Scale Fingerings For Guitar 2 - Caged
The Professor
Jul 10 2013, 11:06 AM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
CAGED Scale Fingerings

In the second part of my series on common scale fingerings for guitar, we’ll be looking at the CAGED system, what is is and how to play these 5 important scale shapes on the fretboard.

As I mentioned in the first installment of this series, “3 Note Per String Scale Shapes for Guitar,” the goal of these articles is to expose you to a number of different common guitar fingerings, allowing you to then chose which system, or parts of each system, work for you as you take them further in the practice room.

So, feel free to try out all of these shapes, then work them in different keys around the neck, or just take one or two that you really like and explore them further, whatever works for you and feels most comfortable for you at this stage in your development.

For more information on how to finger these scales, check out the Scale Fingering Guide.

What is the CAGED System?

Simply put, the CAGED system is a group of 5 scale shapes that are based around the open-position chords C, A, G, E and D. As each chord is an open-position chord, when moving them up the neck you need to use a barre in order to bring the “open strings” with you as you transpose them to all 12 keys.

As you do this, you can also learn a scale shape based around each of these chords, giving you a complete vision of the neck that uses these shapes to connect every note in a key from the open strings up to the 12th fret and beyond.

When learning any CAGED shape, the important thing to work out is visualizing the underlying open chord within that scale. To help you out with this, I have written all of the examples in this lesson as first the open chord, then as a barre chord in the key of D for each shape, and then used diamond notation for each note of the chord to help you see those notes within each of the 5 scale shapes on the neck.

Now that you know what the CAGED system is, here are all 5 shapes on the neck in the key of D to get you started.

CAGED “C Shape”

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CAGED “A Shape”

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CAGED “G Shape”

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CAGED “E Shape”

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CAGED “D Shape”

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After you have learned these shapes in the key of D, feel free to explore them in all 12 keys in order to get a fuller idea of how they fit across the entire neck.

What do you think of the CAGED system? Do you have a question about the CAGED system? Share your thoughts in the comment thread below.

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This post has been edited by The Professor: May 23 2014, 05:17 PM

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