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What Is CAGED?

CAGED gives you a way to think about the fret board that merges scales with chords and arpeggios. Basically there are five stationary position scales that correspond with the five chord shapes. CAGED is not an invention. Nor is it something made up to sound fancy and fool you.Read More »CAGED

Which Scale: Improvising With Pentatonics

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The stage is set.

The fans have gathered and the band opens up with it’s first song. Quick, it’s time for a solo, but what do you play?

That’s easy. We’ll just improvise!

“To improvise means to make it up on the spot, right?”, you ask.

Yes, we’re going to make the solo up as we go along. All we need to know is what key the song is in and then we can find which scale to use.

It’s easy and I’ll show you…Read More »Which Scale: Improvising With Pentatonics

Pentatonic Scale

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The word pentatonic gets it’s name from the Greek word “penta” which means 5 and tonic which stands for tone. That’s what pentatonic scales are: 5 tone scales.

There are only 5 basic pentatonic patterns. They are the C, A, G, E, and D. They are similar to the 5 basic chord patterns, because they can be closely associated with their chord counterparts. These patterns interlock with each other, meaning each pattern has notes that overlap with patterns adjacent to it.

To play in different key signatures we move the patterns around. The pictures on the left are the shapes with their suggested fingerings. The pictures on the right show how the scale shapes overlap the chord shape.

  • These shapes are in their movable form. Learn about moving scale shapes to play in different keys besides C, A, G, E, and D.
  • Also, check out the open pentatonic scale shapes, too. They are the same shapes, but we have to make a couple of alterations that you’ll want to be aware of.
  • Check out the scale sequence charts: C scale sequence, A scale sequence, G scale sequence, E scale sequence, D scale sequence.  Scale sequence charts are a way for us to see how the basic scale patterns are laid out on the fretboard in a particular key.
  • There are five minor pentatonic scale shapes as well. They are actually the same shapes, but are associated with different chords in the CAGED sequence.

Read More »Pentatonic Scale


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The tonic is the first scale degree of a diatonic scale (for example, the major scale, is a diatonic scale). Sometimes it’s called the 1st… Read More »Tonic

Learning The Guitar

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I remember when I first started learning the guitar. I had a cheap little blue electric guitar with a matching amp that my parents bought me when I was 12. Every since that day, I’ve been expanding my knowledge of the instrument.

At first, though, it was hard playing that little blue guitar. I couldn’t remember the names of the notes, so I wrote the names on masking tape and tapped it them directly on the fretboard. What a mess it made! Read More »Learning The Guitar