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GMC Forum _ THEORY _ Joining Caged And 3nps

Posted by: Mith Aug 27 2014, 09:25 AM

I've been thinking of ways to combine the 3NPS method with the caged method so I can move in and out of them easier. So I came up with this

The green parts are what ties into the caged system with the corrosponding chord written on the left.

One of the other problems I have is when looking the 3 whole note steps I always got lost what notes where attached to the end of them so it made it tricky to move out of that box. Well on this diagram the pink bits are whole steps from the note and the blue is a 1/2 step. from there I find it easy to tie in the rest of the scale.

So why bother doing all this. Well I think the caged system is great for doing pentatonics and working out arpeggios where as I find the 3NPS method flows better and easier to move around in.

Anyway I thought I'd share it incase anyone else found it useful

Also to make sure I actually got iy right lol

 3npscaged.pdf ( 404.19K ) : 736

Posted by: Kristofer Dahl Aug 27 2014, 10:46 AM

I didn't ever learn scale boxes using the caged method, instead I learned them in relation to the root notes on the guitar. See green notes:

I do however think that the caged method is a good way for many people to look at this. But in order to share my personal experience, here is one method which I used to learn to switch between boxes.

1 First learn at least two adjacent boxes of the scale I am working on, and memorize where the root notes are placed (this super important, in order to use those scales in other keys).

for example:


2 find a suitable backing track for the scale I am working on. For example "Jam track major" in this lesson (its in C major well):

3 learn/write a lick in each scale box

4 Practice those two licks over the backing track, and most importantly practice switching between them. In order to develop a non predictable "box switching" technique, you should switch using different strings and fingers. So for example slide on the D string to get from lick 1 to lick 2, next time slide on G string, next time slide on the G string but slide with a different finger etc etc

This is a musical approach to learning this. There are also more mathematical/exercise ways of learning it -and some argue that the advantages of doing it this way is that you will be less predictable with your position switching. However the disadvantage is that this kind of practising can get very boring , and does not enhance yoour musical capabilities (which is what really matters). As long as you consciously work on coming up with variations and don't fear the box switching that feels uncomfortable at start - my method will work great, even in the long run.


Disclaimer: I am not referring to switching boxer shorts, that is a different topic and must be handled with care laugh.gif

Posted by: Mith Aug 27 2014, 10:54 AM

I actually don't really follow the 3nps method as most people do. I remember it as one really long pattern and then just adjust for the B string. I remember it all from the root. Its something I learnt off a guy called bond and he called it the 3NPS cheat method. I really like the method and i found it easier to do modal stuff and I'm slowly learning how to apply it to more exotic scales.

Posted by: Kristofer Dahl Aug 27 2014, 11:11 AM

I think 3NPS ( three notes per string) is one excellent way of learning scales. Especially if you want play faster legato/picking lines.

Btw although the examples I provided are not strict three notes per string (3NPS) - you can easily apply the same method using strict 3NPS. In this case the two adjacent boxes [in my example above] would look like this:


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