The CAGED system : Exercise 1

The CAGED system is a very effective way of understanding the various patterns of scales and chords on the guitar neck. it allows the player to see how the scales link together in bite size sections as opposed to trying to comprehend the entire neck in one lump. This makes life a whole bunch easier.

The name CAGED comes from the order and shape of the chords which makes the system work NOT the fact that often the chords and scales are drawn on grids that look a bit like a cage, as some have mistakenly thought.

This article will make an assumption that you already know the chord shapes of C A G E D and how to play them as barre chords. If this is not the case you will need to do that first.

Starting with the C major chord we are going to play each available C major chord across the guitar neck using the C A G E D shapes of barre chord.

As you can hopefully see from the above diagram chords slot together using the root notes ( red notes )

The C shaped chord joins to the root note on the barre on the A shaped chord at the 3rd fret. The A shaped chord joins the G shaped chord using the root note on the 5th fret on the G string. The G shape chord joins the E shape chord via the root notes on the E strings and the E shape chord joins the D shape chord via the root note on the D string 10th fret.

Practice changing between these chords, cleanly and in time. This should be done ascending and descending.

Next challenge is to repeat this process but in a different key. I personally used to do this kind of exercise using the cycle of 5ths as it allowed me to learn the cycle and practice at the same time.

The cycle being c g d a e b f# c#. Then set about the cycle of 4ths as  c f bb eb ab.

Once this is completed you have played all the major triad chords in every key and in 5 positions giving you 60 chords.

Part 2 Minor chords.


~ by Geoff Lea Guitar on September 29, 2010.

One Response to “The CAGED system : Exercise 1”

  1. Reblogged this on Geoffleaguitar's Blog.

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