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THE CAGED SYSTEM PART 3 - C ALL YOU CAN C! BARRE-ING IN MIND.

Welcome to part 3 in my series of blogs about the CAGED system. By now you should know how to play all the 5 of the major chord shapes in the open position without using your index finger and you're ready for the next challenge.

If you have been practicing the shapes from last lesson. You should have built up some strength and dexterity in your fingers

Which will make this next part easier. 

We're now going to use our 5 major chord shapes to play C from the open position to the 12th fret.  

As we ascend higher up the neck with the C chord, the notes in the chords remain the same but will chord shape type changes in the following order:

C A G E D



Once we get past the open position we're going to need to reintroduce our neglected index finger. 

But it's got a new job. 

Now it's going to act as a moving nut (fret zero)

For this you'll need to use your index finger to hold down two or more strings at the same time. 

You can find out just how much pressure you need apply to create clear notes by:


  • Placing the pad of your index finger across the top 3 strings. (G B E)

  • Press down at the second fret. 

  • Strum the strings 

  • Pick each string individually 

What you want is for each note to ring out clearly. If it's not ringing clearly or you're choking notes try:


  • Placing your finger closer to the fretwire

  • Increasing the pressure your applying to the strings (cross your second finger over if you need to)


You want to apply the right amount of pressure so that you don't cause any unnecessary strain. So once you've gotten the notes to ring out try reducing the pressure until there is no note. Then reverse the process and you find the less amount of pressure you need to apply to get the notes. 

You can repeat this process for all your Barres. Just make sure all the notes ring out clearly and you're applying the right amount of pressure. 

Practice moving these C's around the neck. 



  • Set the metronome to 60bpm

  • Hold each chord for 8 beats then move to the next.