Marcel (Siff)'s Learning Log

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.


Que aburido!

You’re probably right. Maybe a better idea and less mental hassle.

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Wow, that looks like an amazing place for fun, entertainment, creativity. Very impressed.
And you collect ‘catch a ball in an egg cup?’ above mirror? Just for when you have a bit of down time? :slightly_smiling_face:

Haha, thx. Some said it’s a bit much for a “beginner” But I just love to have a palette.

It was about 2 years I was rabbit-holing the Kendama (it’s the Japanese more complex version of ball and cup). And the collection grew a bit out of hand (also they don’t last forever in pristine playing condition). Now that I take my travel guitar everywhere my hands are mostly busy with the guitar when idle.

But since Justin explained the idea of balance training before learning new stuff to make the brain kinda more receptive to learning, I dusted them off and use a few tricks for brain warm-up before practicing/learning. (I sadly can’t find the video).

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I see, how interesting. Never seen them before. Could be a stocking filler for my 8 year this year. I did wonder how you managed to balance the ball on top but I understand now having watched a video. Thanks for sharing.

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Update September 2023:

Still consolidating the Beginner Course, but continued the practical Music Theory to Grade 4 and now consolidating that for the moment.

Happy I got pretty well into barre chords so far, so MT Grade 4 wasn’t as impractical to consolidate as it seemed some weeks ago.

Didn’t get to do as much recording as I wanted. I’m still working on correcting the video setup (better lighting and less visual clutter).
Also still experimenting with how to blend 2 mics and the piezo (and voice) better in the mix.

Haven’t had time or energy over the day to do a better take since some days, so this has to do for now.

My takeaways after editing:
  • Rushed the intro and got a bit creative with the outro
  • Dynamics in the chorus could be more emphasised
  • Don’t look to the side when singing into the microphone
  • Change the placement of the stands to be less obstructive
  • Don’t stop tapping the foot if using it as a metronome.
  • Try Percussive Knocks on wood instead of the pickguard
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Hi Marcel,
Enjoyed your performance. You seem to have covered a lot of areas for tweaking in your own analysis.
This made me smile

when I watched it back.
Thought you did a nice job with the strumming pattern including the percussive hit :clap:
Best wishes,

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