ELECTRIC INTERMEDIATES
Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from Essentials Part 1

Welcome to Rhythm & Chords Intermediate Essentials Part 2! With the knowledge of barre chords and basic rhythms in hand, we can move on to more complex ideas. In this course of lessons, we look at major CAGED chords. These chord shapes will help you improvise, create unique guitar parts and generally deepen your understanding of the guitar. As always, take your time and have fun!

Summary: Major CAGED chords

The CAGED system is a set of open chord shapes which can be moved up and down the neck. They shapes fit together in the order C, A, G, E and D, hence, CAGED. We can use the CAGED system to play any chord in a number of different positions on the neck. If were to take the D major shape and move it up two frets, you would still be playing the same shape but the chord would now be E major! This is the same principle as the barre chords we learnt already - the E and A shapes - except the C, D and G shapes are a bit more fiddly. Watch the video and let the ideas sink in, then move on to the next lesson, where we will start analysing the shapes.

Summary: Caged chord shapes

Let's take a look at all the CAGED chord shapes in the key of G major. Here are the "official" shapes as you might see written in books:

Summary: C, G, D Caged

Even though the above shapes work well in theory, they can be very hard to play for a lot of people. Instead, we'll play the shapes in the following way:

Summary: CAGED Exercise

To practise these CAGED chords we'll perform a simple exercise where we move the five shapes across the neck with a simple G major chord. It looks like this:

Materials: Exercise Tab

If you are unsure how to play the exercise, then please check out the tab below. You can use the speed selector on the tab viewer to test the pace of your chord changes!

Tutorial: "Place your hand in my hand"

Summary: The chords

Now it's time to dive straight into a new song! We will start by learning the chord shapes used and the chord chart. The chord shapes are as follows (remember to use the drop down selector to choose the chord you want to study):

Materials: Chord chart

The song structure is reasonably straightforward, as shown in the chord chart below.

  • Verse one
  • A /// //// //// //// D /// //// //// //// A /// //// //// //// E /// //// //// ////
  • A /// //// //// //// D /// //// //// //// A /// //// E /// //// A /// //// E /// ////
  • Repeat four times round

Materials: Song tab

Below, you will find the full tab / chord chart. For now, you only need to learn the chord structure, not the rhythm. We'll tackle the rhythm in the next lesson. Be sure to use the slow down function on the tab viewer to play at a tempo that suits you as you build up to full speed.

Summary: Rhythm

This is the trickiest rhythm pattern we have covered so far, so please take your time with it! Play through it slowly at first. Here is the pattern:

Materials: Song tab

Below, you will find the full tab / chord chart. Be sure to use the slow down function on the tab viewer to play at a tempo that suits you as you build up to full speed.

Audio: "Place your Hand In My Hand"

As well as the tab above, here are audio tracks to play along with. They are all at full speed, so make sure you are comfortable playing at that pace before trying them. Good luck!

Ready to move on – remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Essentials Part 3

We look the minor CAGED chord shapes, which will complete the set of chords we need for now. These are a slight alteration on the major shapes, but allow us to tackle a brand new pop/ska style tune!