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Miketec

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Reply with quote  #1 

I would like to know what guitar Ted played on his Solo Guitar album. Was it a Telecaster? Was it a standard Tele with single coils pickups or the Tele with a humbucker and other pickups and switches we can see in Ted's books?

 

Greetings and have a nice day.

 

Miguel Angel Lanzas

Spain

MarkThornbury

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Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #2 

I just wanted to add that I remember that Ted had taken off the pickguard, and used a router to hollow out as much as he could ( there was a tiny hole in the back where he went just a 'snitch' too far!).  I also bugged him about the gauge that he was using at the time, and he wrote it out for me:

 

.015  .018  .026p .036 .046 .058

 

He went down as far as a minor third in tuning, as used on Summertime, 'Ol Man River, & Just Friends


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DanSawyer

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Reply with quote  #3 
Ted had a few Teles like that, but the whole record was definitely played on one of the Teles. Ted preferred Teles from the 1950s with maple fingerboards. As Leon said, the humbuckers were dropped almost level with the top of the guitar. Ted did this to minimize magnetic pull which causes unmusical overtones, especially above the 12th fret. Another reason is that Ted felt chords sounded more musical when the pickup is farther from the strings.


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SteveBrodie

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Reply with quote  #4 
Has Ted ever told anyone that another reason he had his humbucker flush with the pickgaurd was to avoid interference with fingernails.  The above posts made me think that may solve that problem I have occassionally.  My nails sometimes miss the mark due to hitting the pickup, and having them flush, would probably solve this???

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barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #5 
Ted used the 1951 Tele named "Lucky". Also he told me he used a Leslie speaker on some of the songs.
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Barbara Franklin
MarkThornbury

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Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #6 

Believe it or not,  Ted did not use fingernails...I remember a lesson when I asked him for advice on nails, and he said, " Um, Lenny Breau gets a good sound with nails, but most don't.  I prefer to keep my right hand nails very short, with the exception of the thumb for chime, and the pinkie for the pinkie 'strum', when needed.  The pads of your fingers will also give you a nice "Wes" sound." 

 

I heeded his advice.  

 

As an interesting corollary to this,  Celtic harpists tend to fall into two categories:  nylon players play with no nails,  and steel string players play with nails only...go figure!   (The wife is a Celtic harpist...I get to tune it! All four octaves!)


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Wckoek

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Reply with quote  #7 
What is his amp of choice? String brands? Flat or round wounds? Regards
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Yours Sincerely.

Koek Wei Chew
jerome

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Reply with quote  #8 

Jim Hilmar graciously eMailed me the info from his February 1996 Spotlight on Ted Greene in Vintage Guitar. TG told Jim in the interview that he used two guitars to record the SOLO GUITAR album, a modified 1951 Nocaster/Tele and a 60s era Telecaster. The '51 had a Gibson Humbucker(neck) and a Strat(middle). No mention was made of the bridge PU. Ted said he went directly into the board and used an old Fender Vibratone for effect.  

jerome

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Reply with quote  #9 

Did Ted have a preference for 3 piece or 6 piece bridges on his Teles? I think the 3 piece bridges have better tone. But the possibilties for intonation versus action are limited. The 6 piece bridges offer better intonation and action combinations but at the expense of tone. Perhaps some of Ted's friends and students can provide some of Ted's comments and observations.

DanSawyer

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Reply with quote  #10 
Although Ted did like to experiment with pickups and wiring, he didn't often change bridges, so i would say his Teles had 3 piece bridges. He was a big fan of original bridges and even original tuning pegs, even when they were of the "cheap" variety. (I'm speaking here more about hollowbody guitars.) Ted's ears were so good that he could make guitars sound in tune even when they had non-compensated bridges. This was done with subtle string pulling. Not bending, but pulling a string slightly towards the nut or bridge to make it sharp or flat.

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Dan Sawyer, friend of Ted's.
DanSawyer

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Reply with quote  #11 
"You're not getting older… you're getting better!"

Leon, wasn't there also a direct box on Ted's guitar during the recording? Excuse me while i find my walker.

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WilliamPerry

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Reply with quote  #12 

Wow, regarding Ted's amp and sound on Solo Guitar:

 

I don't want make this too long.  Ted is Ted.  Ted's desire was to make the album sound as he wished it.  (Do I hear some, kind, loving laughter that fills our hearts when we think of Ted?)  Ted, NEVER found the sound he liked!  He was always searching and this recording was no exception.

 

Normal people in the booth.  "Okay, let's do a rundown."  Crackle, hiss, pop, static, sonic booms, no highs, all bass, mud, distortion, all the great classic sounds from Ted's vintage amps. 

 

Normal person engineer (Bob Summers):  "What the heck is that?  I thought that we were recording guitar today?  Is this a 30 year preview of the invasion of Iraq?"  To Ted, "Can we clean the sound up a little?"

 

"Oh God, my worst fears.  Ted is going home.  All those months and years hoping to get Ted to record gone in one foolish statement."  As I said I don't want this to be too long, but we go into hours, an hours of discussion and debate over the sound.   We pleaded with Ted; promised to give to charities; adopt children; told him that the sound "we" wanted would heal children, and possibly lead to world peace.  How else could we persuaded him to roll off some bass?  In the end, being the good friends that we were, we resorted to lying and total deception.  We recorded the guitar direct (without Ted's approval) while Ted heard it through his amp and we didn't let him hear what we recorded.

 

"Ted had to hear the playback?" you ask.  We would try to avoid that.  "It's great Ted!  Next, we're short on time."  We certainly didn't want Ted to "evaluate" his own performance, let alone the sound.  We only had our lifetimes to finish this. So we would talk to him during the playbacks and try to distract him.  The sound: we just hid what we recorded, and played back the mud and crackle that he heard in the room (that vintage sound that everyone wants from old Fenders.  I told you we were deceitful)

 

That's kind of the middle part.  There were many arguments before, and many, many, many after.  But, in the end, in spite how much we thought we were right (being the experts on recording) and changed just about everything Ted wanted; an album was released.  Ted was never willing to go through it again, but in the end: TED FORGAVE US!

 

William  

MarkThornbury

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Reply with quote  #13 

 

That's a wonderful story!  I remember Ted was playing portions (outtakes, I guess..)for me during lessons, and was constantly ambivalent about the recordings.  I didn't understand what he was so concerned about...I thought it sounded wonderful!


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LeonWhite

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Reply with quote  #14 

Regarding William's post about the recording session (above): I should add that eventually I forgave Ted too . . .

Steven Brodie
Reply with quote  #15 
William or Leon

How many, if any, string changes did Ted go through during the recording of his album?.  He got me into the habit of restringing often.

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