Caged System Part 2

Moving on from the Grid. Here I introduce the first Pattern. We will call this the G Shape Pattern. Here is the pattern. The black dots are the notes of the pattern. At this stage it does not matter what the notes are called or how they refer to a Parent Scale. play the notes in this pattern to make simple melodies using any of the notes in any order.


Start at any fret and play through the pattern. For example start at Fret 3 on Low E String ( String 6). Then play through the pattern using the following notes in the diagram.


You are actually playing through the notes of a G Minor Scale – not the full scale but some of it. We will see which notes they are in relation to the Scale later. Try recording a G Minor Chord or even a Bb Major chord and play these notes of this shape pattern against those chords. All the notes will sound right against these chords. Also if you say that the Bb major is the key you could use this pattern against all the chords of the key of Bb major for example the Eb Major, the Fmajor and G minor Chords.

You can even play this G Shape pattern starting at Fret 3 against a G Major Chord and against the principle chords of the G Major Key, namely Cmajor and D Major. give it a try. This is the Blues effect of a minor scale against a Major Key.

It is merely a coincidence that this Scale is G and the Pattern is called a G Shape pattern. Move this same pattern and sequence of notes up 2 frets and now start at Fret 5 instead of Fret 3. see this diagram. This is still a G Shape Pattern but you are no longer playing in G minor you are now playing notes of A minor.


Now you are still playing a G Shape Pattern but you are now playing the notes of an A minor scale – so the G in G shape is irrevelant – g Shape pattern only refers to the Shape and not the notes or key of the respective notes. Its just a shape pattern you can use anywhere on the fretboard where you use it will determine what Scale or Key the notes are from and relate to. I will show you how to determine which scale you are playing from at a later date. All you need to know for now is just memorise the scale pattern shapes. There are 4 more to learn after this one and each one takes its name from the C-A-G-E-D System Grid to which I referred to in previous article. So this how it relates to the C-A-G-E-D Grid system. It is the G minor shape pattern but with it you can play notes from any minor key not just G. It can be A minor, B minor, C or C# minor, D or D# minors etc.


Starting at Fret 5 you now have the notes of A Minor under your fingers or a C major scale. again you can play this under any of the chords A min, C  maj, Fmaj, Gmaj, D min, Emin or use it for blues effect against Amajor, Dmajor and E maj. Give it a try!

So far we have just mentioned the G Shape pattern see diagram above but there a 4 more pattern shapes.

There is a minor pattern shape for all the Grid items C-A-G-E-D as below. There is a C Shape pattern and a A Shape pattern etc. At the moment all you need to know is that these patterns are minor and can be used in any place on the fretboard. later you will learn that the same shape patterns can also be Major Scale patterns. I will discuss this in more detail in later articles.


Equally though all of these shapes could also be Major Shapes. At present we can leave this un-defined. I will show you later what decides whether a pattern is Major or Minor. For the time being just accept that each of the Shapes can be Major (as below) or Minor (as above).


These are 4 other patterns to learn.

Next CAGED System Part 3 >                                Back to Part 1    

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