Skip James

Skip James - Hard Time Killing Floor Blues guitar tab

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#---------------------------------PLEASE NOTE--------------------------------#
# This transcription is the author's own work and represents his interpret-  #
# tation of the song. It is intended for private study, scholarship and      #
# research purposes only and is not intended for publication or distribution.#

Hard Time Killing Floor -by Nehemiah "Skip" James, 1930
Tabbed by Dadfad (John M.) or August 1, 2002
Done on Microsoft Notepad using: Courier New, 10 font.

If you're looking for a note-for-note tab from the movie "O Brother Where Art
Thou", this isn't it. This is in the style it was played originally by Skip
James. Very similar to the movie, but not exactly. That's how these styles of
tunes were done back in the '20s and '30s as traditional country blues tunes.
It's difficult to really explain how to play a tune like this from tab, but
there have been so many requests that I'll try my best. Skip James' style in
open D-Minor is largely composed of several "signature licks" that when added
to the general progression of the tune make it very recognizeable as a Skip
James piece. I think the best way to start is by first tabbing his most dis-
tinguishable lick with both tab and describing how it is played, and then
in the body of the main tab I can just say "add sig lick here". I learned to
play Skip's tunes in his style many years ago from Bowling Green John Cephas,
(probably the foremost living expert on Skip James-Bentonia Style D-min blues)
who knew him personally and learned from Skip himself. This will be a simpli-
fied version at best. The only way to play it properly is to become familiar
with the tuning and finger-style playing in this style and add and improvise
as you go, which is how both Skip and Bowling Green played it. I guess the
best way to start is by giving the open D-minor tuning (Open E-minor can also
be used but is harder on your strings and guitar neck). Tab would be identical
for either open D-minor (DADFAD) or open E-minor (EBEGBE). Put down your pick.
This must be played with your fingers.

Skip's main signature lick is as follows:

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Author: ?

Composer: ?

Publisher: Mississippi Records


Released in: 1931

Language: English

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