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Many free online music lessons covering Scales, Chord building and playing styles

Guitar Chords made simple-Part II

I am now going to work you through constructing the E Shape movable Chord Shape. Firstly we start with the E Shape Major Pattern from my C-A-G-E-D system. Here it is in diagrammatic form but you can see all the patterns here in C-A-G-E-D system.

Here is a E Shape major pattern from my C-A-G-E-D System for guitar.
Here is the E Shape Major Pattern from my C-A-G-E-D System for guitar. You will remember/notice that the scale pattern starts from the Vi note in the scale. This VI is the relative minor and the scale is the relative minor scale for the Major key that you are using.

Continue reading Guitar Chords made simple-Part II

Introducing Rhythm: it is not just for backing a Soloist

Rhythm and having a good understanding of rhythmic concepts is often seen as being less important than playing through numerous scales fast or just seen as being the staple of the backing guitarist taking a back seat whilst the soloist grabs the limelight. This is not strictly true. In fact some if not all the greatest Soloists demonstrate a complete mastery and understanding of rhythmic concepts and that is ultimately what makes them the great players that they are or were.

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The Blues Scale

In this Post we will be looking at the Blues Scale. To me this is one of the top most useful Scales. Most reference sources will show you the Blues Scale in its Minor Form with a Flattened 3 rd degree (bIII) and a flattened fifth degree( bV). This is okay but it is really half of the story and half of the usefulness of this particular Scale. This is because if you make the Blues Scale into a Major Scale Pattern then the Flattened fifth note (bV) actually now becomes the flattened 3rd (bIII). The Flattened 3rd when played against a Major Chord or Dominant 7th chord is a true Blues Note found in many examples of Blues Styles. So by changing the Blues Scale to a Major pattern you have got instant access to the Blues. I will show you how to do this but most of you will already have covered all this if you have already been studying my approach to the CAGED System (C-A-G-E-D). If not go and have a look at this as it shows you how to use the 5 patterns to find both major and minor scales from pentatonic scale shapes.

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C-A-G-E-D Part Vi

Here are all the 5 Shapes presented as minor Shapes

Here are all the 5 shapes presented as Minor Shape Patterns. As I mentioned earlier this is the easiest way to remember the shapes and the position of the Root Notes. This is important because it allows us to then use our system to find the position for the Major Shape Pattern. Simply go back 3 frets from any of the Root Notes in the Patterns and you will find the VI note. When you have found the VI note simply re-position the same pattern to start from the VI note. Obviously the Root of the major scale shape (Key Note) will be the note you play in the pattern after the VI Note. If unsure go back to part V to familiarize yourself with this concept.

Continue reading C-A-G-E-D Part Vi

The CAGED system

Welcome to my approach to learning the CAGED Guitar System for the guitar. Many tutors that I have seen have seen approach the CAGED Guitar System by relating the System to the various Chord Shapes associated with it. They then go on to confuse the student by having 2 names for what is essentially the same shape pattern by having one name for the minor and another different name for the major shape personally find this confusing and it distracts from the usefulness of the CAGED Guitar System. My system use only one name per shape but shows you how to alter the series of notes in the pattern to make the same shape either Major or Minor. I believe that this makes it quicker to learn and easier to both remember and apply.

One of the problems with the traditional approach is that it makes you first think of where the respective chords will be found on the fingerboard and it relates to a specific Chord Shape such as the C Shape or G Shape Chord with specific fingerings associated with these chords. The problems with this method is that a C Chord Shape will change its name according to where you place this shape on the fingerboard. So a  C Shape Chord played at Fret 3 will sound like a C Chord but move this Chord Shape to Fret 7 for example and the chord will now be a E Chord. What happens, I have found,is that you can get confused about having to relate the Shape to the actual name of the Chord. You start to wonder why a D Chord is using a C Shape. Too much name shifting to do.

I prefer to stick to a series of 5 fingering patterns each associated with a reference point in the CAGED guitar System. Once you have these in your grasp then Chord Building around these patterns comes as the very last discipline rather than the first as referenced above and as most tutors seem to be inclined to teach.

The CAGED guitar System is a very useful tool for finding scales and switching between scales. It is also useful for Chord Building and there are Chord Shapes built around the various patterns of the CAGED Guitar System. However my approach to it is slightly different to how I have seen others teach this system. I prefer to look at the CAGED SYSTEM like this.

C_A_G_E_D-raw Continue reading The CAGED system