Making Music with Marshall

the caged system

part two

Posted: 24th August 2021

The CAGED system allows you to move up and down the fretboard with ease. In Part 1 we discussed the shapes used and how you can find them in each key. In Part 2 we’ll look at the relative scales for each position and key. Once you get these down you can connect each shape for absolute fretboard freedom!

Read time - 2 mins

To recap

In summary, the CAGED system is where you use the C, A, G, E and D chord shapes up the fretboard in any key in that order. This is allows you to find any chord shape in the relevant key wherever you are. The shapes are illustrated in C major below

CAGED scales

With each respective position of the CAGED system, there’s a pentatonic position and major scale that fits around it. For this example, we’ll start in the key of C. The images below will show you the chord, the pentatonic and the major scale for each position.

In the key of C - Shape / Pentatonic Scale / Major Scale

Once you’ve mastered these pentatonic and major positions for each shape it opens you up to improvise over these chord positions. Try playing along to a Major backing track in the Key of C with these shapes. Once you’re comfortable enough try moving between each shape string by string, with enough practise you’ll be able to build up some impressive speed across the fretboard!