Secrets of the CAGED System

If you play the guitar, you need to get used to the CAGED system of guitar soloing. It is the easiest way to play the guitar.

Guitar players all over the world want to improve their solo skills.

This is an important ability, because learning to solo will make you a more competent and complete guitar player.

Over the years, it has been proved that the easiest way to learn scales and solo is to get familiar with the CAGED system.

What is the CAGED system?

CAGED is an acronym that represents the open chords that we use in the guitar. When you learn the instrument, probably the first thing you memorize are the chords on open strings.

These are the chords: C chord, A chord, G chord, and E chord, and D chord.

Now, let’s see how these chords can be used to get complete view of the fretboard.

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The CAGED chords in several positions

Let’s first see how to CAGED system is represented in the guitar fretboard:

This shows all the positions where the C chord can be built. These positions, in sequence, appear like the standard open C chord.

Then, in the third fret, you’ll find a C chord using the shape of the open A chord. (A of CAGED).

Then, in the 5th fret, you’ll find a C chord that has the shape of open G chord.

Next, in the 8th fret you’ll find a C chord with a E shape. Finally, in the 10th fret you’ll find C with the shape of a D chord (the last D in CAGED).

How to Extend the CAGED to any note?

Now we have an exercise to complete: use this diagram to determine all notes in the scale other than C,E, and G.

This is how it look for the C in the third fret:

As you see, it is just a matter of completing the positions with the remaining notes in the natural scale.

With this diagram, you already build solos in the C major scale in the third fret. You can practice moving up and down in the scale, or playing different notes.

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Using CAGED in other positions

blankYou can do the same with other positions. For example, with your first finger on fret 5, you can continue the diagram and put the notes of the C major scale. This will give another pattern that you can use in the 5th fret.

Playing in Any Key

Now it comes the really nice thing about this system: because the guitar is symmetric, you can learn this system and use it in any key!

Once you learn it for C major, you can move it two frets up and have all the notes of the D major scale.

Also, remembers that any note in the guitar repeats itself start in the 12nd fret. So, a shape that works in the 2nd fret also works in the 14th fret, and vice-versa.

Video Lesson

If you want to get a visual way to learn the CAGED system, here is a video lesson that will help you.

Learn more about the CAGED System

This course will show you everything you need to know about the CAGED system: