This is the actual lick, and these are the finish notes only.

This lick is done by sliding from the 3rd to the 4th fret and then back up to

the 2nd fret. It can be done as two separate picks or as only one pick with a

smooth up and back down the neck motion. Then finger and play the first fret,

then the open four string. All of this should be done as a very flowing, smooth

lick. The note on the 3rd string first fret can also be a pull-off from the 2nd

fret note. Above I also showed the finish notes. These are just the notes them-

selves without the slides, so you can see which ones you're aiming for within

the lick. There are several variations on this lick, both with timing or with

additional notes, but this is the basic figure as used in this, and several

other of Skip's D-minor tunes (ei. Cherry Ball Blues, Devil Got My Woman, etc).

Skip and John both frequently used a John Lee Hooker-ish multiple hammer-on

on that 3rd string/first fret note repeated after the open 4th string that

ends the lick above, and then adding one of the "rhythmic figures" shown down

below after the tab for the first verse.

Now I'll start on the first verse. This verse, with or without improvised

changes, can also be used as an intro to the piece.






You know that hard times 'r here and everywhere you go



D__0________0______0_________0_________0____________(insert sig lick now)__



Times is harder than they been before

F______1______(sig lick)__________1_________(sig lick)_____________




Whoa-o-o..... oh-o........



F______1_______(sig lick)____________2____________________________




Whoa-o-o oh-o oh





(turnaround line to next verse or ending)


A______3______ 3________2________2_______1_______1__________0________

F___4____4_________ ___3___3____________2___2____________0h1__________


(this is another variation turnaround to next verse or an ending)

The above is done using a pull-off to the open note from the picked note. Other

notes in the open strings can be added as well if desired.


A__0h3__ _________________________________________________3____0_______________





(This is a semi-melody line guitar instrumental for between two verses)

The sequence above is a series of thumb and first-finger pinches with a few

rolling slow arpeggiations added. Follow it with the "signature lick" (with

or without one of the rhythmic figures that are shown in the example below).

Slides, especially to the 3/4 pairs, can be added for more expression.

Again, this can be improvised as seen fit.

D____________________0_____ __________0_______________0_______

__________________________ ___0h2____________________________

F______________0h1_________ ___________________0h1____________

D_______0__________________ or ______________0___________________

__0h2_____________________ __________________________________

D__________0_____________0_ ______________0________________0__

(Here are "rhythmic figures" that can be used with or in place of the signature

lick shown at the beginning. Skip frequently added one of these. He sometimes

would vamp between these and his sig lick several times before the next verse

and used them frequently as fills when they might fit in a given time-space.

Again, he frequently used multiple hammers on the 0-hammer-1 note above.)

The final ending chord to one of his D-minor tunes would frequently be 000130

which is a D7 chord, or a single note on the open second string followed by

this d7 chord.

"Hard Time Killin' Floor" by Nehemiah "Skip" James, 1930

You know that hard times are here an' everywhere you go.

Times is harder than they been before.

Whoa-o-o, Oh-o. Whoa-o-o, Oh-o Oh. (Sung, moaned or hummed between verses)

And the people are driftin' from door to door

Can't find no heaven, don't care where they go.

You hear me singing my lonesome song

These hard times can last so very long.

If I ever get off of this killin' floor,

I'll never get down this low no more.

You say you have money, you better be sure.

These hard times will drive you from door to door.

Gonna sing this song, ain't gonna sing no more.

These hard times will drive you from door to door.