Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Memories of Ted


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Ted for your musicality and contributions to music, jazz and jazz guitar. The music world is richer because of you and poorer with your sudden departure.

July 27, 2005 2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted was one of the very best...He will be missed by all of us......

Vic Juris

July 27, 2005 3:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted was one of the very best...He will be missed by all of us......

Vic Juris

July 27, 2005 3:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much emotion at this time its hard to write, but please let his family know what he meant to you and others.

For me, all I can say now is this:
Barb, Ron, Linda - all our thoughts are with you and yours - I can't imagine a world without him.
Leon White

July 27, 2005 5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences to Ted's friends and family. Thank you Danny for putting up this forum.Solo Guitar is my desert island pick for sure.Thank you Ted for sharing with us and for being such a kind person; you will be so missed.
Joey Chase

July 27, 2005 7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this forum. I took a bunch of lessons with Ted, and since I live in the Bay Area I would take muti hour lessons when I went. Ted was a sweet guy and his knowledge of guitar was amazing. I have often said I would be very happy to know as much about one style as he seemed to know about every style. His abilities as a teacher are well known, but it's sad that his shyness and striving for perfection denied us more recorded examples of his playing. He was so great at playing with deep emotion. I remember one of John Pisano's guitar nights that featured Ted along with many of the other top players. The rude audience talked through many of the acts, but when Ted played you could have heard a pin drop. He played a very lovely version of One For My Baby. During one lesson Ted and I were talking about our mutual love of the Telecaster. He casually said that if he ever got rich he would give me one of his blackguard Tele's. That blew me away, not that I expected anything, but that he would say such a thing. He had a very giving sharing spirit. I can't believe he's gone, and I will miss him very much. I hope someone has some recordings of him that his family will share with us now. Sorry for the disjointed post, I guess I am still in shock. My best to Ted's family and other friends.
Pat Smith
Santa Clara, CA

July 27, 2005 7:46 AM  
Blogger Anthony Wilson said...

I am so saddened by the passing of this unique, gentle, complex, incredibly gifted man and musician. My condolences to Ted's family and all his friends. Over the last 6 years or so, Ted was both a teacher and friend to me. I was humbled by his genius, inspired by his presence, awed by his abilities, amused by his quirks, warmed by his friendship. I hope his legacy will continue to grow, so that others who never had the chance to meet him will still be able to learn from his deep knowledge of music. He treated me with respect and kindness, and had a major influence on my concept of the guitar and my imagination of what might be possible on it. It is hard to imagine life around Los Angeles without Ted in it. Thank you Ted for your incredible generosity in sharing your knowledge of the guitar, music in general, and all the minutiae of the world, with me, and all those you touched. You are unforgettable.

Your fan, disciple, and fellow die-hard "Columbo" lover,
Anthony Wilson

July 27, 2005 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so hard for me to write about Ted. Personally, I am devastated. He was my dear friend for almost 40 years. We spent thousands of hours talking over these many decades. I’ve never loved or admired any man as much as Ted. I can hear him saying, now, “Bill, Bill, don’t make a big deal of this.” It’s with mixed feelings that I write about him. He really wouldn’t want us to make a fuss. He was such a modest and good man. I know that he would want all the people that loved him to go on and be happy.
For his music legacy, for those who ask, or wonder if there is more recorded Ted Greene music, the answer is tons. Books? so many complete, and in progress unpublished. Ted was so passionate about his work.
His memory was legendary. He remembered everything, but he also wrote everything down. His whole life is in notes. Ted recorded so much, and others have recordings of him. My prayer -and others that knew him - is that, first of all: they will be preserved, and handled with dignity.
I was one of the people that saw Ted, on Friday. He was happy, excited, and passionate about life. We debated about the time of our next session. Ted, “One o’clock, let’s do one o’clock.” “Ted, man, I hate to do that. It is your day off. I don’t want you working that late on your day off.” (We would often talk for hours if I was his last student, and he NEVER charged me. “Bill, Bill, what would you charge me if I needed your services? Enough said.” You cannot argue with Ted. Well, you can, but you will never win.)
Ted says, “It’s not work, man. This is fun. I love doing this.” He turns to Jim Hindes and says, “I love to help people.” And to me he adds, “You know what it’s like. You help people.” “Yes, yes, I help people.” I think to myself. But, what I truly LOVE is being here with you.” I thank God for the short time we spent together. I would give anything for more. May God, bless you and keep you my dear friend.

William Perry

July 27, 2005 9:20 AM  
Blogger Anthony Wilson said...

Amen, William.

July 27, 2005 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was 1989, and William said to me "I am going over to Ted Greene's house, do you want to come?"
Sure why not I thought. Didn't know who he was but that sounded like something fun to do on a Friday night. I knew very little about him other than he was William's dear, dear friend of 25 years.

When I arrived and saw the mounds of video tapes on the couch, and guitars piled up in the bedroom, and books and books and more books stacked on the floor of his living room, I knew I had walked into the world of a very unique and special man.

That night we all sat crossed legged in the middle of the living room floor while he talked to us of Bach and his writings. And, then there, in a book of Bach's theory and music, he was making notes- debating actually with Bach-in blue pen, inside the margins of the book. Imagine!!
I was intrigued. I was in awe really.
From that point forward whenever William said "I am going to see Ted", I would want to tag along.

I was so taken by his passion for music and people. He was one of the kindest men I ever met. And his friendship with my dear friend William, made him that much more special to me.

Over the years I spent less time with Ted than many of you who will be posting here. However, William would always fill me in on the goings on of Ted Greene.

For me, he will forever remain an unforgettable spirit, in my heart.

A Christmas party, 2001, in Oxnard. And Ted drives all the way out to our house at the beach. I thought -wow he is going to make the drive out our way. He never drives that far, I thought. I was so excited he was coming. He played guitar for us that night. Man, how lucky we were . A private audience with Ted Greene.

Really, the truth is, how lucky we all are to have had our private audience with Ted Greene.

You touched us all.

"....go gentle into that good night"


July 27, 2005 10:12 AM  
Blogger Patriot of USA said...

Ted was one of my greatest inspirations and heros, and made a mark few guitarists ever surpassed as a player and teacher.

I found his first records and books in the early 70's. I was stunned. I have never heard anything better since... Ted was truly one of the great masters. I only met him through his publications and recordings, but I felt very close to him anyway. He had a big impact on my musical vision and dream.

I am still an avid guitarist at age 54 with some 45 years of playing behind me. Ted's work is as much an inspiration today as it was 35 yrs ago. I send all new students to his work.

What a huge loss.

He will be missed.

July 27, 2005 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i still remember those dizzing phone sessions with my second phone on my amp, ted would be sharing the voicings of the angels. at one point ted said ''i feel i know you''. mitch chmara

July 27, 2005 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Greene was truly one of the most unique people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. His depth as a human being ("human" in the fullest sense of the term) came across in every note that he played. Those of us fortunate enough to have known this gentle and caring man would agree that his kindness and altruistic nature surpassed his musical sensabilities, which were greater than any guitarist I have had the pleasure of hearing play.
The overwhelming sadness of his passing is balanced only by the tremendous joy of having been able to experience his friendship.

Tommy Kay

July 27, 2005 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted was without a doubt one of the most gifted musicians I have ever been in the presence of. I was referred to Ted by another teacher of mine about 8 years ago. Our first lesson was one of the most eye and ear opening experiences of my life. Hearing him play gave me so much inspiration and love for music because it was so easy to see how much joy it brought Ted when watching him play. What was so admirable about Ted is that he never had any pretension about him. He always made me feel good about music and my playing even if I was having trouble with an idea or concept. What I love about Ted is that after his lessons I would race home and practice. He is one of the only teachers that ever inspired me to such an extent. I always felt that if I could play like him than life would be great so I had no time to waste. I even remember after one of our first few lessons I was talking to him about how I was saving up for an archtop and would probably have one in a few months. As if I had asked him for a soda he walked through the abyss that was his apartment and pulled out an archtop. He said I could have it until I got my own. I was in such shock when I left the apartment that I felt like I had stolen it from him. But that was Ted. He was always just trying to make our musical lives a little bit stronger and happier. You are one of the greatest musicians of our time and have had a huge influence on my playing and the way I view music. Thank you Ted for putting as much effort into helping others as you put into becoming the musician that you left us as. I will miss you dearly and thank you for everything.
Brian Green

July 27, 2005 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just noticed there are some duplicate comments. You will not see comments you have written unless you "refresh" the page first. Thanks everybody for the great memories. This is turning out to be great thing. Keep it up!


July 27, 2005 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The genius and beauty of Ted Greene is huge. I feel blessed to have known him and spent time with him, albeit briefly. What Ted did for me, and my family, is something few individuals are capable of: he inspired thought, hard work and passion. I’ll be forever grateful, mostly, though, for Ted coming into the life of my husband and re-igniting Lenny’s love of music. After a earning a living playing guitar and honing his craft with practice and lessons from a variety of older professionals, Lenny diverted his musical career some years ago to be available for our children and me. It wasn’t until he started taking lessons from Ted that I saw Lenny’s passion return and blossom. Each week, on Wednesday, I would look forward to hearing about the amazing exchange of information that had taken place, listen to the spiritual and technical insights Ted had imparted that Lenny diligently practiced. It was uplifting for me as well as my husband. Once, my college-age, trumpet-playing son went to Ted’s to keep the lesson appointment when Lenny couldn’t make it. He felt the magic. And I had the pleasure of talking with Ted as well as watching him perform. As a teacher, I recognized in Ted the expertise, intensity and love of his craft that makes an amazing instructor as well as practioner. But mostly, Ted was a valued friend to those who got to know him. Ted Greene will be sorely missed but his spirit will live on in the lessons he imparted, the music he made and the people whose lives he touched. Truly, Debbi Coltun

July 27, 2005 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got an email with Ted Greene in the subject line, and I thought Ted Greene would be giving a master class in the area. I'm saddned by his passing and give my deepest condolences to his family and friends. I bought his book Chord Chemistry long before I had any business buying it and it is still a valuable resource. The masters who come before us...we should cherish the time we have with them and work as hard as we can to have something to pass alone to the next generation, as Ted has for all of us.

July 27, 2005 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived for years in the same building that Ted lived and taught. When he had a spare moment we would talk about all genres of music. What I loved most about him was his genuine kindness. I would like to attend along with a friend who also knew Ted well. I will miss him greatly. God bless Ted and his family.

July 27, 2005 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend Brian and I have just returned home to Ventura after making a trip to Ted's apartment. When I heard the news, about his passing, it seemed to be the only thing that made any sense. I stood in front of that familiar door, now sealed with an L.A. County Coroner seal, and thought of all the musicial trips Ted had taken me on during my lessons with him. The apt. manager very generously invited us into her apt. to talk about her friend Ted.

I wish I could come up with one 'Ted' story that would say it all, but I can't right now; so here are a few memories:

The time Ted insisted I borrow an early priceless 'Broadcaster' to check out-"Bring it back when you feel like it"

One time the student after me called and cancelled. Ted invited me to stay and continued my lesson, playing and talking, then thanked me for staying over!

Ted's genuine pain when he told me that he had to increase his (really low) teaching fee. I told him it was cheap at twice the price, but I know he was afraid that someone could not afford a few more dollars.

One time Ted was playing through a little Yamaha practice amp. Of course, he sounded great, and after a tender ballad, I told him how good the amp sounded. He says yeah and, after twisting a few knobs, blasts out some rockin riffs. "gets a great Clapton tone" he says with a big grin....

Play on Ted
Dennis Belt

July 27, 2005 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came to Los Angeles when I was 21. I had come from a jazz-musical background, I was mainly a singer, and had attended Berklee, where Ted's name floated around the guitarists...that was 72-75. When I got here I waitressed at Dante's, the main jazz club in LA at the time. Ted was there one nite...happened to faint because the music volume bothered him! (you guys know how Ted felt about music volume!) We became friends and when he found out I sang, he suggested getting together... We did, and started rehearsing; we modulated every song at the bridge! Then we were ready for a gig...I put up about 4 or 5 signs at some music stores. I convinced David Abhari from the Sound Room in Studio City to let us play, we were one of the first live bands to play there. I showed up to my first gig in L.A. that nite...to a packed house...no standing room left! We played that club once a week for a year...

One time we were hired for a private party in the Hollywood Hills. About 3/4 way through the party people stopped partying and sat down and listened to the rest of the gig.....That happened more than once!

Words are just words...what they signify is important. To say that Ted was kind and full of humor brings to my mind and body the warmth that Ted, the spirit, is. Ted, the spirit, is not dead and will never die. He has and continues to affect thousands of people because of the quality of livingness that he put out into the world. To not be able to hug him or see the whole package, body and all, is so very sad. But I can visit Ted whenever I want to. He has affected me. Beautifully. What more in this lifetime could anyone want?
Love, Cathy Segal-Garcia

July 27, 2005 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason D. Kuhar, thanks for everything you have done for Ted. ~Dan Sawyer

July 27, 2005 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, it's 1971 and I'm finally old enough to hit the bars. My friend Mike Rogers (son of Shorty) says we have to go see Ted play at some little joint on Van Nuys Blvd. It's just a hole in the wall, but the band is rockin' and Ted just SHINES!.
Many years later I get Ted a gig at a reception, having talked the people into a solo guitarist. Ted shows up with a little fender amp and Tele, plunks his but down and just plays. A couple hours go by and everyone is having dinner. I've arranged for Ted's meal and go up to let him know he should take a break and sit and eat with everyone.
"Ted, come on let's grab a bite."
"No thanks man." he says.
"Come on man,The food's really good here and you haven't stopped playing for 2 1/2 hours."
He looks up at me and without missing a lick says, "I don't need to eat. I don't need a break. I just want to keep playing guitar."

Play on Ted.
I'll miss you.
Loni Specter
producer, LA Guitar Show, AMP SHOW

July 27, 2005 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I became aware of Ted through another cult-like guitar hero, Shawn Lane. In the liner notes of his 1999 CD "The Tri-tone Fascination", Shawn wrote:
"and now please lets wish for another album by the master Ted Greene." It wasn't until years later that I finally heard his "Solo Guitar" on CD. Ted was indeed a master, and it's nice to hear from people here what a kind person he was as well. Shawn died at the age of 40 in 2003, and maybe right now he and Ted are chatting it up about music.

J. McAllister

July 27, 2005 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I met Ted about twenty five years ago. He was a sports card collector and used to come into my husband's store. He'd also come to our house a few times that summer and played for us as we sang along. I knew he taught guitar but had no idea at the time, of the genius of the man. So one summer when my daughter had a broken leg and couldn't partake in much of anything, I thought Ted could give her a few lessons to keep her busy for the summer (what I didn't realize is that it was like asking Einstein to teach Physics 1). He politely declined, saying he was very busy, but gave me the name of a guitar store where he said they gave lessons. I went to sign her up for lessons and and was asked who recommended them. I said, Oh, a friend of mine. His name's Ted Greene. The response shocked me. "Ted Greene is your friend?!," and the employee called the others over to tell them that. I remember asking, "Why the big deal?" It was then that they showed my a copy of Chord Chemistry, Ted's album, and the Ted Greene Guitar Strings that they sold, informing me of Ted's genius. And he was my friend. Wasn't I a lucky one............humble Ted, gifted Ted, dear, dear Ted.
Paula Himmelstein

6:26 PM

July 27, 2005 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did the last major interview with Ted and would like to share it with all of you. It was the culmination of many hours of often fascinating conversation and I hope it'll give you some insight into his brilliance. It will also be in my upcoming book, "Conversations With Great Jazz Guitarists" published by Mel Bay.
We've lost a true humanitarian and magnificient talent. Just type this address into your browser: http://www.jimcarlton.com/Ted%20Green%20Interview.pdf

Jim Carlton

July 27, 2005 7:09 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

Jim's interview with Ted can also be reached simply by going to the links section on the front page and clicking on it. Thanks so much, Jim for posting this...If anyone else has something they'd like to post, photos or otherwise, please email myself or Dan.

July 27, 2005 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted went with my mother in law and picked out my first guitar. He restrung it for me and showed me my first chords. (Playing them lefthanded) It was the best birthday present I ever got. He always had such kind words, telling me "I know your going to do it". The next time I saw him I was so taken by his talent I couldn't even play, but he still told me how much I'd improved. That feeling of awe never changed, nor did his words of encouragement. He said if you ever get down just switch hands and it will show you how far you have come. I feel so honored just to have known him. He will truly be missed!

Dave Kerbeck

July 27, 2005 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first met Ted in the early '70s while shopping for a tele at Betnun Music in Los Angeles. I remember hearing what I thought were two guitarists playing in another room. When I looked around the corner there was only one player, and of course it was Ted. His gentleness and artistry are the two traits I will remember the most.

Our paths crossed many times over the years and every time I felt I was in the presence of a great artist and an exceptional human being.
Ted had a profound influence on guitarists everywhere and it's difficult to imagine a world without him.

Thank you Ted for making our world a more beautiful place. I'll never forget the beauty of your playing, or the purity of your heart.

Jody Fisher

July 27, 2005 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It fills me with great sadness to say goodbye to my mentor and dear friend Ted Greene.
The lessons and friendship I had with Ted over period of a decade were truly special.
His generosity in other matters and support he gave me in my life were also testament to his kindness. It was an honor and a significant event in my life to meet and get to know this brilliant master.

Dear Ted; thank you for sharing your incredible knowledge and for the warmth of your friendship. I will miss you my dear friend.

July 28, 2005 1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted was probably the most inspiring man I have had the priviledge of meeting. As an Australian resident, I managed to organise a handful of lessons during my infrequent visits to LA. It is no exaggeration to say that these meetings had a profound and lasting effect upon my life. On one occasion, I inquired as to why he performed so infrequently. His response was that it was no longer a priority. When pressing him as to what WAS a priority, he replied simply: knowledge! How many people in this day and age devote their entire being to the pursuit of knowledge? He was truly a remarkable being who's teaching extended far beyond the musical arena.

July 28, 2005 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met Ted and began studying with him when I was 17 years old. I am now 36. Ted and I became friends from the first phone call, there was a waiting list at that time! Remember that?? Some of you out there will remember the first apartment that had 2 chairs, a music stand and an ashtray. Needless to say a tape recorder with which he demanded that the lesson be taped. The lessons and the man were serious then, really serious. (The apartment clean to a fault) But, even as we have known him in recent years, he was very kind, understanding and selfless then as well.

At this time he became a surrogate father to me, many times we wouldn't even pick up the guitars. We would just talk for 2 hours. He helped me learn how to live life. So many times he talked me through some really rough experiences. He was more a father to me than my father. Ted was not only a teacher of music for me but he taught me SO MUCH ABOUT LIVING! I could talk to him about anything. I do not know where I would be without having him in my life. And now in 2005 he is still like my father and dearest friend.

We shared quite a bit together. I am sure that there are others out there, and you know who you are, who got to share some special times and special conversations with him. There were many sides to Ted. If you were close to him, I need not say another word, you know what I am talking about!! I will cherish the memories of speaking to him so frankly on such a WIDE range of subjects! And he suprising the hell out of me with his vast knowledge and ideas about so many things. LOL!

I brought him a mess of my Roman and Greek coins one day and the next week he had started up again with his coin collection. They were all over the place!! THEY STILL ARE! Quarters galore! He said that he LOVED the quarters! I loved sharing with him my collections of all thing ancient. He was shocked when I copied my whole Danny Gatton bootleg collection for him ...and it was an honor to hand it to him! I don't think he thought I would really do it! The look on his face... Wow. He'd give me things and remark about the look on my face of total suprise, so he got me back plenty!! Ted I have MORE Danny DVD's & CD's for ya!!! I think you might be playing with him right now... So you might not need them.

Ted, you know how much we will ALL miss you. You touched so many lives. I'm not sure what I/we will do without your direction, opinions, thoughts and guidance. I am sad beyond words. The world and especially the world of music and guitar is a diffarent place without you here. But now Heaven is a diffarent place with YOU there!!! I bet some serious music is happening right now up there!

I love you man!! We WILL meet again! - Your friend always, - Rich Glasband

July 28, 2005 2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very fortunate to be living in Canoga Park when I first took up guitar while in high school in the 70s. I say fortunate because Ted was teaching in a little music store on Topanga Cyn near my house called Dales' Guitars. I was taking lessons with him before I really had a clue about who/what or how great he was. I was probably neither good enough nor serious enough to rate a teacher of his caliber. Still he always had a way of being very kind and supportive but still make me feel the heat a bit(I wasn't always practicing much back then). So for quite a while I scuffled through his lessons but then at some point it began to click. I ended up studying with him quite a bit and with even an occasional lesson until a few months ago.
Many of you remember his hand written zeroxes: musical examples or chord diagrams often with tiny written explanations crammed into every corner of the page. You could spend months getting down just one of those sheets. I still have a huge stack of those sheets daring me to practice them.
Anyway, my point is he really became a profound influence on my playing, particularly chord wise and harmonically. And a huge reason why I play guitar professionally to this day. So I just want to say thank you Ted for helping set me on course to experience the adventure of music and providing me with the tools to somehow live and work doing something that I love these past 25 years. You’ll always be in my music and in my thoughts,
Brad Rabuchin

July 28, 2005 2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like so many others,I was saddened by the news of Ted's passing..The one record he produced will be forever a benchmark & testament to the genius that was Ted Greene..I was so lucky to spend an evening listening to Ted play at a party in Encino and I was in heaven.. Thanks to Tim Torrance and Dan Sawyer for setting that up for me.
Nobody plays guitar quite like Ted did..It was like getting touched by an angel..Thanks Ted.... aj washington

July 28, 2005 4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the waiting list as I got on it about 20 years ago. Ted called me back about two months after I first left a message for him to apologize that he just did not have room for another student.

Recently, (20 years later) I was blessed with an opening to become one of his students! How Blessed and Fortunate I am to have been in his presence during the past 7 months!!

Please scroll through the other area where we are posting (Interest in Attending A Memorial)
to see my post: The Greatest Guitar Salute The World Has Ever Seen.

We can see by all these posts the Love That is Ted Greene and it is my hope that we send him off with every ounce of Love that we can put forth.


July 28, 2005 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember 15 years ago buying some intense looking guitar books written by "some guy" name Ted Greene and showing them to a friend. It turned out that my friend was one of Ted's students. He got permission from Ted to give me Ted's phone number. I was warned that there was a waiting list. When I called Ted to inquire about a lesson my palms were all sweaty from being so nervous. For whatever reason I was able to secure a monthly lesson right off the bat. On my first lesson I asked him to teach me "Someone To Watch Over Me" in chord melody. I taped that lesson and still have it. Now I need to collect all my audio and video tapes of my lessons and keep them in a safe place, so that when I hear them again, I can be in that special musical place only Ted could put me in. I spoke to Ted last week to hook up a lesson for this friday. I think I will go to his apartment on my scheduled appointment and ring him one more time. I won't hear him call out my name this time, this time I'll say Thank You Ted, I'll miss you and go home and play "Someone To Watch Over Me".


July 28, 2005 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing comes to my mind. I remember seeing a Guild T-100D at a pawn shop one day and told Ted about it a few days later. He recomended that I bye it so I did. As time passed by I told him I was not too happy with the sound, I preferred the arch top sound of his Guilds, you know how he loved his Guilds. By coincidence I saw an add in the recycler for a Guild X-500 and called Ted for advice. It turned out that one of his students was selling it, so Ted put in a good word about me. I drove 60 miles to check it out. His student told me that I could take it home and try it out, without leaving a dime for it. I was shocked. This guy trusted me because he trusted Ted. I ended up buying the guitar and all payments were made through Ted. Ted even bought my Guild T-100D so that I could use that money towards my new Guild. Just another Ted Gem....

July 28, 2005 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first time i met Ted, at a little guitar store in Reseda, nearly 30 years ago, it changed the way i thought about guitar forever. To this day whenever i come up with something i feel good about on guitar i think about how Ted might aproach this. And i wonder if i could make it better or use a more interesting chord voicing, as he might have. Of his passing, The world will be a much less interesting place without Ted Greene in it. I am honered to have ever known him. I am humbled by his genius, and i am blessed to have shared music and thoughts and ideas with him, and i am deeply sadend by his passing. We spoke to Ted a couple of weeks ago and one of the last things he said to me was " Im thinking about getting out and playing more because i'm finally happy with my playing." My God, i thought. I will truly miss Ted's encouragement on my own playing, and his kind words of inspiration . Every time i saw Ted play, when i picked up a guitar i looked at it in a new way. Thank God that Ted spent his life teaching and passing his great musical knowledge to as many people as possible. Therer is no greater achieivment than this. His death is a huge loss to the guitar community. To Dan Sawyer, thank you my friend for putting this website together. It means so much for those of us who knew and loved Ted to voice our respect for him..............Jeff lund

July 28, 2005 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indicative of Ted's humanitarian soul is the fact that at least once a month he'd go to a bleak part of town and hang with the homeless for the night. He'd provide companionship, encouragement, friendship and money. And Ted didn't have a lot of money. But that's walking the talk. We've lost more than a great artist, we've lost a great human being.

Jim Carlton

July 28, 2005 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1974 I got a job through my longtime friend and teacher at the time Derol Caraco. Working behind the counter at 'Dale's Ernie Ball Guitars'. The store where Ted taught. What an environment in which to work for a 17 year old. Half of his students were already pros. They would sit around the store jamming and telling road stories while waiting for their lesson with Ted. I would take care of the billing and Ted's waiting list. That waiting list just continued to grow. I would get calls from people to see how far down 'the list' they were. Of course I got myself signed up for lessons after Derol assured me I could handle it providing I practised a bit more seriously. So I did...most of the time.
"Jeez Ted, I was kind of busy this week..didn't get a chance to practice"...at this point Ted would nod his head sympathetically and ask.."How about TV?..Did you get a chance to watch much TV this week?"
In his subtle gentle way he would make sure I was
prepared for my lessons.
If he had a rare break I would think of something to ask him just to engage him in conversation. Poor guy probably just wanted to take his break in peace. But you would never know it. He would listen attentively and really give some thought to his response.
I saw him only a few times in the last 20 years..a few lessons here and there..a couple of performances..but he always was so gracious and would always talk as if it'd been just days that had passed instead of years.
One lesson came after 4 years had passed since I had seen him. He walked over to that huge filing cabinet and asked how I was doing with some voice leading examples he had given on the last lesson..4 years ago!.."Jeez Ted...I was kind of busy.."
....Truly ..a great man...

July 28, 2005 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will miss Ted greatly!
I truly loved that man, he was on of the kindest and most generous persons I have ever known.

For over 20 years I had studied with Ted and he was such an outstanding and amazingly intellectual person and we would talk for hours after my lesson was over about many non-musical related topics and his passion and convictions always prevailed!

I sadly regret that just 3 days prior to his passing I had Ted on my mind and was going to call him and see if he had any available spots for a quick lesson and became distracted and did not make the call…

It just goes to show you that life is fragile and you never know when the Lord will call you home…

The music community has suffered a great loss...

Dan Sindel

July 28, 2005 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted I`m sorry I didnt got to meet you, but you`re music touched me like no other did.

From Argentina


July 28, 2005 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Leon - White

Posters: I had a thought - as we think about Ted, its wonderful to remember and share his many kindnessess, humor, and such. The stories will fill endless pages.

Its wonderful to read, and will mean much over the years to family and friends. Please encourage everyone to contribute - even if just a short condolence. I know its wonderful for me.

We remember what Ted did for us.

I hope each of us can remember what we may have done for Ted

Not to share here - this isn't a celebration of our wonderfulness, but because we might grow a little with that intraspection - something Ted would appreciate.

July 28, 2005 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good ideas, Leon.

In case folks don't know who you are, Leon White was the producer of Ted's Solo Guitar LP.

~dan sawyer

July 28, 2005 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Leon White was the producer of Ted's Solo Guitar LP"… along with William Perry! Thanks both of you for bringing us a masterpiece.


July 28, 2005 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long live The Tone Chemist. The above tributes are a real testament to an advanced being. A genuine, loving, sensitive, compassionate, selfless individual.
I never knew Ted personally, and truly appreciate the gifted outpouring on this wonderful site.

July 28, 2005 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the first time Ted shyly told me about his LP. He was nice enough to put it to cassette for me. When I listened to it for the first time, I thought to myself, "this is the best guitar album I've heard yet, and it's Ted!" I haven't heard anything better since. I will always cherish the tape (complete with subtle scratches and dust). Now I need the cd so I can put it on repeat. I miss you Ted!

July 28, 2005 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember some of the most beautiful music I ever heard...Ted was playing a 4 voice Bach fugue...on a Tele with a flatpick. Certainly one of the most gentle and giving beings I've had the honor to know,I only wish I could be so. Thanks Ted, goodbye for now

July 28, 2005 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leon White:
Ok - I'm going to take a whack at saying something about Ted - Here goes.

What can one say about the most generous, contradictory, talented, musical, loving, unique, driven, romantic, frustrating, gentle, complex, spiritual, argumentative, humorous, earthy, shy, quirky, kind, puzzling, compassionate enigma we'll ever know?

I know I don't know.

At the end you may have been ready. But damn it, we weren't!

How are we supposed to learn our next lesson?

Where can we get those six hour discussions of heaven, earth, Ted Williams, big block Chevy's, Debussy, wound 3rd strings, '50s bop, and physics?

Where will the “Golliwogs Cakewalk” and “Gone with the Wind” wander across a fret board together with a laugh and a joke, and then submerge into a poignancy so stirring to leave us tearful?

Where will we talk about arch tops and the Lakers, George (Van Epps) and my kids in one breath?

Who will offer to help out when one of life's bumps hits one of us you left behind?

How many photocopy stores are going to go out of business?

Who will tell us the truth about our playing, but encourage us in the same breath?

Why weren't we ready!?!

Who will pose those subtle questions, in lessons and outside, that lead us without knowing it to some new insight? ("What about a 3rd there . . .?")

Where are we going to see your joy in rediscovering Columbo, Basil Rathbone in Sherlock Holmes, or Katie Couric?

And the obscure and beautiful books - gifts for some occasion but dearer for your enthusiasm and notes inside?

And those phone calls! Where can we call you while you talk to a student in the room - "No, 3rd finger. . . yea . . higher - ok, try it again. Where were we? Oh yea, Newton . . ."

And the diet coke and lettuce and well. . I can't remember any of your other food groups.

You may have been ready at the end, but we weren't.

What would you say to us now? How would you find a way, as in times past, to comfort us?

Honestly Theo, I don't think even you could find a way.

Were you one-of-a-kind? I'd say so, but you'd say, "We all are."

Friendship. Generosity. The music. Old friend this is one time I can't help thinking you let us down. But we forgive you.

Next time just raise your lesson prices will ya! And get a couple of more Hawaiian shirts - I mean Geesh!

And above all, rest in peace.


July 28, 2005 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took lessons from Ted for many years in the 80's and 90's. For a while he let be borrow several of his semi-hollow and arch top guitars (really fine instruments) just because I enjoyed playing them at the lessons. I remember one lesson where we took a walk to Trader Joe's, bought a couple of sodas and discussed the chord changes to My Funny Valentine. It was a great lesson even though we didn't touch the guitar! The sad irony is that I had tried calling him Monday or Tuesady this week to, hopefully, return as a student after several years. A special person, a big influence and, as everyone knows, a brilliant musician.

July 28, 2005 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am shocked and deeply saddened at Ted's passing. He was and still is one of my heroes as a guitarist and as a person. His talent was heads above even the best players, but he had such a gentle, sweet, and humble attitude about him that made you feel he was your friend and that he respected you. I studied privatley with him for a about a year. He was very interested in the fact that I practiced the yoga meditation of Paramahansa Yogananda and Self-Realization Fellowship. He confided to me that he had studied the SRF Lessons, but had stopped. He was interested in spiritual and metaphysical aspects, and thought highly of Yogananda. I will forever cherish my contact with him. A few years ago I called him up and asked him if his "Solo Guitar" album would ever be released on CD, and if he was planning any new recordings. He told me the CD was in the works, and that he was planning to go into the studio to record some more pieces. I don't know what ever became of this, but hopefully we all will be able to taste more of his wonderful music. My only wish was that he would have made more solo recordings. With all his humility he didn't feel he was quite ready to record! Ted was certainly the best music teacher I ever encountered, and one of the gentlest of souls. God bless you, Ted.

July 28, 2005 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first met Ted when I was 17 for a lesson.I knew after that first lesson my life had changed! No one has come even close to reaching the level of harmonic mastery on the guitar than Ted!Truely the most inspiring,humble,and giving man that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.He was a TRUE genius!This is an inaccurate,and wildly exaggerated word when most often used.However,Ted absolutly was a genius,not unlike edison,einstein,etc...He just(luckily for all of us)decided to apply that great mind to guitar.He meant the world to me as a hero,and as a friend.No matter what was going on in my life,when I was walking up his stairs for a lesson,I had a smile on my face,because there was no place I'd rather be.Goodness just poured out of him,and during the time of the lesson's,everything just seemed right in the world.I hope due credit is givin to the absolute athority of the guitar,one Mr. Ted Greene!

Ted,your inpact on so many of us will not be forgotten.I love you,and miss you dearly.
-Gabriel Moses

July 28, 2005 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted's accomplishments on the guitar are a revelation. The one lesson I had with him ten years ago is still a source of inspiration and motivation.

Thanks you Ted, you will be missed.

Charlie Hunter

July 28, 2005 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They say that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. I am not sure I was ever ready, but i was always met by kindness, generosity, support and encouragement. I met Ted 25 years ago when I was 18. Over the years my lessons got farther apart as the material he would present would be ever more challenging. These last few lears i would go maybe once a year. i would show up having thought and worked on some idea diligently. Proud to show the master what i had learned, and Ted would always respond with that great grin and say something like, "Hey man that is cool, but did you ever think of trying...", and it always some amazing new way of seeing things. He was my Zen master of guitar. I've nver met a gentler soul or a better musician. Always compassionate and curious about everything and everyone, about my life and music.

I travelled to Fiji once and was on a very very remote island playing guitar with the tribe there. At the end I gave a copy of chord chemistry to the chief who was curious about the chords I was playing. Ted got a real kick out of the idea that a bunch of guys on a remote island in Fiji were learning his stuff.

Ted was my teacher, and i was also honored he thought of me as a friend. I will miss him, but I know the angels are smiling because Ted is playing somewhere and heaven sounds more beautiful.

My condolences to Ted's family.

best regards

John March

July 28, 2005 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted and I shared a birthday and some years ago I wrote this poem for our birthdays


sometimes I play the thing

put my fingers in the right spot and plunk

the notes fall out and onto the ear

or the microphone

the rhythms keep walking,

seldom fall

sometimes I pick it up and feel it's curves

and gentle response

and it starts to speak to me in the voice

of a beautiful woman.

she begs for my caress

she kisses my fingers

and moans with delight

and sometimes she sings me her own song

older and richer than mine

when she sings to me like this

my fingers kiss her strings

and beg for

their caress

and patiently wait till she's done

the depth and width of my love for her

is without measure

and touching her this way

has left me thinking

of you

js LA

July 28, 2005 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got on Ted's waiting list sometime around 1997 and then one day out of the blue I got "the call" from Ted that he had an opening for regular lessons. That was 1979. I drove down every 2 weeks from Santa Barbara for years for my lesson. The last lesson I took was around 1991 or 1992. Ted was an amazing teacher. We spent two years together working through Walter Piston and several other traditional classical harmony books all on the guitar. Somewhere I have a notebook of 18 Bach Chorals that I wrote out "Ted Greene Style" with dots. One year while teaching guitar at the National Summer Workshop I co-taught a special Ted Greene workshop. Ted came out the last part of the week and I spent the first part of the week going over a small fraction of the stuff Ted had taught me before he showed up. I'll never forget him playing "All the Things You Are" for the class in a baroque style with fugue like moving lines. I have one of Bob Berry's photos of Ted hanging on my wall above my classical guitar teacher Vicente Gomez. Now they're both gone. Ted will be missed by many.

Mark Kramer

July 28, 2005 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very sad to hear of Teds' passing. I didn't realise until he died that i still use his chord progressions after 20 years! Guitarist never seem to have a long life but what a life!!
"say hello to Django,Ted"

Mike Jones - England

July 29, 2005 2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Greene embodied what we all aspire to achieve as guitarists, musicians, and human beings. His generosity, talent, intelligence, wit, and incredible musicality are a great loss. We miss you already, man...

J. Vega

July 29, 2005 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just remembered the day Lenny Breau, Dan Sawyer and Ted Greene did a workshop down in the valley. Guitar Center I think it was. Lenny had his 7 string guitar with the high A on it. Ted ran around with sheets on Lenny's approach that he had made up for all the attendee's showing amoung other things how to do the cascading harmonics thing.

I was also thinking back on how you would be working on something in a lesson and he would suddenly remember just the right sheet to get out to cover what was being worked on. He would get up and know exactly which of the myriad piles of countless lesson sheets he had stacked all over the living room and about what depth the sheet would be in. Out would come the sheet. While his back was turned, I would play a fancy chord I was working on. He could name the chord - in the right key - without turning around. Ah, Bb13b9 spelled Bb-Ab-Cb-D-G. Now, resolve that to Eb6/9 spelled Eb-G-Bb-C-F. Wow, Ted, what a stretch! Thanks man.

July 29, 2005 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the early 90s, I lent Ted my acoustic 8-string guitar that I had struggled with for several years. I had thought that Ted, being the kind of soul that he was, would find something in it and bring it to life. A month later, Ted had the case sitting next to the chair when I got there for my lesson. He asked me to take the guitar away, as he saw the possibilities in the instrument and realized that he could devote the next 20 years of his life to mastering it. He then picked up the guitar, played some astoundingly beautiful music on it, handed me about a dozen sheets of chord diagrams and melodic concepts he scratched out for the instrument and went on with the regular (as if any lesson with Ted could be considered regular) lesson.

I gave Ted the Carl Stalling Project set for his birthday that year as well. He played me some solo arrangements of the music on the disks that were mind-blowing renditions of the orchestral music. The stories go on and on.

The world is a little less kind, a little less human now with Ted gone. The beautiful thing is we all got to know him in our way, in our own time, and he will never be forgotten.

Rich Lasner

July 29, 2005 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Huth said.....
Ted was the kindest person I ever met. The joy of taking guitar lessons was a great treat to say the least. May he rest in peace. He will be missed by many especially myself.

July 29, 2005 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first heard about Ted as a teenager in the late 80's while attending the Grove School of music. Every teacher there had studied with him and spoke about him with such reverence. I knew right from my first lesson that I would be learning from this man for the rest of my life. 16 years later, even with his untimely passing, I feel the same way. Ted I love you and miss you terribly. It was my privelege to have known and learned from you.

Paul Karpinski

July 29, 2005 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the past 16 years I have had the pleasure of "getting to know" Ted through the stories and reflections my husband, Ricky Katz, has shared. Ricky would look forward to a lesson with Ted as if he was going to sit at the feet of the "master" and when he returned from that lesson he was always a changed man - growing yet even closer to his own musical soul and understanding life a bit moreso - simply from a half-hour lesson with Ted. It became clear to me over the years that this was more than just a guitar teacher. Ted was clearly a remarkable human being, a person who had great respect for the individual person, the depth of a person's soul, and the value of human life. In a business filled with people who think they are bigger than life Ted clearly understood that he was just one person, on this planet, here for a purpose. To connect with others, through their love for music as well as a myriad of other varied and unique areas of interest many of you have shared!

My husband surprised me this past February by bringing me to Spazio's to hear Ted play - the first (and now unfortunately only)time I had. I do believe that I left a changed person. As a classically trained musician (violin and piano) I marveled at the way this man embraced his guitar. He made it sing as have so many violinists I have heard in many years. He was intimate with his guitar. His two hands seemed as one. He was in a relationship with that guitar - with the gentleness, respect and care one gives to a loved one.

It is clear that the music world - the world as a whole - has lost a gem. Even moreso, though, I cry for all of you who have shared the same sentiment - that Ted touched your soul and that you are left with a deep hole. My hope is that you will continue to share these remarkable memories of Ted, with one another - through your anecdotes and, of course, your shared love for music.

July 29, 2005 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the long night my wife and I spent with Ted. Ted was a friend of my Cousin Max and was at his house for dinner. We found ourselves in the living room and of course Ted started to play. We are all 50s and 60s rock and roll freaks and Ted played and we sang for hours. Ted even said my wife and I had good voices.

I saw Ted once or twice after that, and my only knowlege of his doings came from Max. I only heard good things about Ted Greene. Phyllis and I will never forget the night the music played on and somebody said we could actually sing. Thanks for the music. Thanks for the joy.

July 29, 2005 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am without words for this loss of such a gentle brilliant and open hearted spirit that I thought would always be there. We will never see another like Ted in our life times.

July 29, 2005 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met Ted for the first time in the early 80s. My friend Rick Udler couldn't make his lesson with Ted, and so he sent me as a sub. Ted asked me what I was playing, and I told him I was working on Jobim's "Triste." Ted immediately showed me some chord subs. The wild thing was, they all involved impossible stretches. I don't mean impossible for a beginner--I mean impossible for just about any guitar player. I expressed some dismay about being able to play them. Ted's response was: "You've got to control the guitar, instead of letting it control you." I saw immediately that this guy knew no limits.

What blew my mind even more was two weeks later, Rick told me that Ted had asked him if I liked the lesson. I was amazed that Ted was so concerned, as if any guitar player wouldn't feel he was sitting at the feet of the master. How could we possibly *not* like the lesson, Ted?

I hope that Ted's many friends and students can find some way to share his unpublished lesson sheets and tape recordings, perhaps on a web site. Assuming that's okay with Ted's family. What better way to pay tribute to this wonderful man than to make his recorded legacy available. I sort of have the feeling that he would prefer it be given away freely than distributed any other way.

Thomas Brown, browntf@hal.lamar.edu

July 29, 2005 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first heard Ted's name when my former jazz guitar teacher told me to get Chord Chemistry. There is such a wealth of information in there I doubt I will ever master it all. I had always hoped I could have a lesson with Ted one day and hear him play in person. I was planning a trip to CA soon and was going to try and look him up.

I've listened to his Solo Guitar album so many times, yet every time I listen ,I always hear something new. Ted was a true gift to this world. It really saddens me to hear of his passing. Is there any way other unreleased recordings of his or lessons that were recorded could possibly be released? One album..as brillant and long lasting as it is..is just not enough.


John R.

July 29, 2005 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I moved out here and heard that Ted Greene
(of chord chemistry fame) gave lessons at ridiculously low prices I was excited. When I met the man heard him play for the first time, I was astounded, and every time afterward the amazement of where this GENIUS was at constanty grew.
Then theres the man. The humble, kind, generous, honest soul. I've never heard anyone speak in the negative of Ted, always an outpouring of positive energy, even when he was not around he was inspiring.
This is obviously how it has to be now.

Ted played my 40th birthday party in April. He let me record it. He hung out long after and talked with us mere mortals. He was happy... we were ecstatic.
Thank you for this outlet. For what its worth I would not be the musician that I am without Ted. Its obviously the same for so many, and just like Teds soul his inspiration lives on.
Thank You and God Bless You Ted Greene
With Love,
Greg Herzenach

July 29, 2005 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i only know of ted through his amazing book "chord chemistry."

that book has more chords that my fingers will ever execute, and i was and still am enchanted by the detail that went into that book.

we lost another one, and heaven is richer for it.

rest in peace ted.

geoff van maastricht

July 29, 2005 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has taken us several days to write this, because our grieving for the loss of Ted has been so great. I still cannot stop crying at the mention of his name; he was so good to our family.

By way of background, my husband, Bob, has been Ted’s bi-weekly student (every-other Thursday at 2 p.m.) of Ted’s for almost 20 years. Yesterday was a particularly hard day, because Bob was supposed to meet with Ted at 2 p.m.

In all that time Ted only raised his rates one time in 20 years by $5 to a grand total of $25 for an hour of a genius’s time. When my husband asked why he left his prices so low, he said that he didn’t want to price out any talented guitarists just because they couldn’t afford to be there. Even though many of Ted’s student’s charged more to teach others, that’s just how dedicated he was to the profluence of the art of guitar. Ted often talked with my husband long after the allotted time period. Ted was a most generous man.

And Ted always agreed to play my legal business functions, even though the idiots in suits usually did not appreciate his talents.

He even graced our daughter’s birth by playing at her first Christmas party.

But we all know what a terrific, talented, gracious, generous, loving, modest (I could exhaust the Thesaurus!) man he was. Even though he is still unable to compile his “comments” for this site, for the past week my husband has not stopped telling little vignettes about Ted (with me crying all the while …). I wish I had a tape recorder running. I hope he will record them separately. But I hear him back in his studio upstairs trying to fulfill Ted’s vision….

When we arrived from New York City in 1987, Bob would ask everyone he met – without naming names, but they include the top studio musicians -- who he should study with. They ALL said, essentially, “well, a lot of the guys study with Ted Greene.”

As gentle as a man he was, Ted did not suffer fools. A student must be on time. No excuse for canceling a lesson would be accepted; like booking studio time, you better be here. And, while he was patient regarding our family distractions (since we, like any family, often have a lot of other stuff going on!), he expected his students to be prepared! So, our lives have kind of revolved on Bob’s being able to be ready for the lesson with Ted for the next Thursday for 20 years. It’s on my calendar for the rest of 2005. I hate to erase those entries.

He has loaned out so many instruments to students and friends. When the wildfires last year were impinging on our house, the first things loaded in the car were Ted’s gear and notes. The second were some tapes of another close guitar friend who died several years ago. And then 20 boxes of photos of our daughter – for which I got in trouble!

We just scheduled him to play an event in September. At that same event last year he started to put the guitar on the ground because he didn’t have a case for it. I scolded him that he couldn’t do that. He said he had been given the guitar by someone who thought didn’t sound right. Ted could make ANY instrument sound right.

The same event the year before we had a tiff because he commented that I had dyed my hair. I have never dyed my hair; I just haven’t gone gray yet. But Ted couldn’t understand how that accusation could offend a woman.

And he always refused to eat at any function because of his digestive limitations. I think he pretty much lived on peanut butter.

And that car! Could anyone squeeze more crap into a car … or an apartment?! But he could put his fingers on whatever he wanted whenever he wanted! (Where is he when I need him in my own house?!)

P.S. Barb & Ron – if we can do anything to help with the archival process, or with planning the services, please let us know. I really cannot tell you how really, really sorrowful we are. (I ‘ve been wearing sunglasses all week because my eyes are red and watery all the time) Much love, Carla (& Bob & Kennedy)

July 29, 2005 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 19 years of studying with Ted Green on a bi-monthly basis, I received a phone call from a close friend, Loni Spector, who had received a phone call from Dan Sawyer, that Ted Greene had passed away last Saturday. It has taken me several days and many hours of discussing with my wife my heartfelt grief over the loss of Ted. I had looked forward to another 30 years of Ted’s guidance. I could go on forever about all of the stories I have about him. I just wanted to share a little gem:

About 7 years ago Ted was playing at a little restaurant called the Seashell on Ventura Blvd., near his home. Ted liked to be close to home. Those of you who know Ted, know he was not a self-promoter and would seldom say where or when he was playing. On that evening I waited for the dinner crowd to thin out and then greeted Ted. As usual he was still playing because he never took a break. Unlike me who can’t put two words together when I play solo guitar, Ted kept on playing as we talked for a few minutes. Then I sat down at a table by myself next to two fellow long-hairs -- obviously guitar-types – and obviously expressing our mutual admiration for Ted. We broke into conversation. One of the gentlemen introduced himself as Shawn Lane. (Those of you who know, the incredibly talented Shawn Lane unfortunately is now deceased, too.) After Ted had played for 2 – 3 hours, noting our enthusiastic support, he decided to give us a little something extra. Starting with what seemed to be an almost folk-like theme, Ted proceeded to spin the theme, covering baroque, R&B, Bee-Bop, you-name-it, ultimately returning to its original simplistic form. All I can say is that it was akin to what Keith Jarret can do when he grabs a hold of a theme – spontaneous composition. About half way through this display of incredible musical prowess, I realized I had tears running down my face. I turned and looked over at Shawn and saw that he, too, was crying.

After the show was over, Ted and Shawn talked for hours about 1920-30 classical pianists , as well as their love of Bill Evans and Art Tatum. Ted and Shawn were both truly diverse in their love of music. It was an incredible night.

Every once in a while in life you come across something incredibly special and, to me, that was Ted Greene. His quest, as he told me numerous times, was beauty. And Ted could articulate that in a way that no one else that I’ve ever met could.

I will miss my dear friend, teacher and mentor forever. God Bless, Ted. Love, Bob Holt.

July 29, 2005 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about fender guitars recognizing ted. I mean its not like he didn't take the telecaster to places no one even knew existed. I hope corporate music america is more sensitive then I fear. . .

July 29, 2005 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see the respect and admiration of the guitar makers and the guitar and music press on their web sites: Fender, Gibson, Guild, Guitar One, Guitar Player, JazzGuitar - its really touching.

Not a word.

People do what they want to do.

Thank heavens for this site.

July 30, 2005 5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




July 30, 2005 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never had the chance to meet Ted, but I've worked through two dog-eared copies of Modern Chord Progressions. It opened my ears to so much new music, and became my musical bible. I will be mining ideas out of there until they pull my guitars away from me.

Back in the 70's I was buying a copy of Chord Chemistry and the salesman said "You've heard this guy play, haven't you?". "No", I said. With a wink, he pulled out a copy of Solo Guitar from under the counter and said, "This will change your life, man."

Thanks, Ted, for all the inspiration. I hope I can pay you back in the next world.

-brad benefield

July 30, 2005 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first met Ted as I walked out into the shop at Ernie Ball's studio in Tarzana. Here was this new kid Ernie had just hired, this New York boy, rocking back and forth and playing the most incredible Motown licks and changes. Who knew what was to come. I watched him dig, listen, practice, investigate, study and blossom into the most incredible master of harmony on the guitar that has ever lived.

I was so very fortunate to have had him as a friend, and just to have known him. His generosity, kindness and passion to all who knew him will never be forgotten.

As far as his teaching, if only there was a way to bottle his energetic encouragement then dole it out to all the teachers of all the subjects the world, knowledge would explode. Imagine, students coming home bursting with a passion for what they were learning. He gives a lesson to all the lesson givers. Please listen and learn.

Ted will live on through the knowledge he imparted to so many of us and the friendship that he gave of himself so earnestly. I know that hundreds of years from now, he will still be remembered. Like many great genius artists, the real recognition seems to come after they go. Watch the legacy grow.

My sorrows to the family. This was just too soon. He had so much more to give.

I'll miss you, my friend.


July 31, 2005 4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first saw Ted in the late 60's. He was playing with a band called the Nomads at the "Tri-Center", a club in Canoga Park,CA.

I had allready begun lessons at Ernie Ball Guitar's and was being taught by Stan Black.

After seeing Ted play I realized that if I was going to become really serious about studying the guitar then I would need to graduate to the next level with Ted as my teacher.

In those days I was a pretty
cocky musician. I remember how I felt after the 1st lesson with Ted. He taught me one thing that I have never forgotten or outgrown. That one thing was Humility. In one 30 minute lesson Ted changed my whole idea of music and also changed my life forever.

I studied with Ted for about ten years. Thins being what they were at the time I could not continue. This is a decision I have allways regretted.

Through everything that I have gone through in my life, some good times and especially the bad times, there has always been one constant for me and that is music.

I humbly give all the credit for my passion to Ted.

Thank You Ted for all of your inspiration.

I will saddly miss you.

July 31, 2005 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just happened to catch the end of the film the high and the mighty (score by Dimitri Tiomkin).
The main theme is pretty well known, of course, but when the passengers walk off there's this wonderful triumphal theme and arrangement.
I was going to call ted until I remembered. This doesn't seem to be getting any easier.
Leon White

July 31, 2005 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had bought Ted’s Chord Chemistry book and referred to it when I was a young guitar teacher. It was like a volume of encyclopedias contained in one book. In the 80’s I saw Ted for the first time at a NAMM show where he played the most incredible version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. The group gathered around him were just devastated; it was so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes, and is the only thing I can remember from the entire event. When I moved to Los Angeles ten years ago I finally took a lesson from Ted. He was such a remarkable man, so humble, warm, and he delighted in what others played. It was exciting to be in the same room with him and I learned SO much in that one lesson. To hear him play and teach was inspirational. I’ve often thought of Ted Greene as a musical national treasure. My deepest sympathies to those closest to him. He contribution to guitar and to his many disciples will live on.

Lyle Workman

July 31, 2005 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know Ted personally, but I worked through all four of his books with Howard Morgen, my teacher. Marvelous work, did a LOT for my playing, and a definite monument of guitar scholarship. Peace, Ted, we owe you much.

July 31, 2005 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted got me into Teles and Vibroverbs and playing barehanded a long time ago. First in Woodland Hills at his parent's house. He took me on as a student knowing that I had no interest(or ability perhaps) in ever playing pro. He told me that he could tell that I just loved to play. I often wonder if he told everyone that. He taught me his style of playing. I have not had a lesson from him in years, but I use what he taught me every time I pick it up. I am lucky to still have the stuff that he taught me. Although I have not seen Ted in many years, I have thought about him often.
Kenny Rosen

July 31, 2005 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother, Jeff, pointed out that Ted Greene, the guy who wrote "Chord Chemistry" was doing a workshop at Bouelavrd Music. I went wondering what kind of person and player could write such a complex book at such a young age. I was totally transfixed on his knowledge, tone, talent. I took three or four private lessons from him after that and asked him if I could hire him to play two sets for my 55th birthday last December. It was the best birthday I ever had. I took the last workshop he offered at Boulevard Music a few months ago. When i asked Ted if he would play for my birthday he said, "It would be an honor...." The honor was all mine.

Mark Josephs

July 31, 2005 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted played a family party at my home 3 Sundays ago. This may possibly have been his last public performance. We have some photos which will be made available to all either on the Ted Site or on my web site or possibly, my brother, who shot the photos has already created a link to the photos. I will keep you posted as to how to see them. In the meantime,
I had 200 4x6's printed up today to distribute at the memorial.

I miss Ted very much.........DG

July 31, 2005 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only took two lessons with Ted but they were life changing experiences for me. Ted asked me to plug into a nice old Ampeg while he went into the kitchen to grab a quick snack. I noodled around for a minute and I heard Ted exclaim from around the corner “a seven string!” He walked in the room saying “ I was listening to you play in the middle register of your guitar and you waited a while before you hit the 7th string but then you were on it and I said, this man has seven strings!” He was very enthusiastic and the fun was only beginning. Next he surprised me by suggesting a meeting with Van Eps. I thought I was dreaming. Ted hadn’t spoken to Van Eps in a couple of years so he told me he’d call John Pisano and ask John to call George to try to persuade him to give me a lesson while I was in town. I was due back in LA in a couple of months so I was excited by the thought of meeting the great George Van Eps either this trip or next. As it turned out Ted did call John and left me a message. My guitar friend who I was staying with told me to never erase the message! For Ted to go that trouble for a guy he barely knew speaks volumes of his generosity.

Back to my lesson, once the topic turned to John Pisano Ted got very enthused. “Have you seen John’s hands? They’re huge you know, like basketball time!”
I learned later from John that he would take lessons from Ted but Mr. Greene never bragged about that. In fact his humble nature didn’t match up with the incredible music that came pouring out of his de-tuned Tele. I heard everything from classical, gospel, jazz, and R&B in Ted’s amazing improvisations. I was surprised that Ted could talk to me while he improvised. He encouraged me to ask him what he was thinking whenever I heard something I liked. Well as we all know I’d be doing a lot of talking! I was bowled over by what Ted was playing, it went far beyond what was on his record, which I thought was unsurpassable. He spoke in reverent tones about Van Eps, Wes Montgomery, Lenny Breau, Danny Gatton and so many others but Ted was playing on that level and was doing things I’ve never heard improvised on the guitar. I asked him some questions about his solo guitar album and he told me that much of it was arranged but he felt that he could now almost improvise it.

I’ve run into some great players influenced by Ted. John Pisano is one of his biggest fans. A couple of years ago Ben Monder brought up Ted Greene’s name and mentioned that he’d like to meet him and get some lessons. Even though Ben’s playing is on the very highest level he said that he’s learned a lot of things from Chord Chemistry. Lenny Breau was a huge fan and the list is a mile long!

Ted never got the recognition he deserved. He was the furthest thing from a self-promoter and by choice he decided to devote his life to teaching others. He’s a hero to me and hundreds (maybe thousands) of other musicians. His tireless pursuit of knowledge was reminiscent of John Coltrane’s. Ted was a reflection of the world’s beauty. His life’s work will surely not be in vain. It’s already evident that there will be much interaction between the many people touched by Ted. The bar has been raised and Ted would have liked nothing better than to see it go up even higher.

My condolences go out to all of Ted’s loved ones, friends and fans. May he rest in peace and finally get to meet all of his heroes from Bach to Montgomery.

Steve Herberman

July 31, 2005 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rarely does a day pass when something I learned from Ted's great mind doesn't find its way onto my fingerboard. If there was a single person who opened my ears the infinite possibilities lying
on the surface on that fingerboard, it was Ted.
Thank you, Jay, for introducing me to Ted!

July 31, 2005 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very shocked and sad about Ted's sudden passing. I talked to him four days before and he seemed alright except that he had a flu and felt pressure in his body. I still can't believe he's gone, it's like a bad dream. I wish Ted would have been more recognized and recorded and I don't think he is replacable in any way. I had to play his arrangements at my gig on the day I heard of his passing which was overwhelming and emotional. Ted was not only imspiring with his music, he had a never ending interest in so many areas. Some people mine for gold but Ted spent his life mining for beauty. I always thought Ted was a gentle, cool, beautiful person and he will be greatly missed.
- Derek Soros, Vancouver BC

July 31, 2005 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always will be grateful to you for what you did in jazz guitar education.

Stanislav, Kiev

August 01, 2005 1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted's musical genius was self-evident.
But for me, his greatest gift was Ted himself. A modest, even shy, man whose gentle soul and respect for all cast a giant shadow in the guitar community.
I loved how absolutely passionate he was about things. Whether it was music or old movie trivia, Ted embraced his interests with joy and enthusiasm. His life was rich, and it had nothing to do with money.

August 01, 2005 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has taken me up to now to post and yet I am still incapable of verbalizing my devastation. Thanks Ted for your love, friendship and teachings.
Peace my friend,

August 01, 2005 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember meeting Ted through my great friend Ricky Katz. Ricky dragged me to the Smokehouse to hear a guitarist I would not believe. After listening to Ted, I never thought what he played could be possible on the guitar. I thought only George Van Eps could do this but Ted took Van Eps' ideas further than anyone else has.
Bob W

August 01, 2005 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I took my first lesson with Ted, I was 19,and leaving for college the following week. He gave me about 70 pages of chord melodies and other impossible stuff, which I practiced for a year at college. I actually had some of it down by the time I saw him again. My playing improved at least ten-fold from that one lesson with Ted. He was such a sweet and wonderful guy.

Then, I started taking regular lessons at his parents' big old house off of Winnetka, where he was caring for his grandmother. During that time, he was writing his single-note soloing books and his cats would always be sitting in front of the amp. I thought, "Those cats must hear the greatest music in the world, because his sound is so amazing."

Ted was shy and not really eager to perform, but I convinced him to play at my wedding in 1983. He blew everyones' minds. When the minister, who I didn't really know, saw Ted carry in his telecaster twin reverb, he was afraid Ted would be playing Zeppelin-style power chords, so told Ted to play something classical. Rather than starting off with a jazz standard, he played some Debussey piece that I had never heard, which floored me.

Later, I took lessons from him at the apartment on Burbank. He had books in the bathtub.

Ted was a true genius and a sweet guy. In every sense, the world is better because he was in it. All of us guitarists who knew him are playing better because he was here.

August 01, 2005 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, i didnt kow Ted, but my son did, he is devastated on account of his sudden death. He took lessons from Ted, and say's he was the greatest. May God take care of you now Ted, and i know you are playing with the angels. Love Acosta

August 01, 2005 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ted's books on chords (esp modern chord progressions) were by FAR the best books on the subject ever written. they totally changed the way i play and teach. he was obviously one of a kind.

thank you ted!! rip.

August 02, 2005 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

… just want to say; i love the photo Nick Stasinos put up today. Thanks Nick!

~dan sawyer

August 02, 2005 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The photos from Nick are truly wonderful. I especially love the one of Ted at the apt. That one really hits home for me. Thanx to Nick and Dan.

August 02, 2005 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>> Preliminary Announcement! <<<

Here is the preliminary announcement of the memorial for Ted Greene. It will be held on August 14, 1PM to 5PM at the Beverly Garland Hotel.

Please look for the more complete details which should be up by this evening on this website. (DS)

August 02, 2005 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first heard Ted in 1975 at a party arranged by a friend of mine(and a guitar enthusiast), which was attended by a room full of musicians, mostly guitarists. We just sat on the floor and waited, and he came into the room carrying his Twin-Reverb and Leslie, with his lovely sister Linda in tow.

I was 19, and sat on the floor about 5 feet in front of him, and watched and listened to him play "Time after Time", "People", "Girl Talk","Summertime",and so on, with much amazing improvising, ending with his incredible "Danny boy". I still have the recording. I was blown into another reality. I studied with Ted for the next 3 years, and accumulated a notebook about 2 inches thick of his notes, not unlike many of his other students. I still refer to those notes.

When he released his "Solo Guitar" LP, I sat down with my reel-to-reel and worked out every song, and wrote it down in his chord-grid system. He and Leon White got a bit of a kick out of that, and we had a laugh. If anyone wants to check these out, I'll happily dust them off and copy them for whomever might be interested, flawed as they inevitably are. I do hope that we can all get together in some way to share his amazing contributions.

Another facet of this amazing man was his ability to transcend music...the concepts that he taught me regarding 'mental practicing', 'self discipline', 'trusting that hard work will yield rewards', all have served me in life's lessons which I was able to use to teach myself Calculus and Latin, when the desire arose to do so. I am passing these things on to my sons, who are almost adults now.

I, like all of you, are devestated by his passing, as he was able, as Ricky Katz so aptly attested,to make each individual feel as if they were special. He was truly a 'Man for all Seasons'

Heaven's jam session just got another brilliant candle. He's gonna make 'em cry, just like he did down here.

Mark Thornbury

August 02, 2005 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took some lessons with Ted in the late 70's.
The first lesson was unbelievable. I went to Ted's home and he wasn't there...and when we connected after that, he insisted on coming to my home to make up for my drive to him....I was astounded, and when he arrived , he came barrelling up the stairs (to my 2nd floor apt.) with 2 small amps in each hand and,now, and 2, a Stratocaster under each armpit...he said it would be a benefit for the visual part of the lesson , if I had the same neck in my hand to look at while I watched him...and then he went ahead and gave me a dazzling lesson...
He was a great person, someone I would like to be like..a real humanitarian, gracious, a wonderful person as well as a genius musician and guitarist...I will miss him....

Denis Alvino

August 02, 2005 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many musical geniuses pass away before a typical life span comes to fruition — sadly Ted Green has fallen into such a category!

I humbly state the following paragraph will relate to all of you regarding our memory of Ted.

"Ted had (and continues to have) a huge impact regarding our growth as musicians an beings. A perfect person on the planet earth, clearly a genius, incredible guitarist, incredible guitar teacher, and a lifetime friend to all. I deeply love Ted!!!!!!"

Ted’s humor level was totally left field!!! He could easily switch into modes of "outside" humor that was so very funny and not expected!!!

So many stories to note that may be of interest and will post soon.

Jay Graydon

August 03, 2005 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I consider Ted Greene the greatest guitar teacher I ever had and I never even met him personally. I have several friends who have studied with him and have shared there stories with me. I teach guitar and have all of my students pick up a copy of "Chord Chemistry" and at the local store in my hometown of Denton, TX they keep a stack of them on file for me. My first guitar teacher made me a copy of Ted's only album on cassette. I have had that cassette for 19 years and keep it in my safe I cherish it so much. I am deeply saddened by Ted's passing and all of my love to all his family, friends, students and fans.

Much Much Much Love,

Eric Keyes

August 03, 2005 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great beings and artists that are from outer reaches of human experience and who guide lesser creatures to view and share their realm grace and inspire us only once in many lifetimes. We were so blessed as musicians to be here when Ted passed through with his sharing nature to inspire and motivate and challenge us to explore music far beyond our dreams.
Ted, you had a very fruitful visit. Thanks.
Mike S.

August 03, 2005 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first time I went to Los Angeles was in the mid 1970's with my friend Steve Watson. We went to Norms Rare Guitars while we were in L.A. to check out some guitars. I heard what I thought was a record being played in the back room and asked Norm (the owner) " Is that the Great Guitars with Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis and Charlie Byrd album you are playing ?(it sounded like three guitarist playing simultanously)
Norm replied " No, that's Ted Greene trying out a Telecaster "
I said "No way that is just one guy"
Norm said " Go back and take a look"
Steve and I went back and there was Ted playing a Telecaster through a small Fender Deluxe amp.
He motioned for us to come in and we sat there in awe !
I had never heard such shimmering beauty from the guitar in all my life ! ( and haven't since !)
Ted was so nice and friendly to us and spent the afternoon talking with us . When he found out we were from Florida he invited us to his house and gave us both lessons and copies of his book . His sweet Mom made us a snack and we went back to Florida with such inspiration it was unbelievable ! We kept in touch, became friends and several years later when I moved to L.A. I took lessons with him.
Ted was not only one of the greatest guitarist/musicians the world has ever known but one of the finest human beings that ever was.
His passing is a sad time for all of us who knew Ted.
We rejoice his beautiful Spirit and the genius that touched our lives.

Ted Shumate

August 04, 2005 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ditched school when I was 16 and took the bus to guitar center in sherman oaks to hang out. A older man was playing some sweet jazz and I watched him for a few minutes. When he was done I complimented him and asked if he could give me a few lessons. He replied, " I'm not a teacher and take lessons from Ted Greene" I was primarily into hard rock and heavy metal and liked jazz very much, but it sounded too hard for me to do so I blew off the idea of lessons. I progressed on my own for the next few years and by the time I was 22 I was bored. I remembered "Ted Greene" and called information and eventually got ahold of him. Ted as everone knows , was booked and suggested I try him back. I bugged him for almost a year and one day Ted called and said he had a 1 hour opening. I jumped at the chance.I didn't really know who Ted was back then. I took a couple of lessons as a young kid and didn't know much and Ted said not to worry and that it didn't matter. I arrived at his apartment and a soft spoken man answered the door. I introduced myself and he sat me in the living room and went back to finish up with his student. I sat there looking around at all his amps,books,videos, records...it was unbelievable!. While sitting there waiting I could hear Ted talking faintly to his student and then he played some of the most beatiful music I have ever heard. When Ted was finished with his student and my turn was up I didn't want to play a note after hearing all those cords and notes dripping off the neck from him! "Brilliant" is all I could think! It was like the gates of heaven opening up to me. Ted and I hit it off and he pointed me in the right direction not just in music but as a person. Ted's devotion to music was like nothing I've ever seen and that inspired me. I studied with Ted for years and then an opportunity for me to teach came up. Through Ted's advice I took the job and tried to use the tools he gave me to help the students I teach now. The rewards from teaching are so great that one can't explain the feeling it gives. Ted has been the single most important person in my life next to my parents. I am forever in his debt. Its hard for all of us who knew Ted, but the love we all share is part of the legacy Ted left. I love you Ted.
Tony Ward

August 04, 2005 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My best wishes to Ted's family and many friends.

Like many guitarists, I didn't learn to play guitar from Ted's book, Chord Chemistry, but I learned to play guitar better from that book.

It remains a constant and daunting challenge that I've never successfully met, but each attempt has improved me.

I would compare it to an enormous buffet of the best food imaginable. At first it's intimidating since you can't eat it all at once, and if you try, you know you'll fail. But once you realize this amazing buffet is always there, it will keep feeding you for life.

I have returned over and over to Ted's book during the last 30 years ... each time hoping I've become good enough to somehow find it trivial, this time.

Well, that's never happened and I suspect it never will. I'm content to keep revisiting it and being satisfied with small victories.

The only part of Ted that I know hasn't gone away. It's still on my bookshelf mocking me, challenging me to be better. In the nicest possible way.

As always, I'll be thinking of Ted when I play.


August 04, 2005 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Greene was a real inspiration to me over the last 30+ years.Back in the 70's the choices for book instruction were pretty lame .I remember Mickey Baker and Mel Bays books.Then Chord Chemistry and Modern Chord Progressions came out and it was mind boggling to see so much in a book.I always wondered if Ted could actually play all that stuff.Then in 1979 I went to GIT in Hollywood and while there I went to a music store and heard something that to me sounded like a Bach organ piece and this guy ,who I immediately knew was Ted was sitting on the floor making all these great sounds come out of a Stratocaster.Afterwards he asked if I wanted to check it out.I politely declined.What was I going to play?maybe a little "Stairway" ? I think not.I spoke to Ted on the phone several times.About 2 or 3 months ago I did a lesson with him over the phone.I envy those who had regular lessons with him in person.I really liked the way he used the english language.I have a letter from Ted that is something to see.I had asked all sorts of technical questions about his recording.He went into great detail about it .I sent him a copy of his letter at his request.He wanted it in case anyone else asked for the same info .Ted inspired me to charge less for my acupuncture sessions.I figured if he could charge 30.00 so could I and I haven't regretted it for a minute.I asked Ted why he charged so little and he told me that it's so he can meet more interesting people.I spent the most time with Teds 2 single note soloing books.I studied the heck out of those books .It was a great learning experience and a real eye-opener as well.Reading all these posts has brought tears to my eyes more then once.Ted was indeed a rare being and I am grateful to have come into contact with him even tho' it was primarily through books.Philip(New York)

August 04, 2005 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I studied with Ted for about a year and then I moved out of town. I was always hoping to resume the lessons at some future date. I cannot add much to the comments posted as so many studied with Ted for a much longer time. It goes without saying that Ted was a gentle soul and a wonderful musician. I can only comment on how I feel. At once deeply saddened and yet grateful for having the priviledge to have known such a man. Ted always made me laugh and was that rare individual who possesed enormous talent and yet remained humble. There is a verse from the book of Ecclesiastes that states "A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than one's being born". What counts is the end result of how one has lived their life. Ted's record as a human being is a wonderful testament to the spirit of that scripture. I will alway remember Ted Greene.


August 04, 2005 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is amazing to read these posts and stop to realize the incredible musical and spirtual effect Ted had on so many for so long!
There are NO inconsistencies in these messages. Ted ALWAYS was kind. Ted ALWAYS was patient. And the student ALWAYS left a lesson blown away by the talent and compassion he had just experienced.

I first met Ted thru my high school girlfriend, Julie, who is Ted's cousin.The first lessons were at the old Tarzana Ernie Ball store. In those cramped little practice rooms he opened up the world of Clapton, J.S. Bach and Bossa Nova. It was later over at Dales Guitars in Canoga Park that I began to really see his legend grow. I loved hearing the conversations between Ted and Daryl Z. who was forever trying to get Ted to perform and record more.
About that time I introduced Ted to a friend, Leslie Z., they hit it off and went together for a couple of years.
It was such a blast when the three of us would go down to Hollywood and explore the old music and sheet music shops, searching out Bach and Scarlatti in the ancient stacks of sheet music.
One time Ted discoverd an old theory book which showed a diagram of what it called "THE GRANDFATHER CHORD" Ted got laughing so hard,and had us going so bad I thought I might die right there in the store!
Another unforgettable musical moment was listening to Ted and Randy Zacuto experimenting with open tunings into the late evening.
One of my favorite memories of Ted was when he took me up to his room in his parents house to show me a guitar book he was working on.
There scattered ALL OVER the floor, was the inspired chaos, that were the pages of the yet uncompleted, CHORD CHEMISTY.
There could never be another Ted Greene.
Jeff Murray

August 05, 2005 1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted's spirit was on my shoulder last weekend. Ten of us from high school--in a restaurant at the Mohegan Sun in Conn.spontaneously started a discussion about Teddy and Linda (Sue and Irwin Zaetz were there also).My quest was to call Ted this week, of coarse not knowing of his passing.
When Leon called and told me, tears welled up immediately. Ted was my friend. I was born one day before him on the 25th of Sept.
I knew the Ted Greene during earlier stages of his evolvement- from high school-where he was called "the leader"-his 1964 Mopar 426 12.2 machine-Mull. dr.- telescope watching LA.Yogananda--diet changes, divorce and the deepest questions- " What do you think happens to you when your body dies"
The wonderful Greene family opened their homes and their lives to me. I grew spiritually, and learned about compassion, love, hope, music and life from the Greene spirit--from White Plains NY to the Calif. Valley
I just replayed Ted's album last week all day, just 'cause I missed him. We shared a lot, and I feel blessed that he is still with me--and all of us-Linda--Love and Miss you--George Miller-

August 05, 2005 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


August 05, 2005 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had lessons on and off with Ted since the early eighties until fairly recently. Each lesson was an amazing mind-expanding experience and I could never thank him enough for his patience, encouragement and inspiration. He always showed genuine interest in my musical endeavors and always complimented me on the things I was playing and working on (regardless of how basic and so below his level they were). It was always about others, never about himself. He was a great musician and teacher, one of a kind. Thanks for everything Ted, music won't be the same with out you.

August 06, 2005 1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted took fingerstyle jazz to a level beyond anything before him. We owe it to him to continue to pass his teaching and his music on to future generations. Being the person that He is/was, I'm sure he would want us to do so.

August 06, 2005 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Friends of Ted,

Ilove this website and am grateful for all the memories of Ted you are sharing.

I opened a drawer the other day and found this sheet of paper Ted had given me a few years ago at a lesson when I was feeling discouraged: "Press On--

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

On my copy there is no attribution, but I think it is attributed to Warren G. Harding.

Ted always encouraged me to press on, to never give up. If what I was assigned was too hard and seemed impossible, he helped me break it down into smaller pieces. He showed me how to practice, how to think about things, not only music, but life.

I will miss him a lot and I am so glad that you are all sharing your thoughts here. It makes me feel less bereft.

Maggie G.

August 06, 2005 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan and Adam, though I don't know you personally, I want to thank you deeply for this website. One of the things that was so great about taking lessons with Ted was getting to meet his other students. Since posting comments and contact data earlier, we have received numerous phone calls, e-mails and visits to our home from other admirers of Ted. Through this website Ted's students and friends are keeping in touch -- and meeting new people devoted to Ted -- so it is helping to substitute for his apartment .... Thank you.

But I am compelled to rebut Ted’s reputation of being a "hermit" or a "recluse." Ted wasn't fond of that monastic label. That man had probably 80 guitar players through his apartment in any given week. And he performed in front of countless guitar players who were judging his prowess; now that takes guts! While he may have been private, humble and soft-spoken, and he may have chosen not to record or play large auditoriums, he was not a hermit or recluse. I hope that image is corrected in the public's memory of an actually very engaging guy.


August 06, 2005 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted was like a lighthouse, shining brightly from the shore. We, his students, were bouncing around on the sea, in the fog, in a storm, trying to make it to the shore. Now that light is out and many of us are wondering if we will ever be able to make it home. Damn, this is not going to be easy.

August 06, 2005 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a world where flash often overshadows substance and the word "great" is bandied about to the point of being meaningless, Ted Greene was the real thing.

August 07, 2005 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is funny,although I never met Ted personally,it is like I knew him for a long ,long time.I spoke to him on the phone,only once, last year,to ask for phone lessons(I live in Brazil)and invite him to participate in the summer course of the school I teach here in Brasilia(he said that he did't like to travel).The conversation took 20 minutes,we talked about Lenny Breau a lot, and he told me that although in"The genius of Lenny Breau "documentary there are only seconds of Ted Greene's,he talked a lot explaining in detail Lenny's approach and about their friendship,everything was filmed.(It is so important Dan that you go after this material).
Reading the posts on this site I can feel the huge influence Ted had in so many people in so many different places and times.A true special and spiritual human being that changed the lives of so many people, sharing his knowledge.I rememeber that a simple phrase in Chord Chemistry: Am6=F#m7b5=G#7#5b9=D9,changed my musical life forever ,after twenty years I'm still studying Ted's books and some manuscripts I have,that sheet with a Come rain or come shine comping example I'm still working on that one ,so many things...I started to listen to Ed Bickert after I read about him in Modern Chord Progressions,that also was great influence.Solo Guitar is a master piece,and now the only one we have showing Ted's mastery.Thank you Ted Greene for sharing your music and your life with so many people,I'll keep you in my heart forever,you brought a lot of significance to my life with your music and teaching.
A new Duet of Guitars in Heaven :Ted Greene and Lenny Breau live!!!!
Genil Castro Brazil

August 07, 2005 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was 17, I was plugging away at the Mickey Baker book (that's really all there was at the time) and wondering why the guys on the records sounded different. Then a new book came out with a picture of a guy on it with a big afro playing a 335 and it looked like it had some pretty good stuff in it. So I bought it and it changed my life. There must be 1000's of guitar players worldwide that could tell that same story. I've never personally studied with Ted (regretfully), but so many of my students and friends have, and I've learned so many of his pieces, and studied so much in his books that I almost feel as if I knew him well. I've heard so many wonderful stories about Ted....about his slanted sense of humor...about his selflessness...his dedication and love for the guitar. His music never ceased to amaze all who were fortunate enough to get to hear it. Not only was Ted a great player, a great teacher, and a great guy, but he was without question, an historical figure in the world of the guitar, and as such, will live on through the next generations of players, whether directly or indirectly....but we're all still gonna miss him terribly...So, here's to Ted Greene - thanks SO much!

Rick Barda

August 07, 2005 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s with a heavy heart I read all of the comment on this page and I’ve been putting off writing this, but here goes. Ted was one of the kindest and gentlest souls I’ve ever met. He was always so nice to me. Last time we spoke he was reminiscing about the guitar I had 30 years ago. Ted remembered everything He was a one of a kind.

I first met Ted in 1973. I was playing at a bowling alley in Reseda, Ca. and the drummer of the band knew Dale Zdenek who owned a local music store. He invited Dale to come down to hear me play. Dale soon after offered me a job teaching at the store and that’s when I met Ted. At that time Ted looked like crazed hippy with long hair and a full beard. I had heard of Ted as a blues player but after meeting him, realized he was into every form of music. The first piece I heard him play was Bach on his Gibson 345 that had more switches on it then the space shuttle. He had installed capacitors to make it sound like a harpsichord. What a blessing it was to teach in the room next to Ted. When most teachers would have a cancellation they would take a break Ted would say “come on in let’s play” or “come on in I want to show you something.” What a treat! It was like a family at that store with Ted and Dale and his wife Linda and the others teachers. Ted also rewired my ‘68 335 because the volume control affected the tone during a cancellation! It was a Gibson flaw that he pointed out to them that they later changed. Ted showed me so many things. One evening as we were leaving the store, after teaching all day I told him how I would really like to learn how he did those harmonic rolls of his, so right there in the parking lot he pulled out his guitar and gave me a lesson. That’s how Ted was. When I sit down to play so much of it I can say “Ted showed me that” even how to adjust a guitar neck. All of my teaching materials have the fingerprints of Ted’s work

I remember the day Dale received the first shipment of Ted’s Chord Chemistry at the store. You could say that day changed everything. Ted’s book took off and so did Dale’s publishing business. Soon after, Dale closed the doors on the store and opened another in publishing and Ted moved his teaching to his home.

I was another blessing to have three books published with Dale along with players like Tommy Tedesco, Joe Diorio, John Kurnick, Ron Anthony, Leon White and of course Ted. Most of those books are now out of print except for Ted’s. Ted has always had an underground following from students searching for something new. After the store was sold, I saw Ted only at company parties where sometimes we would play together but the real treat was to hear him play solo guitar. I still remember hearing his arrangement of “Angles We Have Heard On High” and seeing Tedesco’s jaw drop. His use of counterpoints, walking bass lines, harmonics, unusual chord voicings and great harmonic sense was mind boggling.

The last couple of years I bugged Ted to come up to our Yosemite workshops he said ”Someday I will” but everyone knows he barely got out of his house I also wanted to interview him for our video magazine but we never got together. Sadly I dropped the ball on seeing him my last trip to LA. and didn’t call him. I did go to California Vintage guitar that trip and found a Guild x50 I really liked. When Dan, the owner, said Ted had just brought it in, I snatched it up.. I was holding off on telling Ted because I wanted to surprise him with a video segment I did for the magazine where I used that guitar but that surprise is gone as well.

Here’s a Ted gem, I’ve been sending him issues of our video magazine for his students when I spoke with him last he wanted to give me a free phone lesson for them. I was just happy he’d look at them.

Ted thanks for befriending me. I will miss you and never forget you Ted, but I know you are with your Creator and He is enjoying the fruit of your genius

Your friend

August 08, 2005 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hearing about Ted's passing, I am utterly amazed at how touched I am. I have not studied with Ted in many years but recently saw him play. We shared fond rememberences of our past lessons together ( I have gone on to focus more on music production).

Now that I hear he is gone, it strikes me how profound an influence he has had on me. I am able to score orchestras etc without having been to college. I play things on the guitar that amaze people here in the studios of L.A. I am looked upon as quite amazing I would suppose.
And yet, what I can do was "old hat" (though thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated) to Ted Greene.

He set a standard for playing that has made me seem amazing to most musicians. Well..now I say to one and all, Ted Grene was MY secret.

Much of what I can do is owed Ted's helping me think globally about MUSIC, not just guitar. To Ted exposing me to advanced harmonic comcepts.

Ted helped all us "guitar players" think beyond the limits of the guitar, helped us think like piano players.
I am deeply saddened at Ted's passing, but moreover, I am forever grateful for his insights. Though I had not studied with him in years, I felt like we were old friends, like he was a part of me! I wonder how many others are utterly surprised like
I am at the relaization that a great part of our musical hearts...has left us.

Enjoy your next existence my friend..

Thank you for being you...


August 08, 2005 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was one of the lucky ones that had taken lessons from Ted for a couple of years back in the late 60's. He not only kept me interested in guitar but also all music. He was a man that gave his talent and knowledge to others with joy and passion. He was a small part of my youth that i still carry today. He was one of the nicest & generous man I had met, and Iwas shocked when I heard he had passed away. Im 53 now and I still remember what he did for me

August 09, 2005 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not seen or talked with teddy for almost 40 years. But, I always knew he would make a mark in music. Ted was unique and different. From the times in class in White Plains High School when we would draw pictures of muscle cars, to the times we spent in his room in Mulholland as he began to experiment with the guitar. I met ted in second grade, at Post Road School. We remained friends for many years, and we even traveled accross country together in my 1963 409. I am so sorry I did not remain in touch with him over these years. But I must admit that I have thought of him year after year, and I am so greatful to have known him. Rest in peace Ted, and keep on playin.

August 09, 2005 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Sawyer said…

I'm looking for someone to play a few George VanEps guitar arrangements at the memorial; either on 6 or 7 string guitar. If you know anyone, please email the information to: tegreene46@hotmail.com

Thank you!

August 09, 2005 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words like caring, sharing, intuitive, genius, unbelievable and variety of others come to mind when I think of Ted.

I was very fortunate to study with Ted around 1968-1970. I remember first coming to Ernie Ball's Guitar store in Tarzana and then over to Dale Zdeneck's store in Canoga Park.

The hang before and after the lessons were great too. You always wanted to see who was taking from Ted, too.

I remember coming into my first lessons(for which I paid $4.00 per lesson) all jacked up to learn the latest Clapton and Hendrix licks, which Ted easily had at his fingertips and played effortlessly on his gold-top Les Paul circa 1958.

He always had some new toggle switch on his guitar each week and would say "what do you think about this tone?" He was constantly pushing the limits on the standard sounds.

We worked out an arrangement that the first 15 minutes was going over licks but the last 15 minutes was chord theory. It started when he said, "check this out" and played the "Girl From Ipanema" with the melody, chord changes and bass line all at the same time. I was simply blown away........who else could do that?.....none other than Ted Greene! Later of course we blew off the licks and just went to the theory and putting together changes with melodies.

Ted inspired me to listen to a wide variety of music, including jazz, classical and Brazilian. In fact I remember walking in on a lesson and he was listening to some obscure movie theme by Dimitri Tiomkin or Alfred Newman. He was always trying to cop the chord changes and string or horn arrangements to apply to the guitar. That was way beyond my comprehension at the time.

I had the pleasure of booking a concert at Cal State Northridge in 1975 where I was his opening act and he shyly accepted such a "public" performance since he never felt like he could play well in front of people that were totally focused on his music. He always liked a brunch or the like where there was constant white noise from chatter or mindless conversation while people were eating.

I remember my last lesson with Ted many years back and I was playing his impossible arrangements on a classical guitar and we worked on "Embraceable You." I remember him starting it off in G and then said, "hey man, why don't we do it in Gb, it sounds nicer in that key, a little warmer....don't you think?" He had a kind of smirk on his face that only Ted would get. Of course I just kind of shook my head in disbelief and proceeded to learn it in that key and saw the beauty only years later with respect to the sound color....and still play it in that key.

Ted's impact on the guitar community is likely greater than most as he garnered a whole movement of "Chord Chemistry" (or "Catastrophe" as he later endearingly called it) followers.

Ted loved to share his insights and discoveries with all who would come his way. We were all blessed to have not only made his acquaintance but to have spent time with this wonderful and beautiful human being.

I can't thank Ted enough for the monumental influence he had on not only my guitar playing but the way I looked at the world and the respect for each person's individuality both musically and otherwise. I have taken his lessons with me throughout my life and dealings with people.

Not only will his genius be missed but the one of the kindest souls to traverse this planet will be remembered and cherished always and we thank you Ted for sharing your achievements and love with us.

God bless you Ted. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Ron Freshman

August 09, 2005 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was another fortunate person to have known Ted. For the record, I've never picked up a guitar, nor have I ever been musically inclined. I met Ted when I was in my teenage years...and he was about 35. My dad and he used to listen to rock and roll music at my house until the wee hours of the night. I would come home from a night of partying and sit down and talk to them awhile. They would take a break in whatever song they were reminiscing about and chat with me. Ted and I talked about my major triumphs in life at that time....boys, school, cars, etc…. Our conversations would go on and on…...To think I would talk endlessly to this awesome guitar player about my insignificant issues when I was 16 ??? (People were on waiting lists waiting for his time, and I am chatting to him at 2:00 a.m. about my petty problems !!!) And all the while Ted would be caressing my cat….. Sylvester. He was a true animal lover and was right there with me on my convictions regarding animals. Through the years, I came to know Ted as this great, compassionate guy, whom I could discuss any topic with....and we definitely did….. except for music of course, which I knew nothing about. Although, he once told me that “rap music” wasn’t really music, and I have quoted him on many occasions to my husband… Ted would definitely state his convictions about issues, as would I, and we had some interesting conversations, no doubt. He spoke from real life experience and always made me think....which was good.
Yes, I knew he was very talented, remarkable and innovative in his field, but to me he was always this nice, gentle, warm hearted human being, who saw the goodness in people, and animals… The news of his death made me extremely sad. Yes, I know his brilliance will be missed in his field, but in addition, I think this world will miss a very compassionate human being. And the measure at which he will be missed is great. Perhaps heaven was lacking a benevolent, kind, caring, sweet soul who could entertain others with his musical genius……and give all the animals the kind gentle love, which they deserve……… You will be greatly missed by all of humanity!!!!

August 09, 2005 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard of Ted's passing on Monday August 8th. I go back as some of you to lessons at Ernie Balls/Dale's guitar shop on Topanga Canyon Blvd. Upon moving to California I was fortunate to take a lesson from Joe Pass. At that time Joe was touring with Ella F. and Oscar P. as the "Big Three". Joe gave me some words of inspiration and told me about this guy named Ted Greene. That's who you want to study with. Although Ted's waiting list was long, his study materials were often the curriculum of choice in the very capable hands of Chips Hoover. Needless to say there were some incredible sounds emanating from the studio walls at Dales back then. What an amazing atmosphere of learning and inspiration back then. What a tremendous loss today. Thank you all for stirring these memories through your stories about Ted, I've enjoyed reading each and every one. God Bless you Ted and may He comfort your family and friends.

Paul Martorella

August 09, 2005 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago, in the seventies I discovered this book, "Chord Chemistry" by Ted. Didn't pick it up for months but when I did, I was totally overwhelmed by it's harmonic approach to playing the guitar. To this day that book is still within reach at all times. I lost my original copy and was delighted to find a used version in London shopping around in a
used music book store. Ted no doubt has been an enormous influence of my guitar playing throught the years and his books never stop teaching us something new everytime we pick them up. I had the privilege of seeing him live in McCables Guitar Shop in the late seventies and he literally blew everyone away in the audience. His command of the guitar fretboard and his approach to connecting chord voicings was the best I have ever heard. Truly, a genius of a man who gave us his wonderful gift of music and shared it with love and sweetness. Ted, we will miss you. Everytime we pick up your books your spirit and sense of humour speaks to us to us with your knowledge and dedication to the guitar that you devoted your entire life to. This is only the beginning Ted. There are many of us out there who owe so much to you and your musical genorosity. Gil

August 10, 2005 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read today in the LA Times that Ted had passed. A sad day for me and a sad day for all that knew this fine gentle man. I was fortunate to know Ted from his visits to my music store, Harmony Music in Reseda. Anytime Ted would visit my humble store the customers of Harmony Music would be in awe of the man and rightfully so. Ted as usual would be somewhat embarrased with the attention and admiration he would receive. I have not seen Ted since 1988 but I will never forget how he made me and my music store seem important. He would go out of his way to make a purchase with every vist and always ready to talk guitars. We would compare old Fender and Gibson catalogs we both collected and talk about the old days the way guitars used to be made.If Ted had an ego he would have been a giant in the industry. As fate has it,he is larger than that in the opinons of those lives he touched in his 58 years on earth. Ted I am glad I knew you.

August 10, 2005 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to thank cousin Teddy for all of his warmth and kindness
throughout my life. Teddy was a true friend to everyone, and someone
who I cherished spending time with. Despite being a great musician, he
was never pretentious and always humble about his talents and his art.
I remember discussing the guitar with one of my law school professors.
When I told him that I might be able to set up a meeting with Ted
Greene, his eyes lit up and he was ecstatic. "THE Ted Greene," he asked?
"Yes," I said. "He is my cousin." In the world of guitars, Teddy was
matchless, and everyone knew it. But Teddy never acted above anybody
else. He was always warm and friendly and humble and simply enjoyed
playing music for the sake of playing music. Teddy gave my professor
numerous lessons which I know he cherished.

Teddy left his mark on all whom he touched, including me. As most of
you know, my apartment and my office is littered with sports
memorabilia, especially pertaining to baseball. What most people
probably don't know is that Ted bought me my first baseball cards as a
kid. I will never forget going to the baseball card shop for the first
time, remembering how excited I was to look at the cards together, and
how we just enjoyed each other's company. He turned me on to the
passion that I still have today and as I look around at my memorabilia,
I think about him fondly. I am grateful to have had my experiences with
him. He was a wonderful person and will be sorely missed.

Mike Brown

August 10, 2005 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teddy was tenderness. Teddy was gentleness and caring and soft hugs and soothing sounds and piercing eyes that once having broken through my automatic defenses, caressed my soul. As a toddler, he sat in my lap, humming, always humming. As a three year old, he sat in the yard rocking the neighbor’s cat for hours - - - hot weather, cold weather, singing all the while. Even animals felt his tender love, and never walked away or ran under the chair. Always, that neighbor’s cat, and all the subsequent ones that Ted invited into his life, sensed his gentle soul and wanted to be touched by him.

Grown and unique, Ted spread his innovative ideas and his music like gentle tentacles in all directions, touching all who heard the sounds and all who read his books. The newer guitarists who wanted to study with the master, the masters who wanted to spend time playing together, all were drawn to his door.

Ted left us silently, but his music lives on, not just the music you hear through the radio or CD speakers, but the music of his soul that tenderly touched and enriched the lives of everyone he met.

August 10, 2005 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




August 10, 2005 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I am sitting here still pretty devastated. It took a few days for me to get up the strength to write this. I feel such a deep sense of loss. My sincerest condolences to Barbara, and all of Ted's family.

Ted was so much more than a legendary guitarist, he was one of the most in touch, giving, kindest souls I have ever enountered. I was lucky to have known such a wonderous person.

More than one of my teachers, Ted was a mentor and a true friend to me. He always knew what to say. His inspiration was much more than just blowing away all limitations on guitar. He was a humanitarian who was always giving to the homeless and if you werent working he would offer to teach you for free.

Since one had to schedule with him weeks in advance I recall going to his house on 9/11. We sat there with our guitars in hand and tried not to cry but instead reflected on life and the soul of the world. We talked it through that day and somehow after the 'lesson' I felt much better about things.

I know if there's a heaven that Ted's there right now talking to Shawn Lane and Tchaikovsky about harmony, grilling Bach on counterpoint and why he didnt write more for lute, playing fingerstyle with Michael and Lenny and Chet and tearing it up with Jimi and Wes and his own mentor Mr. Van eps.

We will miss him here very much of course.

Makes me think about how our time is so limited. Funny how when you see someone or talk to them you just assume that they will be there the next time you call, but now I know why the phone just kept ringing last week.

Goodbye Ted, thanks for the kind words, thanks for the music.

Carl Acosta

August 11, 2005 2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i did not know or take lessons from ted, but whenever i asked someone what books to check out for chords, the one name that ALWAYS came up was ted greene, one of these days i will own one of his books. he will always be in my memory.

August 11, 2005 2:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences to Ted's family.

Ted and I first connected with R & B music of the 50's and 60's. But, when he cut loose (in his own subtle way) on Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready", I knew his playing was much deeper than he let on.

Years later when I re-connected with some friends in the East who played jazz and Ted's name came up, they'd say in awe "you know Ted Greene". I'd say yes, why? They'd say things like "I learned my chord melody from his book". When I mentioned this conversation to him, he said in his humble manner,"that's nice that my book helped".

During another conversation in LA, I was told about a time Ted did some studio work. He offered so many options with which he could play his part, that he overwhelmed the producer.

Once my Soul group needed a bass player for a gig. Ted gave me the number of a well known session/touring player who was over qualified (and probably overpriced for the occassion). When I asked him about this, he said nonchalantly, "I think he has the feel to play with you".

Although I moved from LA in 1998, we stayed in contact (when I could catch him - no answering machine for Ted). Although I would ask him what he was doing, he'd always turn the conversation towards me and what I was up to (selfless).

Ted was a kind and gentle soul who had a dry and intelligent edge to his sense of humor. Although we first met through Guitar, I soon found out that he was well read and versed in the world around him (including, of course, baseball and cars) and we had numerous discussions about varied subjects. I was fortunate to have met Ted and I'll miss him greatly.

Andy Guttman

August 11, 2005 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am deeply moved by all the folks who have posted here, from some whom I’m sure our paths have crossed at one time or another, bringing back so many precious memories and feelings for the one whom I am honored to have known as my teacher, my inspiration, my mentor, and my friend. Thank you Dan and Adam for making all this possible!

I first met Ted at Dale Zdenek’s Ernie Ball Guitar Shop on Topanga Canyon Blvd., in the mid-70s while taking lessons from Darol Caraco. Ted taught in one of the other small practice rooms there and I never saw much of him until late one Saturday afternoon, I walked in on an impromptu concert given by a very talented black male vocalist and Ted Greene playing a modified Tele (yes - lots and lots of toggle switches). Playing standard after standard, I was in awe. I never thought it was possible to play guitar the way he did. Where’s the bass player? In addition, Ted was the bass player, the horn section, and the whole damned orchestra! His tone and arrangements were so beautifully moving. Mesmerizing!

Down at the Lighthouse, there was this opening act called The Blue Light District. The band featured a guitarist who played some of the most amazing string of harmonics I had ever heard. During the break, the guitarist (Jay Graydon) leaned over to answer someone’s question in the front row, “Ted Greene taught me those!” Wow! Even the pros come to him for a lesson!

After seeing some of the paste-ups for “Chord Chemistry” that were laying about in Dale’s shop, being prepared for publication, I knew I just had to hook up with the author for lessons. There was a long waiting list, however, another teacher at the shop, Chips Hoover, got me started on some of Ted’s copious hand written sheets he gave me until there was an opening.

That opening came in 1977 after he moved his teaching to his parent’s home. Being 21 years old and not having very much in terms of a musical education, I was so nervous and very thankful that Ted was gracious enough to take me on as a student. My very first lesson was on Baroque harmony, triads and voice leading. Broke harmony? All I wanted was to learn those big, lush jazz chords and chimes, but Ted changed my mind when he made all those little triads, moving lines and related nuances dance, taking on a special magic all their own. He opened a door to a much larger world of harmony I never knew existed. He insisted on my taping every lesson and I am so grateful he did! I recently listened to that same lesson I recorded 28 years ago. It is just as fresh and as exciting as it was back then. I will cherish and revisit all those tapes and videos with very fond memories of our time together.

I never really felt adequately prepared for the next lesson. The material he gave in one single lesson was a lot to wrestle with in one month’s time and his sheets were damn difficult to play even after doing all those knuckle bending, finger stretching exercises he showed me, but he had a lot patience and always ready with a word of encouragement. I never doubted that the next lesson would be as exciting as the last. Ted was a gold mine of information and his creative well never ran dry! He always had the right chord or set of changes for any song I would bring to him. Harmonic Improvement is an understatement!

This humble man was not a self-promoter and shunned public attention. It used to drive me crazy finding out about his gigs after-the-fact. I didn’t even know he had an LP out until I stumbled upon it at Valley Arts Guitar. It took me years to get around to asking Ted to autograph it for me, but what a sweet sentiment it was! When it comes to guitar heros, Ted is right up there at the top!

Thank you, my dear friend, for believing in me, for giving me the best education I could ever imagined, for not only helping me to stretch my abilities musically, but also as a person! Most of all, thank you for befriending me and allowing me to be a part of your life. I will miss you!

Forever your pupil and friend,

Nick Stasinos

August 11, 2005 9:45 AM  
Blogger Deparko said...

Ted was the single biggest influence on my life. I met Ted when I was 16 (1971) and studied with him for several years. I studied music in college because of what he taught me. I hooked up with him again in 1991 and studied with him again after 20 years. Amazing, kind man whose gift was the gift of giving.

I love him very much,

Mark Levy

August 11, 2005 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i came to l.a. in '78....a hot rock guitarist( i believed ) and asked around for the best teacher. two lessons with ted later, i was humbled and somewhat embarrassed that i hadn't the faintest idea what he was talking about!! so i quit. fast forward,19 yrs. later i met and married margaret, the love of my life, and she opened me up to the point where i just had to improve my somewhat archaic playing. called ted and he blew my mind by recognizing my voice and saying "john! where have you been?" ....and how may i be of service?" (that is SO ted) thusly, we commenced with our incredible journey. i had despised mondays (the day gig)...so i turned it around by having my reg lesson every mon from 3-5 pm. ( i was twice as slow as most students, so i had to have twice the time) and as god is my witness, every time he opened that door i half-expected the "white light" to take us both. the definition of "bodisahtva" is a realized being who has earned the right to enter heaven, but has such compassion and love for his fellow man, that they refuse to go in; rather, they choose to come back again and again, and will not enter the kingdom of heaven till every last soul is saved....only then will they enter. i believe ted to be a bodisahtva.....DON'T YOU?....so let's be grateful for our time with him, pray for barbara and his family,....he's not gone, i promise you. he is alive in all of our minds and hearts...and will be forever. i'm currently battling w/ the airlines, trying to come this sun., i have SO MANY ted stories that are vastly amusing,better told in person.if not, i will do my best to brush up my writing chops. till then, i remain: your humble student, john.

August 11, 2005 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first heard about Ted in the late 70's when at proably age 16 or 17 I strolled into a music store on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood that I believe was Norm's Rare Guitars. Somebody at the store (I think it was Norm) heard me play some solo guitar arrangements of Send In The Clowns, Danny Boy and Alfie that I copied off TV while watching the Great Guitars in concert (Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis and Charlie Byrd). He heard what I was doing and was surprised that a teenager was into playing those songs. He said, you should study with Ted Greene! He plays that same style. He wrote down Ted's phone number. It was a life changing moment. I called the next day and got on Ted's waiting list which seemed to be a couple years wait at that point. He eventually called a couple years later and said he had an opening and so I went and started taking lessons from him. I took several lessons from him in the early 80's. They were the most inspirational lessons of my life. Just waiting for a lesson with Ted was a blast because he had all of these cool old books and magazines and old baseball memorabilia. It was like walking into a wonderful library filled with all of these things that I loved too. We both loved the music from all of the broadway shows, musical theatre, movie musicals, and old sports stuff. So it seemed like we were kindred spirits. So having a lesson with Ted was just a special experience all around. His album Solo Guitar is my absolute favorite solo guitar record of all time, I'm glad they finally put it out on CD because it should be in every guitar players collection. It's that good. I remember taking in songs that I was working on arrangements of like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Guy's and Dolls" and Ted would just blow me away with his improvised chord melodies to those and countless other songs. His modulations, voice leading, vibrato and touch were magical. So moving. Listen to "A Certain Smile" listen to the modulations! Just listen to that whole album! That song in particular just sent chills through me with the way he played it. The music he played seemed to be an extension of who he was, a very kind and gentle person. I remember giving him a ride to return a video to Blockbuster or one of those video stores and just getting a kick out of what a wonderful person Ted was outside of lessons. I got to chat with him then and other times about sports and music and other things and I just can't imagine a better person to pass the time with on this planet than Ted. This is such a terrible shock to me, I found out today and I am so saddened by this. I took lessons in the early 80's from Ted. I talked to him on the phone a couple of times in more recent years but I hadn't seen him in a long time, actually the last time was at a bar in Agoura Hills watching Albert Lee, we ran into eachother there and chatted a bit. I actually wanted to take some more lessons from him this year, I thought I would give him a call pretty soon. After 29 years of playing, many of that spent teaching and playing for a living myself, I still knew I could learn and more importantly be incredibly inspired by a lesson with Ted. Now I can't do that and can't imagine that he is gone. It is a huge loss to the world, not just to the guitar community, but to the world. he was just one of the kindest and most gentle people you could ever know. The world would be a much friendlier place if there were more people like Ted. He will be greatly missed but he will live on in the playing and the hearts of all of us who were fortunate enough to cross paths with him in our lifetimes. If you're listening somewhere Ted, thank you for everything you did to inspire me. You, both as a guitarist and as a person effected my life in such an incredibly positive way. You will be dearly missed by us all.

August 11, 2005 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met Ted back in 1977 or 1978, over 25 years ago. We sat next to each other during a class given by the Free Enterprise Institute. Even after all this time, I never forgot his name so when I saw the LA Times obituary, I pulled out my "Solo Guitar" album to make sure it was the same Ted Greene. I still remember him very well even though I only knew him for a couple of months as a fellow student. He gave me his album, seems I remember trying to pay him for it, but he wouldn't take it. After listening to the album, I thought "this man is a genius." I am not a musician but in the years following, I would think... "I wonder what happened to Ted? He must be famous now."

I will never forget sitting next to Ted listening to the lectures on economics and physics and yet he would be writing music the whole time.

I knew back then Ted was someone special. He was a kind and gentle soul. My sincere condolences to his friends and family.

August 11, 2005 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted’s ears were exceptionally accurate! I would occasionally ask him if he had perfect pitch. He denied having it, but claimed you could train your ears to be acute. I started bringing songs I was transcribing for the major publishers and he would nail a chord or a note I was having trouble identifying. He would hum the note he was trying to ID while playing a section over and over again, saying it was nature’s best slow-down machine.

I decided to turn my focus to Ted’s music and started using my lesson time to have him slowly play through the songs from his Solo Guitar album so I could write them out. I asked him to consider having a book of transcriptions published. At first, he was doubtful, questioning whether there was much demand for it since his LP was long out-of-print. I would periodically bug him about a book on Solo Guitar, as well as to release his album on CD. Well, happy day! His CD was released last November. I went to see him play at Spazio’s Sunday brunch the following month. We shared our thoughts on the mixing and artwork of the CD, but didn’t really receive any affirmation from him about a book until I overheard him say, while autographing his CD for a fan , “My friend is working on that for me!” Ted, is that a green light?

I had the pleasure of inviting Ted to see Tommy Emmanuel play at Gary Mandell’s Boulevard Music back in 2000. I used to bring Tommy’s arrangement of the Beatles’ “Michelle” (full of harp-harmonics) to my lessons back in ’94, so Ted was excited to meet him, too. My daughter and I had a blast hanging out with Ted that night. During the workshop the next day, Tommy brought up Ted’s name as having a major influence on his playing. After playing the stock changes for “Watch What Happens” that lead up to the bridge, he then played Ted’s chord substitutions for the same passage, saying in his thick Aussie accent “Isn’t that killer! I could take a holiday just playing that! In that small passage is Ted’s heart and soul!” Indeed it is, Tommy!

Now that Ted has departed us, I would love nothing more than to see his memory live on through his music. I am not sure we can place our hope in uncovering a secret master tape lost in someone’s vault anytime soon, but a book of music based on his only album is a very real possibilty! Is there a demand for it now? Is anyone interested in seeing a book of note-for-note transcriptions on Solo Guitar? Maybe we can make this a group effort.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this! stazzmusic@hotmail.com

Nick Stasinos

August 12, 2005 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Ted in 1980 at the end of my studies at G.I.T. Having heard so many great guitar players there, I didn´t expect too much news from the last seminar with Ted Greene. But as soon as he started to play, I was blown away. I felt like beeing in an altered state of mind and experiencing a new dimension of guitar playing. Of course I had heard a lot of great chord melody playing before, but his mixture of styles and the beautiful harmonies coming out of his telecaster were without comparison to me.
Somebody made a tape of the seminar and I listened to it a lot of times. In 1981 I had my only lesson with Ted in his home, and it`s the greatest experience in my musical life, that I have spent two hours with this genius. During that session he said: "As a guitar player you have to be like a detective!" I didn´t know then, that he liked Columbo...
So I tried to explore the world of music with an investigative mind and now I´m glad, that I can make up my own exercises, that I never found in a book, but they are a result of Ted´s inspiration.
I`m a guitar teacher since that time and I fixed the cover of "Solo Guitar" right behind me at the wall of my teaching room, so I get the impression, that Ted is always watching me.
In 1998 I arranged a phone lesson with Ted. I asked him about something beautiful he improvised on a seminar and he told me , I should study Bach to get that sound. So again he gave me some home-work that kept me busy for years.
Recently I had some ideas for some counterpoint exercises ( I hope he has started the book on counterpoint that he has planned), and wanted to ask Ted about it, but when I called, he wasn´t at home. Then in the last few weeks I often thought, "I gotta call Ted" but I didn´t do it. A few days ago I heard that he passed away and I'm shocked. Now we all are on our own.I always wanted to make a trip to L.A. just to visit him. I´m glad that so many students and friends are posting here. His legacy will live through all the people he has touched.

Thank you Ted!

Hermann Schendel - Hamburg

August 12, 2005 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found "Chord Chemistry" in McCabes guitar shop circa 1975 and said to my self, "Looks like a book I need". You could almost see the face of the guys' picture on the front through all that hair! I opened the book and was dazzled by all the cool chord diagrams. I made a mental note that if I was ever looking for a chord, I'd know where to go to find it. I have treasured that book all these years when in 2002 while in a music store in Pasadena, the salesman and I were talking guitars when he mentioned he took lessons from Ted Greene. I said "THE Ted Greene??!!!" I was so excited and could not believe I may be able to take some lessons as well. I mean, anyone who could write a book like that!!! I never dreamed it possible. Well, I called and Ted answered,(I couldn't believe I was talking to him!!!). He said he would call me back because he was in a lesson. He didn't call right away and so I figured he would never have time for me. To my surprise he called me back a few weeks later and asked me a few screening questions and to my complete delight, he said he would help me. I was unimaginably thrilled!!! Needless to say for the next seven months I throughly enjoyed my bimonthly lessons at the "El Dorado". He taught me an enormous amount. Due to time constraints I was unfortunately unable to continue, however, he gave me so much to work on so I had plenty to keep me busy. I was looking forward to restarting in the future,(we all thought he would always be there).
I, along with so many others, have been so saddened by his loss, but, so thankful I got to spend some time with him.
The sharing on this site has been wonderful and deeply touching.
Thank you Dan for this site, and for all who have shared.
Our lives are richer and more harmonious because of Ted Greene.
Thank You Dear Ted.
Halcyon Hamel

August 12, 2005 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved to L.A. in 1995 in order to take lessons from Ted. For 4 years until 1999 I took lessons once a week sometimes twice a week. Everytime I saw him I was surprised at his knoledge of the guitar music in general and stunned by his playing. I'll never forget. He is my eternal hero. Thanks for everything Ted. Tsuyoshi Ichikwa from Japan

August 12, 2005 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was in the spring of 1968, and I was making my second Columbia LP of experimental rock. I needed a guitar player who was far beyond the scope of rock guitarists and who could be more forward-thinking than the accomplished studio players. Someone said there was a guy in the Valley who could play rock, jazz, and Bach on electric guitar equally well. I believe that was the first time Ted recorded. His talent and knowledge were so vast, I immediately knew I should feature him on the record. But Ted would have none of it; his modesty demanded that his role be a supporting one. I remember that he was also reluctant to join the union, but finally did, as a favor to me.

We worked together for a couple of years, and I kept trying to get him to record a solo album. It was shortly after this that he decided he just wanted to teach...the hectic routine of studio life was not what he wanted. A couple of years later, he shyly gave me an autographed copy of "Chord Chemistry." After 30 years, it is still the most advanced book on modern harmony I know.

The next time we worked together was when I was arranging three Bix Beiderbecke solo piano pieces for an album I was producing for Ry Cooder (JAZZ, 1978). Ry doesn't read music, and the music is very impressionistic, with altered 9ths and 11ths, and I asked Ted if he could do the guitar parts in tablature. As with everything Ted touched, the result was masterful, and where I had written something he found not to be idiomatic for guitar, he had quietly and anonymously fixed it.

In a business where self-promotion and big egos are the rule, Ted was a pure and dedicated artist. I left LA in 86, so I never met Barbara, but I am grateful to her that Ted's last 13 years were blessed with love and understanding and happiness. I also thank all this remarkable man's students and friends for this beautiful outpouring of love.

Joseph Byrd

August 13, 2005 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I developed a few web pages to honor Ted with mp3 sound recordings, photo’s and lesson sheets that I have been amazingly grateful to have been blessed by over the years - May GOD rest your soul!
In Memory of Ted Greene
(The Chord Chemist) - Legendary Jazz Guitarist
Sept. 26, 1946 - July 26, 2005

He was my teacher and "friend"....
Dan Sindel

August 13, 2005 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Dan and Adam for this site. I live most of the way across the country now and, when I first heard the news of Ted's passing, this was the only source of information. This "Memories of Ted" has been a sad but beautiful tribute. Nice to see some old friend's and teacher's names in there.

And thank you Tony Darren for "having to miss a lesson" all those years ago so I could get in with Ted.

I'll try to be brief since most of what I've thought and felt in the past few weeks has been said already. Besides his humanity and talent, I just loved how you could talk with Ted about anything: TV, movies, books, composers, sports, harmony. What a brain! There was a period of studying with him when I would aim for the last slot as I knew he'd A) run late, and B) hang out and chat, walk me out to my car and say hello to my dog (who would sleep in the backseat while I was in with Ted).

Ted turned me on to Bach (the "Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin" in particular)and sent me in the right direction with Ravel ("Daphnes and Chloe"). He made it okay to like The Beatles and Bartok and still watch "Taxi" reruns while you worked through stuff.

Most of all, he treated me like a friend. No differently than he treated the guys and gals before and after me. He made us all a happy family. And I think that will be, for me, his biggest legacy; what I really thank him for: showing me what kindness really is.

Thanks Ted for everything you've done for so many of us. I hope my sons grow up to be as thoughtful and caring as you were. I will always love you.

Damon Kelliher

August 13, 2005 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I began teaching privately in the San Fernando Valley in 1972, I can't remember a time when Ted Greene was not known as the Greatest Private Guitar Teacher around.
Ted was the one that most of the successful Guitar Instructors I knew studied with and would refer any students beyond their expertise to.
I will always treasure the memories of our talks about Teaching, the early LA Dodgers, watching him play at Normans Rare Guitars (and even playing Classic Guitar for him!)
and the honor of having him record
some overdub improvs at my Home Studio in Reseda for Jordan Harris
(Norm's son) and my own son Jason Gutierrez.
Ted Greene has left us heavy hearted but not empty handed. Everytime we play the Guitar we should think of the Love and respect he shared for
the Music, the Instrument and the Human beings priviledged to play it.
May we be worthy of your Legacy.
Sal Guitarez

August 14, 2005 1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Greene has certainly done more than his fair share in making life more beautiful.

It's clear to me that Ted lives on in each us who had the chance to come into contact with him either personally or via his recordings and books.

He had and continues to have a huge impact on me and many others as a phenomenal musician/teacher as well as......as an incredible human being.

I love the enlightened spirit that IS Ted Greene!

Rick Udler
Sao Paulo, Brazil

August 14, 2005 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been a great fan of Ted's since the late 70s when I purchased his album at Johnny Smith's music store while passing through Colorado Springs. Off and on for the next two decades I wore a hole through that LP trying to transcribe those beautiful arrangements and steal Ted's unique chord voicings.

Finally, in the late 90s I moved to LA and met Ted and found that he was even a better teacher and friend. To this day it still cracks me up how quickly Ted figured me out and decided what he should show me. I wanted to learn about Ted's playing but Ted knew that his job was to teach me about my playing.

Durning this same time I also had become fast friends with Joe Diorio and every time Joe and I got together he would want to find out if I had learned anything new from Ted! Joe later confessed to me (several times) that he and Ted onced were asked to play at the same Christmas party several years ago. They each played a solo set and spent the evening listening and hanging out. Joe said that after the gig was over he had a hard time getting his guitar out of the case for the next few months because he knew he would never be as good as Ted. So, after hearing Joe tell me this story several times I was at Ted's house taking a lesson and he started to tell me the same story only his version ended with him telling me that after that gig he knew he would never be as great of a player as Joe. I started laughing and told Ted the whole story to his great delight.

Ted had a unique way of making us all feel that we shared a close, tight bond and friendship. I read all these stories posted here and realize how far his abilities went beyond his musicianship. Ted presence has affected and influenced my life for over 30 years and I will miss him greatly.

Rick Schmunk
Los Angeles, CA

August 14, 2005 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word "unique" is so often thrown around carelessly. It literally means "one of a kind." Ted Greene was and is truly unique. Words of praise can't begin to sum up Ted's worth as a person or his contributions as a musician. I can imagine Ted's appreciation and embarrassment at the accolades. Sorry Ted, but you deserve all this and more! Thank you for your kindness and inspiration. Your gifts, both personal and musical will live on in all of us and in those we touch...

August 14, 2005 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As friends and neighbors of Ted's for many years, my husband and I have been the fortunate recipients of his big heart and generous way on many an occasion. Our most profound memory was of Ted coming to our apartment on the spur of the moment, guitar in hand, to sit awhile and play for my husband after one of his many surgeries. My husband was very surprised and deeply touched. In one hour's time, Ted's "musical medicine" transformed my husband back into the happier and more optimistic person he had always been. For all of these moments, we will always be grateful.

You are missed ----

Marsha & Michael LLiteras

August 16, 2005 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


August 16, 2005 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found out today about all this on the 16th...I called for weeks to sign up for a lesson never got him on the phone. Then I got the callback that he is gone. I've been studying with him for almost two years, since I got to LA from Boston. I said to him just recently, "Ted, if I got nothing from moving to LA but meeting you, the whole trip would have been worth it." He was the only guitar teacher I ever had that I truly considered my mentor, my friend, an angel on the earth. He encouraged me and inspired me to completely master the instrument, and I will work the rest of my life to further the techniques he showed me...the 'relocate' and 'adjust' trick from strings 1-4 to 2-5, his 'move the same chord shape thru a 2-5-1 without changing anything' trick, the list goes on. He was a great heart, sitting on the floor, looking up at his students, when the students should have been at his feet. Trying not to knock the TV antenna away from 'perfect' reception while studying Wes chords I will never forget. I could go on forever. I made 4-5 hours of videos of him I will cherish, some very funny stuff on there. One time talking about crunching the pinky down to get a note, he was laughing saying some people might say 'you'll get arthritis in your nose'. Every time I offered to pay him more for his lessons than his 25 he would invariably tell me to give it to the homeless. He was the greatest guitarist alive, in my book, being able to play bass, chords, and solo simultaneously a la Joe Pass, or playing a Bach concerto written for piano that he figured out one day for fun. He remarked many times that we were both students of the guitar, but he was one who deserved the title master. He wanted me to know, when changing chords, where every single note was resolving to. He never wanted there to be a moment where I didn't know where I was, or what scale to play over a chord. He would catch me trying to fake my way through a passage, and say "do you want to master this? or fake it?" in the most polite way. It hurts. All I can do is honor him by being my true self as a guitarist, which is what he wanted me to be. I will find other masters, but never another Ted. I will miss him forever. I will never forget him. Jam with Ray and Joe, up there Ted...have a time.
Thanks for all your love and light.

August 17, 2005 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted has had an incredible influence on me. I have spent years striving to play solo guitar in a way that is musical, improvistional and fun to listen to. Ted has always represented the high water mark on all of these points. Over the years he encouraged me, gently called me on my weeknesses or laziness and always inspired me to continue to search for my own voice. As we all know it was easy to loose yourself in Ted's brilliance but he never let me get away with just imitating him or anyone else. It was fine as far as it went but now what do you have to say for your self? This question continues to guide me. Having Ted as a teacher and mentor was a privelege that we will all be thankful for as long as we live, play and help others. While there is obviously a musical influence, perhaps the most important thing Ted gave me is that he was one of the most genuine and authentic people I have every met. He said things to me in the course of lessons and phone calls that have percolated into the deepest regions of my mind and heart and have helped me to form a compassionate and healthy world view. He helped me grow less cynical and embrace beauty. I learned about ethics from him and how it is possible to really care for others and still be honest and even critical. He showed me how you can believe in yourself and your convictions and not be arrogant. It is rare to meet a truly generous person, a truly kind person, one who gets joy form the simplest of human interactions. Ted was a true Bodhisattva.
I miss you Ted
Thank you
Tim Lerch

August 18, 2005 7:39 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."
- Judy Garland.

God Ted, you were a great one. Thank you for showing me what's possible, and helping me where I was at.

Drew Engman

August 21, 2005 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every lesson, I always felt like I was down here, and Ted was always explaining things on a plane up there, and my goal was always to find a way to get myself to move up there and understand. There will never be a man like Ted Greene again, a very gentle soul in a violent world.

August 21, 2005 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I began studying with Ted Green in the mid eighties and continued through last year,just one, two, or three lessons a year because that's all I could handle.I used to call him the scientist of the guitar (he would always shy away from my compliments) He was my go to guy when I had a question, and it was always answered with more than enough information. I asked him one time why he didn't charge more and he said he couldn't do that to his students.Ted could have easily charged alot of money,we all know he deserved it.He seemed uncomfortable taking money and asked me on more than one occasion if I was ok financially,always being the sweet cat that he was worrying about his students first.In a world full of green belts he was the black belt of teachers,gandi and chet atkins all rolled up in one.I was in Australia a few years back talking with a guitarist in Sydney who sang the praises of Ted, on that same tour I met another guitarist in Queensland who offered the same and how chord chemistry changed his life,another time I met a guitarist while on a cruise ship, he was playing some beautiful chord melody stuff on a nylon string guitar in the lounge for just a hand full of people,he was from Poland and had never stepped foot in the United States, when I mentioned to him that he played certain things that reminded me of Ted Greene he imediately told me that he thought Ted was a genious. Teds impact on guitarist here and around the world is so deep and profound.I was in agoura a few days after I heard of his passing, I stopped by the encino eldorado one last time and walked up to the gate to say a final goodbye to a special friend,and my teacher who showed me more about the guitar than anyone.I will miss walking in to that cluttered up apartment of his with the books,cds,lps and instruments occupying every available space.Those of us who studied with him know that it was more than a lesson, and can feel blessed that we learned from the great one,it seems that the great ones always leave us to soon.Where ever you are Ted just know one thing,I will one day see you again,skake your hand,give you a hug,then schedule a lesson..........Your friend always, Cary

August 22, 2005 1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was converting the few tapes I had of my lessons with Ted to DVD. I've been watching them a couple of times and realized that these lessons provide a life time of material, even though they only amount to about six hours of lessons over 6 years. I keep thinking to myself why did Ted keep me on? He would ask me a simple question and 10 minutes later I finally had the answer. He was extremly patient as a teacher. Although It wasn't my goal to be a working guitarist, Ted would encourage me to keep playing. On two occasions he complemented my standard approach to a bossa tune. Man when he said that it was awesome, I was in 7th heaven. Recently I played an original bossa for him, he said if "Jobim where in the room, he would turn his head.." The coolest memory I have of him is when he told me that he had given Wes's gradson a guitar lesson..

Ted was the Ansel Adams of guitar

August 22, 2005 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Ted, for everything.


August 22, 2005 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent several months studying with Ted after I approached him to help me prepare for college music studies. I really had no idea what kind of person Ted was and only knew of him from his reputation as an excellent teacher. From his Jimmy Reed records, old Guilds, and countless tomes of information strewn about his little place I realized that Ted was not a typical guitar teacher. He wrote his notes for my first lesson on the back of one of his little business cards and I still have it! I looked forward to each lesson, spending time talking and playing and learning some new thing, not even necessarily musical. Ted gave me confidence in myself as a player and as a person and even encouraged me to teach. I think about him everytime time I pick up my guitar or hear beautiful chord melodies. I feel so fortunate to have spent the time that I did with him. Ted, you made the world a brighter place and you will be missed terribly. Even as I write this I can hear him saying, " Hey, it's alright man, just keep playing".
Thanks Ted.
Curt Florczak

August 24, 2005 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was unable to attend the memorial. Can someone please describe what it was like, who was there, and what musical tributes were performed?

August 26, 2005 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Leon White . .
I'll try to write something tonight and get it posted.
It was a rare and beautiful day - Truly.

August 26, 2005 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only took one lesson from Ted, but I'll tell you, that was ALOT. It was a hot summer day in the Valley in the early 1980's and I made my poor girlfriend drive me over to Ted's home in her Toyota hatchback. As she waited patiently in the sweltering heat I was fortunate enough to take one of the best guitar lessons of my life, by a true genius. Ted only charged about 5.00 an hour then, and had a long waiting list. Lucky for me one of his regular students canceled and I got the slot. I am now a professional guitarist, teacher and published author. Ted's one lesson, his chordal voicings and harmonies I still use and pass on to my students 20 years later. And by the way, that patient girlfriend who waited in the car for me during my lesson is now my wife, 20 years later.
Thanks Ted!
Greg Cooper

August 27, 2005 12:24 AM  
Blogger Robert C. Aragon said...

Thank you Ted for your great contributions to music,musicians and the enlightenment you so graciously shared during your short lifetime here.You were a great man.You've gently laid the path down for the many to come to clearly see and follow.When i saw you play at NAMM in the mid 70's I was stunned and humbled by your musical presence and inspired to pursue music as my lifes work.It was like meeting a true master - geesh, you were a monster player with absolutely no attitude.I really wish I could have gotten on the list and taken formal lessons from you.I think the list was like... 2 years long at the time so i had to settle for your books. It was like having to settle for a different kind of gem.Those books taught me so much that i feel so grateful just having found them.One of the best presents I've ever received was a copy of a cassette tape that you did as a demo with Shelly Mann that an engineer friend of mine from L.A. was nice enough to share. It has a great version of the standard, "You Can't Take That Away From Me" on it - It's one of my favorites and a great chord melody study as well. God bless your soul Ted - you will be missed!

August 28, 2005 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last project Ted and I were working on was transcribing his cd. This was something I wanted to do for a long time; much like going into the source of the masters mind. The project became feasible once the album came out on cd. When I say "we" transcribed the music, Thats not entirely correct. Ted did the transcribing, I did the writing and editing in tab. The sessions went something like this: Ted sets up the cd player, I sit in front of him with a pad of paper, he would listen to a bit, figure it out, show it to me, I'd write it, he'd hand me the guitar, I'd play, hand it back. I'd go home and re-write, double check, mark questions and we'd meet a month later. This
was the very best project we ever worked on. Sadly we only got a single page done before his departure.

I regret not meeting with him more often. I got a sense that he felt entused about the project. Of course the sessions went way beyond the transcribing. He commented on the speed in which he played at that time and said it was due to his youth! We also go a laugh over some of the harmonic principles that came up
(I-V-I "sandwich" !)

I'm looking forward to the TedGreene.com that will be up in the future. I hope we can have a discussion forum in which we can all talk casually regarding all things Ted.

My plan is to carry on with the transcribing until "watch what happens" is done. At some point I'll have to collaborate with someone to double check and go through the transcription with a fine tooth comb.

Ted: I love you man. And I'll never forget "Jazz lives above the 7th"

August 29, 2005 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 51, live in the St. Louis area, and have loved Ted's "Solo Guitar" record since it came out in the late 70s. In 2003, I was out in L.A. for business. I got the only Ted Greene phone number that directory assistance had and gave it a try; THE Ted Greene answered and talked to me for 45 minutes - about guitars, baseball, and cars! I simply wanted to thank him for "Solo Guitar" and encourage him to record again someday. Ted came across as the nicest guy in the world. I extend my sincerest sympathy to his family and friends.

September 02, 2005 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's September 6th 2005 and I just heard that Ted Greene passed. I'm in shock!! He was such a major influence on me, both in his playing and as a person. I don't think I ever pick up or play my guitar without thinking about him. I was just getting ready to take my Chord Chemistry book to Kinkos to get it bound. It's falling apart from all its use. I can't believe it. I studied with Ted in 1978. I waited a year to get on his schedule and I was so thrilled when I finally did! Here it is 27 years later and I'm still working on the things he gave me. I'll never forget the long cardboard box with all of his indexed sheets. On many occasions when I would ask a question, Ted would excitedly reach into the box and pull out an amazing piece of paper. I will miss him dearly.

September 07, 2005 12:47 PM  
Blogger bub said...

my sympathy to ted's family and loved ones.
ted's impact on the sound of guitar in popular music in the 80's and 90's thru the session guitarist's who studied with him will never be fully recognized.
the first time i sat down with ted...we played some..and then he let me take a look at his guitar...a fender "broadcaster"...serial number 050!
i live and play in nashville these days and all the knowledge i gained from ted lives on here in my heart and my hands.
thank you ted...we'll miss you so much! rest in peace my friend.

bobby brewer

September 11, 2005 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I began playing guitar at age 10 (I'm 49 now), and took private lessons through high school and then continued on to the Berklee College of Music. Although I have not pursued music as a career, I did study with Ted for over five years in the mid 1990s. I was overwhelmed by his understanding of harmony and the intricacies of voicings on the guitar fingerboard. Over the years I got to know Ted very well and we spoke by phone often, even after I stopped studying with him. In addition to modern harmony, he taught me how to set up the action on a guitar and how to fix the Gibson wiring problem. We also bought and sold guitars and amps from each other. I recall selling him a 1969 Epiphone Al Caiola, and a 1954 Guild something-50 (one pickup jazz guitar), and an Ampeg Reverbrocket amp. One time I mentioned that I was looking for a good music stand and he gave me a nice Harmony music stand which I still use at home -- and which I will always treasure. Its obvious to me why Ted had so many friends. He was a true genius and a kind and gentle person, and I will always remember and miss him.

September 16, 2005 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the last post. I believe I have that Reverborocket amp now. Ted sold that to me as he did with a few other choice pieces of gear through out the years. Stuff which I will treasure for the rest of my life. If we're talking about the same amp, i believe it was somewhat of a "transitional" model.

September 18, 2005 2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is in resonse to the above post. I sold the ReverbRocket to Ted in the late 1990s. It was the dark blue covered model with chicken-head knobs. In any event I hope it is being put to good use. After I posted my note, I recalled I had also traded Ted a nice 1960 Gibson sunburst ES-330, with a headstock repair. It was a sweet guitar, and Ted told me he played it often.

Allen Kelinsky

September 19, 2005 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first met Ted one afternoon at Norman's Rare Guitars in Reseda. I was there to sell a Fender Pro Reverb so that I could pay my rent. This fellow I'd never (Ted) met plugged into it and played (People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield) while we somehow fell into a long debate as to whether Paul Newman or Geoge C. Scott was the better actor. Ted was in favor of George C. Scott.

I finally closed the deal on selling my amp and as the store closed and we were saying goodby I introduced myself and asked his name. He told me, "Ted Greene".

Excited I said, "You're Ted Greene!"

He said, "No not that Ted Greene, people get us confused all the time."

I said, "OK, but I want to take lessons from you..."

I'll miss Ted, he was a great teacher, and he was also a true and loyal friend.

September 24, 2005 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tribute at Spazio's was fantastic. Many wonderful players and good feelings, truly the stuff of great memories. I am sure that Ted approves... I was looking around for Frank Nazarian... Frank, if you see this post, please let me know as I have some info regarding Ted's music that I really think you would be interested in.

Mark Thornbury

September 28, 2005 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to learn more about jazz soloing, and a friend of mine lent me a book on jazz soloing, by some guy that I'd heard of only in a Fender Frontline magazine about 14 years prior. It was Ted Greene, and the book was his first volume of Jazz soloing. I didn't know how to read music at the time, so I ended up putting it on the shelf.
Then about 2 years later, another friend, who is an incredible guitar player and jazzer himself, came over with "Chord Chemistry" and he apparently had opened it for the first time in front of me, as he was compltely blown away by some of the blues progressions contained in it. I ended up buying that book and eventually delved headfirst into it. But like most others, I've been studying that book for about 2 years now, and learn something everyday from it...and I'm sure I'll continue to learn from it for 20 years- the Genuis of Ted!
I eventually picked up the Vol. 1 book again, and now that I understood the info in it (due to Chord Chemistry), I am convinced that all Ted's books are must have's for ANYONE.
I wanted to try to track Ted down for lessons, and had just started to Google his name and info to see if I could find something on him. And that's when I learned of his passing. Shock, disbelief, disheartenment...words can't really say what myself and millions of others have felt since Ted has passed. But I'm sure there is one helluva jam session going on somewhere and Ted's probably teaching Wes Montgomery the technical terms for what Wes couldn't explain!
What's going to come of some of Ted's books mentioned in the Jim Carlton interview? As well, what's in the works for the aforementioned TedGreene.com website? Any news when that may happen?

October 01, 2005 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Lerch,in case you see this message get in contact,we met in 1983 GIT,remember Nelson and Ricky too? Genil genilcastro@yahoo.com

October 04, 2005 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Sawyer said: I just wanted to put this reminder that anyone can post their digital photos of Ted in the photo album.

October 07, 2005 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Ted did an instructional video back around 1980. It was called
"Sessions with the Stars ; Refelections of Ted Greene. There were a room full of people there.
Some of them might be here as well. If you were there or if someone has the packet that goes with the video please contact me.
thank you.

e-mail : 1frankncox.net

October 09, 2005 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the post above.
sorry the e-mail is : 1frankn@cox.net

October 09, 2005 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being from England I never met Ted or even saw him. However, through his books, which I bought many years ago,I felt as if I'd known him all my life! Because of this I feel truly saddened at his passing and at such a young age by todays standards. My thoughts are with his family and true friends. Please take heart and be sure that if Ted has been called away to guitar heaven, it's because he's the only one who can bring harmony to an overcrowded 'great gig in the sky'.

October 11, 2005 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out today Ted...I was going to call you to see what was holding up my last lesson request? We talked in June, I guess and you were fine. I am really broken a little inside Ted. You were such a light to so many. You formed my opinions on music, composition...you had a lot to do with what I am.

I miss you alot and will always hear you quite voice of reason. Thanks for setting my path.

Jeffrey Thomas

October 12, 2005 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to add a thought...

Ted was truly something else...very much like being in the presence of Yoda, a Sensei Master, Einstein, with the humility of a biblical prophet mixed together. He had a sense of purpose in his life that was unbelievably inspiring. He really loved seeing the light in a student's eyes when a concept was apprehended by said student.

I have had the opportunity to either study with or be around some of the best guitarists in California. Starting with hanging out with an incredibly talented Steve Lukather when we were both about 13, then met up with Mike Landau, and jammed
together thru high school, followed by lessons with Joe Pass, Mundell Lowe, Chris Parkening, George Van Eps, Lenny Breau..

And yet, Ted seemed to out-shine them all, in the most subtle way, and also had the greatest check on his ego I've ever seen. His humility was matchless, truly centered like a Zen master.

AND, most importantly, his sense of encouragement towards a student seemed as powerful as the ability to create life itself.

A bit overstated? I don't think so.

I remember a lesson where we were discussing a certain tune, probably a Richard Rodgers song with a rich
harmonic structure, and I sort of spontaneously asked him, "What about improvising on those changes?"...

Ted very delicately answered, "You mean variations?" I answered, "Yeah! Yeah!". And Ted started in. Within about twenty seconds or so I started to experience some serious brain-chemistry endorphin activity
generated by the sheer beauty of his spontaneously generated music, based upon a 'formula'.

I lost a bit of composure and blurted out "Man, you are a real motherf**ker, you know that? He actually lowered his head in embarrassment, and blushed, and
very softly said, "Thanks, man."

We really don't get very many of this sort very often in any given age, now, do we?

Mark Thornbury

October 14, 2005 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Sawyer said: The latest issue of Guitar Player magazine (Nov '05) has a spread on Ted. Very nice job by Adam Levy.

October 20, 2005 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Greene was known overseas, but only by happyfews . His books are rare and shared like Holly Bible , and informations about him quite inexistant until his passing. But the richness of his teaching put him clearly on the map next to the whole Joe Pass legacy and Joe Diorio in the way they share a broad landscape of music knowledge not only with advanced or pro students, but with (gifted) apprentice.
His work remains on my desktop as on my guitarecase for 12 years and the word "hollydays" will mean "Masterclass with Mr Greene" forever.
Lauri, Paris, France

October 28, 2005 4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Adam for the update on the Ted Greene website, and to Dan for the heads-up on the new Guitar Player article about Ted. I received my copy of Guitar Player last weekend and noticed that it was a reprint of a very early GP issue (June 1980) framed with current photos from this blog’s photo album, comments from celebrities and students, and of course, the intro by Adam Levy. It probably would have been nice to see more biographical information about Ted in it, like how his mother wanted him to be an accountant, etc. A magazine is limited and we would like to see a book on this great man. When did the cover to Chord Chemistry change? In the article, a picture of Chord Chemistry has Bob Barry’s profile of Ted used on this blog’s homepage rather than the younger, bearded Ted we are all used to seeing. I did a search on the web to see if there were any other postings of this ‘new cover’ only to find my own photo from the blog posted on another website. Maybe it is appropriate at this point to state, if anyone plans to use photos, etc. from this blog, you really should ask for permission first and make the proper acknowledges. I also want to take this opportunity to point out to Jason Kuhar, who posted earlier, I only took the photo of Ted at Spazio, not the one of Ted standing in the apartment with the crates towering over his head. The apartment photo was taken by Lucas Michailidis.

May I make some suggestions regarding the new Ted Greene website? Make it membership/password protected to avoid the heartless hacks and unscrupulous advertisers that have recently plagued this page. Include a list of articles and interviews published by or about Ted, and also a list of songs that feature Ted as a sideman or guest. Besides the “Art City” DVD soundtrack, I know of only a handful of examples:

John Pisano “Among Friends” (1995) CD
8.) “Over The Rainbow”
9.) “The Touch of Your Lips”

John Pisano “Conversation Pieces” (1997) CD
8.) “Body and Soul”
9.) “When I Fall in Love”

Will Ray “Mojo Blues” (2002) CD
Ted plays on the track “Holy Smokes” with some of those close, steel 6th type voicings mentioned in the recent Guitar Player magazine article.

I know it might be difficult to come up with a sizeable list of releases with Ted as a sideman because I’ve looked. William Perry spoke of a Johnny Rivers recording date at the memorial last August. A few years ago, Ted showed me an inexpensive classical guitar he had and asked me for my assessment of it. I told him I was surprised that he even owned a classical guitar. He said he had used it on a recording date with Ann Murray for Hallmark, a Christmas album. I know Ann Murray has had several Christmas albums, but have yet to find Ted playing on a nylon stringed guitar on one of them. I had asked Ted why he did not do more studio work. He told me he didn’t dig the idea of playing cool lines behind, “Taste Me! Taste Me!” (the Doral Cigarette jingle played on TV years ago) and helping the promoters sell a harmful product.

For Mark Kramer: I believe that Lenny Breau Workshop you were referring to was at Valley Arts Guitar in Studio City in 1977. I remember Dan Sawyer and Lenny playing duets together and Ted handed out his page on Harp-Harmonics to the attendees. Here’s a correction to one of my earlier posts: My chronology was off. The book I previewed in paste-up form at Dale’s store was “Modern Chord Progressions,” not “Chord Chemistry” which was already released by the time I showed up.

Nick Stasinos

October 28, 2005 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Sawyer said…

Nick, thanks for the suggestions. The discography is a good idea. With that in mind, we plan to make many new recordings of Ted available to his students. I can't list them here, but i think you will be surprised and pleased when you hear them.

October 29, 2005 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all,

I want to post a very heartfelt and very public THANK YOU to Adam and Dan for doing such a wonderful job of progressing forth in this wonderful direction. I want to remind everybody that these men are very busy with their own lives, and yet are spending a great deal of time doing "that which is unseen, but keenly felt", which will eventually be well appreciated by all of us.

A hearty "hear! hear!" to Nick Stasinos for his recent comments; and, I'd like to add a memory to what Nick just mentioned:

I was also at the very same Lenny Breau seminar, and would like to tell that I had the pleasure of witnessing some quiet greatness, which has stuck with me though all these years; I watched Dan Sawyer approach Ted before he was to play with Lenny, and softly asked him to refresh the changes to 'How High the Moon', which was what he was about to play in a few moments...I watched the two of these great talents in a corner, as Ted took Dan's recently purchased 335 (which had 'Chips Hoover' inlaid on the 12th fret, which many of you might remember!) and quietly say..."It starts in G, on the I chord, which becomes the ii7 of bVII, to V of bVII, then to bVII which becomes the ii7 of bVI, to the V of bVI, to bVI..." all the while playing the roots on the 5th & 6th strings. A truly amazing thing to watch.

What was REALLY fun was to then watch Dan play with Lenny, and one would have thought that they had been rehearsing for at least a month! Such is the talent of Dan, and as he is way too modest to tell this story, I just had to do so, lest we forget! (My wife often wants to know how it is that I can remember such details with such exactitude from so many years hence, but rarely remember what she told me half an hour ago!.

Anyway, that was a wonderful afternoon, and Scott Page also deserves a THANK YOU for the participation that he did in making it happen as well.

Nick showed me that he has prepared a list of his lesson sheets with Ted, and I have been inspired to do the same, as time allows. I am also going to copy said lessons into pdf format so that they might be more easily shared. I think that this is a very good idea for all of us, who are able to do so, in that we might somehow contribute to this noble effort which has been taken on by these fine gentlemen.

Again, I can only offer my gratitude for your work on behalf of all of us,

Mark Thornbury

October 30, 2005 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Initially it was difficult for me to read any of these postings -actually it was impossible! Months(?)later I'm slowly making my way through.
Now I realize (understandably) many of you have "Ted" questions, music related or otherwise that I probably can answer. For now it's best to post them here until the new site is up and functioning. But please note - as you can guess I have a voluminous amount of work to do,such as collating Ted's music (boxes&boxes!) although a pleasure on many levels, nonetheless very time consuming. Besides the fact that my computer, a rather feeble antique Mac G3 is quite idiosyncratic, so please be patient with me. Soon I will procure a new computer since the need has become evident.I hesitated prior because Ted was finally getting used to this one. Any of you who knew Ted can imagine how difficult & frustrating it was for him to learn this cryptic device. I've never heard him yell so much at anything!!!! Therefore if he happened to blow it up it wouldn't have been a tremendous loss.
I do know how fortunate I was to share a life with this amazing man. To have him come home after giving a zillion % to his teaching or a seminar it was truly an honor to be the one he loved & trusted to care for him - to replenish his energy, and love so much it's beyond explanation.
So I'll try to do the best I can to answer your questions.
Big hugs to Dan & Adam & Leon who have been incredible and continue to be so.
Thanks, Barbara

November 03, 2005 8:12 PM  
Blogger ben blackmore said...

Clearly a dedicated and extremely intelligent man - and as a fellow guitar teacher, what an inspiration: the many anecdotes on this page confirm that! Sincere condolences to Mr Greene's family, friends and students.

November 06, 2005 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My heartfelt condolences go out to Ted's family.

Back in the mid 1970s I studied with Ted once a week at his home in Woodland Hills for a year or so. I still can only play a fraction of what Ted was teaching me. But that's still a lot more knowledge than many!

Ted's lessons gave me a great understanding of modern harmony. A few years later I studied composition and arranging at The Dick Grove Music Workshop (later the Dick Grove School of Music). There were quite a few really fine musicians and composers in my class. Having studied with Ted, I found, to my surprise, that my harmonic knowledge was equal to anyone in my class. Thank you Ted.

I wish I had known Ted better on a personal level. At the time I was so awed by being in the the presence of one of the all-time greats of the guitar (arguably the greatest guitarist of all time), that I thought that being to "familiar" might somehow be disrespectful.

Like all of Ted's students, I am so lucky to have been able to share his wisdom.

Bruce Campbell

November 06, 2005 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

....for all those interested, and if you don't already know, there is a fine article about some of Ted's skills. It appears in a magazine called: Guitar One "100 years of jazz guitar", and was written by Dale Turner. Great job, very well done, and for someone that either never knew or heard the greatness of Ted, it's a very good start.

November 07, 2005 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ted,

My hero. You came into my life when I needed a hero: A guiding light. I was a young man forcing my way through the world and you taught me ballance. I thank you with all my heart. I was in my early 20's and just turning around from drink and drugs. You taught me acceptance of who I was and gave me many options. Endless really. After studying with you for 5 years (practicing 10 to 12 hours daily) I took a diffrent direction with my music and went back to alcohol and drugs as I found it applicable to my new path as a writer and performer. Wrong way. When I cleaned up again there I found you. It was your record I had misplaced, left behind back in California. I recovered the album and put it out in front in my music room so that you were looking at me with accepting and welcoming eyes and hands. Ballance restored.
I just found out about your death 5 days ago. I have been working in New Orleans as a traditional jazz guitarist for the past 6 years and have been out of touch of the L.A. music scene. Then came the Hurricane and I have been on the move for the past 9 1/2 weeks. Devestating. Now this.
When I would consider what I missed about L.A. it was my family, the mountains, and Ted Greene's insights, mountains of knowledge, and music. Not a day has gone by when you have not influenced my behavior, my intentions, my music. (In my years of teaching guitar I have never charged more that you for a lesson.)
Picturing chords on my walks and singing lines and chords "AWAY from the guitar."
The film scores of the old Frankenstien and Wolfman movies (was it Skinner and Salter?)
Sharing our fondness of Ben Franklin. Franklin's book of virtues included humility and he commented that it was added for appearance only and that "just when I felt I had felt I had achieved humility I was so proud that I had to start over again." Franklin's pretext (or "note to self") for humility was: "imitate Jesus and Socrates." Add to that Ted Greene.
You were my hero. My role model. You didn't know but I copied you in every area I could grasp. I marked up my books (starting with the monumental Chord Chemestry!) with highliters and comments and exclamination points. I thought your diet was some secret knowledge of higher thinking (I tried it, of course). But you didn't keep secrets like that, you didn't hold back on the good.
I thought you'd out live me Ted. I thought we'd pick up right where we left off. I took you for granted for too long. I wrote a card once or twice, called (and you were so gracious! More than I could ever expect from anyone.) But It wasn't until last week (being displaced from N.O. and in L.A. indefinetely) that I finally called and then wrote to schedule a lesson after perhaps 10 years. When Barbara called me I was shocked and I remain upset. I still haven't found closure but I'm hoping this letter will help.
Ted, you provided a ballance in this world that is now greatly disrupted. But as your students and all those you have touched grow and share the ballance will be restored. For what you pay attention to grows and, "nature has a way of rewarding hard work."
The night Barbara called me I uncharisticly went out to a venue to sit in with a local classic jazz group. It was a great sounding trio and I was thrilled when the leader (a member of Barry Mannelo's band and War) asked me up. As I approached the bandstand he asked "you play it in all the keys, right?" Yes, thanks to you Ted.
I never did get enguaged in the L.A. music scene maybe because my heart was so devoted to the older styles that I lacked the experience of more modern players. But I know that without a doubt, had I asked, you would have pointed me in the right directions.
I really would have liked to share with you my experiences in New Orleans. I worked constantly for the first 5 yeas and then stepped back to catch my breath. All the people, rhythms, tunes, and riffs I found. I know you would have appreciated it all and given me insights I never even imagined.
And I would have loved to share my new path with you: music therapy.
Thats all for now Ted, the hour is up I know.
A special thanks to Dan and Adam for this web site (I printed it all in case it went away). My best wishes for your family, Barbara, all of your students and friends. I look forward to meeting some of them some day.
God bless you and may you find beauty, ballance and peace.
Seva Venet

November 10, 2005 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Sawyer said…

Guitar Player magazine has a nice page online about Ted this month (november) with a free audio lesson. I have not heard the lesson so i can't say if it's any good. http://www.guitarplayer.com/story.asp?sectioncode=7&storycode=11345

November 12, 2005 2:07 PM  
Blogger gpb0216 said...

In the mid '70s I was a hotshot rock guitarist who thought he knew a lot about playing the guitar. One day a buddy showed me "Chord Chemistry". I wept. I simply had no idea how much there was to know.

Ted Greene's work forever changed the way I viewed and played the guitar. I'm so sorry I never got to meet him. But the shock I received when I first encountered C.C. motivated me to truly get serious with my practicing, to the point that I eventually was chosen to play lead guitar with the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet Band for four years. Thanks, Ted!

To close out this tribute, I completely wore out my first copy of C.C., and my second one is looking pretty ragged. I guess it's time to buy #3.

Thank you, Ted, from the bottom of my heart. You were the best, and all of us who play this instrument you loved so much owe you a massive debt of gratitude. You are, and forever will be, missed.

G. Patrick Bryant

December 02, 2005 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Sawyer said…

There's more about Ted in the latest Guitar Player magazine (January '06). Two letters to the editor and a mention by Phil deGruy ("Madcap Jazz"). I'll scan these for the new website when it's ready.

December 28, 2005 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to mention that JUST JAZZ GUITAR, November 2005 issue, had a spread on Ted titled “Loss of a Legend.” I am a subscriber and big fan of JJG, but I must sadly say, “Sloppy journalism!” It had several inaccuracies, which the correct info was readily available from this blog. After all, much of their article was Rich Severson’s post, word for word, from this blog. It was nice to see some coverage of Ted’s memorial from last August.

I read on another blog on the web about an article Ted submitted to Guitar One, March 2004 on Charlie Parker’s Orinthology. I never knew Ted to cover Charlie Parker tunes? I found the back issue on eBay and I must say that the post was only half true. Orinthology was not Ted’s arrangement! However, there was an interview with Ted titled "Lesson Lab", complete with music examples (sound bites are still downloadable from the Guitar One website archive). Ted mentioned in the interview that he was working on a “new series of books in the works” that would be much shorter than his previous books. We hope that those books will come to fruition in the near future with the concerted efforts of Barbara, Linda, and all those involved.

For John Hatfield: Unfortunately, Ted did occassionally smoke, which considering Ted’s tenacious nature of following a healthy diet, only emphasizes the addicting nature of cigarettes.

Very special thanks to Mark Thornbury and Frank Nazarian for sharing their transcriptions with me to compare and correct.

Happy Holidays to all!

Nick Stasinos

December 29, 2005 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Barbara

I have not seen the issue of JJG that Nick mentions but unfortunately inaccuracies abound.
Unfortunately also, Ted was not a healthy eater, only partially. Other than a select few fresh vegies & spaghetti with tomato sauce, he ate tons of french fries, potato chips, tortilla chips, cheetos etc. and candy! The fries were his particular favorite.
Again, unfortunately there was nothing I could do about this.

As far as Ted's books, I have been working on assimilating the copious amounts of material for months now, along with the help of Leon White. Please be patient with us, for when the task is complete there will be enough music lessons to last for years & years to come.

January 09, 2006 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for the heads-up on your ongoing work with Leon. I think that I speak for many when I express my gratitude for this herculean effort that you are doing on behalf of so many of us. We are a patient bunch, and great things do not happen overnight. I've started playing regularly again, and in going through the lessons which I already have (as well as the album transcriptions), I have much to do in the meantime.

Thank you so much!

Mark Thornbury

January 11, 2006 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a long distant friend and fan. Ted taught me some incredible concepts on guitar. I searched him out back in 1982 to take some lessons with him. I lived in Phoenix, and flew to L.A. to pursue some guys like Ted to study with. Of course in one lesson, I had an entire life worth of studying. But Ted was ever so gracious, and seemed somehow honored that this kid would fly in from Phx. to take a few lessons from him. I still have a hand written letter he wrote to me after he had sent me yet a few more great Ted Greene style chord arrangements to work on. It's stayed on my music stand all of these years, and as I now live in Nashville, and plan a move to L.A. this year, I had just pulled out a few of Ted's things, and thought that it would be great to find him after all of these years, and hang out, maybe pick his brain some more. But as I did a recording session today, my friend Mike Nobel told me that Ted had passed, I was shocked, and saddened by the news to say the least. It was the first I'd heard of it. God life is too short!
Ted my friend, you will be terribly missed. What a gift you gave me with your chordal concepts and ideas for me to "ponder" as you stated in the letter. As well as just your fine talent. I hope to someday pass along to some young guitarist those incredible lessons I was able to grasp a hold of from your wealth of musical knowledge.
Thank you Ted, and my God bless you always.

Ray Herndon

January 28, 2006 12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Sawyer said:

It's nice to see folks are still adding comments here. The comments from Barbara are especially welcome.

For Mark Thornbury, thanks for the remembrances. Playing with Lenny Breau almost made me want to quit playing the guitar. Anyone who hung around him for a while would seriously consider switching to a thumb pick! By the way, I still have the "Chips Hoover" guitar. Chips was another great player who had mastered the art of chord melody playing. Ted used to send students to Chips and recommend him for gigs.

January 28, 2006 12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(from Barbara)

Thanks Dan!

O.K. I'll share something. This is what I had planned to say at the memorial but realized at the time I couldn't function. So....

This is a charming incident that also gave me early insight into who Ted was as a person:

One day, several months after Ted & I met we were out doing errands. At that time he drove a 72 Plymouth 4 door - a big boat of a car he named "Betsy". Well besides being dented up a bit, Betsy's inside closely resembled the inside of Ted's apartment - barely enough room for us to fit. So we're driving down Reseda Blvd. (I think) & Ted happened to notice a girl pushing a huge car at the corner of some adjacent street. He said maybe we should turn around & go back to see if we could help.
When we pulled up this poor girl was in tears, her boyfriend was in the car in a wheelchair, they had run out of gas & were lost looking for his grandmother's house. Needless to say they welcomed our help. We pushed the car to the curb, then somehow cleared enough space in Betsy to fit the girl, her boyfriend & the wheelchair into the back seat!!!!
As we were driving to the gas station Ted suggested they call his grandmother to come meet them. This was in the early '90's when cel phones were not all pervading, so when I reached into my purse & handed him my cel phone his eyes grew really wide & he said incredulously "you have a cel phone?"
I just smiled & said yes, and at that moment Ted & I both realized that these 2 kids probably assumed we were homeless & living in Betsy! (we were both dressed for the part too) we just looked at each
other trying really hard to stiffle our laughter.

A wonderful day & cherished memory.


January 29, 2006 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was around 1976 when I met Ted. My name came up on the famous waiting list after about six months. When I spoke to him on the phone for the first time I remember thinking, "This guy sounds too nice and focused to be as good as they say he is!" I thought (as many of you might have before meeting Ted)that his degree of talent brought arrogance with it. Not our Ted.

Frankly, I'm still in some shock over his passing. Ted was the heaviest cat I ever met. He was a comet who streaked through our lives and happened to choose guitar as his method of spreading the word. I even brought my dad to a lesson, just to sit in the waiting room (Woodland Hills) so he could hear Ted's comments during our lesson. This is an example of how much I admired his thoughts and words.

So, us mere mortals need to go on, as Ted would have wanted that. We will love you forever Ted.

February 01, 2006 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barbara Franklin has an update:

To anyone who still views this blogsite just to let you know that the new website is nearing completion. Perhaps another 3 weeks work. Hopefully. Don't lose faith we really are working on it!!!! Bye for now.

March 23, 2006 5:01 PM  

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