Out of The Cage - Most of us learn the guitar
around the C-A-G-E-D system. The C-A-G-E-D system
is based on the five open position major chord
forms. These chord forms and their corresponding
major scale patterns can all be moved up the fretboard
and can be altered to accommodate other families,
such as minor, etc. It is a very useful system
and gives the novice the tools to expand his knowledge
of the guitar a great deal. I think it is a good
place to start but there comes a time when the
advancing guitarist must break away from the system
somewhat or run the risk of being caged in (forgive
my pun). This lesson is dedicated to thinking
out of the box, or thinking out of the cage in
this case. I have to warn you however, giving
up the old security blanket is not easy but if
you are at the stage in your studies where you
have begun saying; "I'm tired of what I play,"
or "I just repeat myself all the time,"
or "I sound like everyone else," this
book is for you. You should find this exercise
challenging but not complete. I want you to use
do a great disservice to students when they tell
them that; "This is how you play a Cmaj7
chord," and show him a garden variety voicing
(which is usually 1-3-5-7 or 1-5-7-3-5
from the 5th string). As we learned in THE INFINITE
GUITAR, there are 24 different ways to voice the
chord, why would the most common one be the best?
Why would you want to play it the same as 99.9%
of all guitarists when you have 23 more choices?
And believe me; you would be surprised what beautiful
voicings there are for a simple major 7th chord.
Remember when someone asked Jesus to give him
food and he told the man that if he gave him a
fish he would eat today, but if he taught him
how to fish, he would eat everyday? That is exactly
how I feel about chords. If I show you how to
play a Cmaj chord, you will know one chord, but
if I teach you how to build chords, you can make
any chord your heart desires.
following harmonic brain teaser will:
you to see the relationship between chords and
you think up and down rather than across the
your knowledge of chord voicings
you to stretch you fingers
you a headache
We are going to start with a simple Gmaj7
chord voiced 1-3-5-7 from the 4th string: