Hot Tuna – Hesitation Blues tab

#----------------------------------PLEASE NOTE---------------------------------#
#This file is the author's own work and represents their interpretation of the #
#song. You may only use this file for private study, scholarship, or research. #

HESITATION BLUES (trad., after J. Kaukonnen, as recorded on the LP
"Hot Tuna", ca. 1972).  Tab by Tim Keenan

This is in response to a request last week.  It is a great country
blues tune, in "swung" 4/4, i.e. every quarter is subdivided in 3
(or you can think of it as 12/8, if you'd rather).  When this sort
of thing is written down, it is traditionally written as dotted
time, but the eighth note is really only 1/3 of a quarter note, not
1/2.  Clear as mud? Count it as ah 1 and ah 2 and ah 3 and ah 4,
with all syllables the same length, and you'll do fine.  Quarter
notes are at a normal walking speed.


1. Low notes, on the beat, are always played by the thumb
2. I use the chord positions marked above the tab to play all the
   other notes--just use the most obvious convenient finger within
   the chord (or nearby) to fret the tabbed notes
/= 1-fret rising slur, //= 2, etc.
^= 1/2 tone push
x= damped note
h= hammer on
!= Broken chord (rapid arpeggio, bass>treble)
==== sustained note

4. The vamp in the first line shows h's before the treble notes in the
   Am and E7 chords: these are hammered on on the beat, but not plucked.

5. There are probably some errors-- if it doesn't sound right, you'll
   know.  It is pretty obvious, once you get the feel.  I never play it
   exactly the same, two verses running, so this is just a template.

I'm not at all sure of the first line of that last verse, but it's
my best guess.  I'd be happy to hear alternate "translations".

Tim Keenan
Department of Forest Resources

I hope someone enjoys this--let me know.

Am E7 Am E7e-----|-----------------O-------|-----------------O-------B-----|h1x----1-----O---3-------|h1x----1-----O---3-------G---O-|h2x----2---Oh1---------O-|h2x----2---Oh1---------O-D-----|h2x----2----h2-----2-----|h2x----2----h2-----2-----A-----|-Ox---------h2-----------|-Ox---------h2-----------E-----|-------------O-----------|-------------O-----------4 + a 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a
a nickel is a nickel and a dime is a dime
Am E C C7|-----------------O-1---2-|!3---O-------------------|h1x----1-----O-----------|!1-----1---------3-1-----|h2x----2---Oh1---------O-|!O---------4-3---------O-|h2x----2----h2-----2-----|-------2-----------2-----|-Ox---------h2-----------|!3-----------3-----------|-------------O-----------|------------------------- 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a
I need a new gal she won't mind, tell me --
Chorus: F F F Fe|-------------------------|-------------------------B|-1x----3x----3^====3---1====x----3x----3^====3---1-G|-2x----2x----------2---2====x----2x----------2---2-D|-3x----------3-----------|-3x----------3-----------A|-------------------------|-------------------------E|-------------------------|------------------------- 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a
How long do I have to wait?
C7 C7e|-------------------------|-------------------------B|-------1x----------------|-1x----------------------G|-------3x----2-/-3====x--|-3x----2-/-3====---------D|-------2x----1-/-2====x--|-2x----1-/-2====---------A|-3x----------2-/-3====x3x|-------2-/-3====--------- OR:-----O---1--|-2E|-------------------------|-----------------O-1---2- ---3--------|-- 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a a 4 + a
G7 G7e|-------1---------1-------|-------------------------B|-----------3-------------|-----------5-4-----3-----G|-----O-----------------O-|-----O-----------O-----O-D|-------O-----------O-----|-----//5-----4-----3-----A|-------------------------|-------------------------E|-3x----------3-----------|-3----------------------- 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a
Can I get you now, Lord, must I hesi-
C C7 F Fm6 C G7e|-------------------------|-----------1===========--B|-----1-------1-----1-----|-1---------O===========--G|-------3-----2-----1-----|-O---O-----O===========--D|-------2-----3-----O-----|-------------O-----------A|-3-----------------------|-3-----------------------E|-------------------------|-------3-----------3----- 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a
-tate? Well, the eagle on the dollar says "in God we trust" You say you want a man, I wanna see that dollar first, tell me-- (Chorus) If the river was whiskey, and I was a duck, You know I'd swim to the bottom, Lord, an' never come up, tell me-- (Chorus) Rocks in the ocean, baby, fish in the sea knows you mean the world to me, tell me-- (Chorus) Well, the hesitatin' stalker's got them hesitatin' shoes Lord, I got them Hesitatin' Blues, tell me-- How long do I have to wait? Can I get you now, Lord, must I hestitate Said, can I get you now, how long must I hesitate?
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