Major Scale Positions and CAGED Chord Shapes
Lesson #384 • Sep 12, 2021
Instructional PDF 7 pages
Follow along with the print-friendly PDF! It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.
Thanks for being a Premium member of Song Notes! Your support makes these lessons possible.Download PDF
Follow along with the print-friendly PDF!
It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.
To download the PDF, upgrade to premium or log in.
Hey friends! Lesson today where I tackle the common positions of the major scale – and explain how each of these positions maps to one of the “CAGED” chord shapes (which I covered in a previous lesson). To me, this was an immensely helpful realization, especially given the numbered scale positions can seem unhelpfully arbitrary and academic, especially when starting out. In this video, I’ll show how you can take any of the CAGED chord shapes (that you’re likely familiar with, even if you don’t know it yet) – and show how to play the major scale based around that shape. This opens the door to improvisation, soloing, adding flourish notes, and all kinds of other good things. So let’s get into it!
Timestamps for this video:
- 0:00 Overview & Lesson Summary
- 6:44 Major Scale Crash Course
- 8:12 Major Scale Positions
- 11:15 Each CAGED Chord Shape’s Major Scale
- 12:58 How Scale Positions are Numbered
- 19:01 Which Position(s) to Learn First?
- 20:59 Which Fingers To Use In Each Shape
- 24:19 Intervals and 7th Chords
- 27:19 A Final Analogy to Explain All This
Need help with CAGED or the 12 Notes?
I made two earlier videos, each of which has a PDF you can download, if you need to get re-familiarized with these concepts.
Learning the 12 notes
Lesson #356 - view lesson notes & get the PDF.
Learning the CAGED Chord Shapes
Lesson #385 - view lesson notes & get the PDF.
Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!
March 27, 2023
Beginner Lead Guitar with the Star Spangled Banner
March 19, 2023
Brown Eyed Girl
March 14, 2023
Major Scales in Open Position
March 10, 2023
Tips for Strumming & Singing at the Same Time
March 7, 2023
Interstate Love Song
March 2, 2023
New Course: Beginner Chord Guide!
February 24, 2023
How to Fingerpick in 3/4 Time (feat. "Amazing Grace" & John Prine)
February 13, 2023
Adam Sandler's "Grow Old With You," Without Barre Chords
Browse my all lessons
By lesson type
- Strumming & Rhythm
- Walk-Ups & Walk-Downs
- Learning Barre Chords
- Travis Picking
- Learning Chords
By musical genre
By musical key
By popular artist
- Johnny Cash
- Tyler Childers
- Tom Petty
- Neil Young
- Chris Stapleton
- Willie Nelson
- Guy Clark
- John Prine