CAGED System

Cover Image for CAGED System

I've been self taught on guitar for the better part of 20 years, and have always avoided theory being in the school of thought that the lack of knowing the boundaries so to speak would not make my conform to normal music standards, e.g I always thought it was more punk or metal to just wing it... but as I've grown older I found that, that is not the case, and at least knowing some basics does actually help with things like song composition. So this is my post on my learnings around 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 Shape

Barred A Shape

Barred G Shape

Barred E Shape

Barred D Shape

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, whose wanting to learn some basics as well.


More Stories

Cover Image for Guitar Heroes: Monuments

Guitar Heroes: Monuments

Holy hell. What and experience!

Cover Image for Hello 3.0 World

Hello 3.0 World

Hello 3.0 World