The CAGED System is an ordering of bar chords and scales that help you learn how to play chords and scales in any position on the fretboard that you want. It is a fretboard mapping system, and it makes guitar soloing and improvising in all keys much easier and more manageable. At some point, we will discuss the overarching concept of the CAGED System. However, your first goal is to simply learn, memorize, drill, and improvise using the scale patterns in order to get the scales under your fingers.
- Memorize the open position scale AND the octave position scale right from the beginning. the octave position scale is the one you’ll use the most, as it is movable to any key. The open position scale is locked to the key of C Major, so you’ll only be able to use that one when in modes related to C Major.
- Practice with strict alternate picking, in addition to economy picking. Start with strict “down-up” picking, no matter what string you are one, no matter what pick you’re on when you change strings, etc. Always a down followed by an up. Then, try economy picking. This is where you change strings from low to high using downstrokes, and from high to low using upstrokes. The effect is that you’ll be picking in the direction that you are changing strings. BOTH picking strategies have merit, although the alternate picking route is the best if you play any genre of rock or metal. For jazz and fusion styles, economy picking is best.
- Stay tuned for a lesson on how to practice scales on our blog coming up right after Drill #48. That lesson will offer plenty of advice on how to practice scales once you memorize them, and get the most technique development out of the CAGED guitar scale you are currently working on.
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