The Cage System

I'm having a hard time learning modes on the guitar. How do I apply 'the cage' to get these under my belt?

CAGE"D" not CAGEThe key is being able to play over all 12 frets and these 5 "positions" cover the entire fret board. In this example we can use the C major scale (c,d,e,f,g,a,b).C
If you play a C chord at the nut (the first C chord you learn on the guitar w/ open E and G strings) this is considered the "C" position in the CAGED system. Play the C major scale here at the nut. (E is the lowest note so it can be considered the E Phrygian scale as well as the C major or C Ionian mode).A
If you play a C chord at the 3rd fret (like a movable A bar chord) this is considered the "A" position in the CAGED system. Play the C major scale here at the 3rd fret. (G is the lowest note so it can be considered the G Mixolydian scale as well as the C major or C Ionian mode).G
If you play a C chord at the 5th fret (like a movable G bar chord barring your index finger across the 5th fret) this is considered the "G" position in the CAGED system. Play the C major scale here at the 5th fret. (A is the lowest note so it can be considered the A Aeolian scale or A natural minor as well as the C major or C Ionian mode).E
If you play a C chord at the 8th fret (like a movable E bar chord barring your index finger across the 5th fret) this is considered the "E" position in the CAGED system. Play the C major scale here at the 8th fret. (C is the lowest note so it can be considered the C major or C Ionian mode).D
If you play a C chord at the 10th fret (like a movable D bar chord barring your index finger across the 10th fret) this is considered the "D" position in the CAGED system. Play the C major scale here at the 10th fret. (D is the lowest note so it can be considered the D Dorian as well as the C major or C Ionian mode).Sounds confusing, but one day it will all click and then it will be, "Oh ok, I get it."

There's a book called Fretboard Logic that's all about the CAGED system. There's a DVD you can get with it too. You can find it on Amazon.com. I plan on getting it one of these days.

Thanks guys, i'm going to work on that this weekend and bombard you with quesitons later. I have a few already just from reading your post, but I'm going to torture myself for a while.


Caged stupid! *slaps forehead*

So am I correct if i assume that if I play the C pattern at the first fret I will be playing the F Phrygian scale, at the 5th fret it would be the A Phrygian scale, and so on?

Yes, if you play the C fingering position at the 1st fret (as opposed to the 0 fret using open strings) you would be playing the Db major scale (Db,Eb,F,Gb,Ab,Bb,C). Which contains the same notes as the F Phrygian scale.If you play that same fingering pattern at the 5th fret you would get the A Phrygian, which is the same notes as the F major scale (F,G,A,Bb,C,D,E).Sounds like you're getting it, cool.

what are these "modes" you speak of?

-poorboy the talentless

Mode/Scale Relationships

Since Musashi ain't around.... anyone object if I try to archive this? (Not sure, but I think any rednamer can). I haven't really spent time with it yet, and don't want to lose it because I plan to! But if there will be a bunch more discussion, I'll wait...input?

Archive away, I think you can still post on threads after they are saved.

There are a few I wish I'd remembered to save.


Thats cool Robin. After you start learning how to play (theory and all that jazz), it takes a while to get the crazy shit back.

robin, they call it "caged" man. think about it.

-poorboy the estranged theoretician