CAGED4BASS front cover

A method for 4-string bass guitar using linked octave shapes. Enables systematic navigation of the bass guitar fingerboard for standard and 3 notes per string scale and arpeggio box shapes.

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CAGED4BASS back cover


Bernard Edwards

Bernard Edwards

Good Times

Good Times lesson

Dance Dance Dance (Yowsah Yowsah Yowsah)

Chic - Dance, Dance, Dance (Live At The Budokan)

Chic & Sister Sledge - I Want Your Love

Bernard Edwards was the man where funk/soul/disco bass lines were concerned, his best work being heard with the likes of Chic and Sister Sledge.
Bassline Publishing produce a 20 song tab book with all the best of Edwards' bass-lines (not available in US). Bernard originally played a BC Rich Eagle - the modern budget version is shown in the photo below. However he is better known for his association with the Music Man Stingray bass - the original is now owned by John Taylor of Duran Duran (bequethed to John in Bernard's will).

BC Rich Eagle bass


CAGED4BASS : 4-string bass in standard EADG tuning
C major scale (ionian mode) : General

CAGED4BASS

Can the CAGED octaves memorisation method be directly applied to the 4-string bass guitar?

Answer: Yes - but not without some serious lateral thinking.

The problem is that the 4-string bass has one too few strings to allow a standard CAGED octaves system to be generated (this is not the case with the 5 and 6-string bass guitars - see BLOGoZON No. 60 and
BLOGoZON No.62 respectively for details). Additionally the original CAGED guitar system is based upon the chaining-together of the open position chord shapes C A G E D and obviously these are NOT available on a 4-string bass guitar.
To overcome this problem a NULL string needs to be introduced i.e. an imaginary extra string. Rather than go with the 5-string bass and introduce an extra low B string the CAGED octaves approach will be to adopt the first string from a 6-string bass i.e. an imaginary high C string (this will also tie the two instruments together in a coherant manner for future use.)

NOTE: the extra string is not tuned to B (as would the comparison with a standard 6-string guitar) since the gap between ALL the strings will be a PERFECT FOURTH ( unlike the MAJOR THIRD between the guitar's 3rd and 2nd strings) since chords will not be played. The 4-string bass fingerboard plus the extra NULL string would take on the appearance of the drawing that follows:-

NULL string fretboard

Now rather than name the octave shapes after the open position chord shapes - they will instead be named after the open string names - including the imaginary null string tuned to C. The diagram that follows shows the resultant CAGED4BASS methodology.

4bass CAGED octaves

GuitarPro6 C natural octaves

The five octave shapes that are generated are explored in detail in the tabbed panel that follows:-


CAGED4BASS : 4-string bass in standard EADG tuning
C major scale (ionian mode) : Box shape pdf files

YouTube icon

Flash iconGuitar Pro 6 icon

CAGED4BASS C major scale : 3C* box shape pdf
CAGED4BASS C major scale : 3A1 box shape pdf
CAGED4BASS C major scale : 4G1 box shape pdf
CAGED4BASS C major scale : 4E2 box shape pdf
CAGED4BASS C major scale : 2D* box shape pdf
CAGED4BASS C major scale : 3C* box shape at 12 pdf

  • 3C*
  • 3A1
  • 4G1
  • 4E2
  • 2D*
  • 3C* at 12

3C* box

3A1 box

4G1 box

4E2 box

2D* box

3C* box at 12


CAGED4BASS : 4-string bass in standard EADG tuning
C major scale (ionian mode) : Overall box shapes

The box shapes for the previous exercise follows:-

C major scale box shape

CAGED4BASS : 4-string bass in standard EADG tuning
C major scale (ionian mode) : GuitarPro6 TAB

C major scale box shapes TAB

CAGED4BASS : 4-string bass in standard EADG tuning
C major scale : Box shapes pdf & GuitarPro6 TAB pdf

Flash iconGuitar Pro 6 icon

C major scale box shapes pdf

C major scale box shapes pdfC major scale box shapes pdf

CAGED4BASS : 4-string bass in standard EADG tuning
C major scale : Overall fretboard box shapes

CAGED4BASS fingerboard  C major scale box shapes notes

CAGED4BASS fingerboard  C major scale box shapes intervals


This BLOGoZON is dedicated to the memory of the man that made me want to pick up the bass guitar and play that funky music white boy ..........................................plus a few famous others.....John Deacon.

Mr Bernard Edwards RIP

Sister Sledge

I wonder why he's the greatest dancer
....Zon Brookes

The very best of Chic


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