my life in so many ways it is hard to remember them all. I will always admire and remember him for his positive attitude and inspiration. Life will never be the same without Ted, and he will always live in my memory as long as I am alive.
~ Mark Seigle

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Ted will always remain my dearest love. He brought me up and out of my self-absorbed, self-pitying nightmare and came to my bedside in intensive care to share the light with me in 1969. We had one of those relationships that is eternal, ethereal, and deep. Playing with Ted was the greatest experience I could have as a guitar player, and I will always think of those days when we would sit around “chicken pickin.”
~ Randall Zacuto

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Enjoy the new lesson material!

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* I Feel Fine, 2000-01-19. [Another Beatles song! This was written up in a private lesson at the request of the students. Ted didn’t write out the into guitar lick, so we took his G7 write-up and transposed it to D7 and C7 as required throughout the song. We’ve added standard music notation and the lead sheet to Ted’s grids, and formatted the form of the song to make it easier to follow and learn.]

* Basic Walking Bass Blues Style, 1979-09-27. [This study covers only the first 8 bars of a blues in Bb. You’ll find this example is pretty simple to play and is a good one for getting started in playing a walking bass with chord punctuations. Ted wrote it out in standard notation back in 1979, and we’ve added the “most likely” chord forms he would have used.]
* Blues Progression with Walking Bass, 1978-07-03. [This is just the first 4 bars of a blues in F. Undoubtedly, Ted wrote this out to primarily to capture the contrary motion move in measure 4. Your job is to finish the progression, trying to retain a similar style. We added notation and chord names to Ted’s grids to make it easier to follow. The chord names in measures 5 thru 12 are merely suggestions — you’ll probably want to experiment with other harmonizations.]

* High-Register Opening, 1989-11-11. [Ted subtitled this page, “For ii7-V7-iii7-vi-ii7-V7-I or III or VI. Also V7sus-I-V7sus-I or II or VI.” This is meant to give you some food for thought when creating intros or “openings” to your arrangements. Check out Ted’s “Solo Guitar” album for examples of similar ideas that he used there. We added standard notation and combined it with Ted’s grids, plus we added the chord names in blue. You’ll want to play around with different rhythmic interpretations in order to give some added “life” to these examples.]
* Progressions in 3 and 4 Voices, 1983-05-18. [Seven exercises in moving lines with 3 and 4 voices. As was common in Ted’s lesson pages, he left the chord names blank as homework for the student to fill in. We wrote out all seven progressions in standard music notation, and then combined them with Ted’s grids. We also added “suggested chord names” in blue – but these are just one way of looking at those progressions. You may prefer to interpret some of them differently, according to how you see/hear them.]
* Studies in Parallel Motion, (undated). [This is a small collection of ideas with parallel motion. There’s nothing challenging here to play on the guitar; its primary aim is to help you develop an ear to be able to instantly recognize these sound when you hear them in songs, and to know when your inner ear want to you to use that sound in your own compositions and arrangements. Ted left many of the chord diagrams blank for the student to fill in, but of course we went ahead and did that on a “filled-in” page using blue dots.]

Under the "Triads" header:

* Triad Exercises in Major – Broken Chords, 1985-08-31. [This page compliments the previously posted lesson written up for “minor.” We added two pages of music notation using triplets (since each chord is a 3-note triad), but rhythmically you could notate it many other ways as well. Ted would probably have wanted you to experiment with different rhythmic treatments, as well as playing the chords with different combinations of sustained notes, or as single-note studies.]

* How High the Moon, key of G, top 4 strings, 1987-04-05. [This study provides some fairly easy-to-play, basic comping over a classic jazz standard. The chords are mostly from the V-2 group (see “The V-System” here: The V-System). Notation and lead sheet combined with Ted’s grid chord diagrams. Next month we’ll have another comping version of this song using the middle 4 strings.]

* Melodic Minor Chord Forms, 1978-05-16. [Grid diagrams of various minor, m6, m6/9, m6/9/maj7 minor/major 9, and minor/9 chords. This is a fairly early lesson page which Ted used primarily as a reference page for students looking to incorporate these sounds into their playing.]

* Progressions Using 2nd Inversions, 1975-02-21. [In this page Ted maps out 71 different chord progressions (using Roman numerals) that include chords in the 2nd inversion (3rd in the bass). You may find it helpful to use this reference page to stimulate some ideas when creating chord progressions. Ted also includes some other inversions mixed in with the 2nd inversion – probably done to make some good voice-leading examples. Typed text is included for easy reading and study.]

Under the “Contributions by Tomás Campbell” section:

* My Notes on Ted Greene – By Tomás Campbell. [Tomás shares 25 pages of his notes, important thoughts, ideas, and quotes by Ted, as taken from various audio and video recordings found on our site as well as on YouTube. Thanks, Tomás!]

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August 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

August Greetings to all Ted Greene students and friends and fans!

This month Leon White shares a story with us about taking a guitar lesson at Ted’s home.

A Lesson at Ted’s House

Yes, at one time Ted had a house. “Long ago and far away... ”Ted lived at home with his parents and sister. I had come for a lesson, and here I was in a sprawling ranch style home in Woodland Hills, California. The house had a large front yard with grass and a circular driveway with a kitchen that looked out over it. I parked on the street, as my older car tended to leak oil. I walked up the drive, and there were two large orange longhair cats in front. They seemed very big to me, but I took a chance and stopped, and one of them walked over to me. (I think this one was named Leo.) He looked at me and I looked at him. He had extra toes on his front paws! Several on each I think. (If he played guitar...)

I continued to the front door and a kindly lady answered. Ted was in the living room with another student so she asked me into the kitchen, saying she was Ted’s mother. And there I met Ted’s mom and grandmother for the first time. I was trying to be out of the way, and they wanted to welcome me to their home. Awkwardly I received a glass of water, and they began a warm conversation. What did I do? What was I studying? Had I known Ted long? Was I the one that like film scores? I don’t think I’ve ever been welcomed so warmly by strangers.

Ted’s personality, interest, and warmth were all there in his mom and grandma. Looking back I realize how lucky I was to have known these two ladies, and I saw why Ted felt the loss of each of them so very deeply later in his life.

When my turn came, Ted invited me into the living room. We both sat on a large couch. His amp was in front of us, and I guess we must have laid papers on the couch as I don’t recall a music stand that first time. He had an old Tele and a Twin Reverb sized amp there (it could have been a Vibroverb or Vibrolux).

“I thought you said we were going to be in your room?” I asked, wondering if there was to be an audience for the lesson. “Would you like to see it?” he asked. So we walked down a hall and there was his room. It was SMALL, sort of a purple/lavender wall color, with bits of lime green that must have been pillows or his bed on the floor (as I recall). It was dark, but I think there was a large window or a sliding glass door to the outside that was covered by heavy drapes. And there were shelves of course. What there wasn’t, was space. “Tried it, but it’s pretty crowded,” he said.

We had the lesson. I have no idea what we covered. The lessons at his home continued, and I had more wonderful (if short) visits with his mom and grandma. I also met his sister who played piano very well, and then I met his dad. I was waiting one day (in a den, I think, for some reason) when Ted came in and introduced me to his dad, who had just come home from a long day at work. I think I was waiting in “his” room. He looked at me, growled a hello, and kept on walking. The feeling was dark, and then Ted took me quickly back to the living room, commenting that his dad “was like that sometimes.” I never saw his father after that.

I’d like to describe the living room (as best I can remember) because it was so different from everywhere else you usually met him at home. The living room was large, light, and airy. There were sliding glass doors at one end that opened into the back garden. It was very spacious and very welcoming. I think the couch was curved. There was a slight floral feel to the room – it may have had very pale green colors in its décor.

Now, contrast that room with his teaching studio at the music store: small, egg shell crates on the wall, papers all over the place, and rather warm in the room. And then recall his apartment(s): air conditioner in the window, room loaded with music, amps, guitars, records, books, more books, magazines, guitars, amps, cases, and did I say amps? A very dense environment I’d call it. And eventually it was swallowed up by papers, with only a small path in it.

And yet it was the same Ted all the way through it – friendly, musical, and kind.

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Just a couple of small side notes to add to Leon’s story. First from Barbara Franklin’s book, My Life with the Chord Chemist:

“In February of 1971, Ted and his family moved yet again to Allentown Drive in Woodland Hills. Here they would remain for a prolonged stay of 7 years. Now, at 25 years of age, Ted felt this juncture in his life was, ‘the biggest musical transformation period.’ By this time, Ted had been playing the guitar and studying music for 14 years…”

And from Terrance McManus’ thesis on Ted, an excerpt from an interview with Ted’s sister:

“…And he basically went into hibernation while he was accumulating all the knowledge and writing his book — and he lived, you know, at our family home. And…I do remember…he had a purple room in this one house where he wrote Chord Chemistry. And that’s where he just took off. And from that he got more and more serious about his teaching; devised his teaching systems — and that was really what he was focusing on.

“…It was in the 70’s, so he was studying a lot, and he was creating his methods a lot, and teaching. You know, when we moved — I’m not sure which house he started teaching, but I do remember he taught at home in the last family house we had. And my grandmother was there, and she loved him so much. It was just this perfect setting because my parents were gone most of the time. And he watched over her and would take her to her appointments and whatever. And he had people coming and going to study, you know, and it was a perfect world at that time for him because, you know, he was doing everything. He was writing, he was teaching full-time, and he was taking care of my grandma if she needed anything.

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Enjoy the new lesson material!

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* Pretty Baby, 1990-08-24. [This song, written sometime around 1912-1916, and underwent many lyric transformations. The original included two verses that are not included in Ted’s version, which is just the most recognizable chorus section. Ted has this one filed away in his “Difficult solo guitar arrangements,” although it is not exceptionally difficult to play. It could be that he was referring to the extensive reharmonization and reading his sustained notes notation with his grid system that made it difficult to learn. We’ve included standard music notation, aligned with Ted’s chord diagrams to hopefully make this arrangement much easier to read and learn.]

Under the header of “Harmonization of a Given Melody”:

* Diatonic Harmonization of a 3-Note Theme, 1985-05-26. [Ted subtitled this page as “Frozen Notes Underneath – no inner voice movement; first note sustained if you can.” This page really asks that you get all the notes to ring and sustain. There are some beautiful subtle differences in each of the 59 examples for Part 1, and the 60 examples for Part 2. I’m sure that Ted would encourage the student to deeply listen to and take note of the differences as you play through them. This is great food for thought when constructing similar ideas for your solo playing. Notation included with Ted’s grids.]

Under the header of “Triads”:

* Sequences Using Root Pos. Close Pos. Triads, 1973-09-15. [This page shows various root note sequences with different triad harmonizations. After the first example Ted asks the student to “continue” the patterns he begins. We’ve taken the liberty to add the continuations of each sequence (added in blue), so you can see where Ted was heading. Of course there may be other possibilities, and Ted would have encouraged you to experiment with other voicings and string sets. You may appreciate that we’ve redrawn the grids, as the original page is from 1973 and a bit difficult to read and follow.]

* Girl From Ipanema (incomplete). [Posting this lesson page was planned before the sad passing of Joao Gilberto last month. I believe this was written up during a private lesson at the request of the student. The comping arrangement is incomplete, without the bridge and last verse. We’ve included notation and lead sheet with lyrics so you can continue and finish it. Note: the chords are meant to be played with a Bossa rhythmic feel – not as sustained chords as is written in the notation. Also be sure to go to the “Arrangements” section and check out Ted’s arrangement of this song in the key of E: Girl From Ipanema.]

* Condensed Tonality Sheet, 1975-07-08. [Ted subtitled this page, “Arranged according to how to think when playing.” This was probably never used as a lesson hand-out page, but possibly just for Ted’s mental organization and classification of ideas. This gives one a hint of what was going on between his ears while he was playing. Transcribed for easy reading (oh yeah, you’ll be glad we did that).]
* Modern and Classical Tonality and Rhythm Types, 1975-04-21. [This is another page where Ted classifies different tonal and rhythmic types according to different styles, namely: Diatonic and Impressionistic, Pre-Baroque (and Modal), Baroque, and Rococo-Classical. Transcribed so you don’t have to squint reading the original.]
* Other Major Type Tonalities, 1975-01-26. [Ted here is defining which chord types and scale degrees go with the various major modes (including “borrowed” chords). He didn’t finish the various Pentatonic and misc. scales. Transcribed text.]
* Tonality and Rhythm Types (Organization for Improvisational Thinking), 1975-05-03. [This page was written less than 2 weeks after his page on “Modern and Classical Tonality and Rhythm Types” and shares much of the same ideas. The early 1970’s was a time when Ted was doing a lot of analyzing, cataloguing, organizing, and listing musical devices, structures, progressions, harmonic types, rhythmic types, etc. Again, this page was meant for his personal music study and for clearly defining concepts in his mind for his own playing and to be able to convey these to students. There are two scan copies of this page, one with additional notes added by Ted years later. We’ve transcribed and combined the text into one document for your easy reading.]

Under the “Contributions by Tomás Campbell” section:

* Ted Greene’s Guitar Accompaniment Pointers. [Tomás has collected his observations and direct quotes from Ted regarding the art of comping. Sources: “Session with the Stars” video, Ted’s seminars at CA Vintage Guitars and Boulevard Music, lessons with Cesar Pineda and March Fitchett.]
* Ted Greene’s Posture. [Ted almost never used a guitar strap. Here Tomás has created a short analysis of a couple of different postures Ted uses when playing guitar.]
* Ted Greene Talkin’ Wes. [This is Tomás’ collection of some of Ted’s insights about Wes Montgomery’s playing — his physical technique and musical technique — taken from some recordings of private lessons as well as seminars.

Note: You can find much more of Ted explaining Wes’ playing on other Ted recordings, especially Mark Levy’s lesson title, “All About Wes” on October 18, 1993, found in our Audio Recordings library here: Ted with Mark Levy, 1993-10-18. Also see Mark’s recorded lessons dated 1991-00-00 (actual date unknown), July 20, 1992, and October 19, 1992 for more on Wes. Also read Ted’s article in Guitar Player magazine, August 1998 issue, found in our “Articles and Interviews” section: TedGreene.com/personal/articles]

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July 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

Summer Greetings!

Well, summer is finally here, and we have nine new lessons from Ted to keep your fingers busy. The arrangement-of-the-month is “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” — a fun piece that you may enjoy. You might find it helpful to hear and watch Dan Riley playing it on a YouTube video that he recently uploaded.

Another page we’re posting this month in the “Fundamentals” section is a 1973 hand-out titled, “Major Triad Fingerings.” It’s interesting to see Ted’s evolution as a guitar teacher, based on observing his lesson sheets. In this one Ted is being very thorough in cataloging all of the major triad voicings. He lists Closed Triads, Open Triads, and 4-Note Triads, and then breaks it down further by inversions: Root in bass, 3rd in bass (1st Inversion), and 5th in bass (2nd inversion). Then he takes it to another level by defining the note on top: Root in soprano, 3rd in soprano, and 5th in soprano. Some of the fingerings might be a bit challenging for beginners, so maybe we should have filed this lesson in the “Chord Studies” section under the Triads sub-header, instead of in the Fundamentals section…but we often have lessons with subjects that overlap and can fit into multiple areas. We hope that serious students visiting the teaching archives will explore all of the areas and have fun in reviewing the vast storehouse therein.

I’m guessing that Ted may not have given this major triads page to students in the latter years of his life, but would have instead used one of his other hand-outs on triads. His system of classifying, naming, and organizing chords evolved over the years, which ultimately culminated in his V-System (for 4-note chords). Also, he probably would have changed the wording of the title from “Major Triad Fingerings” to “Major Triad Voicings” or more precisely, “Major Triad Chord Forms” – since he made a distinction between these terms. Fingerings refer to which fingers you use to play a chord. A chord can be “fingered” several ways (and he encouraged students to try different combinations since there will be times when you’ll need to use alternate fingers for various reasons). Voicing refers to the notes themselves: which notes are used, their register, the vertical placement in relation to the other notes within the chord structure — which notes are on the top, bottom, or in the middle; which ones are doubled, etc. The Chord Form is what is illustrated in the grid diagrams.

You can see Ted’s evolution as a teacher by comparing some of his early lesson pages with those from later years. (Ted began teaching in 1964, but the oldest lesson pages we have are generally from the early 1970’s). Ted himself was the ultimate student, constantly exploring new ideas, sounds, concepts, techniques — and because of this mindset, his teaching skills also developed concurrently.

For example, look at Ted’s chord diagram system of playing order (with the dot, X, square, triangle): HowToReadTedGreeneChordDiagrams. This evolved over the years, and it was designed for his students, not for his own music studies (although it served that as well). Ted rarely wrote out arrangements for himself; they were written down for teaching purposes. His own arrangements were constantly morphing and evolving, until he got to the point where he mostly improvised his arrangements on-the-spot.

We’re all fortunate to have such a wealth of Ted’s teaching materials posted on this website, but the pages themselves don’t give one the full experience of taking private lessons with him. Each student’s experience was unique, but if you listen to some of the recorded lessons of Ted with students like Mark Levy or Kevin Griffen, you’ll get an idea of what it was like: Audio Lessons

The following are some excerpts from Barbara Franklin’s book, My Life with the Chord Chemist on the subject of teaching:

In regard to Ted’s teaching ability, he had a unique way of relating to each student on a very particular and individual level. First, and most importantly, he took a genuine interest in each student, musically and personally. This enabled him to establish what type of music the student most desired to learn and to play. With that information, Ted was able to choose the best method of learning suited to each student’s personality and work habits….

Ted’s guitar lessons consisted of teaching any musical knowledge he could impart, and sometimes a popular song that was requested. On an old chord chart for “Poor Side of Town,” Ted noted in 2001: “‘Poor Side of Town’ is a beautiful young pop ballad recorded by Johnny Rivers in what, ‘66 or 67? Apparently when I wrote this sheet, I did a lot of sheets like this. Very basic changes just so I had a short-hand reference page. It was exciting to see my ears getting a little better all the time, and what a self-esteem booster to figure out the popular songs of the day. No great feat but felt great and helped me earn a living. I taught songs like these to students when they liked them, and gained a reputation for having a good ear. This of course, was all on a fairly meager level - this ‘good’ ear. But step by step unfoldment it’s been.”….

He continued to formulate new musical ideas, improve his teaching methods, and find new ways to organize and categorize the material that he wished to expand. Part of this would eventually become incorporated into his second book. Ted often wrote out extensive and detailed “Organization Sheets” to clarify his ideas. This also helped Ted organize the material in his mind and he found making these sheets to be a very satisfying and productive way of thinking….

Despite having completed 4 books, new ideas continued to pour forth. Throughout the new year, Ted set his mind to evaluating new and old studies and formulated a considerable amount of new teaching material….

Towards the end of 1982…he began a reorganization of all his Baroque material and also writing a plethora of new Cumulative Chord Forms pages. In the upcoming year this led to a complete re-evaluation of his teaching program. The following six months were consumed with working on and improving the latter, but incorporated time for his personal studies as well. This included studying George Van Eps Volume III, organizing all his sheet music and fake book photocopies of the past twenty years, and a musical categorizing of all “loose scraps”….

In late summer [of 1985], Ted discovered what he termed “a great new method” and began writing out a gradual presentation of minor 7 and dominant 7 type voicings for himself and for teaching. His path was often led through trying to find ways to show things to the students via different presentations and organizations, which often helped him in self-organizing and retention of the material. Another idea Ted had been pondering for a while was how to teach Baroque harmony on a fundamental level….

In the autumn of 1986 Ted developed a new teaching program comprised of many studies he had refined. He divided the new program into three parts. Part I incorporated a lot of these new studies which he put under the heading of Harmony and Voicings.

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Enjoy the new lesson material!

~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, 1990-06-16. [This is a fun tune, and Ted has a walking bass throughout to give it some drive. We’ve notated it and added the chord names to make it easier to learn.]
* Almost Like Being in Love (lead sheet plus arrangement outline), 1977-06-26. [This is Ted’s handwritten lead sheet showing the original chord symbols, “simplified version” chords, and Ted’s reharmonization. This is for the student to write up his own arrangement using Ted’s suggestions. Be sure to move the melody up an octave. New notation with lyrics added.]

* Johnny Smith Style, 2005-05-19. [Ted loved Johnny Smith’s use of close voiced chords (or V-1 chord in Ted’s V-System). This page has 4 exercises for some ideas in the keys of C, E, Ab, and D using Johnny’s approach. Notation and chord names (where applicable) provided.]
* Minor7 Types on Middle Strings, 1985-04-21. [This page was not intended to be a lesson hand-out, but a only preliminary work sheet for Ted’s organization of minor 7 chords – from which other lesson sheets would be created. At the top of the page he wrote reminders to himself for how best to present these chords to the students. Newly drawn girds for easier reading.]

Under the “Harmonization of a Given Melody” header:

* 2-to-1 Diatonic Asc. Stepwise Bass Motion w/Delayed Entrance (part 2), 1985-05-03. [This lesson continues the lesson that was posted several months ago. Notation and chord names provided.]

Under the “Chord Streams” header:

* Overtone Dominant Chord Rows, 1979-04-13. [Examples given for A7, Eb7, C7, E7, and Bb7. Notation provided combined with Ted’s grid diagrams.]

* Pennies From Heaven (middle 4 strings), 1984-01-22. [Here’s another comping study for this song. Last month we posted Ted version that focused on the top 4 strings. This one is almost identical except that he moved all the chord to the middle strings. Notation and lyrics combined with Ted’s grids for easy reading/learning.]

* Major Triad Fingerings, 1973-02-19. [See Newsletter message above. Ted gives us 99 different chord forms for major triads, organized by open, closed, or 4-note triads, and grouped according to inversion and/or soprano voice. Good for students of all levels. Newly drawn grids for easy-on-the-eyes reading.]

* Single-Note Scales for All Diatonic Chords from Scale, 1974-12-18.
[In this lesson Ted details 3 major scale positions and shows the diatonic chords and arpeggios in relation to it. This is another lesson that could have also been filed in the Fundamentals section, yet it has helpful information for students of all levels. Newly drawn grids for easy reference.]

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June 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

Summer Greetings!

Before getting to this month’s new lesson pages (which are few in number, but rich in content), we wanted to once again share some excerpts (okay, well most of the text) from an interview with Ted by Dale Turner. It was first published in Guitar One Magazine in March 2004, a little over a year before Ted passed in July 2005. You can find a PDF of the full article in our “Articles and Interviews” section, which also includes additional notated examples (but without the “Hear-It-Online” audio links) Here.

How do you recommend a student go about absorbing some of the materials in your earlier books, Chord Chemistry, Modem Chord Progressions, and Single-Note Soloing (Vol. I & II)?

The most successful way for many players is to find an area of interest in the table of contents, go to that chapter, play until they find something that thrills their ear, and learn that as best they can – just that. Then close the book and ask: “Why do I like it? What is it about it?” They might come up with a general answer: “I just like 9th chords, and this thing had a lot of 9th chords.” Or maybe a specific one, such as: “I love the sound of a minor 9 on a vi [chord].” The next step is to write their own example, using this thing they like, taking as long as necessary. If they can’t see their way through all this, maybe they’ll be fortunate, as I was, and find a great teacher to help get their favorite sounds flowing out of their hearts, into their hands. One lesson from the great Canadian guitarist Domenic Troiano years ago changed my life. All my teachers did: Sal Tardella, Jay Lacy, George Van Eps, Lenny Breau, Klaus Lendzian, and Donny Troiano. But not everyone can afford lessons; others at least need to save up the dough. In the meantime, maybe they could try to find their favorite examples on other string sets, or possibly in different voicings, and of course, in other keys – all for the joy of discovering where their musical friends live.

So the suggestions you’ve just given are to prevent people from feeling overwhelmed when they open an information-packed book like Chord Chemistry?

Yeah. I want them to feel great about practicing and all the rewards it can bring. Have fun with it. Music’s supposed to be a blast. It’s such a tremendous gift to have the time, energy, and means to play music. And yet, to play music really well, you’re lookin’ at a lot of hard work. But so what? Wes Montgomery practiced very, very hard and really studied the neck. Jimi Hendrix slept with the guitar still strapped on some nights. Stevie Ray snuck home at lunchtime just to play a few little notes on brother Jimmie’s fine guitar.

What possessed you to put so much material in your books?

They scared a lot of “quick fix” folks. I was optimistic. I had my hopes up that people would practice really hard. But from working with thousands of students through the last 40 years, I now know that guitar draws a hedonistic crowd – they want something that’s gonna give them results fast. Nobody’s hurt by that, except those whose dreams are dashed on the rocks of discipline. It’s a tough thing to find out, “Whoa, this is gonna take some work!” Some people, they’re learning fast, so they’re having fun. But most people aren’t learning all the cool stuff fast.

Do you recommend that some of them study theory?

If they’re studious, they’ll find their way to it. But people who take up the guitar are seldom drawn to the instrument for studious reasons. I certainly wasn’t. They don’t want theory. But many of them will find theory anyway; she’ll call in her own good time. Let’s say they’re learning a Steve Vai solo, and they ask a friend, “Why’d he play these notes?” “Well, because it’s a G7 chord, and he wanted a b9.” “What do you mean, G7?” Then it starts. They realize they want to know what’s happening; they’ll have to study at least some theory.

Many pupils feel the need to get theory together when they attempt to improvise over non-diatonic progressions and continuously play wrong notes... How do you begin with students like that?

Their background and special loves tell me which road to take. If they’re a pentatonic blues person, the next thing we do is Mixolydian, the glorious scale that envelops all of American “roots” and “non-roots” music. People all over the world have fallen in love with that “b7.”

So you might begin by having them add two nots to a major pentatonic sound?

Sure, the 4th and b7th. Here’s B major pentatonic…. Now I’ll play B Mixolydian…. We could approach it in a structured manner, thinking in terms of scale degrees…. Or I might just play…. I always try to give them stuff that makes them excited, rather than discouraged. If they want more theory, then we start talking about the chords they can use their favorite scale(s) over.

How do you teach chords to rock players who don’t want to study jazz?

When people don’t want [to learn] “jazz” but love chords, I’ve had much luck teaching them classical voicings and harmony, which I’ve been wild about and studying during many days and nights in the last 35 years. That’s all Bach Chorale-type harmony. Hundreds of guys through the years have said, “Yeah! I can use that in my rock stuff!”….

In addition to the Baroque approach you just demonstrated, you’re also know to spontaneously interpret progressions with a Gershwin flavor.

That’s one of my favorite things; he’s my favorite composer - the bluesiest cat….

Do you play out much?

Yeah, about once a month now. For me that’s “much,” but I wish it could be once a week. I especially love to play solo, for dancing or semi-listening – serious listening not required. People can come up and talk to me; I love that direct connection. Parties and weddings are my favorites. Also, afternoon restaurant gigs – some of that crowd is starving for live daytime music. I’m their boy. I pass out hundreds of cards; I’m hoping to get more jobs. I enjoy backing female singers, too.

Writers keep calling you a Jazz guitarist. What type of music-you playing?

Swell fellows those writers, but there are a dozen styles that I really love. Orchestra’s my favorite. Film music – way up there; B-3 organ, pipe organ, harpsichord, gospel choir, big band, boogie-woogie piano, New Orleans rhythm & blues, Chicago blues, moanin’ jazz... I try to catch all that stuff out of the axe – just guitar and amp. This stuff’s been kickin’ my butt for so long, but I’m starting to get the upper hand. Which feels so great, to not be unhappy with my playing anymore. Life’s been awfully kind to me, too, to let me have this job. There are a lot of people who’d love to teach music for a living. I fell into it three different times before I realized what a great thing it is.

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~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* Red Roses for a Blue Lady, 1985-04-20. [Here’s Ted’s arrangement of the 1948 popular song by Sid Tepper and Roy Bennett (Roy Brodsky). It was filed away in his “Solo Guitar, difficult” folder, and it has many challenging passages that will probably require some work to get up to a smooth playing level…but nothing that a little effort won’t yield successful results. The saving grace is that it’s to be played rubato! It’s interesting that Ted put this in the key of Ab and wrote out an “optional intro.” We’re not familiar with all the various recording of this song, and it is quite possible that this intro. is Ted’s arrangement as taken from one of those recordings….or it could be something Ted just composed for this song. Notation and lyrics combined with Ted’s grid diagrams for easy reading and learning.]

* Lydian Tonality, 1975-10-02. [This page is from Ted’s Personal Music Studies files, and was not intended as a lesson sheet as presented here. Perhaps it was a meant as preliminary draft to be used for future lesson pages. (We haven’t noticed any official lesson in Ted’s Teaching Archives that matches this subject, so it seems he never followed through with making it into a formal lesson sheet.) You’ll notice that many of the comments are just notes and reminders for him. The examples on pages 1-2 are for Lydian sounds with an A root, but all of the forms are moveable. Pages 3-5 has examples that create the harmonic progression of A to B7, usually with some kind of pedal tone to tie the two sounds together. As usual you’ll want to sustain as many of the first notes you can when moving to the other notes (X and square). On this early lesson page Ted was just starting to develop his notation for playing order of moving notes within the chord diagram, and on this page (and apparently nowhere else!) he was using the playing order of dot, X, and O. In the re-drawing of the grid diagrams this notation has been changed to dot, X, square – in order to be consistent with all his other lessons. There’s a lot of interesting and unique chord moves here which you’ll want to explore and experiment with.]

* vi7 - II7 - ii7 - V7, 1976-11-09. [This is a series of 3 lesson pages with 78 different examples of voicings for this progression. Using various keys, Ted illustrates different concepts such as “Ascending melody, Common tone melody, Moving lines, Descending melody, 3-to-1 melodies, and Successive inversions. These 1976 original pages are pretty difficult to read, so you’ll appreciate the re-drawn chord diagrams. There are many excellent basic chord moves and voice-leading examples that seem like they could easily have be included in Ted’s book, Modern Chord Progressions.]

* I Never Told You, 1995-10-30. [This is a lesser-known song by Johnny Mandel that Ted wrote up as a request during a private lesson. It contains are some beautiful sounds with interesting chord combinations/voice-leading…plus a few challenging moves that’ll keep you busy. Standard music notation combined with lyrics and Ted’s chord diagrams.]

* Pennies From Heaven (top 4 strings), 1984-01-22. [This comping page is actually fairly easy to execute, since the chord choices are simple and flow beautifully together. Good for intermediate level comping. Notation, chord names, and lyrics – all combined with Ted’s grid diagrams. Next month will post another version of this same comping study, but for the middle 4 strings. Also be sure to check out Ted’s arrangement of this song.]

* Position Playing on iim7b5 - V7alt - i6, 1980-12-03.
[Ted wrote out in standard notation several lines to be played over a Gm7b5 – C7b9+ – Fm6/9 (or Fm6/911) progression. He added to this page: “Compare fingerings carefully.” New notation provided for easy reading.]

* The Lydian Scale, 1975-07-25. [Here we have another early lesson from 1975 in which Ted maps out the fingerings for 5 basic positions for the Lydian scale, and their corresponding major #11-type chords. It’s interesting that he didn’t also include arpeggios for each position. Typed and redrawn diagrams for easy reading.]

* Visualizing and Fingering m7b5 Runs, 1977-12-06. [Ted takes a single-note run for a F#m7b5 type – B7alt. – Emaj9 and writes it out with 7 different fingerings in 7 different positions on the fingerboard. New notation and grids provided for easy reading.]

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May 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

Spring greetings to all Ted fans, students, and friends!

This month we decided to repost Barbara Franklin’s message from our February 2007 Newsletter, as these comments are always valuable and good reminders, and because they tie in with some of the new lesson material that we prepared for you relating to the subject of ear-training.


One aspect of musicianship Ted was well noted for was his incredible ability to hear everything: what key a piece was in, what chords were being used, modulations, or individual voices in an orchestra. This ability was not a gift from birth, it was nurtured and developed over many years through various methods Ted devised to hone each area of hearing into perfection. Ear training was also a very important part of his teaching and he stressed the importance and advantages of ear training to his students.

One day I asked him how he taught himself to hear so well, and this is how he said he began. I’m not sure exactly how old he was, just that he was a much younger man. He chose what was then his “favorite” pitch: E. He drilled the sound of E into his head, humming it all the time, checking to make sure it was correct, until the sound of E was so ingrained he could hear it or pick it out anywhere, anytime. With that E sound being unequivocal, he could use it to determine any other note. Hence, he developed “perfect” relative pitch. He worked on it constantly. He worked on it for years.

Listening, understanding, and analyzing music was an integral part in Ted’s life. For instance, at first whenever we would watch a movie Ted would say to me, “Barbie, I’m sorry, I have to figure out what chords those were,” and he would stop the movie and listen over and over until he got it. This would happen so often during a movie, that some nights we never got to the end! Finally, I had to ask him to please mark the place and go back to it afterwards. He understood and graciously complied with my request. But this is what was even more incredible: Ted eventually was able to determine what pitch people were speaking in! The point being that there was never a time when he was not listening and analyzing.

So, choose a pitch!

By now you might have guessed I have chosen some Ear Training studies for this month’s selection. You will find them in the LESSONS section under OTHER. You will notice in one of the exercises Ted asks you to sing an arpeggiated chord. Ted always felt that being capable of singing the lines you play, not only improved your ear, but your playing in general, especially when improvising and if you are so inclined, composing.

Also take note that Ted encouraged practice without the guitar — visualizing the sound mentally, in other words, knowing the sound of each note on the guitar and where to find it on the fingerboard IN YOUR HEAD!!!!

Sound like a lot of work? It is. Yet if you sincerely, deeply want to learn this — it is within your ability, absolutely attainable!

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In the last batch of Lesson File Upgrades, we posted Ted’s lesson on “Multi-Tonal Major Key Colors” in the “Harmony & Theory” section. At the bottom of that page Ted gave these definitions of “key” and “tonality” that you might find interesting:

KEY: Organized sounds where one tone can be sensibly seen and heard, to have generated the others.

TONALITY: The particular flavoring or color of a key...as in key of C Major or more specifically at times, C Major Diatonic or C Blues, or C Mixolydian. Or when more precision is needed, C Jazz Blues, C Gospel Blues, C Minor Chicago Blues, C Minor Dorian Blues, C Minor Dark Jazz Blues, and so on.

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~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* Melancholy Serenade, 1999-04-05. [This is Ted’s arrangement of the theme for the Jackie Gleason TV Show. This one is quite challenging. You’ll first want to go to YouTube and listen to a recording of the original piece, so you have a sense of the melody and harmonic structure. It would be great if someone would learn this arrangement and then post a YT video of them playing it — that sure would make it easier for others to learn from. Any takers? As usual we created a compilation file which includes music notation, lyrics, and Ted grids. Good luck!]

* Chart of Bass Harmonization for Baroque Period, 1980-06-09. [One of Ted’s students recently commented on this chart: “This page looks like Ted is getting started working on Baroque counterpoint. He begins with every possibility as usual. Every possible bass note in the key of C across the bottom row. Above them, every possible melody note they could take, and what chord tone or interval above the bass that would be. Since he leaves some of the squares blank, those must be ones he thinks are rare.” We provided a typed chart for easier reading.”]

Under the “Harmonization of a Given Melody” header:

* Harmonization: 1st Phrase of “There Will Never Be Another You,” Part 2. [This page continues Ted’s various treatments of this melody. (See part 1 for more variations.) We added notation and chord names to each diagram. Ted would certainly want you to analyze each of the different treatments and keep a list of the concepts and techniques used for each – to be applied to other melodies when you’re making your own arrangements.]
* Technique of Diatonic Harmonization (as derived from bass lines), Part 2, 1977-07-18. [This lesson is another for Ted’s series on harmonization. Notice the ascending or descending bass lines and how they are used to generate the harmony. Standard music notation provided to make analysis easier.]

Under the “Ear-Training” header:

* Ear-Training, 1992-11-02. [This page was written up during a private lesson.]
* Ear-Training and Harmonic Tendencies Knowledge, 1986-04-22. [This seems to be a rough outline for a page in a book Ted intended to write on ear-training for guitarists. Typed text for easy reading.]
* Ear-Training – Starting Notes of Beatles Tunes, 1989-12-20 & 1990-10-17. [Using early Beatles songs, Ted catalogs them according to their starting notes, for ear-training purposes.]
* Ear-Training Strategies, 1989-12-14. [This is another lesson outline intended for Ted’s book, or for general teaching.]
* Ear-Training Thru Singing and Visualizing, 1990-09-06 & 1987-12-26. [This lesson is to be used for ear-training via singing and fingerboard visualizing. The implied or outlined chords are named in blue, as well as some “continuation” follow-throughs. New notation provided.]

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April 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

Spring Greetings!

This month we’re sharing a few pages from Barbara Franklin’s book, My Life with the Chord Chemist dealing with some of Ted’s very early philosophical thoughts about life, music, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. (Although Barb later mentioned that his views about Rock and R&B changed over the years.)

* * * * *

Although Ted continued his musical exploration with the utmost zeal, he began to feel there was something missing in his life in the area of higher purpose and meaning, so began his quest for an awakening in personal and spiritual growth. There were many avenues to explore, especially during this era, and Ted tested quite a few different paths. Some he readily discarded, some he found a small amount of wisdom in, and a few paths, one such as Paramahansa Yogananda, he found much to benefit from.

After exploring many options, he distilled the wisdom from the sources he felt most applicable to help engender the most positive aspects in his own life as well as utilizing his newly discovered philosophies in the area of teaching. The following thoughts and conclusions dated 5/12/74 were written as a result of his search for meaning and his subsequent understanding.

Reasons for Staying with Music as a Profession

1. Latent therapeutic powers for healing and awakening virtues in others, generally improving the quality of life due to the uplifting vibrations radiated out. A person who is striving for things consistent with these concepts can accomplish these things to a much greater degree. The healing forces can have a hard time getting through if the human channel is clogged up with too much ego, self-pride, arrogance, love of flattery & adulation, desire for self-gratification, etc. The wise person is consistently on guard to detect and dissipate these lower vibrations by remembering thoughts that inspire compassion, humility & sacrifice.
2. A person can set an example for others when he is in the position of exposure that the entertainment field creates. Remember the man who reforms himself will reform others.
3. The money earned can be used beneficially in a multitude of ways.
4. My talents lie in this area so it seems that the Creator would have it be this way, although math, puzzles, or COLOR are also possibilities.

Reasons for Self-Control

1. To decrease the focus on self and concentrate on helping others.
2. To build up the positive quality of will-power which coupled with kindness & reason (wisdom) or common sense can produce very great results in the world, positive vibrations are contagious, have repercussions, just as negative ones do. Will-power can transmute a negative emotion such as jealousy into a positive one such as kindness. 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).
3. To not hurt others through lack of control of self. Remember, the quality of harmlessness; do not “use” others; do not be deceitful to satisfy your own selfish desires; do not radiate thoughts which can harm.
4. To set an example for others: “First become that which you want others to be.”
Helpful hints:
a) a cosmic viewpoint of life helps in a moment of heated emotion - just relax & think of the universe & how small and insignificant most things really are: “Is it really worth getting mad at others so much?” Life is too short for most worries.
b) Controlling one aspect can often help in controlling another (be careful here though, not to go so far overboard all at once that you over compensate in another area to make up for the emotional need).

Ted admitted to experimenting with recreational drugs (never ‘hard’ drugs), for a short time in his very early 20’s. He told me he tried psychedelics a few times and did not enjoy the experience. However, he did admit to a penchant for marijuana, but stopped using it for the reasons he listed in the following:

Reasons for Giving up Dope

(Quite a few years earlier was the actual occurrence)

1. Self-delusion (illusions, distortions in general)
2. Increased self-gratification sense is more often the case than not. The world needs more unselfish people, more healers, more people devoted to a life of service. This type of life is impossible to one who is too “high to cope” with the physical plane.
3. Dullness of logical thinking - unable to learn quickly and especially to retain information.
4. Unable or unwilling to cope with problems, crises.

Ted gave these reasons for giving up Rock n’ Roll, R&B, and ceasing to play in bands:

The Combination of High-Energy, Pounding Beat, Excessive Volume in Music

1. Causes riots.
2. Generally increases frenzy, chaos in the world occasionally if not often.
3. Stimulates the already over-stimulated self-gratification tendencies of mankind.
4. Fosters a high degree of competitiveness: Everybody trying to be the “hottest” or “funkiest” player, trying to “outblow” everybody else. Also, it creates more of these feelings in the listeners, they get caught up in who is the “hottest” etc.

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. Alarming sidelight: In some experiments plants died when exposed to loud hard rock music, while they flourished on Bach organ music.

Along with Ted’s spiritual awakening, he continued to formulate new musical ideas, improve his teaching methods, and find new ways to organize and categorize the material that he wished to expand. Part of this would eventually become incorporated into his second book. Ted often wrote out extensive and detailed “Organization Sheets” to clarify his ideas. This also helped Ted organize the material in his mind and he found making these sheets to be a very satisfying and productive way of thinking.

~ Barbara Franklin, My Life with the Chord Chemist

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~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* Let It Be Me, 1989-08-30. [This is Ted’s arrangement of this 1955 song in “outline format.” He wrote, “You have to add the missing melody notes to stitch this page together. Also, the right hand broken-chord texture is needed to keep the whole thing flowing.” In our write-up, we’ve provided standard notation, lyrics combined with Ted’s grids. In the notation we added the “missing melody notes” that you’ll need to add to the chord diagrams as you play. We could have added Ted’s usual X, square, triangle to his grids...but we’ll leave that up to you. This song was originally published in French as “Je t’appartiens” and became popular with an English version by the Everly Brothers, Jerry Butler in the 1960’s, and Elvis i 1970. For our write-up, the format and lyrics include verses that were not sung in these recordings.]

* Dominant7b9, Root on Top, Middle Strings, V7-I.
* Dominant7b9, Root on Top, Top 4 Strings, ii7-V7-I.
* Dominant7b9, Root on Top, Top 4 Strings, V7-I (1987-05-03).
* Dominant7b9, Root on Top, Top 4 Strings, V7-I (1987-06-16).
* Dominant7b9sus, Root on Top, Middle Strings, V7-I.
* Dominant7b9sus, Root on Top, Top 4 Strings, V7-I.

[All of the above pages provided beautiful voice-leading moves of the different 7b9 chords to I. We could have combined them all on one PDF file, but it just seemed to make more sense and for clarity sake to post them separately. Ted was meticulous about documenting specific chord voicings and in finding as many useful possibilities for practical application. This series is all about 7b9 chords with the root on top, and specifically, resolving to the I chord. On most of these pages he left out the chord names, and asked the student to fill them in as homework – sometimes also asking for the chord tones to be written below the grids. We’ve included an “answers and translation” page for your reference.]
* Dominant Approach Chord Catalogue for Blues and..., 1985-08-16. [This is collection of F9 chords with its various approach chords. Each of the F9 chords are voiced with the 3rd in the bass. The movement of the two chords creates a contrary motion melody (soprano) line. Translation page provided for those who have difficulty reading Ted’s handwriting.]
* Dominant Approach Chord Catalogue for Reference & Gradual Learning, 1985-08-16. [This is a series of five lesson pages for approach chords moving to 1) E7#9; 2) B7/6 or B13; 3) C9; 4) D7#9; and 5) F7/6 or F13 (with some altered tones too). Translation page provided for those who have difficulty reading Ted’s handwriting.]

* Playing Thru Changes, More – Basing Your Solo on Arpeggio Fragments, 1978-03-22 & 24. [We wrote up this lesson unaware that it had been included in Ted’s Single-Note Soloing, Vol. II, because the title of the lesson is slightly different from that in the book (Condensed Arpeggios vs. Arpeggio Fragments). Nevertheless, we’re including it here so you can see some of Ted’s original pages that he used for the book. New notation pages provided.]

* Ted Greene String Gauges.
[This list was compiled by Tomas Campbell. Here’s what he wrote about this list: “I first wanted to send my sincerest thanks for all the information you have shared about this wonderful musician. For the past 6 months I have been studying Ted Greene in the most detailed way that I can absorb. One thing I was writing about was his experimentation of different string gauges (I take notes on all his lessons, seminars, audio files, and lesson plans). It took me a while on a multitude of platforms to find as much as I could about his string preferences. Since I didn’t see anything about this posted in the Archives, I felt that this list might be helpful for others. It provides a list of all the string gauges he tried. Many thanks for your help and your time.” Thank you, Tomas! If anyone comes across additional information about Ted’s string gauges that is not included on this list, please contact us and we’ll update it.]

* “Shred with Ted” from Bob Holt. [This page was written up by Bob based on a private lesson he had with Ted. We had it posted on this website several years ago, but it somehow got misplaced or removed by accident. Thanks Bob!]

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March 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

Greetings to all Ted fans, students, and friends!

Wes Montgomery. Ted absolutely loved his playing. He once called him “my favorite guitar player.” For this month’s new items, we combed through the TG archives and pulled out all the lessons, arrangements, transcriptions, and anything that Ted wrote relating to Wes. Much has already been posted, but now we’ve cleaned out the drawer and lay it out for you to feast upon.

We’re presenting two solo guitar pieces by Wes, “In Your Own Sweet Way” and a Wes original, “Mi Cosa” (Spanish for “my thing”). There are a few recorded versions of “Mi Cosa” and the one Ted notated was from Wes’ “Bumpin’” album. On it there’s a few measures that feature the string section where Wes doesn’t play – Ted nevertheless arranged those parts for solo guitar. So, you might say that this page is part transcription, part arrangement.

Ted had a special “Wes” folder that contained several lesson sheets on “Chords for Comping or Chord Soloing.” Although Wes is not mentioned on these pages, they provide the harmonic vocabulary that Ted felt was essential for playing like him. You’ll find several other pages that we posted previously on “Co-minor” or “companion minor” exercises that was a tool that Wes used a lot. I believe that Ted coined that term “co-minor.” And he almost always mentioned Debussy and Wes when discussing this concept. And there’s other Wes related lessons scattered throughout the Lessons section of this site.

Before we get to the new lessons, we’re going to share some excerpts from Barb’s book and from an interview in Just Jazz Guitar magazine.

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“Towards the end of April, Guitar Player Magazine invited Ted to participate in an upcoming Wes Montgomery article. Ted spent many hours writing and rewriting the article, refining it to what he considered perfection, attaining a balance of informative reading laced with his unique humor. To do an in-depth study of Wes’ playing he brought over a bag full of Wes CDs to listen to and share with me. Four hours passed, as we lay sprawled on the floor, mesmerized, in awe. Wes was truly brilliant!”

[Ted wrote:] “…It was also love at first sound with Wes Montgomery and me in 1964 or 5 when I heard “Caravan” from that breathtaking Movin’ Wes album. He remains my favorite guitar player to this day. His best stuff is near unbearably perfect to me. It’s practically pulverizing to listen to him at the top of his game. One could mention the powerhouse first album he did with Jimmy Smith, The Dynamic Duo. Or the ultra-fine 1963 album, Boss Guitar. Likewise the live, classic, Smokin’ at the Half-Note. The lush beauty of the Bumpin’ album. All of these albums--real stunners. The Body and Soul live album from his SRO dates in England at Ronnie Scott’s, the famous jazz club. Live at Jorgie’s, in St. Louis in the early `60’s, with his brothers playing and reacting to Wes playing his heart out on “Summertime.” Incandescent, would be a starting word to describe Wes at his best.”

~ Barbara Franklin, My Life with the Chord Chemist, p. 78 and 204-205

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“…Once I just tried to think of which guitar player’s sounds, feels, tunes, recordings and so on would be the hardest to give up, I could see for me, it would be Wes Montgomery’s.…because on his best stuff, he thrills me to the bone, thrills me like no other seems to….

Wes had knowledge in very noticeably high amounts from one perspective and very far less from another. The large amount area includes for instance, his highly developed ability to know where the things he wants to say ‘live,’ where they are on his instrument. The lesser area would include knowing only the 50 to 100 chord forms he knew, versus some top players knowing 5 to 10 times as many. But he used all his knowledge to serve the content of what he wanted to say, and this content was all in the service of those incredible tasty phrases that he made a career out of.

…He did have what I like to call “The 4 T’s,” and had them in such great abundance: Time, Touch, Tone, Taste….

Time—well, Wes’ time feel on many grooves is so, so good. Time like no one else before him that I can find except maybe a few bass players (of all things). Exhilarating. Exciting. Unpredictable. Consistently never lost. I’m always lost trying to exactly catch his time feel in some spots on many cuts. Very humbling.

Touch—the man knew how to touch a guitar. And he created a whole new sound because of it...which leads us to the next area.

Tone—well he didn’t always get a great tone on those early great records, but from some of ‘63 on, he usually got a spectacular tone. “Movin’ Wes,” “Bumpin’,” and “Smokin’ at the Half Note” are some albums that come to mind if one is longing to hear Wes with his bigger tone captured well.

Taste—he’s certainly one of the tastiest players I’ve ever heard. If you’re a sleaze-bucket you can say that his playing reeks of Tightness. If a little more elegant way of expressing things seems to curry favor with you, then we’ll just say that his playing on his best records possesses Tightness on almost every conceivable front. So often just full of great ideas—and his phrasing! Hmm mama. This relates back to his way with the areas of time and touch. Wes...so stylish, so creative, such a gas to listen to. You hear him on say “Besame Mucho” from the very, very fine album “Boss Guitar” where he just unfolds this thing from beginning to end, which besides the exciting content, has a construction to it, a true feeling of form—because of his beautiful sense of pacing, letting things build slowly, little by little. He was so superb at this. The jazz cats used to call it “really tellin’ a story.”

It’s fair to say that a big feature also is that Wes is usually playing harmonically sophisticated music, and I love this. Juicy chords, great voice-leading, clever progressions. Great songs—the fabulous tin pan alley ‘standards’. Also great originals—jazz tunes—by others and especially by him.

Technique—this area gets pretty ridiculous when you’re talkin’ about Wes Montgomery. I’ll leave it alone for now.

Talent—there’s no one I know of, at least in his chosen field of jazz guitar, who manifested more talent than Wes Montgomery. How many others created a whole style all their own, a whole new way to play the guitar? Talk about an original voice. Not that that’s a requirement for fine playing, because if you think about it, we all know that it’s not. But it is often a wonderful plus to hear such an ‘original’ talent show up on the scene and just captivate—no—just shock everyone. Hasn’t happened often, not in this field….

Transcendence—like I said, I don’t know much here, but I know from talking to hundreds of musicians over the span of decades and reading everything I’ve ever been able to get my hands on about Wes Montgomery and having seen him perform live in ‘65 or 66, that it’s pretty certain this man and his playing were operating on a transcendent level at times. And this was kind of often.

….So that makes 7 T’s, not 4…

Let me make a left turn: forget all these T’s. Just speaking personally, as a listener and maybe as a player too, I’m looking for beauty or excitement. Also soulfulness, freshness or surprise, creativity, versatility or range. And yes, great taste...knowing some fabulous notes to play or not to play at each moment; and knowing just how to play them to fit the desired feeling. I’ll take humor, joy and occasional sorrow, also lightheartedness, or playfulness too, especially if the others don’t show up.

….The hipsters I used to run with—we used to say, “That Wes...! He’s one righteous cat. The hippest cat in town.” If hip means exuding glowing warmth, beauty, sensitivity, buoyancy, happiness, as well as knowingness, confidence, passion, daring, recovery, resourcefulness, cleverness, and uniqueness—then Wes is still the baddest cat to come boppin’ along—the hippest cat in town. For me.

~ Just Jazz Guitar interview excerpts, May 2000.

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Also be sure to listen the Mark Levy’s recorded lesson (#41) with Ted on October 18, 1993 – described as “All About Wes.” Ted Greene Lessons with Mark Levy - 4

And check out Ted’s unedited transcript for his “Movin’ Wes” article in GP, August 1998. Movin’ Wes and Movin’ Wes (transcribed)

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~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* In Your Own Sweet Way (Wes Montgomery) Ted Greene Transcription, 1997-06-27. [This is a beautiful piece that Ted wrote out for a student. The ending doesn’t seem to be a part of the recording, so it may be Ted’s own tag. Notation for the ending is just one rhythmic interpretation; you may feel/hear it differently. Notation combined with Ted’s grids.]
* Mi Cosa (Wes Montgomery) 1993-01-25 & 1993-02-08. [This was written up for a student during two private lessons with Ted. As stated in the Newsletter message above, this is part transcription, part arrangement. Notation combined with Ted’s grids for easy reading. Thanks to David Bishop for proofreading this score and offering suggestions.]

* Bluesy Wes-Like Form, 1990-01-03 and Med-Slow Jazz Blues ala Wes, 1990-10-14. [These notes come from Ted’s Private Music Studies papers. They were not intended as lessons, but just some ideas he jotted down for himself. Notation combined with Ted’s notes and grids.]

* Chords for Chord Soloing and Comping – Dom. 7th Type & Co-Minor7 (1979)
* Chords for Chord Soloing and Comping – Minor 7th Type (1979)
* Chords for Comping and Chord Soloing – Dom. 7th Type & Co-Minors (1980)
* Chords for Comping and Chord Soloing – Major Type (1980)
* Chords for Comping and Chord Soloing – Minor 7th Type (1980).

[All of the above lesson pages each contain a collection of grid chord diagrams for the various chord types. They look similar to pages from Chord Chemistry and can be used as references for when you’re looking for just the right chord for your arrangement or for working on your comping.]

Under the “Chord Streams” header:

* Small 3-Note Min7th Type Voicings in Cumulative Chord Streams, 1987-09-30
* Using 3-Note Chord Fragments and Chord Hearts in Common Progressions, 1987-09-28.

[These pages were not in Ted’s “Wes folder,” but contain ideas and textures that are similar to things he played. New text is provided for easy reading. The chord names were not included, so you’ll have figure them out as “homework.”]

* “D-Natural Blues” – (Wes Montgomery) Ted Greene transcription. [Ted notated this solo from “The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery” album. New notation provided for easy reading.]

* Both Sides Now (“Ted w/Rowanne Mark”)
– Notation+Grids+Tab – Francois Leduc
Special thanks to Francois for doing this transcription by request, and for all the fine contributions you’ve made for the TedGreene.com website. Please visit Francois’ website for more of his transcriptions: https://www.francoisleduconlinelibrary.com/

Under the header: “Contributions by unknown”
* Caravan (Wes Montgomery Solo) – Transcription by Ted Greene student. [This transcription was with all of Ted’s other Wes materials, but we’re certain that this was not written by Ted. The handwritten notes are very different than any of Ted’s other scores. We believe that one of Ted’s students wrote this out and then brought it to one of his lessons with Ted. It is obvious to see where Ted made some corrections to the score. New notation provided (with some rhythmic clarifications) for easier reading.]

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February 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

Welcome to the February edition of our Newsletter.

As usual we have an assortment of new lessons from Ted this month, but first we’d like to share some stories and memories about Ted that you might enjoy from some fellow guitarists.

From Brad Rabuchin:

I was very fortunate to be living in Canoga Park when I first took up guitar while in high school in the 70s. I say fortunate because Ted was teaching in a little music store on Topanga Canyon near my house called Dales’ Guitars. I was taking lessons with him before I really had a clue about who/what or how great he was. I was probably neither good enough nor serious enough to rate a teacher of his caliber. Still, he always had a way of being very kind and supportive, but still make me feel the “heat” a bit (I wasn’t always practicing much back then). So, for quite a while I scuffled through his lessons but then at some point it began to click. I ended up studying with him quite a bit, and with even an occasional lesson until a few months ago.
Many of you remember his hand-written Xeroxes: musical examples or chord diagrams often with tiny written explanations crammed into every corner of the page. You could spend months getting down just one of those sheets. I still have a huge stack of those sheets daring me to practice them.
Ted really became a profound influence on my playing, particularly chord-wise and harmonically, and a huge reason why I play guitar professionally to this day. So, I just want to say thank you Ted for helping set me on course to experience the adventure of music and providing me with the tools to somehow live and work doing something that I love these past 25 years. You’ll always be in my music and in my thoughts,
~ Brad Rabuchin

From Chips Hoover:

Ted was probably the kindest and most prolific person I’ve ever known. Even though I haven’t been able to keep in constant contact, I’ve always felt he was one of my best life-long friends. He is responsible for the majority of whatever musical abilities I have and had a major effect on my life for the better. He did more for furthering guitar harmony than anyone I know of. When I sat with Ted, he always inspired me, always made me feel I could accomplish anything on the instrument that I desired. That’s what made him one of the greatest teachers of all time.
The planet is, and will always be a better place for his visit.
~ “Chips” Dana Hoover

From Sid Jacobs:

We all miss him. He was the personification of the truth that music is a spiritual path. Even beyond his amazing musical talent, his humility and generosity touched anyone who came in contact with him. Students, if they couldn’t make a lesson, were asked to send in a substitute. For him, there is no substitute. Such a unique treasure, it’s hard to imagine how a Ted could exist in the world, and now it’s hard to imagine a world without him.
~Sid Jacobs

From Barry Zweig:

[Ted and I] knew each other for over thirty years. He was an inspiration as a teacher and player. He showed me the perfect chord for a certain note in one of my own compositions.
~ Barry Zweig

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~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* I’ll Follow the Sun, 1996-01-04. [Here’s Ted’s interpretation of this fun Beatles song. This page was created at the request of a student during a private lesson with Ted. At the top of the page he added some comments for that student’s next session: “1) open triads, 2) pedal tones and triads, 3) other chord progressions, 4) minor keys.” This has nothing to do with this arrangement, so it wasn’t included in the compilation page. We created a document that has standard music notation with lyrics combined with Ted’s grids to make it easier to read and learn. The ending was interpreted based on Ted’s previous treatment of the same passage.]

* Chord Hearts and Blocks: ii7-V7-I, 1983-09-23 & 24. [This lesson page contains three pages from Ted’s files: page 1, page 2, and a supplement to page 2…plus we included an additional copy of the supplement page with the names of the implied chords. Even though Ted titled these lessons for “comping or chord soloing,” we did not place it in our “Comping” section since the examples are universally useful for any ii7-V7-I situation. At the top of page 1 Ted wrote: “Play with jazz feel and add syncopation. Repeat each example in Part 1 (this is a get-acquainted section).”]

* I Fall in Love Too Easily, 1996-04-18. [This page was filed away in Ted’s cabinet of arrangements, and I quickly discovered that it’s a comping study instead. Lead sheet with lyrics combined with notation of Ted’s grids provided for easy reading.]
* You Are There, 1994-11-21. [Some of these chord forms are a bit challenging to play all together smoothly, but there’s some rich harmonies and good voice-leading throughout. The lead sheet was included as a reference and for harmonic comparison of the original “basic or standard changes” to Ted’s chord choices. He didn’t include the chord qualities for most of the grid diagrams, as that was the assignment for the student to do, so we added them in blue. Also take note of Ted’s famous “17th” chord in measures 9 and 20. The voicing here is: Root, b7, 11th, 13th, 3rd (or 17th – a 3rd up two octaves). Ted has stated that for the 17th chord, the major 3rd must be above the 11th. This has a unique sound…check it out for yourself. Compilation page provided for easier reading and learning.]

* 3rd Stacks and Runs in 3rds, 1980-02-10.
[This isn’t technically a lesson for single-note soloing because it is for playing two notes together, but it fits right in with SNS playing, so we’ve added it to this section on the site. We’ve included notation for each grid diagram to make it perfectly clear what Ted was trying to convey for these 35 examples. Many of the runs are similar or exactly the same as others with the same chord/harmonic quality name, but the position on the neck is what changes. This will become clear as you work thru the exercises.]

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January 2019 • TedGreene.com Newsletter

Happy New Year!

To start off the new year we have a short piece to share that came from Dan Sawyer: a short story and some information about Ted and his guitars.

Ted and Barbie’s Pet Guitar Names

At some point, Ted and I traded guitars. I had a Guild X-175 with P-90 type pickups that he really liked. He said the narrow fingerboard would be perfect for Barbie’s small hands. Ted had a cherry-red Guild Starfire II that I loved. It had the normal Gibson neck width (1 & 11/16th inch). Before we could do any kind of trade Ted wanted to make sure Barbie liked it, so we waited for a few weeks. Once Barbie gave her thumbs up, the deal was set. One condition per Ted, was that I loved the guitar. Liking it was not enough for him. Ted asked for a little extra money because his guitar came with a really nice Gibson case which he said was more valuable than my Guild case. I was fine with this and really wasn’t going to argue because I “loved” his Starfire.

Ted and Barbie’s name for the Starfire was Camille. Barbie explained that they originally called the guitar Camouflage which was shortened to Camo and then finally, feminized to Camille. My old Guild guitar became Danette…named after me but with changed gender. (Notice that all Ted’s pet names are female.) A few years later I bought The Lady, his Gibson 1960 ES5 that’s on equipment list in the Personal/Gear section. It was named Lady because of the beautiful gold parts and luscious blonde wood.

Ted and Barbie really used these names when talking to each other. For example; “Please bring Daisy in here. She would be perfect for this Bach piece”. Or, “Lulu needs her B string changed.”

~ Dan Sawyer

Before we jump into the new lesson material for 2019, we thought to give a quick summary of Ted’s lesson materials that we posted in 2018:

New Lesson Items Posted in 2018: total: 217
Arrangements: 25
Articles & Interviews: 4
Audio Recordings: 5
Baroque: 13
Chord Studies: 49
Comping: 17
Discography & Publications entries: 1
From Students: 12
Fundamentals: 36
Harmony & Theory: 8
Jazz: 1
Other: 3
Performances Date entries: 9
Single-Note Soloing: 12
Transcriptions: 6
The V-System: 16

Lesson File Upgrades posted in 2018: 91.
That’s a total of 277 upgrades since we started this project. There’s 37 more to go, and then we should be ready for a site overhaul.

Also featured in 2018 were two articles written specially for our site: one by Adam Levy titled, “Three Things I Learned from Ted Greene,” and another penned by Leon White: “Ted Greene’s Solo Guitar - About the Recording.” Tim Lerch also created a very helpful instructional YouTube video reviewing Ted’s arrangement of “The Man I Love.”

In 2017 we posted 222 new lessons and 168 “upgrades,” so we’re about even with the new stuff, and considerably down with upgrades. (Many of those upgrades in 2017 were somewhat quick fixes, but the 2018 ones generally required more time.) We hope to continue with this same flood of material in this new year….so buckle your seatbelts, hold onto your hats and get ready for some great guitar lessons that will challenge your fingers, expand mind, and delight & amuse your ears — as usual from Ted!

If you’re somewhat new to this site you might find it interesting to look back through our older newsletters. There you’ll often stumble across some buried treasures that you won’t easily find elsewhere. And we’d like to invite any of you transcribers out there to share your Ted transcriptions with us. We want to keep our “Transcriptions” section ever growing. Also, please remember to visit the TedGreene Facebook page and “like” us there; visit our Forums regularly and participate in discussions there. And of course, we want to deeply thank you all for your donations — these are always greatly appreciated and help to keep everything here free for guitarist around the world.

Have a beautiful, exciting, and musical 2019!

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~ Your friends on the TedGreene.com Team


(Donate to TedGreene.com)

* A Time for Us – “Love Theme” from Romeo and Juliet, 1994-03-10. [This is a beautiful song for which Ted made a nice arrangement that’s not too difficult to play. You’ll want to add a lot of right-hand arpeggios to fill in certain spots. Something unique on this page is the symbols for the playing order. This is the only instance I’ve seen where Ted used a hexagon shape for the fifth note to be played (following his triangle). In the past he sometimes has used a diamond or star-shape symbol, but never a hexagon. Interesting…and he only used it once, in measure 24 on the Ebm chord. After measure 32 Ted created an extended ending. I’m not sure if this is Ted’s own creation, or if it is part of the film score arrangement. The diagrams look more daunting than they actually are. All those ties mostly indicate chord arpeggios played after the initial chord is struck, then a couple of melody notes at the end. Notation with lyrics combined with Ted’s grids provided for easier reading.]

* 3rd Stacks – Dominant Type Chords, 1979-05-10. [This is an interesting lesson page. Ted shows stacks of 3rds as laid out on the fretboard to be used for creating melodic phrases with either 2, 3, or 4 note groupings. Given are diagrams for the 4 main dominant types (“regular,” “sus,” “overtone series,” and “altered”). We’ve redrawn the diagrams to make them easier to read, plus added the chord tone names below the strings (as was the assignment).
* More Progressions Using Modern Dominant Voicings, 1979-02-02. [This collection of 10 exercises use advanced voicings mostly with 3-b7 or b7-3 on the bottom end of the chords. A real modern sound that seems most suitable for jazz settings.]
* Starting Chords, 1973-03-26. [Ted subtitled this page, “Also all close voicings and semi-close.” It’s unclear what he meant by “starting” chords. It’s a collection of major type sounds all in the key E. We’ve added newly drawn grids for easier reading. On Ted’s original page many of the chords include colored numbers showing the chord tone for the top note. These were not added to the redrawn grid pages. Most likely this was an assignment for the student to do.]

Under “Chord Streams” header:

* Comping Vocabulary - 3-Noters, Major Family, 1992-07-11. [Ted titled this page as “Comping Vocabulary” and you’d think we should have put this in our “Comping” section. But this page is more like a “chord stream,” being that Ted strung together a series of 3-note chords (triads, if you prefer) that outline a specific chord sound. This page is very similar to some of his “Chord Hearts” pages. Many or all of the lessons in the “Chord Streams” section may be used effectively for comping purposes, especially when used as fills in places where a single chord lingers for a longer period of time. On the top of the page he wrote, “2nd Set of Strings, p.1” although we don’t have any record of page 2 or any other string sets being written up. One could certainly take this as an assignment to do for yourself: Move these same exercises to the top 3 strings, and to other string sets (5,4,3 and 6,5,4) changing keys as necessary. We provided an extra copy of this lesson page with the chord names written in with blue letters. Ted would probably have wanted the student to think of the “visual root” for each chord form, and to also be aware of the chord tone of each of the soprano notes.]

* Fascinating Rhythm – comping on the middle strings (key of Eb), 1984-08-29. [Here’s another comping page for this jazz standard. Compare this page with the one we posted last month for the key of F, using the top 4 strings. Notation and lyrics combined with Ted’s grids for easy reading.]

* Playing in One Position, 1977-10-24.
[Three exercises for playing through the cycle of 5ths (4ths) progressions and staying in one position of the neck. Ted subtitled this page, “As a tool for learning major scale sounds and transitions between them.” However, he covers not only major add9 sounds, but also dominant 9 and minor add9 sounds as well. New notation provided for easy reading.]

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