Fretboard Mastery: Manipulating the CAGED system for Guitar! [Guitar Fundamentals #6]
Soloing with CAGED – II V I Progressions
Every guitarist needs a solid foundation in organizing the materials of music on the guitar. I recommend the CAGED scale system to my students as it is a system which thoroughly covers every area of the fretboard. In fact, you will transcend limitations. You will feel completely at home in any area of the fretboard, and have the ability to play outside the shapes you began with. This is because the shapes are seamlessly connected and encompass the entire fretboard! Virtually everyone will develop personal adjustments to any system but, this is an ideal place to start. Depending on what key you begin in, the form closest to the top of the neck could be either:.
The CAGED system is based on the recognition that although there are the guitar, there are really only five major chord shapes that you can use to play them .
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It all started back in Music College in the early s, at the ACM in Guildford UK to be precise, where we were handed, by none other than Guthrie Govan, an inch-thick binder containing all manner of shapes and patterns for the CAGED system, including chords and arpeggios. The CAGED system has many flaws, but these can be hacked and rectified to turn it into a powerful system for understanding how the guitar fretboard works , leading to a versatile, and above all, functional knowledge of chords, arpeggios, scales and modes, and key signatures.
Imagine a keyboard; the notes go in one direction and there is only one way to play each pitch. What we need is a simple way to make sense of all this information; a way to organise the neck into convenient chunks to remove confusion and help us venture into areas that we might not be confident to explore. The more of the neck we know, the more creative, expressive and musical we can be, and the more satisfied with our playing we will feel. The CAGED system divides the guitar neck into manageable chunks based around five different chord shapes — the chord shape of C, the chord shape of A, and the chord shapes of G, E and D. See if you recognise the open position chords that you probably learned as a beginner. We use these chord shapes to divide up the neck when we solo. This does take time, but it will never leave you.