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BLOGoZON No.390


CAGED octaves

» C major arpeggio

» C major scale

» C pentatonic major scale

» C major-minor arpeggio

» C major blues scale

AGEDC octaves

» A minor arpeggio

» A minor scale

» A pentatonic minor scale

» A minor-dim arpeggio

» A minor blues scale


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» SONGSEEDS


CAGED guitar system for Bass

CAGED4BASS animation

» CAGED4BASS

» C major arpeggio

» C major scale

» C pentatonic major scale

» A minor arpeggio

» A minor scale

» A pentatonic minor


6-string BASS (major)

» C natural octaves

» C major arpeggio

» C major scale

» C pentatonic major scale

» C major-minor arpeggio

» C major blues scale

6-string BASS (minor)

» A natural octaves

» A minor arpeggio

» A minor scale

» A pentatonic minor scale

» A minor-dim arpeggio

» A minor blues scale


CAGED octaves variations

» CAGED octaves

» AGEDC octaves

» EDCAG octaves



7-string guitar (low B)

» C major scale

» C major arpeggio

» A minor scale

» A minor arpeggio

8-string guitar (low G)

» C major scale

» C major arpeggio

» C pentatonic major scale

» A minor scale

» A minor arpeggio

8-string guitar (high A)

» C major scale

» C major arpeggio


Explore CAGED octaves



History of CAGED octaves

The memorisation method now known as the CAGED guitar system has been around for some considerable time (not originally known by the acronym CAGED); first being encountered by myself in the July 1984 edition of Guitar Player Magazine. The article was entitled "SCALE SYSTEMS - Open Up The Fingerboard By Speed-Processing Melodic Elements" by the then deputy editor Jim Ferguson.

Guitar Player Magazine cover

Guitar Player Magazine pdf

Message received from Jim:-

Hello Zon,
I just wanted to thank you for crediting me for my early advocacy of the CAGED system. Apart from that 1984 issue of GP, I think I also discussed it in one of my columns, but have yet to dig through my back issues to find it. Also, Classical guitarist Charles Postlewate, a good friend, credits me for inspiring his research into the use of c (the little finger of the right hand), which he's developed to a very high level. Anyway, thanks again, and good luck with your book! Best, Jim


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BLOGoZON by Zon Brookes

Meat & Potatoes: Ionian Mode Front Cover


A new guitar method book, based on a modification of the CAGED guitar system, using octaves rather than chord shapes.
The method allows complete fretboard freedom for standard and 3 notes per string scale & arpeggio box shapes.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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CAGED octaves - CHORD SHAPES

The standard CAGED guitar system links together the five basic open major chord shapes - C, A, G, E and D (in their barre forms) to produce a fretboard navigation system. This standard CAGED guitar system works very well when the scales, chords and arpeggios being considered are major in nature, however it tends to fall down when the scales etc. are minor in tonality (as the Cm and Gm shapes are difficult to play especially in their barre forms).
All the tabbed panels that follow show a photograph using the "players eye view" format
, Guitar Pro fingerboard (with note names plotted) plus the tablature and standard music notation for the Cm, Am, Gm, Em, and Dm open chords.

  • 5Cm2
  • 5Am3
  • 6Gm3Gm1
  • 6Em4Em1
  • 4Dm2

Cm open chord photo

GP5 fingerboard - Cm chord

Cm open chord tab

Am chord photo

GP5 fingerboard - Am chord

Am open chord tab

Gm open chord photo

GP5 fingerboard - Gm chord

Gm open chord tab

Em open chord photo

GP5 fingerboard - Em chord

Em open chord tab

Dm open chord photo

GP5 fingerboard - Dm open chord

Dm open chord tab


CAGED octaves - OCTAVE SHAPES

As the improvising guitarists favourite scale is the pentatonic minor this difficulty with Cm and Gm can be rather inconvenient, thus a second system has developed known as EDCAG (click-on link for details). The E shape is then referred to as Shape 1 - as this is the shape that is located at the nut for E pentatonic minor (the rock guitarist's favourite key for improvisation).

The numbered shape sytem and the CAGED octaves equivalents are as follows:-

CAGED octaves eliminates this problem as octaves are played (either singly or doubly) rather than Em, Dm, Cm, Am and Gm shape barre chords (but chord shapes are demonstrated for completeness). The tabbed panel below shows the five CAGED octaves shapes positioned at the nut where the shape name and sound both correspond to one another (this will not be the case when the shapes are used for other notes).
Fingers are positioned on top of the nut to illustrate where open strings are being sounded.


  • 5Cm2
  • 5Am3
  • 6Gm3Gm1
  • 6Em4Em1
  • 4Dm2

5Cm2 octave

5Am3 octave

6Gm3Gm1 octave

6Em4Em1 octave

4Dm2 octave



THREE NOTES PER STRING

Additionally the system has been modified for use with the three notes per string scale shapes (sweep picking) which produce seven shapes known memorably as Patterns I, II, III, IV, V, VI and VII.

These shapes cannot be classified with the conventional CAGED guitar system as they are hybrid shapes that sit across more than one letter of the word CAGED at a time, however the CAGED octaves method eliminates this problem.

The roman numeral shape names and the CAGED octaves equivalents are listed for the MAJOR SCALE in the table that follows:-

Shape No.
CAGED octaves
I
6E4D2
II
4D2
III
5C2
IV
5A3
V
5A3G1
VI
6G3G1
VII
6E4E1

CAGED octaves 3nps logo

The roman numeral shape names and the CAGED octaves equivalents are listed for the NATURAL MINOR SCALE in the table that follows:-

Shape No.
CAGED octaves
I
6Em4Dm2
II
4Dm2
III
5Cm2
IV
5Am3
V
5Am3Gm1
VI
6Gm3Gm1
VII
6Em4Em1

EDCAG octaves 3nps logo

These three notes per string hybrid BOX SHAPES have been explored in detail for the following scales:-


AGEDC - GEDCA - EDCAG - DCAGE

  • CAGED
  • AGEDC
  • GEDCA
  • EDCAG
  • DCAGE

As illustrated by the CAGED octaves circles shown above the word CAGED should really be represented in a circular fashion - with the letter that points north being the starting shape located at the guitar's nut. The examples on the remainder of the website are in the easiest of keys - A minor; hence the CAGED octaves letter order is AGEDC.

Here is a very brief explanation of the CAGED octaves methodology :–

Seven single octave shapes are produced:-

Plus two double octave shapes:-

Click on a link below to view the detailed information:-

The lower case “m” indicates that the chord/scale/arpeggio is minor rather than major

Enjoy the playing

Zon Brookes



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