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.

2 thoughts on “What’s Taking So Long?”

  1. First, you rock.

    Second, is it part of the deal that you need to have it committed to memory? You wouldn’t accept from yourself playing it off of written tab, or some such?

  2. Well, I have to admit. I’ve tried to be a “tab” person, but even though I get it and understand how tabs work, I don’t like them. I think I’m just not that kind of learner. I’ve worked with the tabs for all the solos so far, and I just do much better learning them by memory and just practicing over and over. Sometimes I wish that wasn’t the case, but there it is.

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