PLEASE REGISTER TO POST. Also, be sure to visit the main website

Buy NOW on Amazon
My Life with The Chord Chemist
A Memoir of Ted Greene, Apotheosis of Solo Guitar
Available at

*Check it out!!!

Your contributions keep the site healthy and growing

More information HERE

Official Ted Greene Archives Blog

Ted Greene Archives on YouTube

Join Ted on FACEBOOK

NEW! Follow on TWITTER

..:: The Ted Greene Forums ::..
Sign up Latest Topics

  Author   Comment  

Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
I looked through the boards, but didn't find "the" answer, so to speak.

I've been playing for 6.5 years ish. I've studied theory enough to understand at least the basics up to tritone subs etc, though I can't apply it all fully yet. Lack of experience, I guess!

Basically, I can construct chords based on an intervallic system I've got (minor/major thirds on adjacent strings etc, p4ths and p5ths, minor/major 7ths, dim...), but it takes too long to do on the fly. This is especially true when I get to bigger chords with more extensions. I figured out something ish like the CAGED system, which I then read up about and used to enhance my previous system, internalized a bunch of inversions fitting these shapes + a more "piano voicing" kind of style for sevenths, based on roots going from the high/low E to the B-string...

... but now I've been stuck for a while. Recently, I got into string swing. It made me have to research maj/min6ths (with and without added ninths and a few other extensions), but I've realized just how limited I am to my maybe 7-8 voicings for major/minor 7ths. They're hard to convert into different chord shapes, and I find myself wanting to omit thirds and sevenths to find a simpler way to cram a thirteenth or ninth in there, hahah. And that's not good for the overall sound!

So basically: Based on my somewhat vague description of my current hassling and struggling with figuring out a system to build chords on, would Chord Chemistry or any other book help me out?

I can read music, but really slowly. Always been an "ear"- kinda player that uses theory and known sounds to figure out songs and basing them on my own inversions. So reading is slow, but steady.

... And your probable previous assumption of me not being a pure jazz musician is true. I can play a couple of standards half-decently, but I tend to not play songs I don't really, _really_ like the sound of. So no, I haven't done the whole "run through the Real book" approach. Which I guess I should :/



Posts: 176
Reply with quote  #2 
Well, don't omit the 3rd's and 7th's. Roots and 5th's are the notes first to go.

Both 'Chord Chemistry' and 'Modern Chord Progressions' will probably do you very well.
* READ THE INTRODUCTION PAGES TO BOTH and don't skip any of the text in either book.

ken lasaine

Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #3 
I do know that roots and fifths go before thirds and sevenths, but the only nearby extensions on the same strings tend to be 11ths and the occiasional 13th, depending on the inversion.

I'll order the book on amazon, I guess. So much to learn, so little time!


Posts: 1,773
Reply with quote  #4 
Thirds and 7ths define a chord type (maj7, min7, dom7, min/maj7). 
Roots and 5ths are the anchors but are expendable (except in cases for diminished and augmented chords which are defined with the altered 5th).
Extensions and alterations are colors.


Posts: 455
Reply with quote  #5 
Perhaps you need to focus on 4 note chords on the following string sets:
6-4-3-2,    5-3-2-1, 4-3-2-1, 5-4-3-2.

Three note chords, especially on the lower strings, are sparse, but have their own power in fast changes.  The 4 note chords should give you a systematic view of things, and can give you anchors to add the extensions and alterations.  I'd actually recommend the original mickey baker book - at least glance at it- and see if those sets of changes don't 're-start' the motor. 


Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #6 
I mostly use 4-note chords. All my inversions are 4-note chords played either from the low E to the G, A to the B and D to the E with the root varying from inversion to inversion. I also use a voicing "set" of chords played on the low E, D, G and B, skipping the A- string.

I just never really got past inverting all sevenths, and having a couple of ninth/eleventh/thirteenth chords here and there. They feel more like memorized shapes in which I know where the notes are. I don't feel like I can integrate them in my playing properly, because they don't fit my system, sort of.

Been a proponent of highly scalar playing for a good while, so I can find triads and colour notes like b9 etc pretty fast. I just can't play up entire chord scales, except for the regular major/minor scales with no extensions. Feels limited, and I badly feel the need for a different approach for improvising. My playing feels like it's going nowhere when I start playing over a 2-5-1 or whatever.


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #7 
All Mr. Greene's books are worth buying as reference books. I have brought two sets of his books and friends borrowed them and they have never returned.......that tells you how good they are. I think I'll save up and buy a third set! A life time of  study in them. A warning: NEVER LEND THEM OUT!
Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.