Joined:7/18/2008, 5:15 am
Last Visit:5/13/2012, 3:20 am
Every key has all 5 chord shapes from this sequence that connect the voicings from octave to octave. (Voicing = The order the notes are stacked.) If you play the chords C,A,G,E,and D in first position you will have all the shapes used in the CAGED sequence, hints the name! The secret is understanding that if you were to transpose or 'move' any of these chord shapes you would need to understand that your first finger will need to replace the nut in relation to those chord shapes. Each shape is named from the commonly used open chord form but is used only as a reference to the shape and not to take literally. Example... I can play a C shaped D Major chord. It uses the same chord form or voicing as the C major chord but is moved up one whole step where the root is on the note D on the 5th fret instead of on the note C on the 3rd fret.
Below is this sequence in the key of C major,
Below is the same sequence applied to the key of D Major. In this example I locate the root in each voicing by coloring the root black.
If you notice, the D = D Shape is the same voicing as the 1st position D Shape
This sequence can be used in any key to find all the chords or voicings to find and construct any chord in any key.
The voicings of the 5 shapes go as follows,
C Shape = 1-3-5-1
A Shape = 1-5-1-3-5
G Shape = 1-3-5-1-3-1
E Shape = 1-5-1-3-5-1
D Shape = 1-5-1-3
In order to turn these major chord voicings into chords with other qualities such as Minor, Minor 7th, Dominant 7th exc.... you need to understand how to apply different chord formulas to these voicings which I will cover in another lesson. This will also be a very useful method to know when soloing in order to be able to find your target notes. Target notes are the notes used to define the chords you are soloing over. To start with from this lesson you can at least find all the root notes by color. If you memorize the voicings of each shape you can find all the identifying target notes of a major chord. It is up to you and your ear to choose which ones sound the best because all of them work. If you are familiar with your modes then work out how all of these shapes fit in relation to the modes. Just start on the root!