CAGED System

Metafrets is very consistent with the CAGED system. However, there are three major differences:

Playability of chord shapes

  • I have tried to make my chord forms a little easier to play than the forms in the CAGED system.
  • Some of the forms are still demanding, and certain chord changes require a lot of practice.

The numbered form and metaform concept

  • Instead of using the terminology “C” , “A” , “G” , “E” , and “D” forms for chords and scales, as in the CAGED system, I use 5th , 2nd , 4th , 1st and 3rd forms and metaforms (not pegged to a fret position) for chord shapes, and scale patterns
  • The form number is tied explicitly to the position of the scale tonic notes, in the case of scales, and the position of the chord roots in the case of chords.
  • The positions and form numbers are the same.
  • I did this because I got confused with, for instance, a “C” form making an A major chord in the CAGED system

The zone and metazone concept:

  • I explicitly address the issue of how chords fit within a key, built on a harmonized scale.
  • I present the chords within a given key and zone – an area on the neck – in order of ascending perfect 4th intervals, since these fall out of standard tuning very nicely.
  • I use 1st , 2nd , 3rd , 4th and 5th zones for the scale and chords built upon that harmonized scale in each of 5 consecutive positions.
  • A zone has various chord forms and a scale forms, so I did not name the zone with the same name used for the scale form.
  • Scale forms are ordered … 5th, 2nd, 4th, 1st, 3rd, 5th, … (i.e., CAGED order)
  • If I had used these scale form numbers for the zones, there would be a source of potential confusion. A person might naturally think that the order of the zones was … 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, …, and this would be a serious error. I could have alternately called the zones: C, A, G, E, and D, but this seems just as confusing to me.