2

In bar 4 http://jonaslefvert.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/The-Piano-The-Heart-Asks-Pleasure-First.pdf

there is a chord arpeggiated across these frets x35503 (capo on 5)

here is a video of Jonas Lefvert playing it

I find it really really hard to reach and hold all those notes at once (I can do it, but it's not easy at all and I can't effortlessly transition into it, it would be impossible to play it in the song)

How come Jonas Lefvert can play that so smoothly and easily?

How can I do it too/what should I do instead? (maybe there's an alternative way to arrange that bar so that I can avoid a fingering I can't reach easily)

  • 1
    Practice, practice, practice.... In the cirque du soleil you'll find people who can sit on their own heads. It doesn't happen overnight, you just have to keep pushing. – J... Aug 19 at 12:31
  • "How come Jonas Lefvert can play that so smoothly" 1000 - 2000 hours practice per year for 10, 20 years – Fattie Aug 19 at 17:36
4

With enough practice, it's doable in that position, even if you don't have huge hands or very long fingers. You could practice it first in an even higher position, and then work your way down to the correct position.

As a last resort, you could exchange fingers 1 and 2, i.e., use the second finger on the A string and the first on the high E string. This is a bit unconventional, but the end justifies the means ...

  • When I swap them my second and third finger are too close to the ends of their frets – theonlygusti Aug 18 at 21:51
  • @theonlygusti: You have to twist your hand accordingly. For the original fingering you turn your wrist clockwise, for the alternative fingering anti-clockwise. – Matt L. Aug 19 at 10:17
2

This answer won't probably please you too much, but I think there is only one way: Do it. Then do it again. Then again. Then again. Then again. And so on.

The left hand just needs to get used to the fact that it has to stretch sometimes. For example: when I was a child just starting with the guitar, the standard G major chord shape was a total nightmare for me. I couldn't put the fingers across the whole fretboard, or if I could, I muted all the strings in between. But eventually the hand just got used to the fact that it has to play this thing, and after some time it posed no problem at all. And if you're anything like me, you will probably remember a similar episode from when you were going through the absolute basics.

To continue: many years passed, I switched to classical guitar, and more than 10 years after these first steps, I was learning Torroba's Sonatina (a famous piece of classical guitar repertoire). There is one particular stretch (x632xx in your notation, no capo) that just stunned me. When I saw it first, I just thought "WTF? This is unplayable!!" Then I tried it a lot of times. When I got the rest of the movement right and this awful stretch was the last thing standing, I just went through the whole movement over and over again, always trying to get that stretch as fast as I can. That resulted in big pauses in that place, and then the pauses grew shorter and shorter, and now I just play it seamlessly and don't give it a second thought.

So — just do it over and over again, the hand gets used to it. Play it a lot in the context (with a couple of bars around the problematic moment), and allow yourself a pause to get it right. The pauses will eventually vanish. (However some people will oppose this method, saying that you will instead learn the piece with the pause and never play it right. And that probably can happen, though it never happened to me — so maybe take this with a grain of salt.)

(BUT 1) don't go forcibly through any pain and 2) be sure that you treat 1-2 very hard places like this. If you allow yourself pauses all over the place, then just go and pick something easier!)

P. S.: As correctly noted in the other answer, the chord is perfectly playable. (It's playable even if you remove the capo and shift it 5 frets down.) So although there are various ways to work around very hard places, I would recommend you not to use them. (After all, if you don't take any challenges, you never improve!)

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