The CAGED Guitar System Explained
The CAGED guitar system is a way to visualise and link the 5 ‘positional’ scale patterns (one for each chord shape) to span the fretboard. The idea is based on the relationship between common major chord and major scale shapes.There’s literally thousands of different kinds of chords and chord shapes that can be played on the guitar, but did you know that most can be traced back to just 5 common open forms? The 5 forms are C, A, G, E, and D. Each one of these chords can be turned into a barre chord and moved around the fretboard. Each barre chord can be played as an arpeggio pattern which inlcudes even more notes. These arpeggio patterns can then be broken up into all sorts of unique shapes and interesting voicings.It’s also easier to find where a chord should be played on the neck of the guitar for any given key. By using the CAGED method to relate five common major scale shapes to five common chord shapes we should, in theory, have an easier time locating those scale positions.
The “CAGED” system is inherent to how the guitar works – in standard tuning of course – whether we recognise it or not!.
Using the CAGED system is just an other way of seeing the fretboard, and the connections between the basic scale/chord formsIf you can easily find the notes on the fifth and sixth strings of the guitar then all it takes is a bit of practice with the CAGED system and you will be able to find any major chord tone very easily anywhere on the neck.
The Caged Guitar System is one of the most important tools available to a guitarist.
The first is the order of the chords always remains in the same sequence C A G E D starting from the C or if you were starting from the G then the order would be G E D C A because after the D chord it starts over again from the C. This makes more sense when you can see it in diagram form as shown below.