Help using CAGED system techniques for Minor Chords...

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Jeebustime, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Jeebustime

    Jeebustime Member

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    Hello all,
    I play in a jam band and we mostly play in minor modes. I was formally trained a little bit a while back on the CAGED system, and from that i can playmost major chords in any position, but when i try to do the same for minor whords my head works a lot slower. Are there different shapes I should be looking into? Are they basically just the Em, Am shapes allover the neck.
     
  2. JonR

    JonR Member

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    There is the Dm shape too:

    |---|b3-|---|---|
    |---|---|---|-R-|
    |---|---|-5-|---|
    |-R-|---|---|(b3)
    |(5)|---|---|---|
    |---|(b3)---|---|

    But minors don't work like the 5 majors do, because of the gaps where Cm and Gm would be (normally those chords are played using barre Em or Am shapes, right?)
    The only solution is partial shapes, or arpeggios.

    Eg, here's all the notes for an Am arpeggio from nut to 12th fret:

    Code:
     
       1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12
    E|---|---|---|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|
     |-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|---|---|-A-|---|---|
     |---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|---|
     |---|-E-|---|---|---|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|
    A|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|---|---|-A-|
    E|---|---|---|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|
    \__Am___/         \____Em__/\____Dm_____/
           \____"Gm"____/              \_____"Cm"____/
    
    The "Gm" and "Cm" patterns are the minor versions of the major "G" and "C" forms. As you can see, they aren't practical as chord shapes, but parts of them may be usefully playable.

    Add the b7 (G), and you start to see more familiar shapes and patterns appearing:
    Code:
       1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12
    E|---|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|
     |-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|---|
    G|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|---|
     |---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|
    A|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|-A-|
    E|---|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|
    
    You can see all the usual CAGED shapes there, just with A notes added. IOW, these are C6 arpeggios as well as Am7 arps.
    Add Ds, and you get the A minor pent (C major pent) scale patterns.
     
  3. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I like the CAGED diminished triads.
     
  4. wire-n-wood

    wire-n-wood Member

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    Having learned the CAGED major chords in open position... then the three common minor chords in open position are Em, Am and Dm.

    Dm is like this
    Code:
        e|--1--|-----|-----|
        B|-----|-----|--3--|
        G|-----|--2--|-----|
    O   D|-----|-----|-----|
    X   A|-----|-----|-----|
    X   E|-----|-----|-----|
    But essentially, you're right in thinking that most minor chords are played by barring the Em and Am shapes all over the fingerboard.


    But since you're playing in a jam band, once you have those minor chords happening, you'll also be wanting to use minor 7th chords, also get some 6th and 9th chords... all very cool in a minor blues jam context.
     
  5. AndyNOLA

    AndyNOLA Member

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    Just play fragments....sometimes you don't need the root at all, the 3rd and 7th are the most important notes anyway.
     
  6. wire-n-wood

    wire-n-wood Member

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    I think that this is a partnership with the bass. If the bass player is all over the root notes, then I almost agree with you. But if the bass player is on a sorta counter-melody doobie-doobie kinda journey... then the rhythm guitar might need to steady things with a root note once in a while.
     
  7. Sensible Musician

    Sensible Musician Member

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    if you know all diatonic shapes on guitar you already have all relevant minor material. have you noticed e.g. F#minor tonality has the same sounds in different order as Amajor?
     
  8. AndyNOLA

    AndyNOLA Member

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    F#minor 7th has the same tonality as A Major 6th. To go from A major to F# minor you raise the 5th two semitones, to go from #F minor to A, you lower the tonic by two semitones. F# minor scale and A major scale are identical. Bu the fingering can be problematic. I have small fingers a lot of the caged stuff doesn't work for me at all.

    Just learn how to make major and minor triads (all chords actually) using tonics on the various strings. Start with the G string because there a three ways to make a major chord using a tonic on the G, of course the A shape is only one. Forget about all the barres if you don't require them.

    Take your A shape at the top of the fretboard, make it into a A minor by moving up one fret on the B string, strum the chord. Now take your finger off the second fret of the G string, where you are playing an A, that becomes the 5th of your relative major chord, the C, with the tonic moving to the B string, which is the first fret of the B string, which was the third of your orignal A minor chord. Now take you C major shape from the CAGED and just play the D/G/B/E strings. Its still a C because you have the C on the B string. Now drop in your finger and put it on the second fret of the G string, the A. Its now an A minor. So just moving one finger gets you from the major to the relative minor and back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  9. AndyNOLA

    AndyNOLA Member

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    Yeah you rite, I was thinking of jazz piano where that 3 7 theory comes from......you can move through the Circle of Fifths, just using those two shell notes, 7th becomes the 3rd and 3rd moves to become the 7ths. Jazz piano players use at all the time, playing solo, or like you say with the bass player.
    Or maybe they play the bass note and then jump up to the fragment.
     
  10. wire-n-wood

    wire-n-wood Member

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    Cool. There's a movable chord shape I use all the time (although it's major, rather than the OP's question about minor) that skips the root. An "A" chord looks like this:

    Code:
    X   e|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|
        B|-----|-----|-----|-----|--4--|
        G|-----|-----|-----|--2--|-----|
        D|-----|-----|-----|-----|--3--|
        A|-----|-----|-----|--1--|-----|
    X   E|-----|-----|-----|-----|--*--|
                        .           .
    
    The '*' marks the imaginary root that you don't finger or play, but mentally it tells me where I am on the fretboard... for the A chord.

    So the notes of the chord being played are: major 3rd, minor 7th, 9th, 5th. It's the chord shape T-Bone Walker uses in Stormy Monday.
     
  11. AndyNOLA

    AndyNOLA Member

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    Very cool. Thanks. I thought at first is was diminished, but its not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  12. guitarrista#5

    guitarrista#5 Member

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    There is a book called 4400 Guitar Chords by Remo Guitar. I find this book very useful in relation to chords and their positions on the fretboard. The book costs about $16.00 or $17.00 but it is a worthwhile investment. You can buy it new or used at amazon.com. You may find this book to be a great help in the ongoing chord odyssey all us guitarplayers beginner, intermediate, and advanced go through.
     
  13. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Without that imaginary root, it's actually a half-diminished, or m7b5 shape. With the root, it's a dominant 9th chord.
    In the position shown, it's C#m7b5, which could also be seen as Em/C#. Add an A bass and it becomes A9.

    It can be used as a blues chord as wire-n-wood says.

    Without the A (as C#m7b5) it would be used in jazz to move to F#7 and then Bm.
     
  14. AndyNOLA

    AndyNOLA Member

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    Thanks, I tracked this down....here he calls it a G9. This is a great tune.


    http://pbguitarstudio.com/pdf_files/GUITAR_PDF/StormyMondayBlues_Chords.pdf

    Chords are so cool.
     
  15. guitarrista#5

    guitarrista#5 Member

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    I only suggested the book as a point of reference, if you really want to know chords well then I would recommend that he/she take a theory course or study with a good jazz guitar teacher and he/she will learn a lot about chords, what they are, how you construct them, and most important when and where to use them. My view is that there is more than one way to learn something, you can learn from a book, a teacher, a fellow guitar player, ect...the point is to know the chord and how to play the changes in a given song correctly.
     
  16. hartguitars

    hartguitars Member

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    That's funny, I like the CAGED augmented triads
     
  17. djdrdave

    djdrdave Member

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  18. gennation

    gennation Member

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    For the Minor CAGED chords I teach it verbatim to the Majors but explain how it's not as finger-friendly by walking the student through the process. Then I dig into the the go-to fragments they should see and show them songs they are used in, I also break them out into three and four string groups, as well show them how the inversion sit inside the concepts, etc...

    So, finger wise they might not be able to do all the large chord forms but they get a strong understand of how the intervals are laid out across the fretboard. And their understanding of the CAGED logic helps them comprehend it for themselves more than just saying "here's all the Minor chord forms, memorize them".
     
  19. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    These three arpeggios contain ALL the tones of the CAGED chord system
    Think about it

    The C Major CAGED chords

    -q---------3----------8
    -1---------5----------8
    -0---------5----------9
    -2---------5---------10
    -3---------7---------10
    -3---------8---------12


    The C minor CAGED chords

    -X---------3-----------8----------11
    -1---------4-----------8----------13
    -0---------5-----------8----------12
    -1---------5----------10----------13
    -3---------6----------10----------15
    -3---------8----------11----------15
     

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