Marcel (Siff)'s Learning Log

Started: 18. October 2022 with Grade 1 Module 1

Status 06. November2023:

  • Guitar Beginner Course Grade 3 Consolidation
  • Practical Music Theory Course Grade 4 Consolidation

Status 15. February 2024:

  • Guitar Course Grade 4 Rythm Essentials
  • Practical Music Theory Course Grade 4 Consolidation

Practice Routine:

Practice Routine Old 06.11.23

Open the fretboard and continue the course in Grade 4.
The goal is to be able to compose rather than perfect the technique fast, so I added a Fretboard memorizing exercise and will continue to practice the E and A barre chords I learned in the theory course to have them at hand sooner.

Old Goals 2023

Continuing to Guitar course Grade 4 after consolidating grades 1-3.

I will make a single take of each song, starting with simpler ones and integrating the learnings of each recording to have an acceptable performance of each song to play in a set.

Rehearsal recordings:

  1. Stuck in the middle with you (13.09.2023)
  2. Mad World (C1 fingerstyle) (26.09.2023)
  3. Thrill is Gone (C2) (30.09.2023)
  4. GoodRiddance (Time of your Life) (Stuck Chords) (13.10.23)
  5. House of The Rising Sun (17.10.23)
  6. Stand by Me (2 Barre Chords) (18.10.23)
  7. Fly Me to the Moon (3 Barre Chords) (24.10.23)
  8. Crazy little thing called love (2 Barre Chords, Sus4 Chord) (06.11.23)
  9. Sunny Afternoon (1 Barre and Slash Chords)
  10. Sitting on the Dock of the bay (Barre Chords in verses and outro)


Studio A and B (21.10.23)

Gear and Workstation Studio A (17.08.23)
Rundown of Recording Process and Setup in Studio B (17.08.23)

Repertoire memorized Songs:

1. Stand by Me 
2. Sitting on the Dock of the bay
3. Stuck in the middle with you 
4. Sunny Afternoon
5. House of The Rising Sun
6. Crazy little thing called love
7. Über den Wolken
8. Mad World 1
9. Zundhölzli 1
10. Dr Sidi Abdel Assar 2
11. Cant help Falling in Love 2
12. Thrill is Gone 2
13. Hemmige 5
14. Blowing in The Wind 7
15. Surfin USA 6
16. Greensleeves
17. Wicked Game
18. GoodRiddance (Time of your Life)
19. Koopa Beach
20. Fly me to the Moon
21. Wild Thing 
22. Para Siempre (Vicente Fernandez) 1
23. Guten Abend gute Nacht
24. More than Words (flat tuning)
25. Summer in the City
26. All day and all night long
27. Betrachtige übernes Sandwich 3



Brown Eyed Girl
Thats Entertainment 3
La Bamba
Maria Isabel
Mute City


Need you tonight
Boom Boom
The Joker
Perfect Day

Hi Marcel,

quite impressive first entry in your LL - great stuff! :slight_smile:

You seem to have a profund repertoire (some swiss songs in it, right? :smiley: ) of songs already, that’s great. :+1: Coming from Grade 1 to end of grade 3 in less than a year is quite fast and shows the dedication you put into this - and probably lots of hours of practice, too. :wink:

Taking your time to consolidate is never wrong. The more solid the foundation you build on, the better it will get with more advanced skills and less likely to come back revisiting basic stuff that is needed for moving on. :slight_smile: On the other hand, it can be helpful to move on before getting bored and coming back to basics from time to time as repetition. :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to your 10 songs set. You will see, it will help yourself most assessing your current skill level and having a few views from outside surely will boost your progress as well. :slight_smile:

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Thanks Lisa for the encouraging words already.

(some swiss songs in it, right? :smiley: )

Yes the gibberish word ones are swiss :stuck_out_tongue: I will save them to post them with higher production videos (including CC) to present them here someday soon.

Coming from Grade 1 to end of grade 3 in less than a year is quite fast

I was jobless 6 months so I had several hours a day. Also, I was already learning to make music with other means for 2 years before that.

On the other hand, it can be helpful to move on before getting bored and coming back to basics from time to time as repetition

Good advice. But, as now I’m working again I need to focus more in less time :sweat_drops:

I’m looking forward to your 10 songs set.

For the set, I choose known songs so people can pick something to check out that they know.
I feel it’s a hard sell to watch 30 min of a newbie, but the community here seems awesome in giving each other feedback :hugs:

I always try if I see something I can contribute in the avoyp threads, but mostly just leave a heart if I can’t add anything :sweat_smile:

You will see, it will help yourself most assessing your current skill level and having a few views from outside surely will boost your progress as well.

Yeah, if I can get it done so that i feel confident enough to post it I’m halfway there already.


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Hi Marcel,

Wow, that is an impressive learning log. Very organised. I am definitely taking a leaf out of your book. (Or log)
I think I would have trouble memorising just your list of memorised songs never mind the songs and the lyrics of them too.
I look forward to your hearing your 10 song set, good luck.
I enjoyed your ‘time of your life’ video (this happens to be 1 of 3 songs I have memorised :raised_hands:) and your drum and bass piece. Very good :clap: :clap: :clap:

Best wishes,


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Awesome start to your log, Marcel. That is quite some repertoire you have. Like the plans and look forward to the recording.

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Hi Marcel, that’s a terrific start to your learning log and clearly you’ve been very dedicated over the last year to progress as you have done. A very nice and diverse list of songs you’ve got already in your repertoire so your “exam” will be great fun for us to listen to.
All the best!

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Salut Marcel :smiley:
Wow you have quite a setlist there to keep you busy…
It makes me quite nostalgic to see all those Mani Matter songs there :open_mouth:
Maybe think of adding Ds Lied vo de Bahnhöf? :wink:

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Hey Alan

thanks for your kind words.

And great if we can inspire each other by talking about our practice.

I think I would have trouble memorising just your list of memorised songs never mind the songs and the lyrics of them too.

I often struggle to name them myself, got a list on my phone always handy if someone asks what I can play :wink:

Don’t want to be patronizing, I’m still new too, but I’d like to tell you what helped me to memorise songs here, maybe it is of some help:

I practiced outside of the training routine with lots of repetitions when learning new songs daily. until playable without tabs and then try to pause some days. It’s not the perfect delayed memorizing technique Justin recommends, but similar. Also, if you really learn a song a few days well, I feel the chords come automatically with the flow of the song. But knowing the lyrics and arrangement by memory helps to remind me where the “automated fingering chunks” are in the song.

Regarding lyrics, I learned to memorize them relatively fast in the theater at school when I was young. What works best for me is a few hours before going to sleep to try to memorize as big a chunk of the lyrics as I can. Then going to bed I just repeat what I memorized in my mind a few times while brushing my teeth and going to bed, until falling asleep or getting bored of it. The time where I’m in bed in the dark is the best I think though. You can really try to paint pictures or a movie fitting to the lyrics to jog your memory into associating the flow of the lyrics to a inner visual/feeling/story that fit to your thinking.

Most of the time if I did that for 2-4 days with a song, it was etched pretty well in my mind.

As with learning the chords and movements in songs learning lyrics in chunks (when learning new chunks, still repeat the first previously memorized chunks when doing the mind repetition until the whole song is one big memorized chunk).

Cheez, this got a bit of a stream of consciousness vibe and got a bit long. Hope you understand and maybe can get something out of it.

Best wishes to you too and much motivation and fun with progressing!


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Hoi Brian

Still so cool that you know the songs :smiley:

I will try to add one at a time. I’m still bad at transcribing and my song choices regarding Mani Matter are a bit dependent on the availability of tabs or tutorials. This song, in particular, is kinda a bit too dark for me personally, there are a few more songs I’d like to learn first, that are also musically a bit more interesting to me.

But I’ll keep it in mind, thanks for the recommendation :wink:

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Hi Marcel,

Thanks for sharing your strategy and methods for learning songs, chords, lyrics. Very interesting and much appreciated.
I will have a go with them next song I set out to learn a song and see if they help me.

Best wishes,


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Haha, I am drawn to the dark like a moth to the light :rofl:
I find there is a dark side or at least cutting satirical aspect to most Matter songs :wink:
Wiiter so!

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I found no "show your Studio* thread, so I’ll post this update here:

Finally installed a rack to have all my guitars handy in one place to grab. Would have loved wall hangers, but my walls are full of mirrors and stuff.

All relatively cheap starter guitars:
Cascha Premium Mahagoni Ukulele
Harley Benton Traveler-Steel Acoustic
Yamaha C40 Classic
Walden CE 350 Acoustic
Yamaha Pacifica 112V Electric
Harley Benton PJ-4 SBK E-Bass

Also built an imitation of a Boss 505 looper with a 25-key keyboard and some foot switches in Ableton. (That’s why there is a small keyboard on the bigger one). I’m still no Marc Rebillet, but it is fun to get into live looping.

Also some cheat sheets stuck to my window:


Full studio going on there, Siff, with enough screens to guide the Enterprise during warp drive :rofl: You’re an organised man.
You can find some other members’ setups here:


Oh how I ever dreamed of a space ship cockpit. Gaming was too dull to roleplay it for me. But producing get’s you close enough to space-travel in cockpit, it’s a travel through time, waves and mind :nerd_face:

Well, I got some free screens from my old jobs and old tvs nobody uses anymore. It’s a bit overkill in almost all situations, but for jamming and producing it’s so cool to have an overview over all the important stuff.

Thanks for the link. Checked it out. Will keep it in mind and resurrect the thread when I got studio B (where I record vox and guitar) set up properly.
(in other words: when there’s no drying laundry in it anymore…)

Very nice progress Marcel. I’m a grade yellow lifer it seems lol.

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Thanks Jeff.

Aw, common don’t sweat it. I’m sure this rush could bite me in the A someday. But in the first years of the hobby I can be a good sponge if I really like something (especially when I had months of hours on end with nothing to do). Also, that’s self assessed, we’ll see if it translates to the “exam”.

I wish I had more constructive words. I think just trying to systematically learn things in ones own rythm is also something we gotta learn.

It’s great that you’re writing songs and keeping at it, the “it clicked” moments will come more and more.

I was struggling with my PC a bit and couldn’t get my DAW-Software running. I will get back to you soon so we can continue to work on our collab and your composition.

What a setup, Marcel! Impressive. :exploding_head:

But what’s even more impressive to me: are you able to read these cheat sheets while playing? I’ll go looking for my magnifying glass. :face_with_monocle: :rofl:

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Hey Lisa, better late than never, but my reply to your question: I got eagle eyes.
But also I use it more to compose, learn or just check if memorized correctly. Trying to play from lyrics or from the mind.

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I think someone informed @Richard_close2u of an incoming dilettante bomb video with 10 songs of a slacker like me who wants to go green :wink:

If so he was right. I set up my recording stuff, but hardly can play 3 songs “flawlessly”. It’s not the goal to be perfect, but if this is an indication till song 10 there will be hundreds of jarring mistakes.

So thanks again for the feedback in the safe space: Beginner's safe space - #704 by Richard_close2u

I will now adapt this challenge, as I still want to try and record a full set to analyze how it will turn out. Then after a few weeks/month try it again and see if I improved on what flaws I found in the first recording.

What do you guys think? Should I post the first successful 10 Song try? Maybe just cut out the best for Avoyp?

Hey Marcel, I’d suggest record and post the first song out of the ten. Take all the feedback and apply it to the second song and so forward. Then after you’ve taken onboard any feedback on the final song then take the approach of recording a setlist in one go.