Classical guitar spotify playlists (part one)

In the last weeks I curated many playlists especially for the use of guitar students and teachers!

Best of Spanish classical guitar: all the pieces you need to know from Spanish romantic repertory by Albeniz, Tarrega, Granados etc

Best of South American classical guitar: Music by Barrios, Villa-Lobos, Brouwer, Piazzolla etc

How to win a classical guitar competition: All the pieces that I heard a lot as judge from those guitarist who finally win, the canon repertory to choose your “free” pieces from!

20st century guitar music: The masterpieces of the 20st century, music by Britten, Henze, Maw, Takemitsu etc

And a very special playlist: Tremolo Mania , a huge collection of pieces mainly written in tremolo or with important tremolo sections (not including variation works)

And a little gift for long winter evenings:
Candle light dinner classical guitar – contemporary classical guitar masterpieces , smooth and calm to listen to with a nice glass of wine……


YLUMI – nicht nur für die Nägel….

Sitzen zwei Gitarristen in einem Raum…. spätestens nach zehn Minuten wird über Fingernägel gesprochen! Und jeder, der mit natürlichen Nägeln spielt, hat da so seine Geheimrezepte für kräftige und stabile Nägel…
Neben gesunder Ernährung und dem “Helikoptern der Nägel” helfe ich gerade in stressigen Reisezeiten meinen Nägeln gern noch mit einer Extraportion zusätzlicher Energie von außen.
Und ich war schon immer Fan von Naturheilkunde und speziell TCM, so war ich superneugierig, als mir das erste Mal die Nahrungsergänzungsmittel von Ylumi begegnet sind, Kombinationen von Pilzen und Kräutern aus TCM und Ayurveda mit Vitaminen und hiesigen Pflanzenextrakten. Seitdem habe ich einige ihrer Produkte ausprobiert und war so begeistert, daß sich jetzt sogar eine Zusammenarbeit ergeben hat!

So können Sie jetzt mit dem Code HEIKEXYLUMI 15% Ermäßigung bekommen und nicht nur den Nägel, sondern auch Haut, Haaren und dem Stoffwechsel etwas Gutes tun.
Mehr Infos auf

Hier die Empfehlung des Ylumi-Teams speziell für Gitarristen: Beauty und Purify Kapseln! (Paid content)


It is exactly 20 ago that I
-played my first full length solo recital ( yes, 4 years after my diploma, never thought that this theater musician and chamber music maniac would really turn into a soloist…)
-moved into my first own flat
-recorded my first CD which got released in 1998
-met Roland Dyens which led to my recording of his music in 2001 and was the first step towards artistic independence with finding a path with themed programs
-started to play concerts for the Villa Musica Mainz which became my artistic home for so many years (and 2 years after auditioning for them!)

And fun fact:
In 1997 my family bought that cute little pink car I am still driving, 250k kilometers now and still working fine!

Isn’t that quite a lot happening in one year????

Playing in Kyoto 1997

Folias – a little tremolo study

I used to give this piece to all my pupils in their first months of playing guitar… and they have no idea then that they learn something considered “difficult”!
Tremolo is the base for a perfect right hand, you learn how to treat the fingers “democratically”, dynamic control, speed of relaxation, speed of movement and tone quality balanced between all fingers can be learned with this technique.
So here a video of me playing it at home:

and the sheet music

Heike Matthiesen: Folias
Heike Matthiesen: Folias


Why you should also play music you don’t like

It is one of the myths that musicians always play music to which they have a deep connection, which inspires them, which transports a secret message…
But sometimes a piece matches to a program which is on your “private blacklist”, music you don’t like to listen to and you never in your life wanted to play. ( Confess it: every musician has a list like this in his head….).

But to embrace a piece which you don’t like can be one of the most powerful lessons for all your preperation routines:
1) You don’t want to work it – so be efficient!
2) You don’t enjoy hearing it – you never get carried away from practising into just fun playing! ( important in EVERY piece you are working to know when it is work time or pleasure)
3) You need to “sell” it – find a way that maybe also you but for sure the audience enjoys listening, so look at it with the loving eyes of its composer or with the eyes of researcher showing why this piece is important for this special program or instrumental history

…. and maybe you will fall in love with it then also!!!

P.S.: I will not tell you which piece inspired me to this blogpost – and you should never give anybody your private blacklist, especially your audience should NEVER be able to find out which pieces are on it!

Periscope for musicians

The latest hype right now: Periscope!
But how to use it as musician?
You broadcast directly, no way to edit it. And without hacks not possible to be downloaded- screenshots possible. So it means this is a perfect tool for everything that should be shared directly and live ( did you see how much Periscope is already used for breaking news?):
1. Viewing concert and opera from backstage ( I saw opera from la Scala)
2. Masterclasses ( Verbier broadcasted them)
3. Lectures ( for example I saw some history speeches of the Alhambra)
4. Playing at home ( John Mayer, Al di Meola and many more)
5. Showing technique, tips and tricks of your instrument
6. Announcing recent events
7. All kind of messages to your fans
8. Question and answer sessions with your fans ( Gohar!)
9. Let them share a little bit of your life ( had breakfast with blogger Sasha Pallenberg in Taipeh)

First steps:
Make sure your Periscope account is connected to your Twitter, update your Twitter bio, because this will be your bio on Periscope. Make sure you mention there your “key words” like “Classical guitar” etc. You will be found via them in Periscope search, plus name search of course.
Like in every other nonmutual network: Follow a lot of people! You will get insides how they use Periscope and they will see that you are there, check their followinglists also to find interesting people and collegues.
I follow now around 500 people, most of them connected with classical music.So Periscope turns into a really specialised live TV 🙂

Practical advices:
When you click on the little broadcast in the right down corner you will see this ( of course in your language..)
FIRST create a senseful title – if you want to keep your broadcasts connected to your profession- otherwise you risk to attract people who just want to flirt etc…..
Then click on the little Twitter icon so your broadcast will be announced there, it will enlarge your audience immensely
Then check if you want to broadcast publically or not- then go for it and click on “start”.
Attention: There is not yet a possibility to start directly with your front camera, you switch directly after starting with doubletapping on the screen, but your first picture will be the thumbnail so make sure that it is a senseful view when you start!
Have fun now!
You can read the comments of your live audience ( same you can comment when you watch somebody live), all other live viewers will see the comments too, you will see who is online, the way to show appreciation is sending hearts. It will feel weird at first to communicate like this, but sooner or later it is really like talking!
You finish with swiping down the screen- and then you have the possibility to decide wether erase it or to leave it for the public for the next 24 hours, I would recommend this for all kind of professional stuff – thinking of time zones around the world.

I am right now “playing” with it, trying to figure out which possibilities are interesting for us professional musicians, so this are just my first experiences after some weeks.
Do you have some more ideas how to use it?

Recording my new CD

A little diary, I just came home from studio:
December 2015: Decided to go to studio in April 2015.
That is soooo far away, completely relaxed trying new pieces for the CD, changing the order of the program, practising all the stuff for my normal “work”.
January 2015
This recording I want to do something better than the last time: Having booklet etc ready when I go to studio.
Still not knowing which pieces exactly to record, but April still is sooooo far away.
But starting to do test recordings at home and to play the program for the musician whom I trust completely ( Thanks, Inge!).
Lots of sports.
February 2015
okay, March I will have many concerts, so really starting to focus on the CD. Social Media starting to disappear from my everyday life, starting to tell friends if we could talk or meet after the recording.
Deciding what to record plus the order. More test recordings, less conversations with the real world.
Lots of sports.
March 2015
The plan was besides tough concert schedule to play once a day a runthrough. Forget it! The old professional rule: “The next work is the most important!”
Starting to turn into a helicoptermum for my hands.
Last minute gigs including Flamenco arriving ( brushing up my rasgueado-OMG, the nails!).
Less sports, more chocolate.
Two weeks before going to studio
Oh, I completely forgot the booklet…
Panic for my fingers, starting to wear gloves, my home turning more and more into chaos, almost impossible for outside world to talk to me on the phone.
No more sports, just a little stretching after work, lots of chocolate
One week before the recording
Just can’t wait anymore to finish the CD!!!!!!!!
Home in messie status, brain cool and focussed- and nails and hands still perfect.
Missing my daily sports – and no more desire to eat chocolate.
Day 1: recording as many pieces as possible
Day 2: recording tough pieces
Day 3: recording the beasts, those pieces where you have to cross your own limits.

Returning home, unloading the luggage, breaking my thumbnail.

Recording session
Recording session