May 6, 2022

076 - What Is The CAGED System & Should I Learn It?

This week's episode is all about the CAGED system. What it is, why you should learn it, when you should learn it and how you should learn it.


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What Exactly Is The CAGED System?

The CAGED system is a system to help you visualize, navigate and organise the guitar fretboard into five distinct sections.

These five distinct sections are based on 5 common open chords. These are the chords C A G E D which spell the word CAGED. When you put them back to back they cover the whole fretboard.

Why Should You Learn It?

The CAGED system allows you to divide the fretboard into 5 distinct sections making it much more manageable to organize chord shapes.

Through the CAGED system, you will learn different chord voicings and be able to play a chord in five different places along the neck.

CAGED is not just for chord shapes though, it goes well beyond chord shapes into the realm of organizing scales, seeing how scales connect, and it lays a solid framework for improvisation.

When Should You Learn The CAGED System?

The CAGED system is for intermediate guitar players.

You should know your barre chords, check out episode 47 'which chords should I learn' of the BGA podcast to know what chords you should know and in what order. 

You will also need to know the musical alphabet, check out episode 43 'Music Theory Where To Begin?' of the BGA podcast where I go through the musical alphabet. 

How should you learn it?

  • Step One – Learn the five chord shapes – C, A, G, E, D and how to convert them to barre chords.
  • Step Two – Learn your root note positions of the five chords
  • Step Three – Apply the five shapes of CAGED to each of those five chords, so play a C chord across the guitar neck using the different CAGED shapes then A then G etc.

Download CAGED sheet

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