Develop Your Soloing Chops with Free CAGED Guitar Lessons

Develop Your Soloing Chops with Free CAGED Guitar Lessons

The CAGED chord system is one of the most invaluable tools to bring in when developing your improvisational chops. By taking advantage of the CAGED system, you’ll be well on your way to crafting great solos over any chord progression. In David Wallimann’s Guitar DNA: CAGED Soloing, David will take you through this process using a 3-layer approach.

In these free video guitar lessons taken from the full Guitar DNA: CAGED Soloing course, we’ll sample some of the ways the CAGED system can be used when soloing, taking a look at a couple of performance studies at the end as examples. Let’s get soloin’!

CAGED: The Shapes of Freedom

Download the charts for this soloing lesson on TrueFire.

The CAGED system is based on the characteristics found in the open chords C, A, G, E, and D.

To do this, we need to study where the roots are within those chords. This will unlock the true meaning of the CAGED system!

4th String Root Shape (cageD): Demonstration

Download the charts for this soloing lesson on TrueFire.

The D position has its root on the 4th string and is built on the right side of that root. Notice how anything built on the left side of a root on the 4th string fits the E position.

C and A Shape – Minor 7 Arpeggios: Demo

Download the charts and jam track for this soloing lesson on TrueFire.

The next arpeggio we’ll study is the minor 7 arpeggio which is made of a root, minor 3rd, 5th, and minor 7th. Let’s start studying the C and A positions which have their root on the 5th string.

G and E Shape – Minor Pentatonic: Demo

Download the charts for this soloing lesson on TrueFire.

We’ll now take a look at the G and E positions of an E minor pentatonic scale which have their root on the low E string.

E Shape – Dorian Mode: Demo

Download the charts and jam track for this soloing lesson on TrueFire.

Let’s now start studying modes that work over minor chords. The first one we’ll take a look at is the Dorian mode, and its formula is:
1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7

Funky Three Layer Cake – CAGED Soloing: Overview

In this first example, we’ll take a look at a diatonic chord progression, which means that the chords are extracted from the same scale. The chords are Dm7 and CMaj7 which are part of a D Dorian mode.

Funky Three Layer Cake – CAGED Soloing: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this soloing lesson on TrueFire.

Study the tabs and memorize your favorite licks. Use the provided backing track to develop your own improvisation!

Minor Modulation – CAGED Soloing: Overview

Let’s now work with modulating chord progressions. Each time a chord is heard you will have to change scales. This is where your ear and personal taste comes in the picture, as there is more than one answer. The chords are Bm7 and Dm7. We’ll consider a Dorian mode for each chord.

Minor Modulation – CAGED Soloing: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this soloing lesson on TrueFire.

Once you’ve studied the tabbed solo, use the backing track to develop your own phrasing. Keep it musical!


Make sure to check out the rest of the Guitar DNA: CAGED Soloing course on TrueFire. There you’ll find even more ways to implement the CAGED system in your soloing. As always, each video lesson in the course comes with the applicable tab, notation, charts, and jam tracks to go along. Check it out now!