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CAGED Systemand how it works


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#1 dadfad

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 06:47 AM

This is my approach to becoming familiar with finding the location of different inversions of the same chord on the entire neck of the guitar. The common open chords played at the nut and their shapes are the basis of this approach. This is very similar to what has recently been called the CAGED system, the name of which is an acronym of the open chord-shapes used: C-shape, A-shape, G-shape, E-shape and D-shape (C,A G,E,D).
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By gaining a familiarity with these shapes and how they lead into and become one another, it becomes as easy to find any inversion (differently fingered or voiced form of the same chord) anywhere on the neck in any shape as it is to work with the common E-shaped barre-chord used so easily by so many. And then to progress into the more subtle voicings of basic chords as well. One way of imagining the concept is almost as if you were first asked to play a regular open at-the-nut C-chord, and then another C with a capo on the third fret (an A-shape), then a capo on the fifth fret (a G-shape), a capo on the eighth fret (an E-shape) and finally with a capo on the tenth fret (using a D-shape). Then it of course begins to repeat all over again at the 12th-fret an octave higher. Not quite that simple, but almost. I'm using the C-chord as an example (because if I'd started with another chord, like say E, than I'd have to call it the EDCAG system, and that doesn't spell anything! :laugh: Anyway, here goes..........
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This is a diagram of a GUITAR NECK, not tab-lines. The symbol "0" shows the location of your finger fretting that note in that fret position. It doesn't mean open. Notes shown as "(0)" in parentheses are notes that fall within the chord's major triad (its 1st, 3rd, 5th that make up a major chord), but are not generally used even though they could be used if that chord-form voicing, or inversion, if preferred.

Starting with the commonly played at-the-nut C-chord, you play.....
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E||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
B||--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
G||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
D||-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
A||-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
E||-----|-----|-(0)-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
   ^				 ^		   ^		   ^		   ^				 ^
  nut			   3rd		 5th		 7th		 9th			 12th
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Common open C-shaped C-chord....
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								  ......which leads to.......
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E||-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
B||-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
G||-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
D||-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
A||-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
E||-----|-----|-(0)-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
   ^				 ^		   ^		   ^		   ^				 ^
  nut			   3rd		 5th		 7th		 9th			 12th
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			   The A-shaped C-chord.....
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										.....which leads to.........
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E||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|
B||-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
G||-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
D||-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
A||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
E||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|
   ^				 ^		   ^		   ^		   ^				 ^
  nut			   3rd		 5th		 7th		 9th			 12th
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						 The G-shaped C-chord.....
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												 ....which leads to....
 
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E||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|
B||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|
G||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|
D||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|
A||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|
E||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|
   ^				 ^		   ^		   ^		   ^				 ^
  nut			   3rd		 5th		 7th		 9th			 12th
 
							 The E-shaped C-chord....
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												   ....which leads to....
 
 
 
E||----|----|----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|
B||----|----|----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-0-
G||----|----|----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|
D||----|----|----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-(0)-|-----|-----|
A||----|----|----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-(0)-|-----|-----|
E||----|----|----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|
   ^			  ^		   ^		   ^		   ^				 ^
  nut			3rd		 5th		 7th		 9th			 12th
 
												   The D-shaped C-chord...
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Which brings you up to the 12th fret where, the 2nd-string/first-fret note
begins the pattern over again at the next octave. The entire pattern up
the board looking like this........
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E||-----|-----|--0--|----|-----|----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|----|--0--|
B||--0--|-----|-----|----|--0--|----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|----|-----|-0-
G||-----|-----|-----|----|--0--|----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|----|--0--|
D||-----|--0--|-----|----|--0--|----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|----|-----|
A||-----|-----|--0--|----|-----|----|--0--|-----|-----|--0--|----|-----|
E||-----|-----|-(0)-|----|-----|----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|----|--0--|
   ^				 ^		  ^		  ^		   ^				^
  nut			   3rd		5th		7th		 9th			12th
 
   C-shape area...A-shape area...G-shape area.....E-shape area......D-shape
 

Becoming familiar with these shapes and patterns allows you to move up or down the fret-board within them easily as well as the ability to use chord-fragments, or partial pieces of these shapes/chords which can be played individually or strung into a linear pattern. Used linearly, you can arpeggiate flowingly or create note-lines, choosing say a treblier flow, like this for example.......

E||-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|--0--|
B||--0--|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|
G||-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|--0--|
D||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
A||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
E||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
   ^				 ^		   ^		   ^		   ^				 ^
  nut			   3rd		 5th		 7th		 9th			 12th
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.....or a bassier line.....
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E||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
B||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
G||-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
D||-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|
A||-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|
E||-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|--0--|
   ^				 ^		   ^		   ^		   ^				 ^
  nut			   3rd		 5th		 7th		 9th			 12th
 

....or of course any combination of both that you may want to use. And of course any of those shapes can be combined with part of the shapes above or below it. For example 7 8 10 0 X X is a C-chord that combines parts of three separate shapes (the open C-shape, the open G-shape and the open E-shape) into a C-chord. The more familiar you become with the pattern, the more ways you can find to use it.
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Now, expanding just a little bit on that shown above. Once you are familiar with all the shapes above and comfortable locating and using them on the fretboard, you can draw on the knowledge you have of THOSE SHAPES THEMSELVES when used to form the common open chord OF THAT SHAPE. For example, it's easy to remember how to change an open A-chord X02220 into an A7 X02223. You just add that 7th note on the first string. Or it can be changed to an A7 by holding X02020, changing that 3rd-string to open. Same with a simple open E-chord 022100. Just add the note on the 2nd-string...022130, or change the 4th-string from 022100 into the E7 chord 020100. The common G-chord can be changed from 320003 to a 7th by using 320001 or 323003. A D-chord by changing from the common (2)00232 to the 7th-chord X00212. All of this knowledge can be applied in the same way TO THE SAME SHAPES up or down the neck. Here is the entire C-pattern (shown above as major chords) with some of the 7th-notes added (shown as a "(7)")

E||----|----|--0--|-(7)-|-----|-(7)-|----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|--0--|
B||-0--|----|-----|-----|--0--|-----|----|--0--|-----|-----|-(7)-|-----|-0-
G||----|----|-(7)-|-----|--0--|-----|----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|--0--|
D||----|-0--|-----|-----|--0--|-----|----|-(7)-|-----|--0--|-----|-----|
A||----|----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|-0--|-----|-----|--0--|-----|-----|
E||----|----|-(0)-|-----|-----|-----|----|--0--|-----|-----|-----|--0--|
   ^			   ^		   ^		  ^		   ^				 ^
  nut			 3rd		 5th		7th		 9th			 12th
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   C-shape area...A-shape area...G-shape area.....E-shape area......D-shape
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	(now C7-shape....A7-shape.....G7-shape.........E7-shape......D7-shape

Now I haven't shown every 7th note necessarily, just the more common ways that the chord-shapes are changed in the open positions. This same logic applies to all other voicing-changes, like from a major into a minor, or into a suspended chord, or an augmented chord, or a 9th....whatever. The more you are familiar with how to change the voicings on the simple open chords, the more this basic information can me moved up or down and then applied to THEIR SHAPES anywhere on the neck.
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Being familiar with this information has a secondary use as well. Knowing the locations of certain simple parts of a chord, like its 1st or 3rd or 5th (or its 7th, etc) will give you locator points-of-reference to make more complex changes, or to swing scales from when doing lead work. That's why the knowledge of chord-building is of so much importance. You don't have to really think in terms of chords themselves, but in CHORD-SHAPES. Take all of that information on the neck-diagrams shown above. That was all in reference to working with a C-chord. Grasping the pattern and movements and relationships of the shapes themselves makes it easy to take that same pattern, and by simply in effect moving the pattern two frets ---> you now have all of that applied to a D-chord. Or three frets <---- opens it up for A. And so on. Think of the pattern as the Constant that will never change in how it works or in its application. And think of the fret-board itself as the Variable that changes beneath that Constant pattern, almost as if the fret-board was a tread-mill that will rotate below the fixed pattern of the shapes above it, changing chords and keys as it does.
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Anyway, I hope that helps!

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#2 iseker

iseker
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  • Original Name: iseker

Posted 27 May 2010 - 04:25 AM

Check this CAGED Arpeggios lesson




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