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CAGED System of Guitar Chords

the CAGED System of guitar explained

The Guitar Chords That any beginner should learn first

The Caged Guitar System is one of the most important tools available to the guitar teacher. Although the guitar teacher's materials go way beyond the absolute beginner stage with a full set of handouts covering modes and more complicated chord voicings etc the toolkits offered are not trying to re-invent the wheel.

An example of this approach is the way that our stuff can be integrated into the activities of a guitar teacher who uses (or who wishes to use) the well established CAGED system of teaching guitar to novice students (You can find some information on teaching a first guitar lesson if you follow this link).

The CAGED system is used by pro teachers the world over for the simple reason that it really works! In a nutshell ,the caged system presents novice players with shapes based around the chords of C A G E and D (C, A, Am, G, E, Em, D and Dm to start off with).

If you would like a free student handout featuring the chords of The Caged Guitar System to use that will help you with the early stages of teaching then just follow this link which will take you to our free resources page.

The reality is that using The CAGED Guitar System is a very effective way to produce good guitar players (rather than just fill the time during guitar lessons).

Experienced guitar teachers will often spend the first couple of months of a novice players career helping them to become aware of the eight chords of the basic caged system and then to become familiar with the process of changing between them.

If, after a couple of months of playing guitar a novice can change between the caged chords with fluency and have developed the ability to strum rhythmically with the right hand then it can be argued that they have moved beyond the total novice stage?

The Caged Guitar System can be developed to the extent that it allows a guitarist to understand the entire neck of the instrument but in it's basic form the system provides us with a list of the chords that are most suitable for a novice guitarist to learn.

Familiarity with these chords allows a student to get off to a flying start. and there are literally tens of thousands of songs that use only those chords and mastery of them gives the student not only a genuine ability but (perhaps more importantly) the belief that they really can become a functioning musician.

For a teacher this means that not only do they progress but that as a result they are likely to remain keen to come back for more lessons.

The CAGED Guitar Chord System Explained

The CAGED System is not just about which chords to teach a beginner. It is just as important to know which chords not to teach yet. Closer analysis of the content of the caged system could lead to the conclusion that it could just as easily be called the “Whatever you do don’t try to get them to play an F chord too soon or they’ll give up right now and sell the thing system” (not as catchy I’ll admit)

What’s wrong with the F chord ? ..... Well…. Remember how hard it was at first to hold down those two skinny strings with a single finger?

Analysis of a lot of traditional guitar teaching materials shows that because the key of C is the easiest key to talk (or write) about due to the fact that the C scale is made up of all of the white notes on the piano (good for diagrams!) then novice musicians were forced into trying to learn chord shapes that were really better approached after a couple of months of study.

There can be little more depressing for someone trying to learn a skill than to have the material that they are studying pitched at too high a level

Just out of interest if you want to remember what it feels like to be a novice player again (perhaps vital for a teacher?) just flip your guitar over (if you are right handed) so that right hand is now used to fret the notes and the left to sound them. Try to play through something simple like the guitar chords of the caged system? You will instantly be reduced to a level of incompetence that you would normally only get to after drinking your own body weight in beer!

The CAGED System of guitar teaching is used by experienced teachers the world over because it introduces material to students in a way that allows them best to cope with it.

Many guitar teachers choose to (or would like to) supply their students with easy chord guitar backing tracks as an aid to practice.

teachwombat have produced a set of twenty downloadable guitar backing tracks (based on the chords in the caged sysyem) with handouts featuring the chord diagrams to go along with them. The materials are especially designed to be used not only for novice players learning open position (caged) chords but are also suitable for intermediate standard musicians who wish to work on bar chords and soloing etc. Using the Guitar Backing Tracks and Handouts Packagemeans that you can drop the tracks onto CD or mp3 player or even email them as attachments to your students to allow them to practice guitar more efficiently.

The backing tracks encourage a student not only to learn the shapes and change from one to the other but more importantly to make those changes in time with the music.

Its the distinction between awareness of the chords and familiarity with them. In educational terms this makes a huge difference to a student's progression

You can't really get a better plan for teaching novice players than use the chords of the basic caged guitar system

For a teacher this means that not only do they progress but that as a result they are likely to remain keen to come back for more lessons.
Perhaps the only thing that keeps us in business as guitar teachers in these days when information on playing guitar is all there for free on the internet are the facts that students can ask us questions when they don't immediately get an idea or concept and that as guitar teachers we can see where they may be going wrong (before they know it) and help them to fix it now.

The Deluxe Package:
Download all of our products for just $25.00

Whats in the download?........

The Guitar Teacher's Toolkit

 How To Teach Kids Guitar
100 printable sheets dealing with Open Chords-Bar Chords-Scales- Modes- Blank Fretboard and Chord Grids Teaching Diary and Business Card Designs

The Backing Tracks and Handouts Package

 How To Teach Kids with Guitar Backing Tracks
35 backing tracks and over 80 chord sheets and handouts to go with them An invaluable aid designed to help you to teach both rhythm and lead guitar to younger and older students alike Great for helping to develop a good sense of timing (which will last a lifetime) in a novice player

The Kids Guitar Teaching Package

 How To Teach Kids Guitar, Chords For Children
More than forty sheets designed to help you to Teach Guitar to Children This material is designed to run alongside the "Backing Tracks and Handouts Package . All of the material that you need in order to teach kids to play guitar. Chord Charts, One finger (reduced) chord diagrams. An opportunity to start any young would be guitar player off the right way!

Plus 100 Giant (letter sized) Chord Grids

 How To Teach Kids Guitar Chords
laminate them in order to help you to teach group guitar lessons, distribute them to your students or just stick on your teaching studio wall? The "Coolest Wallpaper on the planet?"

And a freebie from us to you!

The Bass Guitar Teacher's Toolkit

resources for how to teach kids guitar chords
Over 60 Handouts for anyone who already teaches (or who wishes to teach) bass guitar covering Scales, Chords, Fingering Exercises etc

Over 450 Sheets and 35 Backing tracks to Download and use TODAY!

Everything you need to start or improve a guitar teaching business! It's all there!

Only $25.00

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