The other day I posted about my first guitar lesson and touched on the CAGED system. I wanted to follow up that post with some more detail, mainly for my own learning process. If I write it down in my own words it helps me remember.
Above are the five major chord shapes an their scales. My instructor points out that for the most part you’re not going to use a lot of the shapes when playing bar chords. Since you can play any chord with any of the shapes, it doesn’t make sense to use the D shape to play a C chord when the A or E shape is so much easier. And after trying to play the D shape, I agree. Maybe once I get better I can venture into the more difficult shapes.
So far I’ve been practicing the scales for E, A, D (the roots are in blue on the image above). I’m not sure why, but that is the order my instructor is having me learn them. I think he’s having me do them in that order to go from easiest scales to harder. I’ve got the E, A, and D shape scales down pretty well and can get up to 285bpm with the metronome going up the fretboard.
Right now I’m learning the C shape scale and I’m have a bit of difficulty. Maybe its because with this one you start the scale with the pinky finger while on the others you start with the first or third finger which seems more natural to me. I’ve memorized the scale, but my finger just don’t seem to be cooperating with my brain. In certain spots I know the next note but I freeze or mess it up when I go for it. Oh well, more practice I guess.
As I mentioned in my other post, I’m still not 100% clear on how to use the scales when playing. I’m sure it will all become clear someday.