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Posts: 172
Reply with quote  #16 
Like several folks here I put my name on the TG waiting list at Dale's Guitars in 1977 and then studied with three FANTASTIC teachers (I believe all TG diciples) in the interim - Daryl Caraco, Brad Rabuchin and Dana 'Chips' Hoover. I did take some 'sub' lessons with Ted during that time. By the time my name came up on the list I was in College and studying classical guitar. I would still though take a 'sub' lesson - if you studied with TG and had to miss a lesson he really liked it if you sent a sub as to not mess up his schedule. I probably took a few dozen lessons with Ted between 1978 and 2004. My last lesson with him was in November of '04.

Anyway, to answer your question ... no, he never mentioned 'modal interchange'. That's a Berklee and/or University of Miami coined term as far as I know and probably from 30 years back - ?
He did reference chord quality all the time. It's mentioned here in the lessons a few times.
The lessons I took with Ted were spent mostly going over a 'Chord Melody' arrangement, intros, endings and some cool voicings.
The closest we ever got to 'modal playing' was in my last lesson with TG.
I did ask him how he would approach a long (single chord) 'static' vamp - both chordally and line playing. In particular the C7(b9) of the 'A' section of Caravan. He talked about super-imposing other changes over it i.e., Bbm9, Bbm7b5, Db maj, Eb and F dom, Abmaj, Db dim as well as exploring 'other' sounds - in particular Csusb9. I also remember him asking whether I liked A or Ab as a note choice over the static C7 for Caravan?
Kinda relates to the above discussion doesn't it?
*He talked so fast that I barely had time to write and I remember that when I got out to my car I was writing down everything I could remember on a scrap of paper on my dashboard - lol!
Hope that helps.
Cheers, - KL

ken lasaine

Posts: 251
Reply with quote  #17 
I also never heard TG talk about Modal Interchange, he was pretty strong about his reluctance to use the term Mode or Modal as he believed it to be a term that referred to a displaced scale and hence didn't think that when playing A Dorian for instance one should be thinking of G major instead. He was happy to use the word Dorian to describe a sound world but prefered to say Dorian tonality rather than mode. (this is a bit off point but I add it as background info)
He did talk extensively about "Expanded Key"or "Extended Key" which included many of the common "modal interchange" sounds like bVII,  bVI and  bII etc.  I see it as two windows into the same room, just gives one a slightly different view of the furniture ;  )
hope that sheds some light


Posts: 319
Reply with quote  #18 
Back in 2006, I posted this topic under the "Single Line" category, but it overlaps this one regarding "Harmony & Theory" : 

I provided the link since it has some useful info and applies to the current subject Tonal Centers vs. Modes.  A good read!

STAZZ MUSIC Productions
Specializing in fingerstyle guitar transcription and engraving.

Posts: 172
Reply with quote  #19 
Come to think of it Ted never talked about modes in relation to a 'parent' scale.
He did call a susb9 a phrygian chord though ... and mentioned Naima specifically when he played it. So yeah, the modal sound but never 'dorian is the second degree of ionian' etc.

ken lasaine

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #20 
The 2006 post is great--thanks!

So to open up Pandora's box a bit more regarding the modes vs tonal-centers debate, say during a tune you encounter this common chord progression: Am7 - D7 - Gm7 - C7.  Let's also say that the key of the tune is F major.

From a tonal-center POV, wouldn't you just recognize it as a iii - VI - ii - V turnaround, where you're mostly in the key of F--except for the D7 where you would employ, say, G harmonic minor?

Given that, I'm not sure what thinking modally would offer as an advantage in analyzing standard changes--and this is the way I was taught in school to analyze tunes.  But certain other published guitar teachers seem to think that you're completely missing something by not thinking modally in this type of context..  Is there some key component that's being missed?

--Now would the D7 in this context also be an example of what Ted meant by a change in chord quality?


Posts: 172
Reply with quote  #21 
Yes, the D7 would be a 'change in chord quality'.
Strictly diatonically the D would of course be a Dm in the key of F.

*Modes v. Chord Tones ... frankly, the supreme court's health care decision will probably be easier and quicker to explain - lol!
It's a sonically aesthetic choice per player really.
The 'good' players that use a modal/chord scale approach ALSO know inside and out the 'chord tone' approach as well. Briefly, for me, I like to use a modal approach to emphasize a certain 'color' over a particular chord or chord progression.  iii vi ii V in a trad jazz tune - most players would certainly think F major with an F# and maybe Eb on the D7 chord (and Db, Eb and Ab on the C7, maybe - melodic minor stuff). Thinking dorian from the roots of the Am7 and Gm7 will also get you a lot of cool 'colors' too. Player preference really.

ken lasaine

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #22 
Ken (just happened to be logged in and saw your post come up),

Yes!  In that turnaround type chord progression, I totally agree with you on more of a dorian approach--especially over the Am7.  As a matter of fact, messing around with the progression yesterday I found that I liked its sound much more than strictly running F major (what--phrygian from a modal perspective?), which sounded to my ears kind of...odd, even though it's "in key".

Player's preference, yes.  A music prof of mine once told us that jazz musicians especially "lay in wait" for dominant chords and color them as they feel them at the moment:  straight "mix" or adding in combinations of alterations for different colors--diminished, melodic minor, what have you.

I also started thinking how a modal approach might hold a player in better stead over a major blues progression.  If you just think of the basic I7 - IV7 - V7 form, isn't it a better approach to think mixolydian (as perhaps at least starting choice) over those tonalities instead of going up a fourth on each one to get the "parent key"?  That seems to abstract things too far away from what's going on in the music.  Indeed, the tonal center seems to be mixolydian--major tonality with those b7s guiding things along.

So it certainly does seem like a matter of context.  I would certainly be thinking Dorian as a starting point tonality on a tune like So What.

Anyway thanks for the insights.


Posts: 172
Reply with quote  #23 
Well with tunes like So What or Impressions those are designed to be modal.
Long, static chord progs are really how modal jazz playing started and then evolved into players like Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, etc. adapting that way of thinking to quicker and quicker sets of changes.

ken lasaine
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