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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November 2010 at

Mid-Autumn Greetings,

This month offers the Final installment (Part IV) of the George Van Eps/Ted Greene        taped interview for Guitar Player Magazine.

There is a very special song this month, one of Ted’s original pieces titled Thanksgiving Chorale. Ted wrote it when he was 28 years old and assiduously studying the style of J.S. Bach, upon which the piece is highly influenced.   I never did ask Ted about the title, but since it was written during November 1974, it is probable that he wrote it to commemorate the holiday.

I encourage you to look at David and Paul’s write-ups for it, located in the section titled From the Students.  By itself, the page might be difficult to read and decipher.  Paul has made the notation very clear to read, and provided “possible chord diagrams” for the guitarist.  David’s analysis will no doubt shed light into the compositional construction, and show how it relates to J.S. Bach.

New and stimulating activity in the Forums

I am happy to see that there has been some interest generated by a couple of threads in the Forums called “Name That Chord” and “Name That Chord Progression.” This has led to some very stimulating musical discussions.  The examples are from Ted’s “Personal Studies” pages – not from his regular teaching material.  We will continue to post more examples if interest and participation grows, and I encourage anyone to join the discussions, to ask questions, offer observations, or make comments.  There are some real experts in our membership who can offer a wealth of information, and some insights into Ted’s teachings and perspectives…free for the asking!

Which brings me to the new lesson material:

Ted titled this study: Diatonic Scalewise Derived Passages – Triads

On all these pages Ted has asked the student to name the chords.  He does indicate what key the exercise is in.  I do encourage you to give it a try. If anyone needs assistance, just email and we will post a few in the Forums as examples.  By the time you’ve completed all the lesson exercises, as per Ted’s instructions, that is: do them in all keys indicated, you will have gained an extensive knowledge of three-note triads and their inversions!  These exercises consist of five pages!

Very useful, yes?


Chord Studies: Getting Acquainted With Triads – 5 pages (numbered 1,1a, 2,3,4)

Tune: Thanksgiving Chorale by Ted Greene

From the Students: Compilation by Paul Vachon

Analysis by David Bishop


And I will leave you with this:

“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the origin of all the other virtues.”   Marcus Tullius Cicero

[Lat., Gratus animus est una virtus non solum maxima, sed etiam mater virtutum onmium reliquarum.] Source: Oratio Pro Cnoeo Plancio (XXXIII)

One aspect of Ted’s character that factored heavily in his life was gratitude.  Ted lived his life in gratitude for all that was bestowed upon him, and quite often expressed and acknowledged how blessed he felt.  These feelings of gratitude were also reflected in his generosity towards others, and in the way he lived.

May you all have a joyous Thanksgiving celebration.

Barbara Franklin

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