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Ted Greene Arrangement — 1973, September 11th

Here is Ted’s early arrangement of this classic“Americana” song by Stephen Foster. The notation was written by hand without any fingerings or chord names. I transferred the notation to the computer, added lyrics (1st verse only), suggested Ted-style chord diagrams, and chord names. You can easily find the remaining verses on the Internet if you’re interested. This song was written in 1851 and the lyrics reflect that time period in the south and are not politically correct by today’s standards. Apologies!

Simple to play with mostly basic chords, it is yet an elegant and sweet piece that you may like (especially if you’re an American). I worked out what I considered to be the easiest to play chord shapes and ones that I believe Ted may have used—but there are other possibilities you can discover by using string transference to move the chords to other string sets. Experiment to find what works best for you.

Here are a few suggestions for fingerings:

Measure 3: Finger the Am7 as 2,3,4 so you can sustain the C note while switching to the D7.

Measures 9: I debated on where to play the notes of the chords on beats 3 and 4. I put them in 5th position so the movements would be minimal between the two C chords, but I do like the sound of the G and F notes on the 5th string (7th position). This also gives me the option to easily add the A note on the F chord (beat 4) for a fuller Fmaj7 sound….but that’s my personal preference, which is not in Ted’s notation.

Measures 10: Slide into the C7/6 chord for a nice bluesy effect.

Measure 11: Play the F/9 chord with a prepared double-stop on the notes E and A (on strings 5 and 6). This allows you to sustain the top notes as you lift your 3rd finger off.

Measures 13: Finger the C7 chords as: 2,3,1 then slide finger 1 down to get the C note on the 3rd string. Now, keep your 3rd finger planted on the 4th string and add finger 2 to the 6th string C, and finger 4 to the 3rd string E. The X’d D note will then of course be played with finger 1. This is a nice little move.

Measures 14: Similar to measure 11, use a double-stop to prepare the E and A notes on the F chord.

Measure 22: The F#m7b5 chord sounds a bit “dated” and is probably right for this old song, if one wants to sound authentic. I prefer the addition of the Eb note, which then yields a Co7 (F#o7). Try it.

You’ll probably want to work out some kind of tag ending, possibly repeating the last two measures a couple of times, and then up an octave with some kind of elaboration on the final C. Ted might have even used this spot to modulate to another key or to a different tune.

Have fun!

~ Paul

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