CAGED Chords In Use

 Making your guitar solos sound professional

 The Caged system isn’t just about relating chord patterns to the major scale. In fact as far as I’m concerned it’s the least important. A good guitar solo is more often centred around chord tones rather than scales. Sure, scales are an important part of it but the difference between pro and amateur guitar lead breaks mostly boil down to three things. Amateur guitar solos are most often a combination of the following three things.

  1. Poor guitar technique
  2. Over use of scale patterns
  3. Un-awareness of the importance of the underlying chords

The first one isn’t so hard to grasp, most beginner guitarists know their technique might need some work and they usually practice harder to improve it. The other two are a bit more difficult and they are a related problem. The beginner and even some intermediate guitarists aren’t necessarily bad at playing lead guitar, they just have limited knowledge of how to practice and improve their guitar solos to sound professional. This is one of the bigger problems of self taught guitarists, the books they use don’t really help much so it’s hardly a surprise.

Many magazines and guitar methods will tell you all about scales and maybe even explain the CAGED guitar system but unfortunately not in nearly enough detail as they should. The heart of the CAGED method is about knowing how to find chords as well as chord tones anywhere on the fretboard. This is more important than just relating five chord shapes to five major scale shapes.

Another problem with they common explanations of the CAGED system is that it is always related to major chords only. This is a mistake. Yes the five common chords make are the basis of the system but shouldn’t be limited to the five major chords (triads) only. It’s just as important and not even much more difficult to use this same method to know the minor chords and all the seventh variations.

It takes time to learn them all but the good news is it gets easier as you go on. At first it can sound like to much to learn but it really isn’t that bad. Once you get going there are so many similarities between the shapes that it comes together a lot quicker than you might expect at first. A few months regular, focused practice and it’s quite possible for most guitarists to have put the CAGED system to very good use for all the chord variations and anywhere on the guitar neck.

The best way to make use of this method is to simply start using it straight away, but do so in small stages so that you build your skill slowly. Try to do it all at once and you will probably get nowhere.

One of the first things you should practice is to play the chords to a variety of chord progressions but try to stay as close to one position on the guitar neck as possible. Learn this well and you will open up a whole new world with your guitar solos. Use the practicing ideas on this website to build your CAGED knowledge and your solos will improve by a huge amount. There will be quite a lot of practice ideas coming so watch out and start improving your guitar playing now.





  1. john maguire says

    thats only from c to d what about the other chords