CAGED System

1 minute read

To start off… The previous Facebook mantra comes to mind “Build fast and break things”… when it comes to guitar, this applies to my learning style, I mess around and make a lot of noise until the noise starts to sounds good…

until today.

….drum roll

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 as avoid the need to get tendonitis, or grow an extra finger)

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

The below is the progression of C though all the shapes… C -> A -> G -> E -> D

open c barred a barred g barred e weird d

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 the progression would be EDCAG

Hope this helps anyone out there wanting to learn some cool shit.