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Dave Ratcliffe (289) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 70
Pages: 1 2 3

C.A.G.E.D.--the system
'Caged' is not an acronym; it's a system of finding your way through:

Chord Inversions

Ever listened to a track you admire, then find you can't make the chords sound the way they do on the track?
'Caged' will fix it...

Each letter in the word 'caged' stands for the basic shape of a Major chord in its open position.
Check the first one: 'C'...

|---|---|---|now let's add
|-O|---|---|the next one:


|-O|---|---|---|This shape is
|---|---|-O|---|The Open
|-O|---|---|---|are shown.

The point is, all shapes are movable, on the guitar fretboard. For the sake of convenience, we refer to the 'C' shape, the 'A' shape etc..
Place the 'A' shape so that its bass root is on string 5--fret3 and you'll get the next inversion of C Major --even though you're playing the 'A' shape...
So--find 'C' on it's journey up the fretboard:
String 5--fret 3;string 6--fret 8;string 4--fret 10

Another way: 'C' and 'A' shapes are based on string 5'G' and 'E' shapes are based on string 6 'D' is based on string 4...

Let's look at the C.A.G.E.D. pattern laid along the frets. All the shapes play inversions of C Major



Some will find the interlocking shapes hard to see. Remember that the bass roots are used twice. This means the shapes overlap:

'C' = string 5--fret 3'A' = string 5--fret 3'G' = string 6--fret 8'E' = string 6--fret 8'D' = string 4--fret 10

Here, the fretboard is split into the different shapes: 'C'--'A'--'G'--'E'--'D'. All are inversions of C Major...



Note the fret positions and the overlap will become clear. Formal students and tutors may frown, but Shapes are considered by some the best way of learning the frets, the chords, and the scales. They're a valuable first step, at least.

To apply 'caged' to the other chords, see page 2...