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Fall 2022 TedGreene.com Newsletter

Warm Greetings to all friends, fans, and students of Ted!

If you’re here for the first time we’d like to invite you to look through our past newsletters. There’s some very interesting articles and stories about Ted that you may enjoy reading. . They date back to 2006, and are rich with some history about the TedGreene com site and other info from those connected with its development, mainly Barbara Franklin, Ted’s partner for many years.

Before we get into the new lesson material, we’d like to share with you some words from guitarist/educator Rich Severson that he wrote for the Ted Greene Memorial Blog back in 2005. Rich is a former GIT instructor and studio veteran. Today Rich owns and operates GuitarCollege.com, famous for its online study courses.

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Ted was one of the kindest and gentlest souls I’ve ever met. He was always so nice to me. Last time we spoke he was reminiscing about the guitar I had 30 years ago. Ted remembered everything. He was a one of a kind.

I first met Ted in 1973. I was playing at a bowling alley in Reseda, CA, and the drummer of the band knew Dale Zdenek who owned a local music store. He invited Dale to come down to hear me play. Dale soon after offered me a job teaching at the store, and that’s when I met Ted. At that time Ted looked like a crazed hippy with long hair and a full beard. I had heard of Ted as a blues player, but after meeting him I realized he was into every form of music.

The first piece I heard him play was Bach on his Gibson 345 that had more switches on it then the space shuttle. He had installed capacitors to make it sound like a harpsichord. What a blessing it was to teach in the room next to Ted. When most teachers would have a cancellation, they would take a break. But Ted would say, “Come on in and let’s play,” or “Come on in, I want to show you something.” What a treat!

It was like a family at that store with Ted and Dale and his wife Linda and the others teachers. Ted also rewired my 1968 Gibson 335 during a student cancellation, because the volume control affected the tone. It was a manufacture flaw that he pointed out to Gibson, and which they later changed.

Ted showed me so many things. One evening as we were leaving the store after teaching all day, I told him how I would really like to learn how he did those harmonic rolls of his. So right there in the parking lot he pulled out his guitar and gave me a lesson. That’s how Ted was. When I sit down to play, so much of it I can say, “Ted showed me that,” – even about how to adjust a guitar neck. All of my teaching materials have the fingerprints of Ted’s work

I remember the day Dale received the first shipment of Ted’s Chord Chemistry book at the store. That day changed everything. Ted’s book took off, and so did Dale’s publishing business. Soon after, Dale closed the doors on the store and opened another in publishing. Ted moved his teaching to his home.

I was also blessed to have three books published by Dale, along with players like Tommy Tedesco, Joe Diorio, John Kurnick, Ron Anthony, Leon White, and of course Ted. Most of those books are now out of print except for Ted’s. Ted has always had an underground following from students searching for something new. After the store was sold, I only saw Ted at company parties where sometimes we would play together. But the real treat was to hear him play solo guitar. I still remember hearing his arrangement of “Angles We Have Heard on High” and seeing Tommy Tedesco’s jaw drop. His use of counterpoint, walking bass lines, harmonics, unusual chord voicings, and an overall great harmonic sense was just mind boggling.

The last couple of years I bugged Ted to come up to our Yosemite workshops. He always said, “Someday I will,” but everyone knows he barely got out of his house. I also wanted to interview him for our video magazine, but we never got together. Sadly, I dropped the ball on seeing him during my last trip to LA and didn’t call him.

I did go to California Vintage Guitar store on that trip and found a Guild x50 that I really liked. When Dan, the owner, told me that Ted had just brought it in, I snatched it up. I was holding off on telling Ted about it because I wanted to surprise him with a video segment I did for the magazine where I used that guitar. But that surprise was missed as well.

Here’s a Ted gem: I had been sending him issues of our video magazine for his students, and when I spoke with him last, he said that he wanted to give me a free phone lesson for them in return. I was just happy that he had looked at them!

- Rich Severson

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In the New Items this month we continue with our mission of posting of all of Ted’s 5-Note Chord Voicing series. Some of these lessons have multiple pages (7, 9, 10, and 17 pages!) so each one takes considerable time to prepare for publishing. Though many of the chords may seem esoteric, unplayable, or unusable, they do have a place in guitar pedagogy. Ted was exploring, discovering, defining, and cataloging things for the guitar as no one else has done (to my knowledge). Even though he never completed this massive organizational project, he did make a substantial dent in the research and creation of reference pages for application. We hope you’ll be able to glean something from Ted’s efforts to further the guitar’s possibilities.

We’d like to thank the wonderful contributors to this newsletter:

  • James Hober – for his 3-note and 5-note tone gap pages now found in the “From Students” section, and for his help in proofreading some of Ted’s 5-note voicing lessons.
  • Mike De Luca – for proofreading and musical advice and support.
  • Rich Severson – for his stories of memories of Ted.
  • Hak Yu Lee – for transcribing a portion of Ted’s “A Session with the Stars” video.
  • John C. McCain – for sharing his audio tape of two recorded correspondence lessons from Ted.

A hearty applause of appreciation for your continued help in spreading Ted’s music, teachings, and life.

~ Your Friends on the TedGreene.com Team


In the “Lessons with John C. McCain” section:

* Ted Greene Recorded Lesson for John C. McCain, 1989. [mp3, 320 kbps – 46:17 minutes. This recording comes from a 1989 cassette tape of a correspondence lesson with Ted Greene. Ted made this tape for him in 1989 (and part 2 in 1991). Here Ted talking and playing to John on his cassette tape recorder.]

* Ted Greene Recorded Lesson for John C. McCain, 1991. [mp3, 320 kbps – 46:11 minutes. This was made in 1991, and is a continuation of the correspondence recorded lesson from 1989. Ted's wit and charm really comes across here. The lesson gives a great insight into how Ted thinks about music and the guitar. Useful information and amazing playing, a rare treasure.]

* Baroque and Classical-Romantic Symmetric Progressions, 1977-08-06 and 1977-08-31. [Here Ted gives us several progressions with Roman numeral analysis and examples for classical ideas. Text translation and grids added for easy reading/studying.]

* Examples of Baroque Modulation, 1974-12-12. [Using Roman numeral Ted describes several examples for modulating from I to ii, I to iii, and I to IV. Retyped text for easy reading.]

* Indicative Examples of Baroque – For Improvisation and Composing, 1974-07-04. [The full title of this page includes “of Baroque Rhythmic, Metric, and Textural Thinking for Improvisation and Composing.” Mostly 4-to-1 or 3-to-1 textures written in standard notation. Ted provided the Roman numerals; we added the chord names. You need to figure out the fingerings. Great ideas for getting starting with Baroque improv.]

* Semi-Contrary, Real Contrary, Accompaniment Techniques, Broken Chords, 1974-08-27. [From Ted’s Personal Music Studies, this page contains a collection of misc. ideas, mostly for Baroque improvisation and general accompaniment. New notation provided and chord grid diagrams where applicable.]

* Typical Key Schemes and General Plans for Baroque Improvisation, 1975-08-07. [This short page is kind of a map to some ways Ted thought about Baroques improvising. Text translation for easy reading.]

* 4-Note 7th and 6th Chords, 1980-02-17. [All with A roots, these are some great hand-stretching chord, many of which are probably best tackled by transposing to the higher regions of the fretboard. New notation and chord diagrams provided. You may discover other chord forms, locations, or fingerings that work also…and don’t forget to try using open strings when available.]

* Bi-Diatonic and Tri-Diatonic Systems, 1978-07-23. [This is new for me! Perhaps Ted coined these terms? He created harmonized chord scales, as well as scale-wise melodies and progressions by combining two related tonalities. In this case (supposedly “Type 1”) he combined chords from the C major and C Aeolian scales. Original written as notation only, we’ve added chord diagrams with new notation. There are several possibilities for other chord forms, but we’ve tried to select common ones that seem to fall on the neck in close proximity to the others in the example. There are some pretty cool sounds here. Check it out.]

* Embellished Chords – Miscellaneous. [This is an early undated page from Ted, probably from the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. Here he wrote a collection of embellished chords: that is, ones that have extensions of the 7, 9, 6, 11, and 13, but no alterations (save #11, thinking of it as a natural extension of the Lydian scale). Ted gave no indication of the names of the chords, nor fret numbers. We redrew the chord diagrams and assigned them all to a C root, and provided a name for each form.]

Under the header “5-Note Chord Voicings”

* Chord Homonyms for 5-Note Voice Chords, 1980-02-17 and 1984-06-08. [On this sheet, Ted lists all 40 of his 5-note chord voicings: P (“Pentatonic”) or F (“Five-Note”) and the chord names in which they can be interpreted. Ted wrote: “There are 40 non-chromatic types, each of course with many names, and in the 40+ rows or spacings, and with five forms [inversions] per row.” We retyped this for clarity, and included both the “original” page and a copy on which Ted added some additional info.]

* 5-Note C7/6, C9, and C13 Chords, 1980-06-15. [Another collection of 5-note chord voicings from Ted. Here he examines C7/6 (or Gm6/9/11), C9 (or Gm6/11, Em7b5, F#7alt., or Am11b9), and C13 (or Gm6/9/11). Ted wrote only them in standard notation, but we took the next step to provide chord diagrams. Some of these are monster hand-stretchers, but with the use of your right-hand on the fretboard they become a little less frightening.]

* 5-Note Major Type Chords – Locational Organization, 1985-12-25 thru 29. [This was a big 14-page project for Ted, which is part of a much larger project of trying to organize all of the 5-note chords on the guitar. This page focuses on major types. We present it here with Ted’s original page, and have provided text translation and redrawn grids only for those girds that appear in the margins. As Ted would probably say, review it and try to play thru it all, but just find a few that you love, concentrate on applying them, and put the others to rest for another time. Enjoy!]

* 5-Note Regular Major Type Chord Extensions, 1985-02-16, 17, 18. [Another collection of major type 5-noters. Ted wrote here: “This series or step of the way involves relisting all of the systematic 5-note inversions (no doubled tones!) by location and/or favorable register, allowing for A as a rough starting point, even if it isn’t always ideal.” And, “I can’t recall with certainty, but this seems to be my earlier attempt at ‘locational’ or ‘geographic’ organization.” We have typed out Ted’s handwritten text and provided redrawn grids for the ones that he drew in the top margin of page 1.]

* 5-Note Voicings (Am9 and Cmajor7/6 Types and Others), 1980-06-15. [These chords come from a page titled simply, “5-Note Voicings,” most of which focuses on Am9 and Cmaj7/6 types. Ted gave us the notation, and we added the grids. Many of these chord forms are quite challenging, and you may discover other possible forms or fingerings. Again, find one or two from the collection that you like, and concentrate on those alone.]

* 5-Note Voicings – Top and Bass Notes Constant, 1984-06-29. [These pages give us a glimpse into how Ted approached the organization of the 5-note chords. One of the many comments he wrote on these pages: “There are between 35 and 50 useable V.G. (Voicing Group) types of 5-noters, each with its inversions (Wow!). So…between 1500 and 2500 chords, not to mention the duplicate and alternate fingerings and forms. I’m overwhelmed, frustrated, and thrilled…so much fussy detail work remains…” We typed out the text and notation to make it all easier to read, study, and absorb.]

* 5-Voice Chord Types, 1980-02-17 and 1984-06-08. [These are some early pages from Ted on organizing 5-note chords. Retyped text and notation, and chord grid diagrams have been added as an aid to studying this collection.]

* Voicing Possibilities for 5-Note Chords for Guitar, 1980-02-17. [Another early page for 5-note chord voicing explorations…this time the focus is on Amaj9 chords. New notation and grid chord diagrams provided.]

* A Session with the Stars – Jazz Progression #4 ending – Transcribed by Hak Yu Lee. [Transcribed from the “A Session with the Stars” video, this covers the ending Ted added to the end of Jazz Progression #4. Standard notation and TAB. Thanks, Hak Yu Lee!]

Under the header “Contributions from James Hober”

* 3-Note Voicing Groups Speculation.  [James Hober (our V-System expert) makes an educated guess about how Ted might have organized and defined all the various voicing possibilities on guitar for triads. Using the standard notation (“soprano tour” or soprano common tone), and showing the chord tone gaps numbering system for all 9 voicings. (See the V-System for a complete explanation of chord tone gaps.)]

* 5-Note Voicings Chord Tone Gap Table.  [James wrote on this page: “In Ted’s Personal Studies, there is a page from 2002 and 2003 entitled, “5-Note Voicings: A Review,” which lists all of his five-note voicing groups from P-1 to P-44. Below is the chord tone gap table that corresponds to these voicing groups. (See the V-System for a complete explanation of chord tone gaps.)]

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Summer 2022 TedGreene.com Newsletter

Warm greetings to all Ted Greene fans, friends, and students. In this newsletter we wanted to feature some of the experiences from a long-time friend and colleague of Ted’s, Leon White.

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Looking back over all the various topics that this site has discussed in newsletters and in the Forums, it seems that Ted’s guitar electronics have not been really discussed in detail. I thought we might revisit that subject and take a deeper dive into it.

One of the key things we overlook is “Why?” What prompted Ted to get into modifying and experimenting so much? A year ago in June I wrote about the importance of emotions to Ted. We have some pages on the site where he listed, organized, and classified various emotions.
[See: Moods and Feelings – Ted Greene Misc. Notes.pdf in the “Other” section of the Teachings area.]

Ted had a Gibson 355 and was familiar with its “Varitone” circuit. That was a one of a set of circuits appearing in guitars like the Al Caiola model, and even on a Gibson bass. The circuit added capacitors to the path of the pickup signal (like a tone control) to get different sounds. Probably inspired by that he began his own experimenting into tone modification on the guitar. (Remember, at that time there were only two pedals in the world – a Maestro fuzz tone and a Dallas Arbiter fuzz tone.) Those two, along with reverb and tape delay, were basically the only “toys” a player could add to their sound.

Ted experimented with capacitors, resistors, and components called “chokes.” The capacitors could affect higher frequencies while the chokes could affect lower frequencies. The Varitone used various combinations of those type of components to get the various sounds found in the Gibson 345 and 355.

But why? Was Ted just looking for different sounds? It was definitely more than that. It was tied to the emotions which music could create. As another example, Ted used ultra-light strings on the 355 and tuned it UP a major 3rd for a while. Why? He told me he wanted to get “that harpsichord sound.”

The sound of the guitar inspired Ted at the moment he was playing it. His 1955 Telecaster Esquire, “Banana Crème” (aka “Bananas”) had tone circuits added to the black guard bridge pickup and the two DiMarzio dual sound humbuckers. In addition, he connected various sets of coils in series or parallel to get various sounds, with the caps and chokes in the circuit.

Ted’s 355 (the one in the cover photo of Chord Chemistry) had many two-way and three-way switches all over the front. Bananas was the distilled version of all that experimenting, having the five-way switch and three small two-position switches on the pick guard. Those were the sounds he finally settled on for his regular solo guitar gigs.

But it wasn’t for novelty’s sake, or to play in a particular musical style. It was to express or inspire him to create the emotions he was feeling at the moment. The best example we can look at is perhaps the 1993 G.I.T. seminar video that is on YouTube.

In this clip particularly focus on his transition from lecture to playing “Eleanor Rigby.” Try to concentrate on Ted – not the music, but him sitting there and trying to find what he was going to play. He starts with an improvisation that is not yet a song, and he plays with it until he finds the “feeling” he wants for himself. Then he moves into that very up-tempo version of “Eleanor Rigby.” And we see him make adjustments to the tone on the guitar. Those individual sounds meant something to him in that moment, and he changes and plays a bit and then changes again to find the tone he wanted to feel.

His one album, Solo Guitar, is also a tour de force in changing tones in the middle of performances, and may be more easily heard and recognized if you listen carefully for it.

I can’t answer which emotion or musical feel was inside him when he changed to a new tone. (I suspect that the baroque passages were given a bit more treble or even a “Strat-like” coil combination so they would be heard more clearly – but that is a guess on my part.) And I’m not sure it even matters. The point, I think, is that the various pickup sounds meant something to him and that he used them to deliver the beautiful emotions he gave us when he played. And more importantly, they affected him. If he was not “inspired” on a gig he would often search through the sounds while he was “noodling” or during an interlude between songs to find something that inspired him.

I realize the pedal industry thinks that more pedals are a solution, but for Ted’s music I think we might all awaken to the very basic tones of our guitar and amp, and what they do to us. To achieve the same deep connection that Ted gets with us when he plays, I think we could all benefit from experimenting and understanding which sounds move us, why they do so, and how we can harness the sounds not as “effects” but as part of the emotion we want to share.

~ Leon

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The new lesson items for this newsletter focuses primarily on Ted’s work sheets for his 5-note chord voicing system that he was developing. We will continue to post more of these in the upcoming newsletters, as it seems that this was an important aspect of Ted’s investigations and attempts into defining some of the unlimited possibilities of the guitar. You’ll have to forgive the fact that we couldn’t present nice, redrawn grids with clear explanations, and deciphered handwritten comments. That would be a massive project that might never get done, so we present it as Ted left it. We believe that anyone serious enough to work through these pages will “get it” after a little exposure (and with the help of some of the accompanying efforts at explanations that we’ve provided).

We want to extend a special thanks to the following contributors to this newsletter:

  • Mark Fitchett for his 1992 audio recording of one of his many lessons with Ted.
  • Mike De Luca and James Hober for their proofreading the many scores and transcribed texts.
  • François Leduc for his brilliant transcription of Ted playing a “South Pacific and Oklahoma Medley” from the Joey Backenstoe’s wedding recording.

Thank you all so much – our site is always a richer place because of your regular contributions.

~ Your Friends on the TedGreene.com Team


In the “Lessons with Mark Fitchett” section:

* 1992-01-16, Ted Greene Lesson with Mark Fitchett.[mp3 files, 320 kbps, length: 26:24. During this lesson Ted discusses and demonstrates some blue colors using “fixed double-lines. IV7-I7. “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain When She Comes” in various keys.]

* Bach-Type Pedal Points, 1974-10-19 and 1982-05-07. [This page contains 13 examples or exercises of triads (major, minor, and diminished functioning as dominant 7b9 chords) over open string bass pedal notes, or over soprano pedal notes. We added music notation and created (or redrew) new grids for easy reading. From Ted’s PMS files.]

* Counterpoint Exercises – Miscellaneous 01. [A collection of the many counterpoint exercise in Ted’s PMS files. It is very likely that he intended to use examples like this for the book he hoped to write about Baroque improvisation. We re-notated all his examples, but did not provide grid diagram suggestion because the fingering possibilities are too numerous. And because Ted instructed: “Do in all positions and fingerings; all scales.” Stay tuned…more to come.]

* Counterpoint Exercises – Miscellaneous 02. [Same as above, more exercises from Ted’s PMS.]

* Counterpoint Types and Models, 1980-06-09. [Ted describes and provides 17examples for various different types of counterpoint activity: 2-to-1 soprano; 2-to-1 bass; 2-to-1 soprano with nonharmonic tones; chain suspensions, semi-chain suspensions; mixed activity amongst voices; with imitation, with some rapid 1-to-1; 3-to-q in bass. New notation for easy reading and study.]

Under the header “5-Note Chord Voicings”

* 5-Note Altered and Overtone Dominants, b7 on Top, Choice (from Half-Whole Dim. Scale).
[For this series, Ted used the Diminished Half-Whole scale for building the chords. This 4-page series all have the b7th as the top note of each chord. Grid diagrams are for either D7 type chords or G7 types (fret numbers not provided). Ted marked this series as “Choice” – which means he extracted the best or most useful chords from a previous worksheet in which he wrote out all the possible chord voicings.]

* 5-Note Altered and Overtone Dominants, Root on Top, Choice (from Half-Whole Dim. Scale). [For this series, Ted used the Diminished Half-Whole scale for building the chords. This 4-page series all have the Roots as the top note of each chord. Grid diagrams are for D7 type chords (fret numbers included). Ted marked this series as “Choice” – which means he extracted the best or most useful chords from a previous worksheet in which he wrote out all the possible chord voicings.]

* 5-Note Chords in the Diminished Scale – Names List, 1986-04-11. [Using a C diminished scale (whole-half scale), Ted provides the chord names for each of the 5-note 14 chord types. In addition, he gives all of the homonym names for each. We typed out the text to make it easy to read and study, plus we show which notes of the scale are being excluded to form each type. This was a reference list for Ted’s further explorations into the 5-note voicings; it’s not a guitar lesson.]

* 5-Note Chord Voicings – A Brief Explanation. [Comments and observations from this editor about Ted’s 5-note system, based on some of his worksheets. This may answer questions as you work thru Ted’s grid pages (which have not been clarified with redrawn diagrams). Good luck!]

* 5-Note Dominant 7b9#5 Chord Voicings. [For this page, Ted wrote out choice voicings for P-1 thru P-35, with Root on top; P-1 thru P-39 with b9 on top, and P-2 thru 44 with 3rd on top (skipping several of the P numbers). (P refers to “Pentatonic” or five-note chord voicing). ]

* 5-Note Dominant 7#9#5 Chord Voicings. [For this series, Ted mapped out P-1 thru P-24, and P-29 thru P-35 chord types. (P refers to “Pentatonic” or five-note chord voicing). For this 3-page series, he wrote the chord tone for the soprano voice above the highest string (1st or 2nd string).]

* 5-Note Normal Major Types, Reorganized by Soprano (pages 1-8). [In this series of 26 pages, Ted defines the 6 “normal” major chord types using 5 notes of the scale. It shows 5-note major chord types, organized by the melody note (soprano), and additionally grouped by the bass note. The diagrams all illustrate moveable chord forms (except for a few that utilize open strings or open string harmonics), so no letter name of the chords is given, just the chord quality. The large numbers in the left margin indicate the chord tone of the bass note.

On the first page of this collection Ted wrote: “This is my 5th or 6th recheck of the Systematic Inversion results. I’ve included a few doubled note types as reminders that for my final lists I should include them too. And the 6-note chords of course too. Also, I’ve included some with harmonic open strings (or stopped if wished) for the same reason…. All these remarks are to myself in case life’s emergencies keep me from this work for a protracted time period. But to anyone else too, who finds any or all of this of value.”
Transcription of handwritten text is provided for each page.]]

* 5-Note Normal Major Types, Reorganized by Soprano (pages 9-16). [See above.]

* 5-Note Normal Major Types, Reorganized by Soprano (pages 17-26). [See above.]

* 5-Note Voicings – A Review. [This is Ted’s review of his 5-Note “P-System” (of 44 different “pentatonic” voicings), done in 2002 and 2003. He wrote: “A review look and independent list to crosscheck with my original from 15 years ago or so.” New notation provided for easy reading and study.]

* 5-Note Voicings of the 8-Note Whole-half Diminished Scale (part 1). [Using the diminished scale, Ted wrote out all of the D dominant 5-note chords, following his P-System, including all 5 inversions, 6-noters, and 5-note doublings. We notated the first 2 rows, paired with Ted’s original grids. We also provided a transcription for any handwritten comments or notation that might not be clear. Remember that these pages are worksheets for Ted’s reference – they were not intended to be lessons for students.]

* 5-Note Voicings of the 8-Note Whole-half Diminished Scale (part 2). [See above.]

* 5-Note Voicings of the 8-Note Whole-half Diminished Scale (part 3). [See above.]

* Jazz Lines – Miscellaneous. [From Ted’s PMS files, this is a collection of 36 exercises for single-note soloing. Notated for easy reading.]

* South Pacific and Oklahoma Medley – Transcribed by François Leduc. [Another wonderful transcription from the prolific Mr. Leduc, using standard notation, Tab, and chord grid diagrams. This comes from the Ted Greene playing at Joey Backenstoe’s wedding on March 4, 1989.

François wrote: “I started this one last year but I couldn't make sense of the middle section and write it down. I still can't... lol! Sometime Ted Greene is doing some noodling like that in between songs and God knows what he's thinking. I decided to write it like I hear it and not worry too much. I really love the 1st section; the composition is beautiful. Just for this arrangement alone it was worth the time. The 2nd arrangement is great too although I don't like the composition as much...but it's cool to play so... Have fun!”

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Spring 2022 TedGreene.com Newsletter

For our newsletter message this month, Nick Stasinos shares with us some details about his transcription of Ry Cooder’s “Flashes” recording, and Ted’s contribution for that arrangement.

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The Ted Greene December 2021 Newsletter featured Joseph Byrd’s reminiscing on Ted’s involvement with his own album project, “Joe Byrd & the Field Hippies: The American Metaphysical Circus” (1968) and later with Ry Cooder’s “Jazz” album (1978). As a follow up, Paul requested that I finish and submit my transcription of Bix Beiderbecke’s “Flashes” to be posted in the Arrangements section for this newsletter.

My transcription? Originally, it was just a hybrid arrangement from Ted’s original ideas and Ry Cooder’s studio recording, as captured in chord grids from several lessons I took from Ted over the span of a decade (1981 – 1993). In 2011, I started transcribing and posting it under the Forums topic heading “Bix Beiderbecke” as an invitation to all readers to collaborate and to prompt some discussion. See: forums.tedgreene.com/post/bix-beiderbecke. I only got as far as measure 12 before interest waned.

Eleven years later, upon Paul’s request, it quickly became my number one New Year’s resolution for 2022 to complete. After bouncing these five sheets back and forth between Paul and myself, we arrived at what you are presented with today: the definitive transcription of “Flashes” as played by Ry Cooder on his “Jazz” album. I included performance notes as well as the original session chart with this transcription. A very special thanks goes to Paul Vachon for his help in proofreading and adding the chord grids.

It all started in the late 70’s when Joseph Byrd approached Ted to help out with the chord arrangements on three Bix Beiderbecke songs for a very unique recording project with Ry Cooder – a new album titled, “Jazz.” Those three songs were “Davenport Blues,” “In a Mist,” and “Flashes.” “In a Mist” and “Flashes” both came from Bix’s published work, Modern Piano Suite. Well-known for his cornet playing, Bix was also a classically trained pianist. His original piano music was very impressionistic, filled with lots of chromatic, contrary passing lines. Bix never recorded his own piano compositions, but there are many fine recordings of these pieces today (i.e. Ken Werner, Dick Hyman).

“That is so much like Debussy!” Ted added, listening to the beginning of the “Flashes.” Unlike the other two songs on the “Jazz” album arranged for ensemble, “Flashes” is the only guitar solo encompassing the entire harmony of the original. Isn’t that right up Ted’s musical alley? Here’s a brief impromptu interview I did with Ted about “Flashes” during a 1993 private lesson:

Ted: I am so pleased I arranged this thing.
Nick: So, that was your arrangement? I thought they brought the arrangement to you, and you said, “Yeah, that’ll work!”
Ted: I took the piano music and said, “Ry, here’s what you do,” and Ry said, “Fine! Great! Show it to me!”
Nick: What attracted them to come see you?
Ted: You were busy.

What a jokester! We now know why Joseph Byrd sought Ted out. He knew of Ted’s vast knowledge of harmony and chords as applied to guitar – by reputation and by his personal experience. Who else could qualify to undertake this task?

“I was working on a jazz album and wanted to transcribe some of Bix Beiderbecke arrangements for guitar,” Cooder said, referring to the cornet player. “I thought it was hard stuff, but it wasn’t to Ted. He created arrangements that sounded like eccentric Beiderbecke.” (Los Angeles Times, August 10, 2005, B11)

Ted told me that he worked out “Flashes” in great detail and then gave it to Ry in tablature form. It was quintessentially Beiderbecke arranged and “adapted” for guitar. As cluttered as Ted’s apartment was, he knew exactly where most things were, but when asked about his “Flashes” arrangement he would just say, “I have that around here somewhere.” Over time it became obvious to me that Ted didn’t keep a copy of it for himself. Later he commented to me, “If you write it out for solo guitar, I’d love to see it!” (Ry, someday I would LOVE to see the original TAB that Ted gave you!)

You might wonder, “Did Ted ever sit with Ry Cooder and go over the voicings or fingerings of ‘Flashes’ after he wrote it out?” We don’t know for sure, but I think there might have been a lot of back-and-forth between Ted and Ry. Between my lessons with Ted, how he taught “Flashes” to me, and by transcribing this piece, it became clear to me that Ry added his own fingerings and made a few minor alterations to Ted’s notation in order to adapt it to his own playing finesse. We all do that, don’t we?

Joseph Byrd’s 1977 “Flashes” chart doesn’t have Ted’s name on it. Ted was usually too modest to take credit where credit was due. I hope they paid him well! The session chart leaves the end open for adding your own tag, and Ry added his own bluesy tag at the end, which reminded Ted of a song performed by Cream in the 60’s. During one lesson, Ted played for me a variety of different possible “Flashes” tag endings – each one unique. Ted was famous for being able to improvise a seeming infinite number of variations on any given theme. In another lesson, Ted suggested an intro. It might be fun to come up with an enhanced Ted-like version of this piece in the future, but for now give your fingers a nice ‘work-out’ with this one...and have fun!
~ Nick

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In addition to the beautiful transcription of Ted’s arrangement of “Flashes,” we have a hefty banquet of other lessons for you to feast upon, hoping that there’s enough to keep you satisfied until our next quarterly newsletter. The New Items this month contain several pages from Ted’s Personal Music Studies files, which we will henceforth refer to as PMS. We thought we had finished posting all of Ted’s comping pages, but, as you can see, new ones keep popping up, coming from Ted’s students – and we expect (and hope) that more of this will happen in the future. Special thanks to Robin Pitigliano and Alexander Williams for sending us their Ted comping lesson pages, to Mark Fitchett for his recording, to Mike De Luca for proofreading most of the scores, and of course to Nick Stasinos for all his work on “Flashes” and the newsletter message.]

Enjoy... and stay safe!

~ Your Friends on the TedGreene.com Team


* Flashes – As Played by Ry Cooder, Arr. by Joe Byrd & Ted Greene. [This tune was written by Bix Beiderbecke, arranged by Joseph Byrd and Ted Greene, and played by Ry Cooder. This is a transcription of that studio recording, notated by Nick Stasinos. See newsletter message above for more details.]

* 1994-04-14, Ted Greene Lesson with Mark Fitchett. [mp3 files, 320 kbps, length:6:28. During this lesson Ted demonstrates dialogue textures for accompaniment for “Autumn Leaves” (and briefly for “Have You Met Miss Jones?”).]

* 2-to-1 Bass Movement – Contrary Motion, 1977-09-11 and 18. [From Ted’s Personal Music Studies files (PMS). New notation, Ted-style chord diagrams, and chord names provided for easy reading and study.]

* Counterpoint Exercises – Implying One Chord with Series of Intervals, 1979-05-18. [From Ted’s PMS files. New notation provided for easier reading.]

* Counterpoint Over a Major Chord, 1978-02-24. [From Ted’s PMS files. Studies like this were probably intended to eventually end up in Ted’ book on Baroque improvisation for guitar. New notation provided for easier reading.]

* Contrary Motion into Complex Chords, 1974-10-22, 24 and 1999-02-18. [From Ted’s PMS files. He had it filed away with his Baroque papers, but this study seems to go into harmonic structures that are beyond the just the Baroque style. New notation, chord grids, chord names provided. Also, we wrote out some “follow-through” notation and grids of the examples that seemed to require it. These are all in blue.]

* Contrary Harmonization Examples, 1975-12-18. [From Ted’s PMS files. There are two examples: one is strictly diatonic, the other also employs secondary dominants. New notation for easy reading.]

* Diatonic Major Key Contrary Motion Studies, 1974-10-24. [From Ted’s PMS files. He had it filed away with his Baroque papers, but this study is diatonic and has a somewhat stylistically ambiguous quality that could apply to many different styles. New notation, Ted-style chord diagrams, and chord names provided for easy reading and study.]

* Implying Chords with Intervals, 1979-01-02, 03. [From Ted’s PMS files. Fifty-four examples, using 2-note dyads and 3-note chords. Excellent for developing chord “break-up” techniques and the George Van Eps’ “Teams” fingerings. New notation given for easier reading and study.]

* A Foggy Day (Key of D), 1980-04-09. [This lesson page was provided by Robin Pitigliano. She also sent us the lyrics sheet in which Ted added the basic chord changes above the lyrics. Notation with lead sheet provided, combined with Ted’s original grid diagrams. Thanks, Robin!]

* Here’s That Rainy Day – Walking Chords, 1978. [This lesson page was sent to us from Alexander Williams, who received this during one of Ted’s seminars given at G.I.T. in 1978. Though not stated on the hand-out, this is a study in what Ted called “Walking Chords” – which is an accompaniment style similar to a walking bass, but with chords. We provided notation and lead sheet, combined with “restored grids” diagrams (we filled in the missing lines) to make it easier to read.]

* Dominant 7th Sounds – Step 1 (Parts 1-3), 1977-11-06 and 1977-11-15. [These pages were intended by Ted to be used in his single-note soloing books, but he apparently rejected them and rewrote the examples in a different key. New notation provided for easy reading.]

* Dominant 7th Sounds – Step 1 (Parts 4-7), 1977-11-22 and 1977-11-24. [Continuation of the above series. These pages were intended by Ted to be used in his single-note soloing books, but he apparently rejected them and rewrote the examples in a different key. New notation provided for easy reading.]

* 4-Note Arpeggio Fragments, 1976-03-26 and 1978-05-24. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. II. It’s listed under the topic “Condensed Arpeggios” (pages 12 thru 13).]

* Arpeggios for High Register (Extra), 1978-01-28. [This page is the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. I. It’s listed under the topic “Extra Arpeggios for High Register” (pages 133 and 134).]

* Condensed Arpeggios, 1978-03-25 and 1978-05-27, 28. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. II. It’s listed under the topic “Condensed Arpeggios” (pages 15 thru 17).]

* Dominant Type Chord Forms (Group 4) – Altered Dominants, 1978-01-28. [This page is the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. I. It’s listed under the topic “Extra Arpeggios for High Register” (pages 96 and 97)]

* Learning Altered Dominant Sounds – Type 1, 1977. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. I. It’s listed under the topic “Learning Altered Dominant Sounds.”]

* Learning Altered Dominant Sounds – Type 2, 1977. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. I. It’s listed under the topic “Learning Altered Dominant Sounds.”]

* Learning Altered Dominant Sounds – Type 3, 1977. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. I. It’s listed under the topic “Learning Altered Dominant Sounds.”]

* Major Chord Runs Using Only Chord Tones, 1977-12-25, 27, 28. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. I. It’s listed under the topic “Major Chord Runs (using only chord tones)” Find it spread out on pages 11 thru 13, 17 thru 19, 20 thru 23, 25 thru 27, and 30 thru 32.]

* Major Chord Runs (More), 1977-12-30 and 1978-01-03, 06, 07. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. I. It’s listed under the topic “More Major Chord Runs (pages 19 thru 20, 24 thru 25, 29 thru 30, and 32 thru 33),]

* Overtone Dominant 7th Runs, 1978. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. I. It’s listed under the topic “Overtone Dominant 7th Runs” (pages 84 – 90) and “Extra Positions for Higher Register” (pages 90 – 91). The “Extra Positions” also refers to the Overtone Dominant scale and its arpeggios.]

* Suggested Practice – and – Progressions for Soloing Over, 1978-05-27. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. II. It’s listed under the topic “Suggested Practice” (page 18) and “Progressions for Soloing Over” (page 19).]

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Winter 2022 TedGreene.com Newsletter

A warm winter greetings and Happy 2022 New Year to all Ted Greene students, fans, friends, and his worldwide musical family!

In this newsletter we’re happy to share with you some good news about the state of things regarding the dissemination of Ted’s teaching materials and our newsletters.

I wanted to provide you with a very brief history about the newsletters for this site. This is just an overview from my perspective. Leon White could probably write a book about the history of Ted’s Lesson Archives, the files, scans, and creation and of the TedGreene.com site. But that’s a story for another time…. Let’s start off by re-posting the message from the second TedGreene.com Newsletter for December 2006, written by Ted’s partner, Barbara Franklin. (The first newsletter was for October 2006, but at that time the site didn’t have a “Lessons” section yet.)

First, a heart-felt “thank you” for all the contributions to the Forums section which continues to reflect the spirit of sharing. Slowly we will begin to post material in the music sections. A selection from two or more categories will appear monthly. I reiterate “slowly,” as the material usually requires a considerable amount of time to grasp.

Ted Greene was an extraordinary being (as most of you know), and possessed the capacity to develop, formulate, analyze, and retain much more information (musical & otherwise) than is common for most of us merely mortal beings. Therefore, please take that into consideration when working with the material. As Ted would suggest to his students: find out what you love, and work on that until you feel satisfied you have accomplished the goals you've aspired to in that area. No one can be “great” at all things. Choose carefully that one area which you love, work hard, and therein lies the potential for success.

This explanation is hoped to give you some perspective. Please do not try to digest too much at once, for you will surely become daunted and discouraged. Ted knew this and was quite judicious regarding handing out written material to his students. His insights into teaching are a result of years of experience and experimentation, thus I am attempting to follow his manner accordingly.

Thus, the lessons began to slowly roll out from Ted’s files into the Teachings section of this site, with Jeffrey D Brown handling all of the newsletter and new item postings. Soon Dan Sindel and Bob Holt began helping with the monthly newsletters. Starting around November 2007 I began contributing a few Ted-related items, and then started notating more and more of his arrangements to be shared on the site.

Barb and I had many conversations about the project of posting Ted’s lessons, accompanied with some clarifications by typing them up or notating them so they would be legible to anyone. (Very often Ted’s handwriting is difficult to read, or is extremely small on the page.) This was a big project, and neither of us expected that we would ever finish. She sent me several DVD-ROM’s of all of the PDF scans that she and Leon made from Ted’s teaching files. Barb wanted me to focus on a few of the areas: Arrangements, the “Blues” pages, and The V-System (his “pet project”). Near the end of her life, Barb specifically made me promise to finish all of the arrangement pages. Tim Lerch later encouraged me to keep going on Ted’s comping pages, as he found them to be very instructive. Without the help from James Hober, we probably wouldn’t have been able to finish posting all of Ted’s V-System pages – at least, not with the clarity that he provided in deciphering the theory, mathematics, and inner working behind the system.

As we began posting more and more pages each month, Barb expressed concern that perhaps we were giving out too much too quickly. After all, Ted usually gave a student only one or two sheets to work on for a month (or more) before his next lesson. Shouldn’t we be treating the monthly newsletters like private lessons with Ted, and follow that same process? After several discussions she agreed that the site attracted a vast array of players with a wide spectrum of knowledge and experience, so we couldn’t expect that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to the lessons roll-out would satisfy everybody. In addition, Ted always tailored each lesson to the student, giving him just what he needed. And we couldn’t expect that all of the visitors to the website would have the same needs or wants. The lesson selections needed to be widespread, and appeal to the advanced student as well as the beginner (well, maybe “intermediate beginner” at least!), to the jazz-head, the classical player, to the rock and blues enthusiasts, and to the seeker of music theory and fingerboard knowledge. This was a humungous ask to try to cover each month. Eventually, we ramped up the new lesson items to be somewhere between 10 - 20 per month. Leon White also wondered if we should slow down, and pace it more slowly. But I countered, “I have the time and drive to keep this up right now, but that could change at any moment. You might as well take advantage of me while you can.” So it continued at this pace.

As Barb became ill, she asked me to step in and assist her with the lesson pages for the monthly newsletters. Shortly before her passing in August 2011, she asked me to take on the responsibility of getting the newsletter out each month. She encouraged me to solicit occasional help from Leon and a few other special guest writers, for sharing their stories and insights about Ted and his teachings. At this point Dan Sindel was our “Humble Webmaster” and worked with the technical part of the monthly uploads. Then this job transitioned back to Jeff, the builder of the original site in 2005.

In December of 2015 I did a review of every posted lesson on the site, and discovered that there were over 300 pages that had been uploaded without any efforts made to clarify, translate, notate, or present them in a way so as to make them more “user-friendly.” Thus began another side project: The Lesson Files Upgrades, which continued for a few years until it was completed in October 2019. Whew!

At this time, we’re pleased report that 99.9% of Ted’s “official” teaching pages are now up on this site, available for free download. The goal has been achieved. There are still a few straggling lessons that remain to be added, but these are mostly pages that have very small print of lists of progressions for modulations, and other progression studies. And we will get to those out there eventually. There are also some “missing pages” that are on Barb’s TG lesson inventory but were not in the collection she sent to me. I hope to find them with Leon’s help, or find them in the other TG collections that have recently come our way.

Included with Barb’s files were a small group of lesson pages with short fragments that Ted wrote out during private teaching sessions, most of which he did not intend for anyone other than the student at hand. Some have already been posted, and more will come, yet they are not essential to the TG Teaching Archives. Eventually we’ll share all of them.

Now that we’ve reached this turning point in the dissemination of Ted’s lessons, we’ve decided to make a slight change: starting this month we’ll be publishing quarterly newsletters instead of monthly ones. That’s every three months: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, occurring in January, April, July, and October.

The newsletters will continue to have new Ted pages – now coming from his Private Music Studies (PMS) files. Hopefully we’ll have more than the usual number of these “lessons” – plenty to keep you busy for several months. But if you ever find yourself bored or musically stagnant, you can always take a trip to the TG Teaching section and find some older pages that you ignored in the past, but are now calling your name.

A beautiful part of the monthly New Items has been the help we have received from others – transcriptions, recordings of Ted’s private lessons, write-ups of Ted’s lesson pages, photos, info on Ted articles and performance dates, and the proofreading our new offerings. We will continue to post any newly contributed transcriptions and recorded lessons as they arrive, and will not hold them up for the quarterly newsletter release. So, you can expect to have a few additional little goodies coming your way from time to time.

With the extra time that we’ll have between newsletter issues, I’ll spend time double-checking my index to be sure that nothing was overlooked in the massive TG Lessons collection, and I’ll focus on finishing the indexing Ted’s PMS files.

The lessons that we post in the upcoming newsletters will be frosting on the cake of Ted’s formal teachings. They will provide an inside look into Ted’s musical mind: ideas, inspirations, investigations, explorations, lists, calculations, and experiments. We’ll try to serve up a healthy feast each quarter, expectantly one that will keep you busy for the months between newsletters. One area in the PMS that seems to have an abundance is the Baroque material. Ted has lots of short notated ideas, possibly ones that he was collecting to eventually create a book about how to learn to improvise Baroque on guitar. (That was a book he wanted to write.)

We hope that you will continue to stay connected with us here by following the Forums for discussions about anything on Ted and his music. And please continue to support this site – you can help our efforts to keep this site healthy and active.

Happy New Year!

~ Paul and the TedGreene.com Team


* 1992-Unknown Date 01, Ted Greene Lesson with Mark Fitchett. [Found under the header: “Lessons with Mark Fitchett” Mp3 file with 320 kbps bit rate. Length: 25:21. In this lesson they discuss augmented chords a major 3 apart. Dominant 7#9 chords and related scales. Dominant 17th chords explained vs. add 11 vs. sus4 add3.]

1992-Unknown Date 02, Ted Greene Lesson with Mark Fitchett. [Found under the header: “Lessons with Mark Fitchett” Mp3 file with 320 kbps bit rate. Length: 15:49. They talk about Fifths (Bill Evans). Bill sounds like he was influenced by Impressionist, Bach, Debussy, Pop pianists. “Alone,” “Alone Again,” and “Conversations with Myself” albums. Chet Atkins discovering scales with artificial harmonics and regular notes. “Stella By Starlight” pages.]

* A Night in Tunisia (First Two Chords Variations), 1987-05-08. [This is a collection of 35 examples of different ways to voice the first two chords for “A Night in Tunisia.”  That is Eb7 to Dm6. Ted explores some common and not-so-common chord forms to get one to think outside the box. The original melody is given, and we’ve added standard notation so you can see the voice-leading, and provided chord names to each grid diagram.]

* I (or iii) - VI - ii - V Variations (parts 4-5) 1975-09-14. [A few months ago we posted parts 1-3 of this very useful series. New chord diagrams were created for easy reading and reference.]

* Major Key Modulation Practice Patterns, 1975-12-08.  [Using chord names only, Ted lists several ways to progress from one major key to another. The boxed letters represent the different key centers. You really need to create some good voice-leading for these examples to really sing. Ted was a master at modulating from any key to any other key, using beautiful harmonic passages to lead our ears down a wonderous pathway. This page provides some insights of exercises that he worked on to be able to have this skill readily available at his fingertips. Retyped and new grids drawn to save you from squinting too much.]

* Tonal Centers of Different Types of Tonalities, 1975-03-11 (with explanation). [On this page Ted lists 30 different tonalities, and writes out 12 possible keys (major, minor, or dominant (unaltered or altered) for each one. As I was typing out this page, I was unclear exactly what Ted was presenting. I contacted some of Ted’s students is see if they could decipher the meaning. James Hober stepped in and has provided us with some insights, based on his discussions with Ted on this subject of tonality, and also from pulling info from Ted’s other published pages on this topic. This PDF includes the retyped text, Ted’s original work sheet, and 9 pages of explanation.  Thank you, James!]

* Factors in a Telecaster That Affect the Tone, 1977-03-05. [Ted wrote a list of all the things that affect the tone for you Tele. Perhaps this is something to consider when looking to buy. Retyped for easy reading.]

* Guitar Player Presents – The Legends of Jazz Guitar, 1989-12-20. [In 1990 GP released 2 CD’s (volume 1 and 2) under this title. Apparently, these pages are early drafts of possible candidates for inclusion on the albums. It is unclear why Ted had a copy – possibly GP wanted his votes and comments. Note that Ted was listed on vol. 1, but he didn’t make the final cut for the CD.]

* Observations and Reminders for Teaching Program, 1981-10-21. [Some great guidelines for teachers, students, and players.  One quote from the first point stands out as very important: “Songs are the ultimate learning tool (the melodizing of harmony is learned by the brain, eyes,
ears, and hands).”  Maybe this should be shared with others who come to Ted’s teachings, are overwhelmed, and ask: “Where do I start? What should I work on?” Songs, according to Ted. Typed text for easy reading.]

* Prospective Topics for Guitar Player Mag Master Series, 1987-04-02.  [This is a list of topics that Ted wanted to write for GP magazine.  It sure looks like he was poised to write a book about Bach for guitar. Typed text included.]

* More on Playing Through Changes – Basing Your Solo on Condensed Arpeggios, 1978. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. II. It’s listed under the topic “Playing Through Changes - Basing Your Solo on Condensed Arpeggios” (pages 2 thru 12). We didn’t include new notation or grid diagrams for these pages since you can find them in the book. We’re posting these so you can have a view of their origins.]

* Playing Through Changes, 1977-1978. [These pages are the original lesson sheets that Ted used in his book, Jazz Guitar Single-Note Soloing Vol. 1. It’s listed under the topic “Combining Scales in One Position” (pages 60 thru 66). We did not provide new notation for these pages since you can find them in the book. We are posting these simply so you can have a view of their origins.]

* Playing Through Chord Changes in Position, 1977-11-02.  [Ted takes a single-note solo thru an 8-measure phrase (plus 1 final measure for resolution) on the following progression: Amaj7 – B13 – Bm7 – E9 – Bb13 – Amaj7. He uses the same solo in all 5 examples, but it is played in the 4th, 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 9th positions on the fretboard. He also includes the left-hand fingering. Undoubtedly, this is yet another method Ted used to help the student grasp the entire fingerboard, and see and hear the differences when playing in these different areas on the neck. New notation provided for easy reading.]

* Multi-Position Blues Run, 1991-04-03. [Under the header “Contributions from Nick Stasinos.  Nick wrote: “I rarely ever missed a lesson with Ted because, unlike my life, my lessons were ‘Like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get.’ (Quote obviously borrowed from Forrest Gump’s mom.) But, if missing a lesson was unavoidable, Ted had a strict policy requiring a student to either send a substitute student in their place or take their lesson through the mail. I sent him a check, not really expecting much of anything in return.  What a wonderful surprise to see the ‘Multi-Position Blues Run’ sheet in my mailbox from Ted!  This really underscores Ted’s conscientiousness as a teacher.  The concepts outlined and implied in this sheet are for all aspiring blues guitarists.”  Thanks for sharing this page and story, Nick!]

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