I’m trying to get my head around this so called caged system and to be honest I’m just a bit lost on it. I’ve watched a fair few videos on you tube and also Brian’s lessons but just can’t seem to grasp the concept of it 🙁
Anyone know of a really good video out there that breaks it down in real simple terms?
Am I right in thinking by learning caged it will help with combining rhythm and soloing?
the caged system refers to the standard chord in the first position,C, A, G, E, D. You automatically use this system when using a CAPO. When there’s no CAPO available, you have to bar witch your first finger.
Brian has done some good explanation videos. Search for EP 273 and EP275.
The main benefit of the CAGED system is finding alternative voicings for your chords. Every major chord can be played in an A shape, E shape or C shape (the G and incorporates some of the A shape and the D incorporates some of the C shape). The full shapes can be broken into smaller chords, esp. on strings 1,2,3 or 2,3,4 and these are really useful for rhythm. You will see Brian use these smaller shapes in most of his lessons. Brian will often find chord tones for his leads in these small shapes. These shapes can be modified to make the minor chords. There are so many other great things about CAGED that you may discover as you progress but I don’t want to overwhelm you.
I found Brian’s practical approach to the caged system the best explanation I’d ever seen. But I had to think about what you said as to how it helped me. This is partly due to me flitting from lesson to lesson like a kid in a candy store. Reading Charjo’s excellent explanation about alternate chord voicings is right on the money as to how the CAGED system benefits us.
here an example, how to play the D-Mayor Chord in shapes of G, A, C, E and D, each at different frets. Important for navigating is, to learn the Basic tone D at each position. Additional at the the sheet are listed the corresponding mayor and Pentatonic Scales.
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I need to visualize the way these CAGED shapes all fit together on the fret board. Here are some charts similar to Dieters.
!. C MAJOR pentatonic scale showing the 5 chord SHAPES of the C chord
2. C MAJOR showing how they fit together as well as how the chord SHAPES fit within the MAJOR Penta positions
3. C F and G chord all within the MAJOR Penta shapes in very close proximity on the fretboard.
I hope this helps and is not confusing. Note: these are shown using the MAJOR Pentatonic scale. Also on page 2 I did not include the G SHAPE but I think you will figure it out.
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Thanks for the diagrams which I’ve printed off but I’m just not seeing it as I think those have confused me even more now 🙁
I get that the c shape etc can be played in different positions over the neck to give a different chord voicing (which I assume is correct) but on those diagrams it doesn’t tell me what strings I should be strumming.
I’ve just watched Brian’s lesson again EP273 and I see now How to play the C chord over the neck with the CAGED shapes with the options I assume of using the top or bottom of the shape?
Brian also shows how to play an F chord but what about the other chords like A,G,E & D for example? How do I play these chords using the caged system & where on the neck?
I simplify the caged system by using triads or little three note chords that are movable, rather than the whole bar chord. That makes it more user friendly.
For example, play an open D chord using just the G B and e strings. Slide it up the neck two frets and it becomes an E chord. At the fifth fret it becomes an F chord. 8th fret it becomes one of the G chords I used in this months challenge.
Play an open A chord at the second fret just using the three strings held down. Slide up two frets and it becomes a B chord.
Same with the other three shapes.
This opens up the whole neck and gives you some different chord voicing options as well.
Hope this doesn’t cause more confusion for you.
Exactly what Richard said! Break down these shapes into smaller parts and build up from there. Remember a Major triad chord only uses three notes. The 1st note of the scale, the 3rd note of the scale and the 5th note. And they don’t always have to be in that order. As an example, I often play the A chord by barring with my index finger strings 4,3 & 2. The notes are E,A,C#. That is an inversion of the A chord. It is still an A chord.
Also, you rarely ever will strum the entire chord shape. For instance, the G SHAPE of the C chord is a large stretch for most people. However, you don’t need to make that entire stretch, just a smaller part of the chord using strings 5,4,3,2. That is much easier and will sound good especially with a jam track.
As far as your question on which string to start your strum, for practice sake, do the same thing you do on your open chords. The C shape and the A shape are 5th string root chords so strum from the 5th string. The G and E are 6th string root chords so start on the 6th string. D shape is a 4th string root shape so start on the 4th string. Having said all that, you rarely strum the full chords like that. But you do need to VISUALIZE the full chord shapes.
Michael do you know E and A shaped barre chords?
These are usually the first barre chords people learn
and are easiest to see how the CAGED system works.
If you play an open E them barre it at the first fret
it becomes an F. 2nd fret is F#, 3rd fret is G.
As you move up the neck you are p,aying the same shape
But the chord move up the chromatic scale.
So goes for the A shaped barre chords. A#, B, C etc.
The next easiest to understand id the D chord.
If you play just the GBE strings of the D chord and
move it up the neck the same thing happens.
D#, E, F,F# and so one.
C and G chord shapes are the hardest to grasp because
the barre chord shapes aren’t used very often but broken
down into smaller chord shape. A common C shape is C7.
Like the other chords it is movable up the neck and
becomes the next 7 chord C#7, D7.
Once you grasp the consept of how these chords move up
and down the neck you can start on the minor chords.
Em to Fm to F#m etc.
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