The CAGED System Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of the CAGED System explanation. Here is the point where I give you the remaining fingering patterns for the 4 remaining elements of the C-A-G-E-D Grid. So far we have only seen the one pattern for the G letter. Now I give you the C, the A, the E and the D.

However before I do this I want to take you back to the G Shape Pattern. As we have seen this pattern can be either Major scale or minor scale depending on where you play it. If you start the pattern at Fret 3 String 6 ( low String) you will be playing a Minor scale. If you shift it back 3 frets ( this is an open position so starts at Fret 0 of String 6 and follow the pattern you are playing notes from a Major Scale. You would see this if you play either a G maj Chord against the notes you are playing and you will hear some differences in the mood they make against the chord. At position fret 3 it will sound moody maybe like Blues music, at fret 0 it will sound happier and brighter with a traditional feel.

Now for some important stuff. I am going to give you more detail about the particular notes that you have been playing. It is very important in the CAGED System for guitar to be able to know where the Root Notes of each pattern are and this will help you move the scale patterns around to locate where to place the scale to make it either Major or minor.

Here is a diagram of the G Shape pattern showing the position of the Root Notes. Root Notes are the Key to my CAGED SYSTEM. They are the key to being able to move the pattern to different places to get either a Major or a Minor Sound from the scale of notes.

The Root Notes are the target Circles. If you place these target circles over the Note of the Key you want to play in . Say Key G so you place the target note @ Fret 3 String 6, this is a G Note on the guitar. Now if you play through the pattern you will be playing a G minor Scale. Play this against a G minor chord you will see it fits nicely. (You can however also play this scale against a G major chord and get a bluesy type of scale. Both Blues & Rock music allows you to play minor scales against Major Chords for Blues effect).

Now say if you wanted to play in Key of B instead, then shift the G Shape Pattern up to make the target note fit over Fret 7 on string 6 ( this is a B note on the guitar). You will now be playing a B minor scale with the G Shape Pattern in the KEY OF B. These shapes are transferable. The Name of the pattern ( G Shape pattern) has nothing to do with Key it is simply a pattern and the letters are only used to denote the differences between the patterns. ( later on – but not important for now you will see that the name refers to a particular Chord shape). ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW IS  that where you place the Root Note of the Pattern on the guitar is what determines the Key that you are playing in.

Now to play this pattern as a major scale pattern as we did in the previous lesson we move the Root Note back 3 frets as we did in the lesson so the starting note is now at Fret 0 string 6. There is a theory behind this which we will cover at a later date but for the moment all you need to know is how to make the scale play as major scale instead of a minor scale. Now you will be playing in the Key of Gmajor. Key of G with a major scale pattern.

Here is a new pattern to learn

Lets start at the next letter along from the G on the C-A-G-E-D Grid, namely the E. Here is the E Shape pattern to learn.


Now here is the next Shape pattern along the C-A-G-E-D Grid. The D Shape pattern.


Now here is the next Shape pattern along the C-A-G-E-D Grid. We start again at the beginning letter the C. So C-A-G-E-D. Here is the C Shape pattern.


So lastly here is the last remaining shape pattern to learn. So following the Grid  the next letter in the C-A-G-E-D Grid is the A.  Here is the A Shape pattern of notes.


Learn these patterns before moving on. While you practice these just learn the patterns starting from anywhere on the fingerboard you like. You are not playing any particular key so at this point don’t play these shape patterns against any chords at all just learn them as shapes. Remember if you are starting all the patterns from the same fret then in effect you will be playing in several different keys. Played like this they will not sound right together. For the moment ignore any reference to a particular  Key and Ignore Chords! Just learn the shapes. When you have these under your fingers you can move on with the lessons.

Next Part IV  >                                                                                 Back to Part II

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