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The CAGED Guitar System

The guitar may seem intimidating and confusing when you first start playing. What do these strings do? What are those knobs at the top? Why is there a hole in the middle? There are many avenues to take to answer those questions (our instructors here are a great source), but the CAGED system will help to clear up some confusion on the guitar neck.

The CAGED system helps you to remember the fretboard and is essential to know as a guitarist. It derives its name from the method of playing guitar based on the five basic open chord shapes: C, A, G, E, and D. These chords can be moved anywhere on the fretboard. The CAGED system is a great tool for understanding how to find these chord shapes and understanding the guitar neck.

This system has been around for as long as guitars have been played since it’s just the layout of the guitar neck. But, it wasn’t until the 1970s that someone documented the CAGED system. Guitar Player Magazine published an article by a guitar instructor in 1975 that gave the system its name.

The CAGED system combined with the knowledge of position playing, arpeggios and scales really helps you to understand your favorite guitar player’s playing and musical choices. It is a great way to improve your knowledge of the guitar neck, learn music theory applications and improve both  your lead guitar and rhythm playing.

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