"GUITAR EXPLAINED VISUALLY"

screenshot

the two basic barre chord shapes

If you know how to use the two basic barre chord shapes shown at the left you already know a basic form of CAGED.

Knowing how to move these two shapes around the neck gives you:

  • at least two places on the neck to play a chord
  • "guideposts" to hang other chords, scales and licks on
  • a starting point for learning the entire neck

How to find your way around the neck

The easiest way to find your way around the neck is to start with what you probably already know.

Most guitarists know about the two basic barre chord shapes pictured above: the "A" and "E" shapes, also known as "5th string root" and "6th string root" chord shapes.

The first step in learning the neck is to make sure you know where these two shapes live for any given chord name (A, B, C, etc.)

Example: C

For example, if you wanted to play a C chord, you could use the "A" shape (5th string root) barre chord at the 3rd fret (because on the fifth string, the note at the third fret = C). Or you could use the "E" shape (6th string root) barre chord at the 8th fret (because on the sixth string, the note at the eighth fret = C.)

CAGED sample

 

BASIC CHORD AND SCALE SHAPES LIVE AT THE SAME PLACE

You probably also know that some other common chord shapes, and also scale shapes, live at the same place on the neck as these two basic barre chord shapes. Below are a few you probably recognize.

CAGED sample

Example: C power chord

For example, if you wanted to play a C power chord, you could use the 5th string ("A") power chord shape placed at the 3rd fret:

CAGED sample

Or you could use the 6th string ("E") power chord shape placed at the 8th fret.

 

Example: C pentatonic scale

Another example: you wanted to play a C minor pentatonic scale, you could use the "E" shape placed at the 8th fret:

CAGED sample

Or you could use the 5th string ("A") scale shape placed at the 3rd fret.

 

LOTS OF COMMON LICKS DO TOO

There's lots of these; some common, some not. Some you can pigeonhole into scales; others are harder to classify. Unlike chords and scales, most of these licks don't have names; but they're just as important, if not more so.

CAGED sample

Example: C

For example, if you wanted to use the first lick pictured above (1) when you were soloing in C, you'd place it at the 3rd fret. Or if you wanted to use the first lick pictured above (1) when you were soloing in C, you'd place it at the 8th fret.

(screenshot goes here)

 

SUMMARY

blah blah blah...

Next: "filling in the gaps" between the A and E shapes

2. the C, G and D shapes