Why Using CAGED Can Get Your Guitar Locked Up

CagedThere's this one particular to guitar that floats around A LOT in the guitar world.

It goes by the name of CAGED.

In a very small nutshell, it shows you how to play some different chord shapes in any key. (yeah, I know, it's a bit more than that, but that's the basic idea).

Is it useful?

Sure - some people swear by it.

But just because some people swear by something doesn't mean its the best way... I mean, there's still an official Flat Earth Society for Pete's sake!

No no - I'm not comparing the CAGED folk to the Flat Earth Society - just making a point here...

But just because the crowd is doing a particular thing, doesn't make it the right particular thing... or necessarily the best approach.

Just ask any (successful) investor and he'll tell you all about it.

So what's my beef with CAGED?

It boils down to the fact that it doesn't (in my opinion) teach a complete, unified approach to the fretboard.

It teaches you pieces, which is nice, but not exactly the kind of foundation without any holes that you can build something on.

If you were training as a mechanic, and they only taught you about the motor and the brakes, would you be equipped for any problem that came in the door?

On top of that, I've seen people using it to teach bar chords...

Now have you ever tried barring an open G shape, or an open C shape?

I have, and it ain't pretty.

Sure, it can be done, in fact jazz players do it all the time, but your average hobby player - or even semi-serious player - will never need to bar a G shape.

But that's what the CAGED approach wants you to do. So, CAGED pushes you in unnecessary (and sometimes painful) directions.

And by not teaching you a solid, unified approach to the fretboard, it hampers future progress... essentially putting you in a cage. (sorry - pun intended).

Now I realize that may be flying in the face of the established dogma in some circles, but its my opinion and I'm stickin' to it.

If you're interested in the way I teach bar chords (trust me - I'll give you more useful shapes with easier fingerings and a complete approach to the fretboard) then head on over and check out Bar Chords Made Simple.

Don't let your guitar get stuck in the cage...

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