The ten barre chord shapes
Five minor and five major shapes
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The CAGED system
How to turn your open position chords into barre chords
In order to play more chords than the first ten open position chords, you can use your index finger to barre the strings.
By doing this, you replace the nut of the guitar and have created moveable barre chord shapes.
To learn how to fret these barre chords we can use an exercise called the cycle of 4th.
When you play the chords, say the name of them out loud. This will teach you all the notes on the neck at the same time.
The intermediate course goes into all the details about how to do this. If you can reach, play the full shapes as I do in the videos, but more importantly, you must play fractions of the chord shapes.
Do this and your barre chord shapes will map out the entire fretboard.
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Five major CAGED barre chord shapes
The minor CAGED barre chord shapes
Just like with the open position chords, to create the five minor shapes, we must find the third interval of each chord shape and move it down one fret.
These five shapes are really important as you’ll use them to visualize the fretboard.
You can’t see it in these video lessons, but the real secret behind playing barre chords is to play fractions of them. Not to play any of the big clunky full barre chord shapes.
The best way to learn how to do this is by playing famous songs, and as you do, try the chord progression of every song in all areas of the neck, using different fractions of the full shapes.
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Five minor CAGED barre chord shapes
Acoustic Guitar Lessons
Hey There Delilah – Step 1
Use the TAB loops to master these two relatively simple sections of the song.
Go to Hey There Delilah Step 1.
Mad World – Step 1
This composition is in Dorian, which means chord II is our home.
Go to Mad World Step 1.
Whistle For The Choir – Step 1
In this step, we go through all the areas you can play this song in for the key of A.
Go to Whistle For The Choir Step 1.
Blowin’ In The Wind – Step 1
What you’ll hear is in the key of D, however, you must think as if in the key of C.
Go to Blowin’ In The Wind Step 1.
Kiss Me – Step 1
First up are the intro, instrumental, verse sections which all use the progression: Maj – maj7 – dom7 – maj7 on a loop.
Go to Kiss Me Step 1.
Babylon – Step 1
Today we finally start working on a song again!
It’s Babylon by David Gray and of course, it does have a hammer-on and pull-off lick in it.
Go to Babylon Step 1.
Fast Car – Step 1
In this first step, we learn how to play the two guitar parts that make up the original verse of Fast Car.
Complete this step and you’ll realize that just working out the original part is not enough if you want to learn how to actually write something like this.
Go to Fast Car Step 1.
Angie – Step 1
Use the TAB loops to practice each section individually.
Go to Angie Step 1.
American Pie – Step 1
Let’s put Don McLean’s American Pie under the microscope, we start with the chorus.
Go to American Pie Step 1.
A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 1
Out of all 8 steps, this is by far the most difficult. It is also the most complex lesson so far in this course.
Sunny Afternoon – Step 1
To achieve this we play the sweeping exercise using 12/8, shuffle, and swing rhythms.
Go to Sunny Afternoon Step 1.
Dreadlock Holiday – Step 1
A few chords in this one guitar arrangement are not correct. Find out what we can learn from this.
Go to Dreadlock Holiday Step 1.
I’m Yours – Step 1
To understand this we start by studying the nursery rhyme Itsy Bitsy Spider, which is actually more complex than I’m Yours.
Go to I’m Yours Step 1.
Red – Step 1
The tempo has been lowered from 92 to 78 BPM and the overall feel is very different from the original.
Go to Red Step 1.
Starman – Step 1
Following this, we also work on the verse which has an unusual order of common chords from the key of F. TAB loops are available for everything.
Go to Starman Step 1.
I Can’t Stand The Rain – Step 1
To learn from it we study the intervals, play it in five areas of the neck as well as consider hammer on’s, bends, slides and pull off’s.
Electric Guitar Lessons
Rescue Me – Step 1
Before we look at how to play each section in detail, let’s have a listen to the complete song and study a Bars and Beats chart.
Go to Rescue Me Step 1.
You Can’t Hurry Love – Step 1
Sixteen years later, Phil Collins recorded it in a different key and again put it back at the #1 spot, this time in the U.K.
Go to You Can’t Hurry Love Step 1.
Can I Get A Witness – Step 1
Before we dive into how to play the main riff, let’s have a listen to the complete song and map out the arrangement.
Go to Can I Get A Witness Step 1.
Be My Baby – Step 1
Before we get into building the guitar part, let’s have a listen to the complete song.
Go to Be My Baby Step 1.
Soul Man – Step 1
The man behind the guitar part is Steve Cropper, a legendary soul guitarist who was a member of Booker T. & the M.G.’s.
Go to Soul Man Step 1.
Money (That’s What I Want) – Step 1
This is an early Motown hit with an easy to recognize guitar riff that has been covered by many artists and bands since.
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Step 1
This song has a very clever chord progression. The home chord, Ebm, feels different depending on what section it appears in.
Get Ready – Step 1
Performed by The Temptations, it was released in 1966 and made it to the number 1 spot in the R & B charts.
Go to Get Ready Step 1.
Son Of A Preacher Man – Step 1
Due to the lack of guitar on the original recording, we are going to have to invent a guitar part.
Go to Son Of A Preacherman Step 1.
My Guy – Step 1
With one foot in jazz rather than blues, we get more maj7 and 6 chords than dom7 chords.
Go to My Guy Step 1.
Respect – Step 1
After an unsuccessful session at legendary Muscle Shoals studios, Otis decided to record it himself and then again with Aretha Franklin.
Go to Respect Step 1.
Jimmy Mack – Step 1
Let’s start this off by listening to the complete song and work out the structure.
Go to Jimmy Mack Step 1.
Master Blaster – Step 1
This is probably my favorite song to play as it literally encourages me to improvise, or as the title suggests, Jammin’.
Go to Master Blaster Step 1.
We’ll use this to map out the entire fretboard. Everything becomes easier to visualize once this foundation is laid.
The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.
Go to Intermediate Guitar Course.
Intermediate Acoustic Songs
A Change Is Gonna Come, American Pie, Angie, Babylon, Blowin’ In The Wind, Dreadlock Holiday, Fast Car, Hey There Delilah, I Can’t Stand The Rain, I’m Yours, Kiss Me, Mad World, Red, Starman, Sunny Afternoon, and Whistle For The Choir.
Go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs.
These Motown/Soul songs require you to learn how to play fractions of barre chord shapes and build improvised licks using pentatonic scales.
Intermediate Electric Songs
Be My Baby, Can I Get A Witness, Get Ready, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Jimmy Mack, Master Blaster (Jammin’), Money (That’s What I Want), My Guy, Rescue Me, Respect, Son Of A Preacher Man, Soul Man, and You Can’t Hurry Love.
Go to Intermediate Electric Songs.
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
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