So what is the simplicity in CAGED?

effzee

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You probably don't need it.
If you can see how the open C chord shape can transpose up to an F chord at the 5th fret (587565), you already know it/use it.
Just a small difference for me, I would look for the 8th fret if I wanted to play an F with the C-shape. I always need to know where the root note is, or I get lost quickly. Like, instantly.
 

effzee

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I was taught 12 keys in open position (frets 0 to 4). Then five of those keys (CAGFD) were moved up the fretboard, with the nut being replaced by the index finger.
Yeah, I guess that how I use the information. I practiced a lot of transposing the first position chords up the the neck, viewing the C-shape as the I-chord. The Dm shape is the ii, etc.
 

effzee

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This is a simple great explanation that really hit home for me.

His over the top view of the guitar had me flipping my phone around and then checking if auto rotate was deactivated 😅

I apparently liked that video many years ago, but I don't remember it. It's a good explanation of the raw fundamentals
 

NoTeleBob

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I'm with you on all that.

For me personally, caged has no value. I know what it is, how it works and acknowledge that it simply exists on a standard tuned guitar but by the time I had heard of caged, I already had figured all that out, albeit within my own 'system'.

I also agree that there really is no reason to include the D shape, as it is the same as the C shape. Including it IMO overcomplicates things.

You are observant because you can see and understand the relationships.

The issue I have, not with caged itself, but with its pedagogy stems from so many 'internet' teachers (and I'm being generous here with the term teacher) alluding to it being some secret knowledge or a hidden pathway. It's not secret or hidden at all. It's just there. But when you get a bunch of folks on the interwebs telling you that they're gonna "unlock the mystery of the fretboard" so that you can "play lead in any key and over any chord progression instantly", everybody gets in a dither trying to make more out of it that what is actually there. That line of advertising is akin to the old "Play Guitar in 7 Days" BS.

As I've probably said 100 times, CAGED is good for beginners who want to learn how the fretboard is laid out. Once you see it, you know it, and you never have to worry about it again.
Don't make it more complicated than it is.

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bigbenbob

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ok, i am 100% sincere and do not wish to be rude, but i just don't get it at all. i know somewhat about CAGED. but if i were going to play the 3 chords in the beginning of your post, OF COURSE i would play those 3 iterations of those chords because they are close together on the fretboard. CAGED would not enter into my thinking there at all. what is the advantage of CAGED in this?

thank you for your help understanding this.
I'm with you, thunderbyrd. Maybe the cage paradigm helps some people, but I think it's mostly if they don't know much music theory or guitar neck theory. I keep reading about CAGED stuff and it NEVER tells me anything new or eases my thinking.

When I was 17 I figured out some basic shapes based on open major and minor chords. Then I linked a major chord up the neck using the open major shapes. E.g., link an A major chord up the neck using Open A, a G shaped A barred on the 2nd fret, an Eshaped A barred on the 5th fret, a D shaped A barred on the 7th fret, a C shaped A barred on the 9th fret. I did the same with minor. Even if I couldn't play all the shapes easily, at least I saw how the shapes linked up. It was a revelation to me, but it was NOT rocket science. From that point forward I was able to learn more complex chords (minor 6th, minor 7 flat 5, diminished 7th,...) to the point where I now can play almost every chord in a horribly ugly big band chart on pretty much the same spot on the neck (if is suits the sound). Maybe what I Figured out was "CAGED" chords, but I had never heard of them. I simply learned how the basic shapes can be moved and changed to make any chord in the book.

The more important lesson I learned was voice leading 7th chords in the cycle of 5ths, from ii-V-I changes in jazz tunes, to gospelizing simple triads in a country song. Now THAT is useful to know.
 

ASATKat

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I'm with you, thunderbyrd. Maybe the cage paradigm helps some people, but I think it's mostly if they don't know much music theory or guitar neck theory. I keep reading about CAGED stuff and it NEVER tells me anything new or eases my thinking.

When I was 17 I figured out some basic shapes based on open major and minor chords. Then I linked a major chord up the neck using the open major shapes. E.g., link an A major chord up the neck using Open A, a G shaped A barred on the 2nd fret, an Eshaped A barred on the 5th fret, a D shaped A barred on the 7th fret, a C shaped A barred on the 9th fret. I did the same with minor. Even if I couldn't play all the shapes easily, at least I saw how the shapes linked up. It was a revelation to me, but it was NOT rocket science. From that point forward I was able to learn more complex chords (minor 6th, minor 7 flat 5, diminished 7th,...) to the point where I now can play almost every chord in a horribly ugly big band chart on pretty much the same spot on the neck (if is suits the sound). Maybe what I Figured out was "CAGED" chords, but I had never heard of them. I simply learned how the basic shapes can be moved and changed to make any chord in the book.

The more important lesson I learned was voice leading 7th chords in the cycle of 5ths, from ii-V-I changes in jazz tunes, to gospelizing simple triads in a country song. Now THAT is useful to know.
iim7 V7 Imaj7 comes from the circle of 4ths. All jazzers think in 4ths 95% of the time
 

JustABluesGuy

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CAGED positions are also about the position playing of single notes, not just chords. In fact, the chord emphasis is misleading.
This is the first I have noticed mention of the connection between the CAGED chords and scales. I haven’t delved into it much but I remember it being touted as being helpful for soloing as much or more than for being able to easily play chords anywhere on the neck.
 

Toast

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ok, i am 100% sincere and do not wish to be rude, but i just don't get it at all. i know somewhat about CAGED. but if i were going to play the 3 chords in the beginning of your post, OF COURSE i would play those 3 iterations of those chords because they are close together on the fretboard. CAGED would not enter into my thinking there at all. what is the advantage of CAGED in this?

thank you for your help understanding this.
I think of the CAGED system primarily as a root note navigation system. If I'm playing melodies in the key of C, then I want to know where all the C notes on the fretboard are. In other words, if I want to go from a low pitch C note to a high pitch C note one octave higher, then I need to know where the low C and high C are. Those notes, in a standard tuned guitar, sit in specific constellations on the fretboard.

In my opinion, I'd start with this video for beginning to understand the CAGED system.


Once you get a grasp on how root note patterns sit on a fretboard, then you can start to think about where all the other notes (3rds, fifths, etc.) are positioned with respect to those primary root notes. That's where the CAGED system comes in. It adds more musical colors to your initial understanding of root note patterns by sketching out chord shapes that contain the other musical note relationships (intervals built on root notes in various positions along the fretboard).
 
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