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My Life with the Chord Chemist

My Life with the Chord Chemist is once again available on

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New at for February 2011

February 2011 Newsletter

Mid-Winter Greetings,

How soon our remembrance of the holidays slip into some distant ideological hollow and one-twelfth of the year falls away to mingle or dissipate with those memories.

Thus is it with time; and the all-consuming present predominates.

How much is ours to determine what’s to be held inside and what is to be forgotten?

However, one could be consciously making an effort to retain information, hence in regard to learning music, (the most relevant example for our purposes), memory becomes essential.  So.  Onward.

What this month holds:

Video: This year we will attempt to present all of Ted’s seminars in the video section, beginning this month with ­­­­­­­­­­­Part One of the California Vintage Guitar Seminar on May 18, 2003. Listen at Video Section and also on Ted Greene’s Youtube channel.

New Song: Interesting notes about the song chosen for February:

Happy Days Are Here Again, Music by Milton Ager and lyrics by Jack Yellen was recorded by Leo Reisman and His Orchestra, with Lou Levin, vocal (November 1929), and was used in the 1930 film Chasing Rainbows. The film was about Drunks, Bootlegging and Prohibition and the song was the finale, celebrating the imminent repeal of Prohibition. Today, the song is probably best remembered as the campaign song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s successful 1932 presidential campaign.

(source: Wikipedia – edited by me)   Ted and I never watched this movie.

Lesson Notes: Within the immense framework of Ted’s lesson material, the ever observant Paul Vachon alerted me to a file Ted designated Application of Harmonic Concepts. This rather massive file in itself contains many lesson sheets applicable to quite a few of Ted’s Chord Melody arrangements.  I choose two that I thought would complement this month’s arrangement of Happy Days Are Here Again.

New Lessons Material:

Harmony: Diatonic Harmony Derived from Bass Lines

Diatonic Major Harmony: Ascending Bass Starting from Various I’s

Tune: Happy Days are Here Again Ted’s Chord Melody Arrangement

From the Students: Happy Days are Here Again – Compilation and commentary by Paul Vachon

And I close with a rare quote from one of our most revered masters:

“Bring me a bowl of coffee before I turn into a goat” J.S. Bach

Once again, wishing you joy and inspiration,

Barbara Franklin

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My Life With the Chord Chemist

Greetings everyone!
For those who still want to read My Life with the Chord Chemist:

The book is temporarily unavailable because all the typos had to be corrected. I will be receiving the proof copy and as soon as I check it again! it will be resubmitted to for all who still wish to read it.  The process will take about two weeks.
Thanks for your patience.


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New for January 2011 at

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Greetings for the New Year,

Time constraints and other things created obstacles at the end of the year, therefore it was questionable if there would be occasion to choose and post new material.  There is no new video or audio this month.

But…. (like Ted),  never wanting to disappoint if it can be avoided, I was able to put together lessons and comping arrangements – lots of chord study type stuff .

Regarding the comping –  I chose Bluesette because it utilizes “Bass Enhanced Triad Voicings” . However, as Ted has gently implored on the sheet, you must know the original melody.   As an alternative for some, I have included Bye Bye Blackbird due a certain familiarity, and Watch What Happens.

I do hope you will find this useful and perhaps pleasurable.  Barbara



Chord Studies:

1. Contemporary Bass Enhanced Triads in ‘Expanded Diatonic’ Chord Progressions

2. Tri-Level Chords and their Progressions: A Beginning (for the lover of Harmony)


Watch What Happens – Key of D

Bye Bye Blackbird –  Eb

Bluesette –  Bb

Wishing everyone all the best in the coming year.

*Barbara Franklin *  Dan Sindel * Paul Vachon*

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Season’s Greetings

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

May the spirit of this season remain in your heart long after the season has passed….

A joyous and peaceful holiday to everyone!  Barbara (and Ted)

(our only “Christmasy” photo)

Red is for brightness and cheer, green symbolizes the promise of new growth in the Spring.

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New for Dec.2010 at

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

December Greetings,

Continuing our tradition of offering thoughts to ponder as another year in our lives comes to a close. Ted kept this special quotation hanging in his apartment as it so well reflected his own idea on how to achieve any goal. (I posted this years (!) ago somewhere in the Forums.)

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.


*New Video on the website* from Joey B’s wedding video – an exquisite four-song medley!

AND * New Audio on the website* I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas

New Lesson Material for December:

Harmony Section – Contrary Motion Melody – 4 pages

IV iii7 ii7 w/Contrary Motion Melody –Pg.1

IV iii7 ii7 V7 I –Pg.2

IV iii7 ii7 V7 (alt.) I – Pg. 3

IV iii7 ii7 – Pg. 4

Tune: The Nearness of You  

From the Students: Compilations by Paul VachonThe Nearness of You – O Come All Ye Faithful – Deck the Halls


“Kindness is a small price to pay for the good will and affection of others.” Ted Greene

May you find peace, serenity and joy in your heart now and always.

Barbara Franklin

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New From for Oct. 1020

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Autumnal Greetings!

At the writing of this newsletter, it sure doesn’t feel as if Autumn has arrived here in Southern California!  We have been roasting in triple digit heat for days with no end insight.  Yes, summer’s last flame burns bright before she departs to grace the southern hemisphere with her potential furies.


This month brings you Part III of the George Van Eps/Ted Greene Interviews to download and savor.

Moreover, according to the statistics that depict the most popular lesson material, one of the favorites has been 10ths and Inner Pedals. Therefore this month we offer lessons of a similar nature, which bring out the beauty and movement of sustained inner voices and present a wider variety of options.


Lesson Material:

Harmony and Theory: Diatonic 6th and Inner Pedals

Introduction to Diatonic 6th and Inner Pedals – 3 Pages

Longer Phrases Using Diatonic 6th and Inner Pedals (& other sounds for variety)

A Form of Sustained Scale Technique

Diatonic 6th and Inner Pedals – Leading into 6ths and Soprano Pedals (and other sounds for Taste’s Sake)

Dorian and Aeolian 6ths with Inner Pedals  – Baroquish Flavour as a result.


Pennies From Heaven (1936), is a popular American song by Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnston.  It was also the title of a film made in 1936 starring Bing Crosby and Madge Evans, and introducing the song.

Moonglow was first recorded by Joe Venuti and his Orchestra in 1933, with later recordings by Ethel Waters and Benny Goodman his Orchestra in 1934, and has since become a jazz standard, performed and recorded numerous times by a wide array of musical talents.

TUNES:  Chord Melody Arrangement and Comping Pages for:

Moonglow – Ted Greene

Pennies From Heaven – Ted Greene

From the Students – A compilation of the above songs by Paul Vachon


As many of you are well aware, the lesson section has accumulated an abundance of varied material, a good portion of which we feel will appeal to and be useful for everyone for years to come.  There are many choices, and it is not always easy to choose wisely the first time.

An undoubted truth is: That which stimulates and challenges will sustain interest and produce the desired results.

It is my wish, as it was Ted’s to continually present a vast array of musical options with the hopes that at least some will resonate with your musical soul.

Wishing you inspiration and joy!

Barbara Franklin


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