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Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #1 

So there I was, in South Miami sorting thru a bin of sheet music and music books when it happened.  I saw it, I looked twice, and I said to myself, "wow, anyone with that many switches on a guitar just has to be good"......that's right, it was the first time I ever saw the book Chord Chemistry.  That's how I got into Ted Greene.  Wow, that cover, that guitar, that beard.......?  Wtf was up with that beard, I figured right away that this guy just had to be a guitar genius.  The switches, the beard, the book, oh doubt, a guitar brainiac to the max.  Before I even looked at even one page I made the assumption that this guy Ted was a single string maniac.  I don't know why but that is what I thought.  Cha-ching, I bought the book and took it home.  Ok, so now I'm sitting on the floor of my apt,legs crossed, guitar in hand, the AC on, some snacks right there, football on the tube, and this book......I'm ready to learn how to rip some high speed psycho jazz lines from this guy with the beard.  I open the book, take a!t, it's a chord book!  And now you know, that's my first "Ted" story. 


Posts: 940
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Hal, thanks for sharing. I'll share one of my earlier experiences with Ted:

A few months after we'd met (I guess this was sort of a "date") we discovered we both LOVED CARS. There is a place in the west valley called Cruiser's and Friday night is "car night" so of course we went & met Danny Durhen & some friends there. Spent several hours oohing and ahhing at everything. Ted fell madly in love with a '62 Impala. Afterward we noticed a Border's book store right across the parking lot and since we also both had a love of books & reading we decided to look around. We each went to our respective section of interest, found books and began to read. After about an hour I walked over to where Ted had been sitting and noticed he was ORGANIZING THE BOOK SHELVES!!!!!! I asked if he was ready to leave & he said he HAD to finish organizing. Well, I thought I better help or we will never get out of there so......there we both were in Borders at midnight organizing their shelves.

Later he told me by doing any kind of external organization it helps him organize his mind, enabling him to think more clearly.

Barbara Franklin

Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #3 
hi Barbara!  Just so you know, I did go on to find out there was alot more stuff in CC then just chords.  About a year later I went to the same store and while searching thru a record bin, I found Ted's record.  Now there is another good story but I'll save that one for later.

Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #4 

WoW!  Great topic!   I took a few lessons while a senior at Grant H.S. in '73 with a wonderful local player named Chris Pinnick, and Chris showed me a copy of Ted's Chord Chemistry, told me that he was the "Max" and played a 'chord scale' based on a G13 chord shape (found on page 91) and I had to have the book!   I didn't actually meet Ted until July of '75, when he played at a private party arranged by a music enthusiast friend who was bold enough to call Ted and hire him to play.  I sat on the floor and watched him from about 4 feet away, for the next 2 hours of extraordinary enlightenment! 


I am still searching for appropriate adjectives........

Esto sicut Theodorus! (Be like Ted)

Posts: 145
Reply with quote  #5 

The first time I came across Ted’s material was in the early seventies. It was before I had a driver’s license. I remember walking to the local music store after school to browse the book section. Like Hal, the book cover is what caught my eye. I thought, this guy sure doesn’t look like Mel Bay. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t see him on the "Partridge Family," the "Manson Family" maybe. I figured that anybody who looked like that had to be selling some burn’in rock guitar licks.That's what I was looking for. Funny how you can’t judge a book by its cover. At first, I was a little disappointed. I didn’t see how what he was talking about was applicable to the music I was playing. It wasn’t until my first harmony class in college that I began to see what Ted was getting at. This stuff is piano on the guitar. It’s the Bach Chorales. It’s a close-voiced horn section. It’s music! At that point I was hooked.

Bob Holt

Posts: 49
Reply with quote  #6 

Hi Folks,

Like so many others, my first exposure to Ted was THE BOOK. In the early to mid 70s I was lucky enough to be part of a group of guitar enthusiasts who would gather informally (and irregularly) to play, listen to records, share information and new discoveries.

One particular evening I was visiting one of my friends and saw a copy of CHORD CHEMISTRY. I looked at the cover and asked my friend, a non-rocker, why he had a "rock & roll" guitar book. He answered that it wasn't a rock book. I asked what it was and he replied that he wasn't sure because he didn't understand it. I started reading the book and didn't get very far before my circuits began to overload. Luckily I had been studying The George Van Eps Guitar Method and realised that like the Van Eps book, CHORD CHEMISTRY was not so much about playing guitar as playing music. Shortly thereafter I obtained a copy for myself. I was and am still amazed.



Posts: 209
Reply with quote  #7 
I posted here but my message looks like it didn't make it.  Because I'm almost senile, I don't know if I can post the same message again.  I'll try later

Where's Columbo when you need him.  Did I press a wrong button or something??  It was around 3 paragraphs.


Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #8 
It was about 3 years ago. I was looking to learn how to play more jazz, not the jump swing I'd been growing tired of. A friend of mine was trying to help me out, and brought over "Single Note Soloing Vol. 1". I couldn't read music at the time, and I really didn't understand much of it. So I put it on the shelf.
Somewhere around a year later, another friend brought over some books, and "Chord Chemistry" was one of them. He's a highly talented guitarist, and thumbed through the "Blues Progressions" section on a whim, and came across something he thought was cool. "Wow, that's badass!" he said. So I messed around with the book, and decided to buy it for myself, "just in case."
Once it came, I studied and studied. Then a light went off..."Hey, was that the same author of the Single Note Soloing book?" Sure 'nuff, it was!
Now, I'm on an all out quest for anything Ted!

EXPERIMENT. Patience and determination are key.

Posts: 209
Reply with quote  #9 
I will try to redo mine again.

I moved to L.A. from Detroit in around 1970, when I was around 14 with my 1962  Stratocaster.  Started High school at Taft, and lessons with Bill Yuker at Ernie Balls in Tarzana.  He was a great teacher and player.  After a while, based on my interest and level, he suggested I go study guitar with some guy named Ted Greene, who also was a teacher at Ernie Balls, maybe the one on Topanga, I don't remember.  I think Bill talked to Ted, and that got me through the waiting list.

At my first lesson, Ted convinced me that while the Strat was good, I should go tele.  While I still wish I had that Strat now, I traded for an old tele at the time, and Ted helped me modify it.  He used to write wiring diagrams on the back of lesson sheets, and having taken electronics class in High School, I knew a little on how to use a soldering gun. 

I remember my first lesson with Ted pretty clearly.  Triads(with inversions), systematic inversions based on dominant 7th chords, and my assignment was to harmonize "Oh Come All Ye Faith full" using 3 note chords. 

Following months involved chord vocabulary in various forms, including, diatonic scales, chord substitutions, song arrangements etc. Chord vocabulary for several months involved  altering the systematic inversions to form other chords, ie, m9(no root, dom 9th no root, etc.

I studied guitar with Ted at Ernie Balls for along time, stopped for a while, and started again for another long period when he was teaching at his home in Woodland Hills. 

That's it.  Each lesson was another adventure, and I thank Ted and Bill for their inspiration, and I thank Bill for introducing me to Ted.


Posts: 78
Reply with quote  #10 
I was searching on Amazon for a guitar theory book.


Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #11 
I was giving guitar lessons at a music store in Houston, Tx many years ago when a couple students didn't show up on a Saturday afternoon. I decided to wait out the remining hour to my next lesson by digging around through the store, and in a rack of books, buried 2-3 books deep was a copy of "Single Note Soloing Vol.2". Absolutely amazing information, plus I loved Ted's sense of humor. Soon after I bought "Chord Chemistry", but could never find any recordings of Ted. A little later on, a friend turned me onto Lenny Breau, and he informed me that if I liked Lenny then I would like Ted as well, and he also mentioned that they were friends. Fast forward to near present day- I finally obtain the "Solo Guitar"CD, and am totally knocked out, like the first time I heard Lenny. I knew Mr. Greene was a genius from his books, but the playing, the actual touch,harmonic sense,EVERYTHING, just from that recording alone! Being a professional traveling musician in Nashville, I try to take advantage of having days off in other cities, and I decided to track down Ted and take a personal lesson on some at that time upcoming off days out West, and then I find the tragic news of his passing. Considering his busy schedule that probably would have been a long shot. I have always been a champion for the "underdog", if you will- the true geniuses who aren't household names (but shold be), and so I have turned many people onto Ted, and will continue to do so.
Please excuse my long first post.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #12 

First of all I want to write that I think I never met someone who called out this name.

My first contact must have been in 1983 or 1984 when I got in contact with a book called Chord Chemistry and another book called Modern Chord Progressions.

When I visited this site today I was just wondering who that person was that wrote those books.

It was somekind of saddening to read he does not live anymore. He ended his life on my birthday, two years ago. As well this was something I had to sniff.

He has played a rather big part in my guitar life.

To inform you: I do not play gigs. I consider myself as a homerecorder. For three years I had most of my books elsewhere, where I could not access them. Since monday last week I've got my books back again. It was one of the books I missed the most during that time. So I just tried to Google and have a look about who that person was that wrote those books.

Again, it made me for a while sad to read that he had passed away from earth, into something good I hope.

To be honest, I never played all his examples. Maybe I was just looking for the Idea that was behing of it. Maybe somekind of summary.

When I got the books back I thought it would be some kind of inspiration, and it still will be, although I had to read such a sad message.

I hope I do not annoy people by sending this message, but I felt just like giving honour to someone who has inspired me that much in all those years, just to see he has gone. And I still think this was (one of?) the best guitar books I have ever read.

Thank you for still beeing there,





Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #13 

Hi All, I came across a copy of Chord Chemistry when it first came out and then the other books later on. Then I got the Solo Guitar LP and I had never heard anything so beautiful. I love Guitar Chords. learning them, playing them and hearing them and Ted was the Chord Master. A few short years later, a guitar teaching job I had ended, but my severance pay was a quaranted 24 months of unemployment checks as long as I looked for work as another guitar teacher. I decided to move to Hollywood and gave Ted a call and said I am moving to Southern Cal and would like to learn how to teach people to play guitar like you do. He sent me some chord melody arrangments and told me when I could play one of them to call him back. I was worried and could not sleep till they came in the mail. I thought, what if they are too hard and I cant even finger the chords? Well, they were too easy, but I learned a couple of them, moved to Hollywood and gave Ted a call. Because I wanted to improve my guitar teaching, he bumped me to the head of the waiting list and put me on his sch right away. After I studied with Ted for 5 years, I ended up moving again and had some more full time guitar playing and teaching jobs. This time I could Ted up my gigs and toss in a Ted Arrangement or one of my Fake Ted ones.  I am still learning from the things Ted taught me 20 years ago. Everytime I pick up a Tele I play some Ted and every few years I have to go buy new copies of all his books. Now I am getting ready to Ted up my playing again, and learn more Ted Chord Progressions and Ted Chord Licks. Its a never ending, beautiful music and guitar experience. Happy Guitars, MidiVox

Songs Just 4 You Composing
Teach Yourself Singing Courses
Love is a SOUND Recordings/Books
MidiVox Voice to Midi Hardware welcomes all

Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #14 
Unfortunately, I heard about Ted shortly after he died. I was in the studio with Jonathan Wilson (recording our record:2VG.. and Mike Johnstone (engineer) when they started talking about Ted. The started to talk about how great of a musician he was and started to share their own personal stories of Ted. So, of course, I started to ask questions and I remember Mike saying that he wished he would have recorded him and that it was a shame that he only had one solo guitar recording. When I asked him about it he simply said, " It is the best solo jazz guitar record ever!!". A couple days later I was at Tower Records in Northridge (I miss Tower Records) and was in the Jazz section and remembered the conversation we had, so I called Jonathan and asked him for the name of the Jazz guitar player they were talking about. I bought the CD and played it in my car. I was floored. His genius and over TONE were astonishing! A week later I bought Chord Chemistry and started my quest to obtain as much Ted Greene material possible. I wish I would have at least met him. He is very influential to my playing. He will always be great!!


Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #15 
seems like this thread has been a little quiet for some time. there should be more peope on here!
the first time i heard of Ted, was reading through one of two guitar magazines (either Guitar World or Guitar One) around 2006. there was a small picture of Ted with his tele with an extremely beat up fret board. now on first glance at the magazine, i just waltzed right past this article, not even bothering to take a look. i assumed it was something i didnt want to learn anyway. of course, at the time i was into a little different music.

i went through the magazine like i usually do, just reading and not really trying to learn anything unless there was a certain song i wanted to learn tabbed out. then, while doin some bathroom reading like most people do, i went back and read over the short summary of the article at the top of the page. in reading i heard about a man, named Ted Greene, whom when he passed left an opening for 500 guitar teachers in his area. not only was that an unusual thing for me to read seeing as i didnt think that having that much knowledge was even possible, but i really couldnt see why that much knowledge was neccessary at the time.

i ended up reading the article all the way through and in involved a short chord lesson starting with basics and going all the way up to some seriously advanced (at least at the time they seemed that way!) chords using a simple melody. from 3 notes to 6 note chords i was just shocked at the emotion that certain chords made me feel. soon, i was trying to make my own chords and evoke the emotions that i felt when i was playing those "Ted Chords." soon, i was going off into other things, a lost a little interest in the vein of music Ted showed me. A few months later, he just popped into my head and the next thing i knew i had stumbled across him again online. i listened to a bootleg recording i found on limewire and i was shocked. i had never heard anything played like that. i devoted hours to finding out who this guy was.

after a day, i ordered the "Solo Guitar" cd and had it rushed to me and was delving head first into a jazz world i had never known. since that day, ive been non-stop looking for ted songs, videos and words or thoughts he had in his life. everything guitar opened up for me through his videos and his books. i started to think of guitar totally differently. people who came to see my band would stop me after the show and ask where i had thought to use such crazy chords or solo ideas and i would give them my line...
"Did you ever hear of this guy?"

fast foward to today, and im here, working my darndest to get my hands to do the things Ted's could do and always keeping in mind that im trying to increase the amount of beautiful music in the world. thats something Ted wouldve loved to see and did see through as long as he lived. hopefully, being only 21 years old, ill have many years to dedicate to putting the beauty into the music and letting people hear just a little Ted through 6 strings, 2 hands, 1 man, 1 guitar and 1 heart.

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