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  1. #1

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    Hello everyone, I asked a similar question a few months ago but I'd like to be a bit clearer this time. If there are any CAGED system guitarists that can help I'd appreciate it a lot. I'll use the example of a G blues I7-IV7 progression for reference.

    Let's assume, using the CAGED system specifically, I want to play the corresponding Mixolydian scales for the I and IV chord of the blues progression in G, which would be G Mixolydian and C Mixolydian. I know that using the CAGED system to make this change from the first scale to the second, I should switch to the nearest CAGED position of the scale I am switching to.
    For example I could start by playing over the I7 chord using the CAGED E-form G Mixolydian scale(root on the 3rd fret of the e string), and once the IV7 chord comes around I'd switch to the A-form C mixolydian scale(Root on the 3rd fret, A string).

    Basically my question is how I make this switch? What is the practical method to do so? All the material I've seen on the subject explains that I have to switch from one scale position to another, but never explains how exactly. I think I heard Martin Miller say he uses the lowest root note of the scale position as his reference point, but even so, how does that work? If was playing over the blues example, would he start playing G Mixolydian, and think "there's a C7 chord coming up, so I should find the nearest C note and apply the corresponding Mixolydian CAGED position I know that has a root on that string", or would he think "I'm currently playing in G mixolydian, the next chord change modulates up a fourth so I need to find the note a fourth away from my current root of G, then treat that new note as my new root to apply the corresponding CAGED Mixolydian scale position to it". Or am I thinking about this completely wrong? Hopefully I explained it clearly enough.
    Last edited by dionder_1; 11-13-2021 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Mistake

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  3. #2

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    I think the first question is, are you instantly aware of each "dot" in a position in terms of how that dot relates to G mixolydian intervallically (ideally equally also as the note name) or do you see the position as just the note G and a visual, homogenous dot pattern where each dot is the same?

    Another way to ask this is, when you're moving along the G mixolydian scale, are you at all times aware of where in G mixolydian you are (5th, 2nd and/or D, A etc)? Or do you only know that you are just playing one of the dots in the shape?
    Last edited by Tal_175; 11-12-2021 at 07:19 PM.

  4. #3

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    If you're working out positional playing it's good to have a mental picture. Here is one way to picture frets 3 to 7 for G7 (G Mixolydian, CAGED A shape) and C7 (C Mixolydian, CAGED D shape). [This is the I7 and IV7 (not V7) in a G blues, right?]

    Need help with CAGED System, playing through changes-bluz-jpg

    You can either "see" the note names (G, Bb etc) or the scale degrees with respect to the current chord. The current chord tones should glow. I made them red.

    What do you notice comparing the two? The third of G7, B natural, lowers to become the b7 of C7. Besides that, the fingering is the same.

    So as far as fingering goes, that gives you a guide to transitioning from G7 to C7 -- Bnat becomes Bb. That and the chord arpeggio changes from G-B-D-F to C-E-G-Bb.

    There are lots of other things one can think or not think about, but that's a start.

  5. #4

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    Well if you're playing G Mixolydian in the 2nd position, the C Mixolydian in 2nd position is readibly available too. Both of those fingerings are very comfortable CAGED fingerings. (That’s I and IV by the way, not I and V).

    For jazz blues also practice the G and C Dominant Bebop and Minor Blues scales right there.

    Also practice the G7 and C7 arpeggios right there. Start on the 6th and 5th string roots and play up and down across all six strings.

    Once you become comfortable with just playing those ascending and descending scales and arpeggios across all six strings we can talk about jazz language. First, just get your scales and arpeggios under your fingers in the 2nd position.

    This should only take a few days to a few weeks, depending on where you are.
    Last edited by Donplaysguitar; 11-12-2021 at 11:44 PM.

  6. #5

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    Just one note changes between those two, the B natural of G Mixolydian becomes a B flat for the C Mixolydian, you can just play your stuff from the scales and change that one note. Heck, I'll just do a video:


  7. #6

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    Combining CAGED and modes is not a great idea. Read on…

    Tal always said there are “pictures” on the neck, the trick was to combine the ones closest to each other. He was a particular fan of the C form (root on fifth string third fret) to start and then move off from there to the V form, like the G form root on sixth string third fret.
    Why?
    Because your upper extensions are easily found, seen and used. And using CAGED you can link them up up the neck or down down. Upper extensions are the meaning of life in a jazz standard.
    They really are what defines the tune.
    In eight years, a mode never darkened the door in Sea Bright, NJ.
    Why?
    Modes are silos following silos. Vertical in nature.
    Chordal harmony is flow going to flow. Horizontal in nature.
    Hard to obey half-step motion and leading tones in modes, especially to match those motions to the theme, head, melody you are improvising on. No bebopper hit the Vb5 to I with a mode in mind.
    But….Beautifully done in chordal harmony.
    Modes remind me of the ‘ol airline joke: “that wasn’t a landing, it was an arrival”. Thump to thump. Mode to mode, I can always hear it.
    As a classical organist, they taught us modes were a method of analysis not a method of composition. An ancient method to support the chanting of the psalms, thank you Saint Gregory the Great: he of “Gregorian Chant”.
    Composition required the study and use of counterpoint, harmony, step motion and key centers,
    So how and why have modes became a method of actual composition? A composition method that we jazzy people call “improvisation”? Interesting question. Methinks modes do a great service to educators and book writers. And to modal players. And jazz-educated listeners. Not the gal who requested Satin Doll. Your tips gonna be less, and she walks out.
    CAGED and modes? One a way to see pictures on the neck and link together. I dunno, but linking modes seems counter their nature.

    Forgive me if this is not making sense. jk is doing the best he can on the meds he’s on. Hope it made sense to someone out there.
    No videos…My fingers still shake too much, no examples yet.
    Yes I am tired of this. I’m at the NIH today, and it’s ‘well mr jk we think we’re doubling your base med,’
    Geez Louise I’m not a freakin drummer, where shaky hands might help. you all aren’t helping me here.
    Oh well.

    Thanks for putting up with this

  8. #7

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    to the op ....
    I’m a caged based player too

    i suggest concentrating on the
    arpeggios , they’re where it’s at

    note in G
    C is the IV
    D is the V

  9. #8

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    Hi, dionder_1.

    In the end; the scale/modes, licks, chord tones, arpeggios, etc. are only tool for improvisation.

    ...and improvisation is just another term for spontaneous composition. That being said, there's a lot of compositional technique one need to consider before (S)He can successfully improvise. The tool we use in my own term is only a fretboard knowledge, in that it only tackles the spontaneous part in the improvisation.

    The way you explain that you need to find the nearest root while anticipate the incoming chord is similar to the way a juggler is handling his/her stuff. It's not wrong, but why do you have to aim for the root? What about the other chord tones, or non-chord tones? What about leaving out some space (no tones)?

    If what you really mean by asking this question is for your fretboard knowledge, it's no difference than any chord-tones drills -- that you anticipate the target note in the corresponding CAGED regions and connect the tones with passing tones. It's more effective if the chord tones are put far away from each other so it helps you memorize the mode position better. But it's a whole different game if you try to improvise.

    In this video I play an improvisation. If you want to dig more about improvisation you can click the link in the video's description box.


  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Combining CAGED and modes is not a great idea. Read on…

    Tal always said there are “pictures” on the neck, the trick was to combine the ones closest to each other. He was a particular fan of the C form (root on fifth string third fret) to start and then move off from there to the V form, like the G form root on sixth string third fret.
    Why?
    Because your upper extensions are easily found, seen and used. And using CAGED you can link them up up the neck or down down. Upper extensions are the meaning of life in a jazz standard.
    They really are what defines the tune.
    In eight years, a mode never darkened the door in Sea Bright, NJ.
    Why?
    Modes are silos following silos. Vertical in nature.
    Chordal harmony is flow going to flow. Horizontal in nature.
    Hard to obey half-step motion and leading tones in modes, especially to match those motions to the theme, head, melody you are improvising on. No bebopper hit the Vb5 to I with a mode in mind.
    But….Beautifully done in chordal harmony.
    Modes remind me of the ‘ol airline joke: “that wasn’t a landing, it was an arrival”. Thump to thump. Mode to mode, I can always hear it.
    As a classical organist, they taught us modes were a method of analysis not a method of composition. An ancient method to support the chanting of the psalms, thank you Saint Gregory the Great: he of “Gregorian Chant”.
    Composition required the study and use of counterpoint, harmony, step motion and key centers,
    So how and why have modes became a method of actual composition? A composition method that we jazzy people call “improvisation”? Interesting question. Methinks modes do a great service to educators and book writers. And to modal players. And jazz-educated listeners. Not the gal who requested Satin Doll. Your tips gonna be less, and she walks out.
    CAGED and modes? One a way to see pictures on the neck and link together. I dunno, but linking modes seems counter their nature.

    Forgive me if this is not making sense. jk is doing the best he can on the meds he’s on. Hope it made sense to someone out there.
    No videos…My fingers still shake too much, no examples yet.
    Yes I am tired of this. I’m at the NIH today, and it’s ‘well mr jk we think we’re doubling your base med,’
    Geez Louise I’m not a freakin drummer, where shaky hands might help. you all aren’t helping me here.
    Oh well.

    Thanks for putting up with this
    CAGED is just a set of 5 scale fingerings, 3 of which date back centuries. There are other fingering “systems”, and playing modes from each of them is a very standard thing to do. In fact doing so is considered “fundamental”. No need to over-complicate things.

  11. #10
    Reference the same note on the sixth string. That’s the second finger reference. Almost as if you’re spelling C7 in terms of G, like Gm11. You can do the same for D. The root of D can be visualized “as if” you’re playing an extended arpeggio from the 5th of G. G major.

    That’s a clumsy verbal way to describe something which is largely non verbal, but this is a written format, so... Anyway, G dominant and C dominant are only one note different. Likewise, G dominant and D dominant are only one note different.

    You’re not wrong that the “root finding” thought process is too many degrees of separation. On piano, you have a purely PHYSICAL relationship: “Where is the note in relationship to two black keys etc.?”.

    It would be helpful to have a similar fixed reference for absolute pitch, without respect to accidentals, key signatures, modulations etc. etc.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I think the first question is, are you instantly aware of each "dot" in a position in terms of how that dot relates to G mixolydian intervallically (ideally equally also as the note name) or do you see the position as just the note G and a visual, homogenous dot pattern where each dot is the same?

    Another way to ask this is, when you're moving along the G mixolydian scale, are you at all times aware of where in G mixolydian you are (5th, 2nd and/or D, A etc)? Or do you only know that you are just playing one of the dots in the shape?
    Thanks for the response. You're right that I view it as a dot pattern currently, and that's definitely not optimal. My thought process is that I will learn the 5 CAGED positions for my scales, get comfortable with switching between these positions(This is the step I'm stuck on at the moment as I don't know how it should be done practically), then learn all the arpeggios/triads for the scale within each of the 5 shapes, which will eventually lead me to learning and getting comfortable with the intervalic quality of each of these "dots" within the shapes.
    My end goal is to basically have a "CAGED Map" spanning the fretboard where I have 5 scale shapes for each scale that I can access and freely switch between, and use these scale shapes as a visual map for all my arpeggios, licks, chord shapes etc. But maybe I'm thinking of it all backwards.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    to the op ....
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    I’m a caged based player too

    i suggest concentrating on the
    arpeggios , they’re where it’s at

    note in G
    C is the IV
    D is the V


    Sorry, I don't know how I managed to mix up the IV with the V.
    That's interesting because my assumption was that the scales should come first and be used as a map of sorts for the triads/arpeggios/chord shapes, but maybe it should be arpeggios first, then scales.

    Would you mind elaborating on how an arpeggio based system like this would work in a practical context? eg. using the I to IV example. Basically, how would you think about this change in order to execute it practically?

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by dionder_1
    Thanks for the response. You're right that I view it as a dot pattern currently, and that's definitely not optimal. My thought process is that I will learn the 5 CAGED positions for my scales, get comfortable with switching between these positions(This is the step I'm stuck on at the moment as I don't know how it should be done practically), then learn all the arpeggios/triads for the scale within each of the 5 shapes, which will eventually lead me to learning and getting comfortable with the intervalic quality of each of these "dots" within the shapes.
    My end goal is to basically have a "CAGED Map" spanning the fretboard where I have 5 scale shapes for each scale that I can access and freely switch between, and use these scale shapes as a visual map for all my arpeggios, licks, chord shapes etc. But maybe I'm thinking of it all backwards.
    5 position, 7 position etc shapes that map the entire fretboard are useful as an overview of the instrument. But they are too large and cumbersome structures to be used as primary building blocks for playing the changes. I would recommend first exploring one octave of the scale and understanding the intervallic relationships inside the octave. You can then easily build a CAGED position by stacking 2 octaves but now you can see what's inside the position as oppose to being in complete darkness other than the root note. I put a link below to a Tom Quayle video where, as far as I remember, he talks about this very concept in a great detail.

    The second point I'd make is, there is more to learning a scale than just learning a series of notes. A scale is also a harmonic system. Different types of scales have inherently different ways of generating harmonic information. So when you practice a scale I think it's important to keep the harmonic inner workings of the scale in mind.

    As you alluded to, the major scale has a harmonic system biased on it's tertian diatonic chords (see note at the bottom for another example of a harmonic system). They function both as elements of functional progressions and also as extensions/substitutions. So it's important to see the major scale not just as a series of notes but also as a system of diatonic chords and practice it that way.

    * Unlike the major scale, the melodic minor scale is not generally used as a harmonic source for entire functional progressions but instead used as source for "coloring" major or minor progressions. Therefore you can think of any melodic minor based chord as a different instantiation of that color which makes it a very different harmonic system than the major scale.


  15. #14

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    The CAGED system is just a temporary aide to help one remember where the chords are. It's not something to be followed beyond a certain point. Once the positions are in memory it can be discarded.

    The same goes for scale notes, there's no difference. That way the fretboard opens up till it becomes a sort of matrix all over the neck.

  16. #15

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    Excellent comment, in my opinion. Kind of Blue is my favorite jazz album. But I can't think of another modal album I particularly like.
    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Combining CAGED and modes is not a great idea. Read on…

    Tal always said there are “pictures” on the neck, the trick was to combine the ones closest to each other. He was a particular fan of the C form (root on fifth string third fret) to start and then move off from there to the V form, like the G form root on sixth string third fret.
    Why?
    Because your upper extensions are easily found, seen and used. And using CAGED you can link them up up the neck or down down. Upper extensions are the meaning of life in a jazz standard.
    They really are what defines the tune.
    In eight years, a mode never darkened the door in Sea Bright, NJ.
    Why?
    Modes are silos following silos. Vertical in nature.
    Chordal harmony is flow going to flow. Horizontal in nature.
    Hard to obey half-step motion and leading tones in modes, especially to match those motions to the theme, head, melody you are improvising on. No bebopper hit the Vb5 to I with a mode in mind.
    But….Beautifully done in chordal harmony.
    Modes remind me of the ‘ol airline joke: “that wasn’t a landing, it was an arrival”. Thump to thump. Mode to mode, I can always hear it.
    As a classical organist, they taught us modes were a method of analysis not a method of composition. An ancient method to support the chanting of the psalms, thank you Saint Gregory the Great: he of “Gregorian Chant”.
    Composition required the study and use of counterpoint, harmony, step motion and key centers,
    So how and why have modes became a method of actual composition? A composition method that we jazzy people call “improvisation”? Interesting question. Methinks modes do a great service to educators and book writers. And to modal players. And jazz-educated listeners. Not the gal who requested Satin Doll. Your tips gonna be less, and she walks out.
    CAGED and modes? One a way to see pictures on the neck and link together. I dunno, but linking modes seems counter their nature.

    Forgive me if this is not making sense. jk is doing the best he can on the meds he’s on. Hope it made sense to someone out there.
    No videos…My fingers still shake too much, no examples yet.
    Yes I am tired of this. I’m at the NIH today, and it’s ‘well mr jk we think we’re doubling your base med,’
    Geez Louise I’m not a freakin drummer, where shaky hands might help. you all aren’t helping me here.
    Oh well.

    Thanks for putting up with this

  17. #16

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    dionder_1 -

    Forgive my saying so, but you're making an academic mountain out of a practical molehill. Soloing a piece isn't an exercise. You're making music, not practising scales and arpeggios (not that you shouldn't practice them).

    When you're soloing you're listening to what you're doing. If you want a run, you put it in. If you want a blues sound, you put it in. Say you're on the 3rd fret using a G shape (or an E shape if you're thinking CAGED) and you want to go to a C7 then you can see it in your mind next to the G on the 3rd position. So you just stick in a nice run up to a chord tone (like E, the 3rd) and bob's your uncle.

    That's all, it's not rocket science. Don't bother looking for special tricks or magic formulas, it's a question of knowing your positions and the sounds you're making. Plus lots of doing it, of course.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Combining CAGED and modes is not a great idea. Read on…

    Tal always said there are “pictures” on the neck, the trick was to combine the ones closest to each other. He was a particular fan of the C form (root on fifth string third fret) to start and then move off from there to the V form, like the G form root on sixth string third fret.
    Why?
    Because your upper extensions are easily found, seen and used. And using CAGED you can link them up up the neck or down down. Upper extensions are the meaning of life in a jazz standard.
    They really are what defines the tune.
    In eight years, a mode never darkened the door in Sea Bright, NJ.
    Why?
    Modes are silos following silos. Vertical in nature.
    Chordal harmony is flow going to flow. Horizontal in nature.
    Hard to obey half-step motion and leading tones in modes, especially to match those motions to the theme, head, melody you are improvising on. No bebopper hit the Vb5 to I with a mode in mind.
    But….Beautifully done in chordal harmony.
    Modes remind me of the ‘ol airline joke: “that wasn’t a landing, it was an arrival”. Thump to thump. Mode to mode, I can always hear it.
    As a classical organist, they taught us modes were a method of analysis not a method of composition. An ancient method to support the chanting of the psalms, thank you Saint Gregory the Great: he of “Gregorian Chant”.
    Composition required the study and use of counterpoint, harmony, step motion and key centers,
    So how and why have modes became a method of actual composition? A composition method that we jazzy people call “improvisation”? Interesting question. Methinks modes do a great service to educators and book writers. And to modal players. And jazz-educated listeners. Not the gal who requested Satin Doll. Your tips gonna be less, and she walks out.
    CAGED and modes? One a way to see pictures on the neck and link together. I dunno, but linking modes seems counter their nature.

    Forgive me if this is not making sense. jk is doing the best he can on the meds he’s on. Hope it made sense to someone out there.
    No videos…My fingers still shake too much, no examples yet.
    Yes I am tired of this. I’m at the NIH today, and it’s ‘well mr jk we think we’re doubling your base med,’
    Geez Louise I’m not a freakin drummer, where shaky hands might help. you all aren’t helping me here.
    Oh well.

    Thanks for putting up with this
    I totally agree. If you think myxolydian or any scale you are not using CAGED. It's either or.

    Envoyé de mon SM-G930F en utilisant Tapatalk

  19. #18

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    OP asked a very simple question, how to switch between two scales. He's a beginner just getting started. Why all the over complicated dissertations?

  20. #19

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    dionder_1 -

    Further to what I was saying before, here's a blues solo in G. I just played it then transcribed it. The chord shapes I was using are written in. It's deliberately very slow.

    Need help with CAGED System, playing through changes-4-jpg



    I wasn't thinking 'Here's a run, here's an arpeggio', I was hearing what sound I was making and knew how to make it. Going from G to C7 wasn't a problem, I just went from the G chord to the C7 chord and back again.

    Incidentally the background chords are much more complex than what I was playing:

    G13 - C9 - G13/Ab13 - G13/Db9
    C9 - C9/C#o - G13 - E7#9
    Am7 - Ab7b5 - G13/Bb13 - A13/Ab13 - (G13)

    But that's one of the secrets, to know how to simplify it.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    OP asked a very simple question, how to switch between two scales. He's a beginner just getting started. Why all the over complicated dissertations?
    Warning to the OP - by now you are realising, I hope, that Jazz guitar elicits so may varied approaches and solutions to questions like the one you asked (along with thousands of other questions), that you must ignore all of us, and do what each of us did to find our own way : you either find your own way by picking and choosing information from what you believe to be quality sources (and risk barking up many a wrong tree) or find a teacher who can play in a style you admire and stick with a program for a few years (at least).

    But, if you decide to take the former route, I implore you to consider this - every real jazz player does not limit their thinking to simply switching modes each time a chord changes. It's not how they learned, and it's not how they would teach. It's well known (and has been discussed on this forum for years) that the current "pedagogy" which includes relating modes to chords (some call this approach "chord-scale theory)" emanated out of places like Berkley in the 70's where Jazz became academisized in a way that created 3 year courses that created jobs for out of work Jazz musicians and $$ for the music departments.

    Perhaps you should analyse the players you admire and find out what materials or devices they are using. If you can't figure it out, come back here and ask specific questions. A lot of great Jazz players (of all instruments) simply develop a bag of tricks, lines, devices etc for Tonic regions, Dominant regions and Alt Dom regions. That can get you 95% of the way there to classic Bop and Hard Bop styles. However, if you're into more modern styles, work out exactly which styles (because there are dozens) and tool up your bag with the appropriate weapons. So long as it's not "play G mixolydian for G7" ! Honestly, sometimes I think people are happy to let that kind of misinformation run rampant because they might feel safer in the knowledge that their own secrets are safe! Job security!! haha ...

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by dionder_1
    Hello everyone, I asked a similar question a few months ago but I'd like to be a bit clearer this time. If there are any CAGED system guitarists that can help I'd appreciate it a lot. I'll use the example of a G blues I7-IV7 progression for reference.

    Let's assume, using the CAGED system specifically, I want to play the corresponding Mixolydian scales for the I and IV chord of the blues progression in G, which would be G Mixolydian and C Mixolydian. I know that using the CAGED system to make this change from the first scale to the second, I should switch to the nearest CAGED position of the scale I am switching to.
    For example I could start by playing over the I7 chord using the CAGED E-form G Mixolydian scale(root on the 3rd fret of the e string), and once the IV7 chord comes around I'd switch to the A-form C mixolydian scale(Root on the 3rd fret, A string).

    Basically my question is how I make this switch? What is the practical method to do so? All the material I've seen on the subject explains that I have to switch from one scale position to another, but never explains how exactly. I think I heard Martin Miller say he uses the lowest root note of the scale position as his reference point, but even so, how does that work? If was playing over the blues example, would he start playing G Mixolydian, and think "there's a C7 chord coming up, so I should find the nearest C note and apply the corresponding Mixolydian CAGED position I know that has a root on that string", or would he think "I'm currently playing in G mixolydian, the next chord change modulates up a fourth so I need to find the note a fourth away from my current root of G, then treat that new note as my new root to apply the corresponding CAGED Mixolydian scale position to it". Or am I thinking about this completely wrong? Hopefully I explained it clearly enough.

  23. #22

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    Here are some suggestions:

    • Play 4 notes from one scale into the other.
    • Start and end on a chord tone (for now)
    • Avoid leaps larger than a major 3rd.
    • Focus on the change at the barline.
    • Try to keep chord tones on the downbeats as much as possible.
    • Use a chromatic note between the b7 and Root when necessary.
    • (As mentioned, it can get much more complicated but for me this was a good start.)


    Need help with CAGED System, playing through changes-i7_to_iv7-1-jpg

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    OP asked a very simple question, how to switch between two scales. He's a beginner just getting started. Why all the over complicated dissertations?
    Agreed. TMI, Too Much Information. A few simple things to get you started:

    1. You can think of CAGED from a chordal perspective if you want to but don't have to. You can simply think of it as 5 particular scale fingering patterns for major that get modified for other diatonic scales, (Mel. Minor, Harm. Minor, Harm. Major). Other scale fingering systems work this way too, by the way. Like thousands of others I learned the five (5) scale fingering patterns long before I ever heard "CAGED", and you can do the same. Bottom line: you needn't get hung up on the name "CAGED", just learn the darned fingerings.

    2. Yes learn your one-octave diatonic 7th chord arpeggios in position (7 arpeggios per key in other words). Learn these in parallel with your scale fingerings, or just after you start to learn the scale fingerings - with very little delay. This is pretty easy because two of them are Maj7, three are Mi7, one is Dom7 and one is Mi7b5. So four arpeggio qualities get you seven diatonic arpeggios in major. You can do this!

    3. Before opening the kimono on jazz language and its approaches/targets, chromatics, cells, arpeggios, superimpositions, triad pairs, upper structures and all that schtuff, here are some demystifying exercises that can open things up for your basic chord change capability in position. These are for skill building, not Grammy awards. A number of fundamental jazz guitar methods use these exercises or variants of them - if only for a little while:

    Take a 12-bar blues without too many chords in it - or just your I7 and IV7 chords if you prefer, and:

    A. Play just the root for each new chord. Play it in whole, half or quarter notes as you please. Do this for both octaves in position.
    B, Also do this for the 3rd, 5th and 7th of each chord.
    C. Play your preferred chord scale in eigth notes ascending and descending - always starting on the chord root. Mixolydian and/or Dominant Bebop for example.
    D. Same thing as step C above, but with 7th chord arpeggios as opposed to chord scales.
    E. For your G7 and C7 chords (I7 and IV7) - play freely on the G7, playing whatever you want but land on a pre-decided chord tone of C7, even if you have to leap to it. Do this for all chord tones of the C7, and in both octaves in position.
    F. To continue with step E above, after you land on the planned note of C7 play freely on that chord also.
    G. Play your G7 chord scale(s) ascending and descending and when you switch to the C7 chord scale ensure that you move to the nearest scale tone for C7, thereby stepping instead of leaping.
    H. Same as step G above, but playing the G7 and C7 arpeggios, not chord scales. When leaving the G7 and moving to the C7 always move to the nearest chord tone of the C7. Again, cover both octaves.
    I. Same as "H" but play freely on each chord while always nailing the nearest chord tone on the change.

    As stated above, some of these exercises won't necessarily sound very musical, but will help you get comfortable crawling before you walk. In other words, will make you comfortable switching between your chord scales and arpeggios in position - and with conscious landing/starting points as opposed to random/accidental ones. The very last two exercises "H" and "I" are one entryway into jazz line building using direct voice leading, but that is a topic for a different thread. First things first.
    Last edited by Donplaysguitar; 11-13-2021 at 03:52 PM.

  25. #24

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    The last thing this OP needs is another opinion, so here's mine.

    When you think G mixo, the fingerboard should light up (in your imagination) in every place there's a note in G mixo.

    Then, when you think C mixo, the fingerboard lights up (in your imagination) in every place there's a C mixo.

    So, now you start soloing on a G blues. You're using the lighted up notes from G mixo.

    And, now, suddenly, it's time to change to C mixo.

    You think, the last note I played for G mixo was this one (whatever note you were on). Where is the nearest note from C mixo? Play that one and then continue on Cmixo. Not from the root, but from where you left off.

    So, the hard part is getting the fingerboard to light up, in your mind, in all the right places.

    You don't want to have to always start at the root. It may be better to think of a scale as just a pool of notes in any random order -- and learn them that way. If you know it that way, then fingerings may help with speed, but you won't need them to play.

    And yes, it's a lot of work however you choose to do it.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    The last thing this OP needs is another opinion, so here's mine.

    When you think G mixo, the fingerboard should light up (in your imagination) in every place there's a note in G mixo.

    Then, when you think C mixo, the fingerboard lights up (in your imagination) in every place there's a C mixo.

    So, now you start soloing on a G blues. You're using the lighted up notes from G mixo.

    And, now, suddenly, it's time to change to C mixo.

    You think, the last note I played for G mixo was this one (whatever note you were on). Where is the nearest note from C mixo? Play that one and then continue on Cmixo. Not from the root, but from where you left off.

    So, the hard part is getting the fingerboard to light up, in your mind, in all the right places.

    You don't want to have to always start at the root. It may be better to think of a scale as just a pool of notes in any random order -- and learn them that way. If you know it that way, then fingerings may help with speed, but you won't need them to play.

    And yes, it's a lot of work however you choose to do it.
    Yeah but that's getting ahead. Not to start a debate but;

    1. Playing from non-roots is more advanced (and was at least partially addressed in my post by "play freely" and "whatever you want"), and

    2. This fretboard "lighting up" business is getting waaaay ahead. I can think of at least two well known methods (I won't name them) that have the player focus on "one area of the fretboard" at a time, when getting their improv legs under them. But one example would be Joe Pass' rather advanced "beginning" Blues etudes. Playable in one area. Having the fretboard "light up" in your mind's eye when practicing scales is one thing (a somewhat easy thing), but having it light up in terms of all the improv possibilities is a much taller hill. If we can't visualize in one area/position yet we certainly can't visualize in all, by definition.

    "Everything all the time" end goals is what overwhelms beginning improvisors, and often discourages them to the point of throwing in the towel.
    Last edited by Donplaysguitar; 11-13-2021 at 04:08 PM.