Just started CAGED

Discussion in 'CAGED Unleashed' started by sdbrit68, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    Okay, just started it seriously, and probably not for the correct reasons.

    For me, I am more interested in the chord shapes and forcing myself to practice them. I use the E and A shapes all over and very comfortable with Barre chords, 9 chords came very easy to me for some reason.

    Basically I want to play other voicings since I play with other guitar players so much (hence probably the wrong reasons).

    My two questions......................

    1) Should I just practice doing a C in the C shape, A shape, G shape, E shape, D shape until they become somewhat comfortable, because right now I am struggling. Usually with something like this (from other things I have learned) I would do something like one after the other 10 times through daily until they seem okay

    2) Maybe this is a question for @Griff , when playing the open chords is it better to switch to the CAGED fingerings instead of traditional to get some muscle memory ? and why the heck dont we teach them this way in the beginning since we eventually will need it

    One of my favorite guitar players (Yeah, CC from Poison, I know, I am probably one of his 10 fans in the world) uses many of these different fingerings and switches during songs quite a bit, I am assuming because only guitar player in the band so he can add depth to a song.....................so thats my motivation for CAGED
     
  2. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno Student Of The Blues

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    I have an answer for your question but I'm struggling with how to present it. I don't want to say that you're missing the point of the course but grips on the fretboard aren't as import as the relationships and how you see your C chord distributed up and down the neck. Playing them gives muscle memory and helps with connecting each shape into a cohesive unit. Knowing the shapes will help tremendously when you learn to blur chords, arpeggios and scales.

    Some of the shapes, as you have noted, the A shape and the E shape in particular, are pretty natural for our hands. The first part of the course is just giving your hands and your eyes the ability to understand the 5 zones of the CAGED system. As useful as these chord shapes may be they aren't the meat of the system. They are just the rib cage. That probably doesn't make sense but, like I said, I'm struggling with how to explain it. Maybe someone else can better. Certainly Griff can.
    Some teachers start you off with the CAGED G and A fingerings. The Gibson Learn and Master Guitar course does (I know because that is the course I learned to play from :) ) Most people don't have control of their pinkies when starting guitar and so some teachers don't teach cowboy chords using the pinky at all. It gets people playing more quickly.

    I know those aren't good answers, sorry. I probably should defer to someone else.

    Eric
     
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  3. Walt H

    Walt H cloudbase - Aint got time for gravity

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    Hey SD,

    I completed this course not too long ago and still do many of the drills as a warm up and to stay sharp. I have found that Griff is pretty dialed into what works and what doesn't. So when he sez to do something I do it. This has not failed me yet. It took me significantly longer to get through the mastering of the CAGED shapes than I had anticipated. Particularly the transition into the D shape in that 60bpm cutoff point that Griff is such a fan of. So I actually spent a ton of time just on the C chord portion of the CAGED drill.

    Once I got into the ballpark of 60bpm of making a C chord in all of the CAGED positions I started going around the circle of 5ths (c,g,d,a,e,etc). This drill will test your patience. But I promise you it is worth it. I am able to see the fretboard better and better every day because of this and how the chord shapes relate to their pentatonic boxes etc. My point is YES I would get very comfy with playing the shapes of the C chord up and down the neck before continuing around the circle. Getting good at this for me at least was simply a function of brute force (lots and lots of reps) coupled with patience as my hand strengthened, limbered up, and increased its dexterity - especially for that D shape.
     
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  4. Paleo

    Paleo Root Finder

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    I would practice these 2 lessons exactly as Griff shows you:

    Circle of 5ths and Alternate I, IV,V.


    1) Circle of 5ths exercise (without worrying about the tempo, at first).

    You'll start at the lowest/open shape for each chord, so the shapes won't always be in the same order.

    C chord starting with the C shape: C A G E D
    G chord starting with the G shape: G E D C A
    D chord starting with the D shape: D C A G E
    etc.

    (Of course, you don't have to follow the circle. You could practice them in any order you like.)

    Similar to going through the pentatonic boxes in each key from the lowest occurrence, i.e. not always starting with Box 1.


    2) Then the next section on "Alternate I, IV, and V chords" will have you playing chord progressions like the I vi IV V (yep, that's "Last Kiss") in different keys using alternate versions of your chords.


    I don't see any point in using the Barre chord fingerings in open position. You'll build up muscle memory doing the above exercises.
     
    #4 Paleo, Jul 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
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  5. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    Thanks, the G shape is seriously kicking my butt at the moment.

    I get the bigger point of the course eventually, but for my uses, being able to play different shapes in different areas will be a big bonus too..................I can see this course kicking my butt for an extended period of time
     
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  6. Paleo

    Paleo Root Finder

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    Try the "alternate" shape. It's the one you're more likely to use, anyway.

    Especially when going from G shape to C shape and vice versa.


    G shape.jpg
     
  7. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno Student Of The Blues

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    I already knew CAGED before Griff published his course but I learned it from Ernie Hawkins, Mary Flowers and Toby Walker who are all acoustic blues players. Because their instructions are about using CAGED in the blues all the CAGED shapes have the 7th in the chord. That makes the fingerings so much easier. You can see that for yourself by looking at Griff's Acoustic Blues Guitar Unleashed Chapter 10, little chords section:

    [​IMG]

    if you look really closely at them, you might see that the first is the D shape with the 7th on the B string, the second is the C shape with the 7th on the G string and the 5th up on the E string, the third one can be seen as the A shape with the 7th as an extension on the e string, or as I like to see it as the G shape with the 7th on the E string, and the last one is the E shape, the 7th being on the D string. It might take a few minutes to see them. (Griff has been teaching CAGED all along but didn't want to confuse you. And there are only four forms because the A shape and G shape are covered by one little chord).

    The little 7th CAGED shapes are much easier for making music, but Griff teaches the big CAGED shapes without the 7ths because it is a more general theory course, not blues specific like the other courses I took.

    Eric
     
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  8. Paleo

    Paleo Root Finder

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    For what it's worth

    After Major chords Griff goes through:

    minor shapes, 7th chord shapes, Major 7th chord shapes, minor 7th chord shapes, Major arpeggios, minor arpeggios, Dominant 7 chord arpeggios, Major 7 chord arpeggios, minor 7 chord arpeggios, adding other notes to the G7 "little chord" to get other chords you may want and finally 2 sections relating CAGED shapes to the Pentatonic and Major scale patterns.
     
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  9. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    I still think this is gonna kick my butt
     
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  10. Griff

    Griff Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
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    The single most important thing, and I tried to make a point of this, is learning the 5 shapes around the circle of 5ths. That one exercise sets you up for everything else. If you can do it at 60bpm, the rest of it will be fine... not easy, but you'll get it ;)

    If you don't get that exercise down at 60bpm, you're going to hurt your head and hands a lot trying to move through any more of the course.

    Adjust the chord shapes however you need and don't worry about them sounding perfect, just go through them "close enough" and keep up the tempo. It's all about you being able to "see" the shapes. Like I said, without that, the rest is VERY challenging.
     
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  11. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    Thanks, I wanted to tackle a tough course (although whats tough for one may be easy for another), I think this one fits the bill, challenge the mind and the hands
     
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