CAGED System

Rohan Büchner

Rohan Büchner / April 19, 2016


To start off, the previous Facebook mantra comes to mind "Build fast and break things"

But when it comes to guitar, I feel this applies to my learning style, I mess around /break things and make a lot of noise until the noise starts to sound good.

until today.

...drum roll

At the start of my venture into the world of (music) theory, we'll have a look at the **CAGED** system.

The CAGED system in layman's terms would be taking your standard open chords, and then shifting them down the neck of your guitar.

Open C would equate to a Barred Open A shape on fret 3 and so on (you'll need to modify your grip to avoid the need to get tendonitis or grow an extra finger)

If this sounds like a bunch of random words spewed out by someone who doesn't know much, then fear not... I have pictures.

Below is the progression of C through all the shapes...
C -> A -> G -> E -> D

"Open" C - Default Shape

Barred C [Utilizing Open A Shape + Barred at 3rd Frett]

Barred C [Utilizing "Open" G Shape + Barred at 5th Frett]

Barred C [Utilizing "Open" E Shape + Barred at 8th Frett]

Weird D Shape [Utilizing "Open" D Shape + Additional Root note at 10 Frett]

As you'll have probably noticed, the name CAGED is of actual importance as well, as your starting chord, determines the shape progression.

For example:

If I start on an Open A, the progression to make an A sound down the neck would be (AGEDC):

1. (0 / Nut) Open A.

2. (2nd Fret) Barred on 2, G shape (aka. Crab hand. This is a bit of a stretch though, no one would do this in their right mind).

3. (5th Fret) Barred on 5, E shape.

4. etc... If I started on E the progression would be EDCAG

Hope this helps anyone out there wanting to learn some new guitar theory.