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There is a somewhat difficult chord near the beginning of Isaac Albinez's Austurias. I will post it in tablature form for the sake of convenience:

    E|-12-| 4
    B|-8--| 1
    G|-9--| 2
    D|-8--| 1
    A|-10-| 3
    E|-8--| 1

I can barely form this chord in 30 seconds, let alone in line with the song at the tempo it was meant to be played at.

My guitar has very little action, I'm holding strings very close to the frets with the tips of my fingers, my nails have been trimmed to the flesh, I'm using the side of my index for the barre, my thumb is held relaxed but firm at the middle of the neck (not over like Carlos Santana) and yet after a considerable amount of practice I still can't form this chord without strain or muted string.

I really can't foresee my current form improving much with additional practice so I guess I am doing something wrong.

Are there any tricks to playing this?

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Anyone else who can't see the tab? –  kevlar1818 Jun 4 '12 at 17:24
    
I can't see the tab, either. I've tried it in Safari and in Chrome, no luck with either one. –  Alex Basson Jun 4 '12 at 17:26
    
yeah for some reason it goes away, i'll just make it fullwidth –  enthdegree Jun 4 '12 at 17:29
1  
I can barely form this chord in 30 seconds and I really can't foresee my current form improving much with additional practice seem like completely incompatible statements. If this chord is new to you, you will undoubtedly improve tremendously with (much) practice. That said there may indeed be some tricks to it, though I'm not familiar with this chord myself. –  Matthew Read Jun 4 '12 at 18:01
1  
It is a tricky chord, but it should take you less than a second if you practice it. –  Dr Mayhem Jun 4 '12 at 19:43

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I want to remind you that Isaac Albéniz was a pianist, and "Asturias" was written for solo piano. Albeniz never published any music for guitar. There are now many different transcriptions of Albeniz' pieces for solo guitar, duet guitar, trio guitar, you name it, made by any number of transcribers.

So I say to you: If it's too hard for you to play that chord rapidly, then change the fingering of the chord to something you like better. Sr. Albéniz has been dead for 103 years, so he will not mind.

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This makes a lot more sense... I was a little worried I was a terrible guitar player with my answer. –  kevlar1818 Jun 4 '12 at 20:23
2  
Albeniz' beloved guitar pieces were all written and arranged for piano, and Bach's famous lute pieces were written on harpsichord or Lautenwerck. Many transcribers have been working up their own different versions for years, and many solo guitarists make their own transcriptions. So if you are not literally-minded, you are free to make your own modifications to these classics--unless you're in a classical guitar competition at a conservatory where they are judging you on reading the exact notes on the page! –  Wheat Williams Jun 5 '12 at 20:02
1  
This is a good answer to why it is difficult on guitar (which is an important one), but there are other answers here which should also get credit, as they give options and advice to how to play it in a manageable way. The final accepted answer should be the one that gives the best "transcription" advice for this. –  awe Jun 19 '12 at 11:02

The stretch from 8 to 12, while barring all strings is indeed tricky.

Depending on the song and the emphasis on certain notes in this chord, I would not play the complete chord. I would focus on playing the notes which are most emphasized.

I'd try:

%8/T.X/X.8/1.9/2.8/1.12/4[C7]

$8.X.10.9.8.12

This will strain your fingers less, and keep the high E note that I'm guessing is emphasized in this chord voicing. If its not emphasized, I'd say get rid of it; you don't need a whole lot of 3rd in a chord to make it sound major/minor. The important thing is you really should have that Bb (D string 8th fret) in the chord to get the C7 sound.

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How does that strain your fingers less? In a good classical position (as you have with a proper barre) it's relatively easy to stretch the fingers so far; but distorting the hand to get the thumb around the neck makes it close to impossible at least for me. –  leftaroundabout Jun 5 '12 at 23:04
    
For electric guitar players, I guess this is easier and more intuitive. This is a very "Hendrix" way to play a root-E major chord. –  kevlar1818 Jun 6 '12 at 13:04

You can learn to do this (but the other options are good, too).

Start with the 6th string using the "face" of your index finger, no the "tip". You sort of roll into the barre, stretching your pinky as soon as the lowest note is anchored. Lay the ring finger, then the middle, then the pinky. Only then do you finish the barre, completing the stretch.

It is very hard. I still can't do it super fast. But it is possible.

It's the same shape as the B7 in that Romance Anonimo that's in all the books. You're only adding the ring finger.

-7-----8-----7-----|-11----8-----7------
---7-----7-----7---|---7-----7-----7----
-----8-----8-----8-|-----8-----8-----8--
-------------------|--------------------
-------------------|--------------------
-7-----------------|-7------------------
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