CAGED System – The C Shape – Lesson 24

About CAGED System – The C Shape – Lesson 24

Level: Beginner

CAGED System – The C Shape – Lesson 24

In this lesson we tackle the parent shape of the CAGED system; its correlating major chord, arpeggio, pentatonic & major scales.

Syn’s Tips

Hopefully now you are starting to see the endless array of possibilities there are with this simple concept. You really can spend a lifetime on this one particular idea and we are just getting started! All you can really do is enjoy the process because there really is no finish line. You will never be thrilled with every aspect of your playing nor is there enough time in a hundred lifetimes to master all of these concepts. It truly has to be a labor of love.

You can help yourself, however, by making your practice routines fun and exciting. For me, I used to spend more time playing to backing tracks than learning new concepts or "Music Theory". Don't get me wrong, I spent the time on theory especially when I was young but after 10-15 years of playing, I really enjoyed playing to backing tracks because it helped me with my feel/groove. Now I mix both pretty equally especially because I enjoy applying all of these concepts to songwriting. So I've definitely experimented with different "playing" to "studying" ratios and all of them were great... because I was having a great time!

Go to the "Lesson Comments" section below and share with each other some fun practice routines by uploading videos of yourselves demonstrating them.

Lesson Comments

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Christian J.S. Schulze Aguiar
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Christian J.S. Schulze Aguiar So...If I try to simplify. One shape, first position D chord, lets you use the Arpeggio notes, D major scale and pentatonic shape with the root on D?
Richard Sacco
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Richard Sacco I've dabbled in modes and what not and these scales are coming to mind. The direction this is going in is awesome!
Jak Angelescu
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Jak Angelescu I absolutely loved the demonstration about what you can do with arpeggios other than sweeping them or picking them. That was super cool sounding and really helpful.
Eliezer Elvira
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Eliezer Elvira What I didn’t understand is adding the notes. Do u add the ones u feel like should belong or something like that or it doesn’t really matter?
Ben Thorpe
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Ben Thorpe thanks for these lessons. just trying to learn the pentatonic scales that play over each of these shapes then I'm all set!
Christian Smith
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Christian Smith Anybody have any tips/tricks to build your finger muscles so you can spread them far enough to barre and not get clunkers?
Clifton Lucas
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Clifton Lucas try to do a finger slpit
Manuel Iglesias
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Manuel Iglesias I do not undedtand how he figures which the scale for D is. Of course he knows it already, but how can I know what the D scale is, I only know he is playing a D chord using the C shape (otherwise known as the first shape). I know from previous videos that the C scale is made up of CDEFGAB, but don't know what the D scale is made up of, is there a way I can figure it out or I just have to look it up, because I believe the scale or how to find out which notes are in a scale hasn't been mentioned in the previous videos yet. Any help please? Thank you.
Clifton Lucas
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Clifton Lucas the first C shape its still a C just diffrent posistion,,,,,,, That is a 2nd C shape wich's is a D
Brian M
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Brian M This is really helpful for mastering your way around the fretboard. Thanks so much!
Akmal Hakim Hamid
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Akmal Hakim Hamid i tried playing the D pentatonic using the E position on the 10th fret of 6th string (because that's the position I'm used to), but the notes are different. Did I play something wrongly?
Steven Donnelly
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Steven Donnelly The position taught in the video starts on 2nd fret of the low E string (F#) and the Root note (D) is on the 5th fret of the A string. If you start from there and play the shape, you'll be playing the same notes as you would starting up the neck like you previously learned.
Chris Agoglia
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Chris Agoglia Hi, Syn and Dad, thanks much for giving back, it's appreciated by all. You just got a new avenged sevenfold fan. Question, where can I find the backing tracks. It's not on the video tab, and it be great to practice the "D" stuff over the D major backing track. Thanks in advance. Chris
Bautista Garais
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Bautista Garais I can't thank you enough for these lessons. I'm learning so many things that seemed complicated before.. but with a good teacher everything is easier. So cool of you guys to create this site.
Jerry Kilian
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Jerry Kilian This lesson to me is sooooo confusing, but the fact that we get a professionally produced course is great. I can replay this lesson how ever many times I want and grasp different parts of the lesson at my own pace. I taught myself through all of the A7X tab books that I could get my hands on. I’ve always wanted to play syns solos and create my own. With this lesson it gets me one (tiny) step closer to being able to do so. Thank you Brian and family, such a great tool for current and future players.
Joe Bauer
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Joe Bauer So I've been playing guitar for a long time but never took any formal lessons, and I never knew something called the CAGED system ever existed. I have learned SO much from these first two videos on CAGED system, it's simply mind-blowing! Thanks Papa Gates!!
Juan Juarez
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Juan Juarez Yooo whats upp to synsyter gates and his dad!! Thanks for the tips and lesson this is awsome i was just think man if only one of the bests can teach me!! The guitar world should really appreciate this
Ana Psuturi
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Ana Psuturi Learning guitar for seven years now and couple years back decided to learn caged system,but most of videos or paperworks I've found they were too confusing. Here,on the other hand everything is explained well and easy to follow, you can learn shapes,arppeios and scales over chords in one lesson. Thank you Papa Gates for awesome explanation.
Bradley Bertola
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Bradley Bertola I've been self-teaching myself guitar for 3 years and I've always wondered about the technicalities in my head. All the way through these lessons its a series of getting my mind blown and actually being able to understand what the hell CAGED was on a guitar. These lessons are amazing!
Benjamin Colvin
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Benjamin Colvin thanks!!!!!! papa gates the lessons are really easy to understand and clarifies a lot of doubts
Carlos Garduno
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Carlos Garduno so c shape is a d scale? if yes all those scales are d scales?
Brian Haner Sr.
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Brian Haner Sr. Yes. The C shape on the 2nd fret is in the key of D. And all of the scales are D scales.
Eric Svanegård
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Eric Svanegård I get the CAGED system in a hole and how you can make 60 chords out of it but i don`t understand how you know when to use the right scale for example the c shape it or how to know what notes i can add or not add. Any help?
Jen Hapke
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Jen Hapke It's difficult to explain but i'll try: In this lesson the C-shape is used with a bar on the second fret. This makes it a D-Chord. In the lesson he explains how to get the D major scale and the pentatonic out of this D-Chord. You can play this scales over everything in the key of D. (You can watch the chordfamily or the circle of fith lesson to find out which chords to play in the key). The thing is to learn the position of the chords of the CAGED system by name. This position works over the key of the chord name. I hope this is helpful.
Jonatan Krajecki
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Jonatan Krajecki Great lesson, after watching it a second time I finally understood how it works. It's just a bit confusing that the C shape is actually a D scale, I think I might have to buy a notebook and write all this stuff down just for my own clarification, wish me luck! 😀
Niall Gannon
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Niall Gannon Wow I have been asleep for so long!!! Anywhere on the site to download the tabs?
Ben Thorpe
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Ben Thorpe Hey Brian. Nice shirt!
Katja - Kim
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Katja - Kim Why is the c shape in the 2nd position a D? I know that the root note is a D, but in the last video you said that you can start with a "normal" chord and then move up the fretboard in the different shapes and always get the same chord. (So if you start with a c and continue with the a shape in the 3rd position it's still a c). If you start with a D, you have to continue with a C shape in the 3rd position, the one in the video is played in the 2nd and is also a D. What did I get wrong?
Steven Donnelly
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Steven Donnelly By moving the open C shape up the neck, you're playing another chord. Move it up one fret, it becomes C#, move it up two it becomes D, three D#, etc, etc. It seems as though you're mixing up the concepts from the last lesson. C remains a C in the CAGED system by playing the A shaped barre chord on the third fret and then playing the G shape with a barre on the fifth fret, E shape eighth fret, D shape tenth fret, and so on. I see it's already been a month since you asked, but hopefully you've gone back and figured it out by now and this will help anyone else in need.
Craig Hawley
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Craig Hawley As far as I understand it the C element is just the shape. As you said the root note here is a D. But this is it's first position in the key of D, not the second - meaning it is in the C shape. The second would be an A shape (but it's still a D). Effectively a major bar chord 5th fret A string. I think this is confusing a little as when they initially introduced the CAGED theory it was in the key of C and here they just picked D. It made my head hurt and I might not have it 100% right and it's hard to explain without showing someone. So basically if you pick any root note and make the 5 chord shapes that come after (CAGED) they are all the same chord but in different positions. This is because it moves up the fretboard whereas normally those chords are all in the same position on the fretboard. HTH
João Jófili
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João Jófili This clarifies a lot of things in my head. Always took as reference the solo on Afterlife, that compliments everything I could ask for. Finishing this lesson made it totally clear in my head how to use the shapes of the scales. Amazing!
Trent Lancaster
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Trent Lancaster I’ve been playing guitar for about six years, and I never really understood the CAGED system until now. Such a great video that shows all the different possibilities of just one chord shape. The Gates are doing a wonderful thing here. Thanks guys!