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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 

My lesson with ted was in 1984 I was 24 I heard his album and I got there early he put me in a room to wait for the other student to finish I seen his bookshelf with a lot of music books I came out of the room ted was playing bach bourree in B flat I knew the song was in e minor so I asked why play it in B flat ted said it sounds good in B flat Then I plugged my guitar in the amp I played sweet loraine, here there and everywhere.we went over a few things about my arrangement of the beatles song. smoked a cig he asked if I knew any childrens song so I played looney toons theme from a chet atkins book and then I finished the lesson asking ted how did you end danny boy on the the album he showed me how he played london bridge is falling down he gave me a arrangement of misty,days of wine and roses Then I went to hawai to surf and ted sent me lessons in the mail for  a year. Then I bought a telecaster I found it much easier to play chords on a telecaster. Thank you Ted for all the music and inspirations No one has mastered solo guitar like you have.


Posts: 71
Reply with quote  #2 

How often did Ted play "classical" pieces in different keys? I saw him do this on The Maid With the Flaxen Hair. I'm wondering, could he transpose any classical piece he knew on the spot? Did he ever play any of the Bach chorales in different keys? Thanks for the input...


Posts: 111
Reply with quote  #3 

I saw Ted play less than a dozen times, but in each case, the "key" of a piece (any piece) seemed to have more to do with the current state of some internal gyroscope of his than with anything suggested by the composer... sometimes he'd start to modulate as if the key in which he'd started was making him physically uneasy... of course, that's when it would get really interesting, watching/hearing him work his way through all of it to get to that spot where the notes just hang in the air...


Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #4 
I think this is one area where some people don't recognize the depth and magnitude of Ted's abilities. Most people have "an arrangement" of a tune. Maybe two arrangements. Ted knew the tunes (about a million tunes, it seemed) so well, and in such depth, that he created his "arrangements" as he played them! In a sense, all of his performances were improvisations, at least in the sense that he did not have a "stock" arrangement of a song. It may take a few minutes for people to understand what that means... It means that songs can be moved from one key to another at will. It means you can create new medleys as you were playing. It means you can accompany another instrumentalist or vocalist anytime, on any tune.

Most people, including me, could never accomplish this level of knowledge. Ted had it. Ted had it nailed!

Posts: 453
Reply with quote  #5 
"Improvisational arranging" or "improvisational composing," are the terms used to discuss this in other earlier threads here- and it is certainly true of Ted. 

Beyond this was his ability to 'type' the arrangement emotionally.  He could say "here it is (the song, theme, whatever we were discussing or playing) in the western big-sky technicolor style"  and then the spirit of the score from "Shane" or "How the west was won" would somehow appear and lift the original piece into that place.  And as quickly as that happened it might be transported to a doo-wap or baroque place.  No kidding. 

Listening to themes from 50's TV shows (like his infamous version of 'Highway Patrol, starring Broderick Crawford') go through these transformations was incredible to experience.  Sometimes both of us would just start laughing as he pushed the music this way and that.  

What I always took away from it was that it could be done, and on a 6 string standard tuned guitar.(ok dropped tuning but no 'open tunings').  But then I always was an optimist . . .


Posts: 145
Reply with quote  #6 

Andy, you asked about Ted's ability to transpose on the the spot. I brought in a copy of Fernando Sor's "Twenty Studies For Guitar," the Segovia edition. He was reading down Estudio #9 and about half way through I realized he was in the key of C minor, not the written A minor. I asked him after he'd finished why he chaged keys. He responded that you get bored hearing it in A minor after awhile. The ear needs to be excited.

Bob Holt
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