CAGED Guitar in practice
Play along to the U2 song I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
Put the CAGED Guitar system into practice to generate interesting chord voicings.
CAGED Guitar - USING IT IN PRACTICE
Applying caged to the e Chord
In this lesson, we will take a simple chord sequence: E-D-A.
We will make these chord changes sound more interesting by using variations of the E chord. We will derive those chord variations from our knowledge of the CAGED guitar system.
Read this article first if you are completely new to CAGED
5 CAGED VARIATIONS OF THE E CHORD
Now let’s take a look at the E chord in 5 positions.
First the open E chord and then the D-C-A-G.
Thus we progress through the shapes in the following order: E-D-C-A-G which is basically CAGED starting on “E”
CAGED GUITAR FOR E-D-A
Let’s take a chord change E-D-A which are three simple chords that you should already know.
If you know the U2 song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” then the E-D-A chord change is used on the chorus of that song. So if you know that song, you can use these examples as a way of playing the chorus of that song. (note the verse chords are just A-D if you want to play the first part too!)
Example 1 - Regular Open Chords
The chord change below is just E-D-A played using the chords you know – regular open chords.
Example 2 - Second Position E chord
Now we REPLACE the E chord voicing – and we use the position 2 D shape (see the second diagram with blue dots above!)
This would be equivalent to a D chord played with a capo at the 2nd fret. We can’t use a capo because we have open D and A chords afterwards – so you’ll have to fret this shape using your fingers. If you’re unable to, skip to Example 3 for a substitution.
Example 3 - Second Position E chord (without bar chords)
Here is a variant of example 2 that does not require a capo.
All we do here is slide the D chord up 2 frets for E and then slide it back 2 frets to play our D chord. You can leave the open D string (4th string) ring as it won’t do any harm.
So just fret the D chord and then slide up 2 frets and back 2 frets.
Example 4 - Third Position E chord
Now we REPLACE the E chord voicing – and we use the position 3 D shape (see the third diagram with blue dots above!)
This would be equivalent to an A chord played with a capo at the 7th fret. However, we can’t use a capo for this example so you’ll need to use bar chords. If you’re unable to, skip to Example 5 for a substitution.
Example 5 - Third Position E chord (without bar chords)
Here is a variant of example 4 that does not require a capo.
All we do here is slide the A chord up to the 9th fret (E chord), the 7th fret (D chord) and then just a regular A chord.
The CAGED guitar system can help you make your chord changes more interesting by learning different voicings of the chord on the guitar neck.
This lesson focused on the chord sequence E-D-A and now it’s your turn to play those chords using what you learned above! I strongly recommend playing along to the chorus of the U2 song I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – will be fun to play along and great for your playing.
If you like to learn more about the basics of CAGED, click the button below to see the previous article in the series!
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