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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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