The CAGED Method for Guitar

The CAGED guitar chord method is used to help locate where root notes and their chords repeat on the fretboard.

CAGED stands for the names of the guitar chord forms used in the method (C - A - G - E - D).

The first step in learning the CAGED method is knowing the open chord forms of the C major, A major, G major, E major, and D major guitar chords shown below. These open chord shapes are used in the same order you would spell the word CAGED.

Starting with the C chord in the open position and using the other chord shapes (A - G - E - D), you can connect and play more forms of the C chord up the neck of the guitar.

Using the CAGED Method

Starting with the A chord form in the open position, locate the other forms of the A chord up the guitar's neck by using the other chord forms: G-E-D-C (in the order of the spelling of CAGED with the chord forms). This works with each of the chord forms starting them in the open position.

The diagram below is of the A major arpeggio. Note how the CAGED method is moveable on the fretboard based on the root notes.


The diagram below is of the C major arpeggio. Major arpeggios use the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes from its scale; for C major C, E, G. This is a good example of how to use the CAGED method.