The CAGED System

The CAGED System 3: Exploring Scales

We’ve seen how CAGED is essentially a fretboard map. By simplifying the neck down into easy to grasp pieces we make the neck easier to navigate. But simply understanding the system won’t improve our playing, we need to find ways of applying the fretboard map. This post looks at CAGED as it applies to scale shapes.

Lead Guitar Scales The CAGED System

The CAGED System 2: The Major Scale and the Minor Pentatonic Scale

In CAGED Part 1, we saw how the CAGED system can be used to help beginner-intermediate players to visualise the chords shapes across the fretboard. Today we’ll apply the same idea to scale shapes.

Chords The CAGED System Theory

The CAGED System 1: Basic Chords

The CAGED system is a convenient way of thinking about chord and scale shapes. It makes it easy to link positions together and create larger scale patterns and alternative chord voicings.

Chord, Scale and Arpeggio Charts Scales

Scale Charts: Diatonic Modes

Today is a pretty simple post, just a pdf for each of the seven diatonic modes. Each pdf includes both a large fretboard map for the whole neck, the five CAGED positions and the seven 3NPS (three notes per string) fingerings. Theres also a single pdf with all seven pages as one document.

Chord, Scale and Arpeggio Charts Chords

Essential Open Chords

Today I thought I’d post a pdf of a convenient chart of the most common open chord grips. Every player should be familiar with these simple shapes (even the slightly obscure ones such as 7sus4 chords) since they help develop more interesting movable shapes later on.

Chord, Scale and Arpeggio Charts Chords Scales Theory

Blank Music Paper

I’ve been working on a few up-coming posts about rhythm reading – and I’ve been using the Lilypond music engraver to prepare the notation. In doing so I’ve also discovered how to create blank manuscript and blank TAB paper. I also grabbed out the old templates I’ve been using to create my chord charts.

Lead Guitar Tone Tone

Lead Tone 6: Adding Compression

Compression is a tool which compresses (reduces) the dynamic range of a signal. It developed as a tool in studios but quickly found its way onto our pedal boards. Unfortunately, amongst guitarists, the compressor has a reputation for having limited uses – usually used as a sustainer or to get a ‘country’ squashed attack. By looking at compressors from a recording engineers point-of-view we see that they are far more versatile than we might have first thought.

Lead Guitar Tone Tone

Lead Tone 5: EQing the Final Tone

Once the tone has been fully processed with compression, distortion and any pre-distortion effects (such as a phaser) the last main link in the chain is the final EQ and tone shaping (though time-based effects are still to come).The final EQ shaping is reliant on the speaker response, the speaker configuration, and whether the speaker cabinet is open or closed back, and of course the setting of the tone stack.

Gear/Effects/Accessories Lead Guitar Tone Tone

Lead Tone 4: EQ and Distortion Voicing

There are many ways of using EQ to enhance tone. Pickups all have their own EQ curves, and amplifiers have distinct mid-scoops which affect the final tone, and also there is the response curve of the speaker which rolls off the upper frequencies. This post finishes our look at distortion and introduces EQ by focusing on using EQ to ‘voice’ the distortion.

Lead Guitar Lead Guitar Tone Tone

Lead Tone 3: Distortion

In the previous articles we’ve looked at the main ingredients of a lead guitar tone, which were; distortion, frequency curves, and dynamics. Today we are going to look more closely at distortion and how we can manipulate it to gives us control and flexibility of tone.