Marcel (Siff)'s Learning Log

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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Again almost two weeks passed and couldn’t get to record :frowning:

Got to prepare for some better recordings and comfort though.
Cleared up and reorganized the room where I record acoustic guitar in the meantime.

Here is the view from behind the recording space now:

Still waiting on a softbox for a bit better lighting, got only a lamp with a cushion lining over it for the moment.

Hope I can do some more rehearsal videos in the next days, now that my set up is more comfy.

I also finally (had to) restring my electric guitar (1st string broke when trying to clean it (0.009 gauge, so maybe a bit wimpy).
This went almost smoothly until I overturned the new 1st string and it broke. I haven’t had any more electric guitar strings around and everything was closed on the weekend, so I broke out one of the acoustic string packs I luckily had lying around, and the 0.011 gauge was close enough and it worked well.

Today I restocked all kinds of strings and restrung my classical and my travel guitar too for the first time, yay.
Only took a 3rd string to break on the travel guitar… (hopefully) I finally have learned my practical lesson in restringing.

Being a bit addicted to learning new things (especially from Justin :P) I haven’t had many new guitar lessons to absorb, as I’m still consolidating Grade 3.
So I continued in the theory course and found more and more clarity there. These are only a few of the dozens of papers I scribbled on to get the Major Theory into my head.

Next up :

  • Mad World Fingerstyle for “Acoustic 10 Song Set Rehearsal”
  • Ranchera “Mariachi” Song “Para Siempre” performed on classical guitars and overlayed with leads for AVOYP.

Today I found some daytime to record a take of Mad World:

I still haven’t learned the melody but I like how the two fingerstyle patterns sound (R3231232 for verses and R3212321 for choruses)

Some start problems like hesitant chord changes, looking at guitar (away from mic) and wrong lyrics (drown my sorrow instead of drown in sorrow).

Else I’m happy so far with the recording.

I did some mixing, still experimenting with how to mix the guitar tone. Had to lower the microphones of the guitar as they had some noise, hope it’s sounding ok with more of the piezo guitar sound. Next time I got to gainstage the guitar recording microphones better if playing something softer, so the noise floor gets lower.

Next up is a simple version of “The thrill is gone”


Making good progress, Marcel. Just keep doing what you are doing.

I think the guitar tone was good. Perhaps you could mix the vocal just a wee bit softer, perhaps just backup from the mic an inch or two more?

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Salut Marcel,
Glad you found some axe-time to share :grinning:
I agree, the fingerstyle patterns are pleasing on the ear.
Hehe, I often change lyrics, esp. if I am not that fond of the originals and in your case, your ‘mistake’ improves them for me :laughing:

I’m not sure that’s quite right. I think you do know the melody, but are subconsciously singing the harmonies instead of the main melody :thinking:
I am surprised how often I start the song on a wrong note (usually the 1,3 or 5) and only notice a couple of bars in that things aren’t ‘right’.
Try singing the first vocal note of each bar on E, B, A, A and see if you prefer that (well half a note higher as you have the capo on 1). I believe that’s closer to the original, but it’s also good to make songs your own :wink:

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Hi Marcel,
What David say`s about vocal mix I echo,
and I found fingerpicking pleasant to listen to… well done :sunglasses:


“You were my first and my last this morning…” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Get back to :guitar::wink:


:rofl: :joy: :rofl:
DON’T DO THAT when I’m drinking tea :see_no_evil:

(I have 3 fingers on the strings again :smiley:, 1 more to go :sweat_smile:)

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