What’s Taking So Long?


I really thought this one would be less challenging. That’s why I put it as solo #4. I thought I would breeze through it, especially after learning the Nirvana song and Go Your Own Way, each in under a week. I’ve been practicing Mississippi Queen for 12 days, and I still feel like I’ve got a week or more to go before I’m ready to perform it.

Here’s are a couple of reasons this one is taking longer than I thought:

  1. It’s longer than the others. At 2:29, this is more than twice the length of the other solos I’ve learned. It also has a lot more notes. I was actually still learning pieces of the song a couple of days ago.
  2. There’s a lot to remember. I’ve got it memorized, but when I play it, I tend to mix up a part or play the wrong piece. It’s frustrating when I’m practicing, but when I perform it, I’m going to blow a gasket when I mess up at two minutes in. I don’t want to even try to perform it until I can play it through without forgetting or mixing up sections.
  3. It’s freaking hard. Most of the song I can play without too much trouble, but the section at the end that intersperses solo and rhythm is giving me tremendous heartburn. I know what I’m supposed to play, but in the heat of the song, my fingers won’t do what I want them to do.

I know this is all part of the grind of practice, and I’m not complaining — I’m putting in a minimum of an hour every day, and I’m still enjoying every minute of it. I just wanted to let those of you who are following along why I haven’t put up my performance of this “easy” song. It’s not as easy as it looked.