The CAGED system is a method with which most guitar players learn the fretboard. It’s a great method of learning, memorizing, and applying different chord shapes for rhythm and lead playing.
If you have purchased one of our cheat sheets or plan on doing so with a 30% off deal, this article will give a detailed insight on how you use them to the fullest.
What is the CAGED system?
The CAGED system organizes the fretboard, suggesting that chords can be played in at least five different shapes. As the name suggests, the shapes are the open C, A, G, E, and D shapes.
Depending on the chord, it could be minor, major, 7th, etc., all played in 5 different positions on the fretboard. With it players can always find a new way of playing chords or play over chord progression while soloing. In fact, one of the main criteria for jumping from beginner to intermediate players is mastering the basics of the CAGED system.
The more you advance on the CAGED system and apply it in your daily playing, the better you become at almost anything on guitar.
How to best use the sheets and posters?
Having the cheat sheets always with you in your gig bag or having a poster hanging in your practice room will prove helpful. If you’re a teacher, having a poster in your studio is especially helpful for your students, allowing them to easily visualize chords and music theory.
Beyond using them as guides to learn different chord shapes, you can take multiple other approaches.
Use the CAGED system to “transform” songs.
Let’s say you are learning a new song and are playing along with the recording. A good thing you can do is to play the same chords or melodies using one of the other positions the cheat sheet or poster shows you.
By doing so, you are effectively expanding your guitar vocabulary and can arrange songs if needed for more than one guitar if you are jamming with another guitarist. Learning new skills based on what you already know is the best way to ensure you memorize things slowly.
Use the CAGED system while improvising.
Following the chords and outlining chord tones is key to playing interesting solos. Our approach in creating posters is so detailed that you can see each note’s function in the chord, making it easier for you to know where the 3rd, 5th, or any other chord tone is.
All great solos follow chords, and every pro improviser knows how to quickly go to every arpeggio and scale shape based on where the chords are. This is also the best way to break the common “stuck in a box” syndrome.
Use the CAGED system to learn intervals.
Learning intervals is part of your journey as a musician. You will be faced with the need to recognize the function of notes in a chord at a certain point. Musicians talk in numbers, and if you want to rehearse efficiently, you need the knowledge and freedom intervals give.
Find the chord shape you need in the cheat sheet and slowly memorize the functions written over each note.
Use the CAGED system while recording.
Intermediate and advanced players who already know the CAGED system will find the cheat sheets extremely useful in the studio while figuring out what to play over a song.
Most of the guitar tracks in a song are always a “weird’ chord that looks pretty complex but is, in most cases, part of the CAGED system. Once you know this, you can start testing your guitar ideas in different positions all over the fretboard before deciding what works best. A guide in front of you will get the job done without any scrolling!
Final thoughts on using the posters and cheat sheets
Whatever genres you play, acoustic or electric guitar, the CAGED system is always helpful and can teach you something new. Considering the price, it’s probably the best affordable investment you can make today to make you a better player. Check out the offers on our store!