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CAGED Confusion

Hey folks,
Somethings been bugging me for ages,

I remember the pentatonic and diatonic scales by their CAGED shape names.

I'm starting to feel like i may have been wrongly naming them the whole time.

Take the good old E shape pentatonic, you're doing a solo with that shape in E minor and you want to add some minor scale notes so you use the compatible minor scale which is the G shape.

Why isn't that G shape called the E shape?

do you know what i mean, if they are the two scales that line up together why don't they have the same shape name to avoid confusion?

Has anyone ever had this problem?
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Re: CAGED Confusion

8/6/2012 9:00 AM

Ken Richardson (9051) wrote:

I am not totally sure that I follow you on this... but here's how I approach something similar.

Just remember that the E natural minor scale and G ( Major ) scale share the same key signature - the same sharp note ( no flats) which is F#.

So for improv in E minor, you can use notes from the G chord shape and G scale, the emphasis on the 3rd of the E minor gives you that minor flavor.

E minor is the relative minor to the G scale. A minor and C share the same relationship.

Back when I started learning guitar I did not hear of CAGED. I learned sort of piecemeal from a book, a neighbor, some basic lessons, more books, other guys who played the guitar, and the Guitar for Practicing Musician magazine. I learned a bunch of chords and a few melodies and simple lead lines at first. I learned the location of notes and bar chords on the fretboard. Then some scales and a little more lead guitar. Maybe not the most organized way, but whats done is done!

I found this on Wikipedia which gives a little related info.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G_major

Hope this is helpful. There are a ton of resources on the net now!

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Re: CAGED Confusion

8/6/2012 10:28 PM

Matt Wood (2844) wrote:

it's is but remember E minor has the same notes as G major . Now if your queston is why is G major not called E minor if it has the same notes its beacuse music is about tension and resolution and a tonal centre . the context of the notes used change the scale

you just discovered modes. Congrats

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Re: CAGED Confusion

4/5/2013 5:08 PM

Zach Rollins (176) wrote:

The term CAGED refers to five basic different movable chord shapes as far as I have known for some years now. I have never heard the term used in the context of scales. In the case of your scale confusion, the most I can say is that it's called E minor when the song is focusing on minor chords and G major when its focusing on major chords. Good luck finding further clarification on the subject, fellow player:)

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Re: CAGED Confusion

4/6/2013 11:44 PM

Chris Bond II (2841) wrote:

A book called "fretboard logic" discusses in detail the caged approach. This includes shapes, arpeggios and scale forms.

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Re: CAGED Confusion

4/6/2013 11:53 PM

Chris Bond II (2841) wrote:

P.S. The five basic shapes

C shape
A shape
G shape
E shape
D shape

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Re: CAGED Confusion

4/8/2013 9:01 AM

Ken Richardson (9051) wrote:

I wish I had seen the CAGED system early on, I think it would have helped me progress faster. I started with the E shape, the bar chord and major scale box, and worked from there.

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Re: CAGED Confusion

4/8/2013 10:47 AM

Randy Hano (12149) wrote:

For some reason I feel the same way too. When I was learning the CAGED method was not utilized and instead they were called Forms. Sadly the Form system was not universal so what one would call Form 1 might another Form # to another.

The CAGED system really is a great term for instructors to convey to students. I had a student who was studying with me and took to the CAGED system really easily. Even with much practice, as long as he knew the basic shapes he was able to construct the chords as well as play basic pentatonic scales easily.

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Re: CAGED Confusion

4/12/2013 1:12 AM

Chris Bond II (2841) wrote:

It can be taken a lot further. I really recommend FRETBOARD LOGIC . I studied it for about six months a few years ago and to this very day I use (on a daily basis) even if it's not conscious


Once you get comfortable with altering chords it's like leaving the atmosphere so many things open up, in so many different places. To me the different fingerings and patterns allow for much creativity.