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What is the CAGED Chord System

G Major ChordThe CAGED Chord System

Let’s face it learning chords is not the most interesting of things to do on the guitar.  We would all like to be able to just pick up the guitar, plug it in and shred away.  But unfortunately life is never that simple!  The hard truth is that to really express yourself on the guitar you need to know the basics and chords are part of the basics.  So wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple system for learning chords and to be able to transpose those chords up and down the fretboard.  Fortunately for us there is a simple system known as the CAGED chord system which promises to do just that.

The CAGED chord system is based on, as the name suggests the chords C, A, G, E and D.  So unfortunately to be able to access the CAGED chord system fully you need to be able to play all these chords in the open position.  If you don’t know these chords then check out the following article on Chord Basics.

Once you know these 5 basic chords in the open position the CAGED chord system allows you to simply map these across the fretboard.

You need to know the root notes for each of the chords and the position of these root notes across the fretboard.  You also need to practice holding the chords so that you don’t have any open strings.  This bit can be a little bit tricky as it requires a bit of finger strength and practice.  However, once you have mastered this you will find that you can simply transpose the chords up the fretboard to be able to play any sequence of these five chords in any position.

As with anything in life it is always best to see this presented visually and there are a tonne of videos out there which show the CAGED chord system.  But I think the one below demonstrates it really well.  Check it out and give the method a go.  In a short time, thanks to the CAGED chord system you will be happily playing chords up and down the fretboard.

 

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