5 Major Scale Patterns (CAGED)

Related Concepts:
Related Materials & Downloads

What You'll Need For This Exercise...

Before getting started on this exercise, you’ll need to download both the pentatonic and 7-tone versions of the 5 scale patterns.  These are available as downloadable PDFs in the “Materials” on this exercise page.  Download them and either print them or save them to a tablet to use during the exercise.

Once downloaded, you’ll see that the PDF lists patterns #1-#5.  Each pattern correlates 3 main concepts:

  1. First, on the left of each fretboard diagram is a chord diagram (containing 2 or 3 notes). The left-hand diagram indicates an octave pattern – these diagrams can be thought of as an overlay for the fretboard diagram and the octave represents the root of the major key in which each scale is played. If you stick to the fret numbers on each octave/chord diagram then you’ll be playing in the key of C major.
  2. Second, in the middle is a fretboard diagram illustrating the fretboard pattern for each of the 5 scale patterns.  You should memorize these patterns and learn to play them ascending and descending (from low string to high string and back).
  3. Third, on the right of each fretboard diagram is another chord diagram.  The right-hand diagram indicates one of the CAGED chords (from the universal CAGED system).  They are ‘shaped’ like C, A, G, E and D chords which is why this is known as the CAGED system.

How to Complete This Exercise...

You should learn to identify the octave pattern, scale pattern and chord shape as set of concepts in each of the 5 patterns.  Learn all 5 – and take it slowly!  Maybe only work on one pattern per month, to make sure you can really learn it inside and out.  Of course get in touch with me if you have any questions 🙂