How much do you use the caged system?

guitarface

Most Honored Senior Member
Nov 11, 2012
8,324
New Jersey
If you’re an advanced player you already know it without knowing it. If you’re not, it’s a good way of finding chords and different voicing did chords all over the neck. A lot of people get tripped up by it being referred to as a “system.”

Here’s my basic way of explaining it- you know how there are e shaped and a shaped barre chords? Well, there are c,g and d shaped barre chords too.
 

Dadocaster

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2015
26,267
Sachse TX behind the cemetary
If you’re an advanced player you already know it without knowing it. If you’re not, it’s a good way of finding chords and different voicing did chords all over the neck. A lot of people get tripped up by it being referred to as a “system.”

Here’s my basic way of explaining it- you know how there are e shaped and a shaped barre chords? Well, there are c,g and d shaped barre chords too.

Yeah but some of the voicings you find in CAGED or just farting around are not barre chords and those are super useful and you can pick out triads. If anything, CAGED my free people from the barre.
 

guitarface

Most Honored Senior Member
Nov 11, 2012
8,324
New Jersey
Yeah but some of the voicings you find in CAGED or just farting around are not barre chords and those are super useful and you can pick out triads. If anything, CAGED my free people from the barre.

Absolutely. You can think of caged as a gateway to thinking in terms of triads. Also, my playing vastly improved when I abandoned the idea of trying to play six or five notes at a time when playing chords.
 

Dadocaster

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2015
26,267
Sachse TX behind the cemetary
Absolutely. You can think of caged as a gateway to thinking in terms of triads. Also, my playing vastly improved when I abandoned the idea of trying to play six or five notes at a time when playing chords.

My next goal is to be able to comp jazz without all the crazy finger gymnastics using non bar chords. Well, my next goal is to play some punk, but the goal after that, I guess.
 

StratUp

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 5, 2020
4,543
Altered States
So, after review, my summary of the CAGED "system": If you know the root note of a chord you can move it up and down the fretboard to get other chords.
 

guitarface

Most Honored Senior Member
Nov 11, 2012
8,324
New Jersey
So, after review, my summary of the CAGED "system": If you know the root note of a chord you can move it up and down the fretboard to get other chords.

Is put it this way- you can move up and down the fret board and find the same chord in different places.
 

Boyd L

Strat-Talker
Jul 17, 2020
296
Appalachian Foothills
I’ve never really jumped into it much myself. I see a ton of YouTube instructional videos on it , haven’t determined if I should dig deeper into it.

I use it everyday. Practicing different chord voicings for songs and pentatonic runs in different keys.
For me, its been a convenient means to tie the notes of the fretboard together.
 

simoncroft

Still playing. Still learning!
Silver Member
May 30, 2013
18,717
SE England
I got through the first 55 years playing guitar without knowing what 'CAGED system' means. Now I've watched a video, I see it's really about knowing how to apply inversions, which I do anyway. If people find the CAGED analysis helpful, that's great.

I tend to think more in terms of 'voice leading'. In other words, where are the individual notes in your chords going next? To an extent, that's a compositional choice, and I'd prefer to think what the part 'should' be, and to consider that before how it 'can' be executed.
 

CB91710

No GAS shortage here
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2019
9,244
SoCal
I kinda learned it without learning the "caged" system.
I learned the movable shapes then realized oh chit... that's the caged thing I heard about
...never said I was the brightest bulb on the circuit
Ditto.
Self-taught, I figured out that I could barre any chord in any position to get what I wanted... of course, mostly focused on the E and A forms, but often worked with the G form as well.
When I started taking lessons, it was a natural to apply the same idea to the pentatonics.
 

StratUp

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 5, 2020
4,543
Altered States
Is put it this way- you can move up and down the fret board and find the same chord in different places.

The evil twin of my statement!

I think CAGED could be helpful for newer learners... however it needs to be clear (if someone is teaching it) that you don't have to hit all those notes. New players will be very discouraged if they are trying to finger them all.

There's a reason that most people learn barre chords off the open E and open A shapes. They're simple, relatively easy to finger, and you can get major, minor, seventh, minor seventh, etc all off the same basic shape. The root stays the same.

CAGED seems to be trying to teach the same thing... but making it much more complicated and physically difficult for the newer player it's targeted at.
 

Anacharsis

Guitar Player
Sep 19, 2019
952
Midwest USA
Also, my playing vastly improved when I abandoned the idea of trying to play six or five notes at a time when playing chords.
I virtually never play a chord with more than 4 notes when I am playing my own music any more. Of course, that went hand in hand with my move to perfect 4ths tuning. For me, that makes CAGED moot, as I am completely capable of intuiting where I am and what my options are anywhere on the fretboard in perfect 4ths.

That said, I know many players who have made use of CAGED and teach it early on when they are asked to give lessons. Like most tools, it's all about a fit in terms of how people think and learn.
 

Bob the builder

Most Honored Senior Member
May 2, 2016
9,144
Cranston, Rhode Island
Ditto.
Self-taught, I figured out that I could barre any chord in any position to get what I wanted... of course, mostly focused on the E and A forms, but often worked with the G form as well.
When I started taking lessons, it was a natural to apply the same idea to the pentatonics.
That's me,
A + E
but my next most used is C
I like using that "C" to "B" walk down thing when I can
Don't hardly ever use the G
 
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