So I see a lot of people talking about how the CAGED system is good because it connects scales with chords; what I don't understand is that If I'm playing A major scale CAGED system helps me find all A chords all over the neck, but isn't that easy even if you're playing 3nps? Am I mising something? Also is the CAGED system useful when it comes to harmonic minor and other scales?
For me, it's more about finding chord shapes over the neck. The basic open shapes are C, A, G, E and in a 4/5 string version, D. All these chords work in open position (with some strings open), not always in root position, but that's not an issue. Those shapes can then be moved up the fretboard and a barre used to produce other chords. Or, put another way, say C open can be another C using barre 3rd fret with an A shape, barre 5th fret with a G shape, barre 8th fret with an E shape, barre 12th fret with a C shape, and barre 10th fret with a D shape. Works better with major chords, in my opinion.
CAGED is a cute mnemonic.
I think mneumonics too often substitute for learning a fundamental.
CAGED is a bad idea instead of just learning two simple chord voicing concepts: closed voicing like an open
C chord, and open voicing like an open
E chord. (Unfortunately, "open" is a bit confusing in the previous sentence, it is used both to mean "open strings used" and "open voicing" where the internal spacing of chord tones is larger than a third.)
D all exhibit open voicing moving up in fourths.
C both exhibit closed voicing moving up in fourths.
CAGED literally jumbles those two voicing groups together and sets up a misunderstanding there are 5 unique shapes when there are really only 2 shapes involved with those chords.
...It connects scales with chords...
Whatever time needs to be spend conceptualizing adding tones to open
E A D G C to get scales would be better spent understanding the diatonic scale is a single repeating grid over the entire fretboard with a half step shift between the G and B strings. A whole host of scales and modes is then derived from that diatonic pattern by altering particular tones by half steps.
At the very least don't use
CAGED, it's litereally musical nonsense!
EADGC and start with harmony lessons about
I IV V.
Don't confuse fretboard logic with the CAGED system. In my experience, only Tim actually plays the barred G. There are a number of different fretboard visualization systems each with their own advantages.
CAGED- physically based system, requires no stretching, matches up nicely with the Blues scale boxes and pentatonic major. All "expressive techniques" (bends, slides, vibrato, hammers, etc) can be performed with the wrist. Allows one universal hand position for thumb over the top players.
3 note per string- mentally based system, once you have the scale down you can gun fast repeating pattern figures on the fly. Requires stretches. If you want to shred eighties style with a more classically influenced hand position, this is for you.
Segovian- educationally based system, you learn the notes up each string which accelerates sight reading and development of absolute pitch.
Chromatic zone- another mentally based system designed to give the full palette of notes for all scales, largely for jazz improvisors (rather than having discrete 3nps patterns).
I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch but those are the big ones. I teach rock, blues, and metal. Over the last 15 years the best student results have come from learning the scales via the CAGED system, and the chords as harmonized scales moving up the strings (I.e 6th string root, 5th sr, 4th string root).
Harmonic minor works great CAGED, and some of the patterns are pretty fun to play:
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Of course we all play part of the big "barred g" at times, but a more "ergonomic" and I think better sounding context is 4 note open voiced chords.
To be honest it's far more achievable to use that with 3nps fingerings because the guitar is usually set higher to accommodate stretching. With the guitar at waist level (which is when the CAGED system is most often used) that barred G form can become a threat to long term feeling in our fingertips.
Just like office ergonomics, we need to keep our wrists straight!
Ive never seen that chord form in any guitar book that predates fretboard logic. Just using the top four strings is a sensible approach for chord melody playing, it is not the full "barred g" which I find academic for the majority of CAGED system players.
I the CAGED system as a way to visualize a schale/chord pattern all over the fretboard.
Unlike the piano, which arranges all the notes from lower to higher, and clearly indicating which ones are "natural" and which one "accidentals" (ie: sharp/flats), the guitar has a certain geometry that seems to obscure this a bit.
All you get are 6 strings, with 19 to 24 frets each (depending on the guitar), and it's part of the learning process to understand which are the right notes to play when. It is all about developing mental patterns of where the right notes are.
CAGED is (for me) a very good entry point to develop these visual patterns (I wish I had learned it much earlier!). Also, if you play pentatonic, it aligns very nicely with the 5 positions or "boxes" of the pentatonic scale.
(as a side note, I saw a great progress when I moved from seeing "5 positions of the pentatonic" to thinking of a 3-octave scale instead).
You could argue that 3nps is a more advanced vision of the fretboard, but at the same time, it's not good for playing pentatonic (which, by nature, has 2 notes/string).
I think any model that helps you visualize the patterns on a guitar is helpful. Quoting an old software development motto: "All models are wrong, but some are helpful".