We Two, acoustic jazz on a 1938 Vega C-66


Alright, it's December and I'm finally writing about my November song, which is a beautiful tune I wrote with the help of my family back when we were all gathered for the annual creation of Pysanki eggs over spring break/Easter 2016. As the ladies melted wax and dyed elaborate designs on their eggs, they would yell out lyric suggestions, helping me as I tried to concoct a song that I could sing for my niece's wedding at the end of May. We didn't quite get it finished that day, and I didn't sing it at the wedding, but I did some woodshedding with the song recently, and it is now a fully formed neoclassical jazz pop confection that sounds lovely with simple acoustic archtop guitar accompaniment, provided here by my ever reliable Vega C-66.

About the song

I really like this chord progression, and as is so often the case, I was reluctant to spoil it by actually putting lyrics to it. However, I am not an instrumentalist. I'm a singer/songwriter, so at some point, there has to be something to sing. All of the women in my life are amazingly creative, and at least one of my daughters is an actual poet, so I hit on the notion of having them all help me develop the lyrics while they were gathered in our house for Pysanki. After all, Aurora (said poet) had done a nice job helping me out of some tight spots lyrically before, so I figured having the whole team involved would make short work out of it. As it turns out, writing lyrics is not writing free verse, and they all acknowledged that it is a challenge to come up with simple singable rhymes that don't immediately sound cliche. Mostly, the crew offered gags and silliness, but there was the occasional treasure tossed in for good measure (thanks Wynn), and, jokes aside, I got a good start on the song that day, though I didn't actually finish it until last month (October). And the eggs turned out pretty well too.

About the guitar

One of the things that helped me finish this song was making a change in how I play the accompaniment. I originally played this stylistically in a manner that I would describe as 60's B-movie sound track, with a swinging 6/8 feel. Ba dup, Budup, Ba dup, Budup...Kind of yuck, but kind of cool. However, when I took the pickup off of the C-66, I really began to focus on playing the guitar in the style that it was built for. The result was I found myself playing this chord progression with a lightly swung four feel, emphasizing the low end, and channeling a little Eddie Lang (famous early swing guitar player who hung out with Bing Crosby). It was easier to play and sing, and sounded more natural for the lyrics we had developed over Easter. Inspired, I knuckled down and finished the lyrics. But it began with a change in the guitar. Which changed the way I played. Which changed the way the whole thing felt. Which allowed me to see a way to finish the song. Which is why it's great to have a lot of different guitars! See, it's all about owning enough guitars!

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