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  Memories of Ted  
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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.

Cousin Bette
August 10, 2005 6:04 PM





(No Name)
August 10, 2005 9:21 PM


Hi, Im sarah jainchill and im 13 and also Ted's only niece. I'm Linda's only child. I've been playing guitar for about 3 years. My uncle teddy has been my inspiration, for playing guitar, ever since I saw him play for me when I would come visit him and my other family in LA. When he played guitar for me, it was like he could just feel it in his whole body, and it was almost like he was one with the guitar. I will always remember when he would do his infamous Donald Duck impersination, for me, any time I needed a laugh or I was feeling down. I loved him so much, and he will continue to be in my heart wherever I go, and especially when I still continue to play my guitar. I love you my Uncle Ted New!

Sarah Jainchill
August 10, 2005 11:54 PM


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


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.

(No Name)
August 11, 2005 2:38 AM

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


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


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


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.

john kaywell
August 11, 2005 12:24 PM


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.

Mike Parsons
August 11, 2005 4:22 PM


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.

Linette Velker
August 11, 2005 8:02 PM


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


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


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


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

Tsuyoshi Ichikawa
August 12, 2005 7:04 PM


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


I am sitting here reading these testimonies to Ted's incredible genius, humility and humanitarianism and I am fighting off tears at the emotional outpouring. It is amazing to see that he impacted so many lives in such a profound way. As I read people's memories of their encounters with Ted I can picture him saying these words as if he were here today. Even if you did not know who he was, by the time you are finished reading the numerous posts written in his honor you will feel like you did.

I studied with Ted for a time and knew him well enough to be awestruck by his talent, touched by his manner, and amused by his eccentricities. He was unquestionably a genius of a musician and a sweetheart of a man. He was far better at being a teacher than I was at being a student. I am not the most sophisticated musician and I admit that I was completely lost a great deal of the time, so over my head were the theories that Ted would present. Ted was such a well-spring of knowledge where music was concerned that I think it would have helped if I had gone in with some idea of where to focus my energy, as it was I loved being in his company. I was touched by his gentle nature and I was blown away by the sheer volume of books he had in his possession. And to top it all off he was such an unassuming, modest and disarming character perfectly equipped for the craft that he made his life’s work. I still have a notebook full of his lessons that I refer back to and attempt to unravel.

Many of my recollections of Ted were humorous, his idiosyncrasies like eating a carrot and setting it right on the carpet beside him between bites, sitting cross legged on the floor to conduct his lessons and those amazing editorials to be found in the margins of his books that challenged the author on the very topic the author was assumed to be an authority in. I also recall how, as he would show me various scales, he would put them into their historical context for me. Quite amazing!

It occurs to me that Ted was so talented that if you totaled up all the talented students that passed through his doors they would not collectively amount to the talent and musical knowledge that he himself possessed. Thought of in those terms really brings home what a truly awe inspiring individual Ted was.

It is my hope that he will always be remembered by those who knew him and known by those who did not. I believe we keep the people we love alive in our hearts and in the way we treat others. I feel Ted’s presence very strongly in the memories shared and the enduring legacy that was his calling!

Lyle Caine
August 13, 2005 2:43 PM


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 http://www.dansindel.us
August 13, 2005 6:07 PM


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


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


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 rudler@uol.com.br
August 14, 2005 9:27 AM


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


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...

Jon Walmsley
August 14, 2005 9:45 PM


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



August 16, 2005 10:25 PM


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.

Matt Dahlgren
August 17, 2005 12:41 AM


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


Ted was a dear friend. I started taking lessons when I was 19 years old. Not only did I learn music, but I also learned metaphysics and a little about baseball cards.
I have been deeply saddened and in total disbelief by his passing.I was going to contact him.I thought I had time.
Ted would always be wearing one of his "ice cream shirts" as he called them when he answered the door for a lesson.During my lesson ,not only would I get a copy of Chord Chemistry, but I would also get books like "Looking out for number one" By robert J Ringer and " Autobiography of a Yogi" by Parmahansa Yogananda.
Ted was such an influence on my young life.I felt intemidated because half the time I didn't understand what he was saying.
He had a collection of old movies I never heard of. He had such a gentle heart I called him Teddy Bear.Ted was so over my head I was always in a state of confusion, but he would tell me "If you do not understand ,It's my fault"."I am a teacher and I must learn to communicate better".He would try a different approach each time until he got his idea across.
Ted introduced me to my first Tommy's Fries with their special spices.I loved Ted.He taught me to always look at the other person's perspective. "Don't be so quick to judge"-which at that age ,I thought I knew it all.
If you have heard the term "crayons to perfume" then you know what Ted meant to me.
Ted's work as a teacher is finished here, but his influence will continue.Knowing Ted he will spend a day or two "hanging out with each of his friends" and dropping in to say "hello" before he continues his journey.I know that Ted would want each and everyone of us to do something nice for someone or something living as a way to remember him.A gift of kindness would mean a lot to him. And believe me, he will know and appreciate it.
Thank you Theadore.

August 18, 2005 12:03 PM


When I was 15 and living in Canada (I'm 34 now), I bought a book called "Chord Chemistry". This book made a huge impression on me and when I found out Ted lived close by when I moved to Hollywood recently, I was delighted to have a chance to meet and pick the brain of a living legend and one of my earliest guitar heros.
He proved to be the guitar guru that I expected him to be and we spent our time talking about one of our mutual inspirations, Lenny Breau. I loved Ted's style of teaching and the way he presented himself. I last met Ted about a month ago and intended to hook up again soon but was shocked to hear of the bad news told to me by another former student of Ted's, Jinshi, only last night.
I didn't know Ted as long as most of the other people here but I know it's obvious that Ted has touched so many lives and will be greatly missed. Your teachings and philosophies will live on in all of us.

August 20, 2005 1:58 PM


"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 drew_engman@hotmail.com
August 21, 2005 12:53 PM


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.

(No Name)
August 21, 2005 8:26 PM


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 (Cary Park)
August 22, 2005 1:25 AM


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

(No Name)
August 22, 2005 10:36 AM


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