Why the CAGED System is so cool

Your band decides to play that cool song. You get to improvise a solo in it so that’s pretty cool, right? But than you check out the chords and you see:

|      C     |      A     |      D      |      G      ||

… what should you do? There’s no pentatonic scale you can use to play over all these chords.

You could use an A minor pentatonic scale over the C chord, then a F# minor pentatonic over the A chord. You can use this one oer the D chord too and you can use the A minor one again over the G chord.

When you do this you re probably going to end up confused and wanting to smash your guitar into the wall.

When you know the CAGED System you can play effortlessly over this chord progression. Why? Because each chords has its own pentatonic scale.

You can play fluently over the entire fretboard. Every chord can be played in five different positions around the neck. It’s easy to shift from one to the other.

You will be able to consistently build your solo up dynamically. Start around one CAGED form and work your way up the neck. The notes get higher and higher and so does the dynamic energy.

The CAGED System is build on chords so it’s super easy to play arpeggio’s in your solo’s. The best notes you can play on a chord are its own chord notes. When you know the CAGED System you know where these chord notes are and you can play them individually or sequentially and when you do that … tadaah you have played an arpeggio!

You can also really easy think of an additional guitar to play during a jam session over instance or when you are recording and working on your arrangement.

I took some jazz guitar lessons and I just didn’t get it. All these chords and none of them seemed to fit in one particular scale. I would play really easy jazz tunes and hit one wrong note after the other.. To save my ego I quit.

Then it hit me. I already knew the CAGED System but I never saw its full potential until that moment. I was in the shower and suddenly it clicked. I ran out to my guitar almost immediately I played a solo on Just Friends.

Did the CAGED System make me a jazz guitarist? No, not by far. There are so many more scales that these guys use. The CAGED System gives you enough to play a nice solo over a jazz piece to grasp the idea of jazz. It’s the missing link to get you from rock playing to jazz playing. If that’s what you desire.  I’m not a jazz guitarist, but I really like the idea that I’m able to play something coherent to a jazz tune.

The CAGED System helped my rock improvising a lot! My solo’s all seemed to sound the same and not that musical. The CAGED System helped me to cross that border and took my playing and arranging to another level.

It’s a system like TAB that only guitarists benefit from. It’s super easy because the CAGED System is based around stuff you already know. You know the C major, A major, G major, E major and D major chords. You know the pentatonic scale maybe not yet all five forms, but the idea stays the same


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