The CAGED System

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Here is an introduction to the CAGED System

What is the CAGED system?

Well the word CAGED is taken from the 5 open chords C, A, G, E, & D that you will have learned to play as a beginner.  These for the template that we will use to play the chord shapes across the fret board. It is the building block for guitars in standard tuning. The CAGED system is an essential method in learning the entire fret board. When we start to learn the guitar we tend to stick very close the nut and seldom move past the 5th fret into the scary world of the middle of the neck. As our learning progress we need to access higher notes on the fret board we need to learn a system that help accurately use these areas and expand our playing.

Its import to understand that the 5 chords mentioned are created through the intervals used to build a chord. This being the case a C Shaped chord can be moved up the fret board 11 times to play each root note position of all 11 notes. The intervals will remain the same only the position on the fret board will change.

Let’s start by looking at the key “C” root note position on the fretboard that we will use to play the five chord shapes. In the diagram below we can see the first “C” note closest to the open strings is the C on the A string. This same note can next be found as we move up the fretboard on the 8th fret of the Low E string. We then also have the next Octave of the “C” note on the 10th fret of the D string.

It is important that we learn the distances between these notes and the correct order in which they appear on the fretboard.