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Watch the CAGED Chords Vol. 1 online guitar lesson by Brad Carlton from Chord Studies: CAGED Chords Vol. 1

In this group of lessons we're going to be applying the CAGED system and the EDCAG system of chord voicings to accommodate three different progressions. Our first progression will be A to G. Our second progression will be A minor to B minor. And then we're going to mix it up and include both qualities. Our third progression will be B minor, A, and G. Now the CAGED system is simply derived from your five folk forms. C, A, G, E, and D. You know these chords if you play a C chord. An A chord. A G chord. An E chord. And a D chord. So what we do is that you utilize your index finger to function as a capo, which allows you to take those forms, or fingerings, and move anywhere you need to find the chord that you need. The EDCAG system does the same thing with minor forms. So the beauty of this is is you're going to learn how to play and keep your hand in one place, as opposed to always shifting around with just a bar chord, which doesn't allow you to get good voice leading. Now I'm also going to talk briefly about some technical tips as you go through these exercises and these progressions. The first thing is to stay relaxed, unless you're actually sounding a chord. Amazingly, most people have a hard time doing this. So practice deadening the strings when you're forming the chord. Don't squeeze right away. Just get your fingers in place. And that's your default hand position, unless your actually sounding the chord. You then squeeze, and then practice releasing so that the strings lift themselves up off the frets. We do change positions. If you have to use the same form don't change anything with your thumb or your forearm and your wrist. Just move and don't let things start changing in terms of angle. And finally, two very important fingering principles in playing the guitar. A pivot finger, which is defined as the same finger, same string, same fret. It can shift within the fret, within the space between the frets, but you don't pick it up. So what does that do? It stabilizes your hand. And finally guide fingers. Now guide rhymes with slide. So a guide finger would be, fore example, if I play an A minor chord with these three fingers and then I'm going to move up a whole step, why would I pick up my second, third, and fourth fingers? I relax them and then they just glide on the strings. And you see the benefits. You have a point of reference. You're not picking your fingers up off the strings, and it also does this. It keeps things quiet. It mutes the strings in between your chord changes. Keep your ears open. Watch for your intonation. You want clarity. And also dampen, so you don't get those open strings ringing in between your chord changes.