There’s no doubt that the CAGED system is a powerful tool for learning chords on the guitar. But did you know that it can be used to unlock all other chords as well? By using the guitar CAGED system, you can learn chords in any key without having to memorize any new shapes.
Start unlocking those other chords today!
What is the guitar CAGED system?
The CAGED system is a five-chord system that can be used to unlock all other chords on the guitar. It’s a system that is based on the 5 open major chords that make up the fretboard. Each of these chords can be played in any key by moving the shape up or down the fretboard.
The CAGED system is a method for organizing notes on the fretboard. It provides a roadmap to the guitar neck as well as organizing the perplexing fretboard layout.
After you’ve learned the CAGED method, I think you’ll be able to “hack the code” and see the fretboard’s underlying logic.
It’s all about shapes or patterns!
Facts to remember about the CAGED system
- This system only works with standard tuning. Changing the tuning may also alter the forms and positions.
- They are in major & minor chord forms. Only for this blog, we’ll be focusing on major CAGED chord shapes.
- This is a method that guitar players use to make learning chords easier. It allows the student to learn chords by their patterns and shapes. But despite the convenience it provides, it was not designed so you may skip learning the fundamental chord forms.
- The CAGED system is a chord variation technique. It will give guitar players more options in finding different ways of playing particular chords.
- This system converts each open-position shape to a closed-position shape.
The five basic chords in the CAGED system
The CAGED chords are the first basic chords you learned as a beginner on your guitar journey. The chords that I’m talking about are the open chords you’re undoubtedly used to playing.
- C chord
- A chord
- G chord
- E chord
- D chord
These five shapes are the foundation of the CAGED system. These are unquestionably a treat, and they’ll give you a leg up on learning about this power system.
How to unlock other chords using the CAGED system
To unlock other chords using the CAGED system, you need to understand how the five basic chords work together.
C, A, G, E, and D are all major chords in open position. They are the building blocks of all other chords. By understanding how these shapes work, we simply need to move each of the CAGED chords up or down the neck of the guitar until they are located on the correct frets of the chord we intended to play.
Now, if we were to move these chords up the fretboard, we would find that they all have the same chord shapes but are positioned on different frets with an added barred fret.
Note: When you move these open chords up the fretboard from their starting position, you’re also moving the open strings up, converting it to a closed-position shape.
C-Form: By moving your open C chord up two frets or a whole step, you will be able to create a D chord. Bar across strings 1 and 3 with your index finger on the fret right before the C-chord shape to convert a C open chord to a closed position.
A-Form: To form a B major chord, the open A chord is moved up two frets. Moving the rest of the open string up two frets will also bar the strings 1 and 5 on the second fret. This is not a new shape; you’ve likely learned it before when you were just learning how to play barre chords with your root or bass note in the 5th string.
G-Form: By moving the G chord shape up two frets, you get a G-form A chord. To complete the shape, you need to barre strings 4, 3 and 2 on the 2nd fret. You should also be aware that pressing the root note on the 1st string may be difficult. This note is frequently left out.
E-Form: This is another typical form beside your A-Form. You were using this shape when making barre chords with the root or bass note on the 6th string. Moving this pattern up a fret, half-step, produces an F chord with all strings barred on the first fret (or specifically strings 1, 2 and 6).
D-Form: The open D chord shape is moved up two frets to form a D-form E chord with a fretted 4th string on the 2nd fret.
To recap, the CAGED system is a method of learning chords by their shapes and patterns. The following are the extended forms of your basic open chords C, A, G, E, and D. It allows guitar players to find different ways of playing particular chords by moving them up or down the neck of the guitar.
You may now play every other major chord on the guitar neck if you’ve mastered all of the chords and intervals of the musical alphabet.
Tips for practicing the CAGED system
Now that you know how to use the CAGED system, here are a few tips to help you practice it:
There are two things you must diligently practice before playing the extended shapes of the CAGED system.
- Find the ROOT note of each chord.
- Learn the notes on the sixth, fifth, and fourth strings.
- The root note of these strings is your point of reference as you move and down the fretboard.
Once you’re comfortable with those chords, try moving them up and down the neck of the guitar. This will help you get used to finding chords in different keys.
Finally, try using the CAGED system to find chords in a song you’re already familiar with. This will help you see how it all comes together.
Benefits of the CAGED System
There are many benefits to using the CAGED system. Here are just a few:
- It’s a great way to learn chords in any key.
Transposing from one key to another may be difficult, and changing everything takes time. The CAGED system moves chord forms in a linear manner, making it simple to change chords at any moment.
- It can help you find chords quickly and easily.
You just have to know the intervals of the notes in the musical alphabet to quickly locate chords since all you’re doing is moving chord shapes.
- It’s a great tool for practicing chord progressions.
The CAGED System lets you play many chords by moving up and down the neck with the same chord form. If you’re going from a major to a half-step minor, there’s only a minor variation.
- It can help you unlock new voicing for chords.
The system is also useful when there are two or more guitars playing the same chords at the same time. When playing a chord in a different form, it adds to the drama and sound quality because it results to changing the pitch of the notes you’re performing.
As a result, even if you’re playing the same notes, you may add another layer of unique sound to the mix.
- It’s a great tool for songwriting.
Songwriting is more than just the craft of writing words. CAGED framework may help to spice up a song you’re working on. This can help add interest and variation to your song. It can also help you come up with new melodies and progressions.
- It helps you move from beginner chords to more advanced chords.
The CAGED system can help you move from basic chords to more advanced chords quickly and easily. It’s a great way to learn how to play barre chords and move them up and down the fretboard.
- It can help you understand the fretboard better.
The CAGED system is a great way to learn the notes on the fretboard. Once you know where the root notes are, it’s easier to find other chords and progressions.
- It can help you improvise better.
When you know the notes on the fretboard, it’s easier to improvise. The CAGED system can help you find chords quickly and easily, so you can focus on making music.
To summarize, the CAGED system has several advantages. It’s a great way to learn chords in any key, transpose from one key to another, find chords quickly and easily, practice chord progressions, unlock new voicing for chords, and understand the fretboard better. If you’re a beginner, the CAGED system can help you move from basic chords to more advanced chords quickly and easily. And if you’re an experienced player, the CAGED system can help you improvise better.
Go Crack the Code!
So there you have it! You now know how to unlock other chords using the CAGED system.
The CAGED system is a great way to learn chords on the guitar. It’s simple, effective, and easy to learn. Once you learn the CAGED system, you’ll be able to quickly and easily find any chord on the guitar neck.
You’ll be able to see the fretboard in a whole new way and understand how chords are related to one another.
This is just a basic introduction, so be sure to experiment with these chord shapes and find what works best for you. Once you get comfortable with the CAGED system, try mixing and matching chords to create your own unique sounds. The sky’s the limit!
Have fun exploring and don’t forget to crack the code!