Guitar Chords: CAGED Minor

Made it through our previous article on the CAGED system and want to learn more? Great! By the end of this one, you’ll have five major and five minor chord shapes at your disposal that you can move up and down the fretboard of your guitar.

Since the CAGED system covers the full length of the fretboard, it’s useful for straight-up pop guitarists as well as more creative blues and jazz-based musicians. Today, we’ll look at five basic chords to keep things simple and practical. You can check out Chords: Theory and Chord Symbols for a deeper dive into the theory behind it all.


Guitar fingers

Let’s go over the basics again to refresh your memory. The CAGED system is based on five open chords: C, A, G, E and D. In the legend above, the fingers of the left hand are numbered, while the thumb is indicated by a T. It’s also important to know which strings to play and which to ignore. In the standard chords seen above, the white circles represent the root notes, while the black dots represent the other notes of each chord and the ‘X’ indicates the string you need to leave unplayed.

CAGED Minor Barre Chords

Chord shapes on guitar

When it comes to the CAGED minor version of the chords above, the E-minor and A-minor shapes will probably look familiar, and the D-minor shape is just one finger away from the D-major variant we covered in part one. The G-minor and C-minor chords are straightforward variations of their major counterparts too. That said, these will most likely take you the longest to nail. Once you have them down, you can shift your left hand up and down the fretboard to play the same chord in different registers.

Practice Time: A Classic Chord Progression

The best way to wrap up is to leave you with a chord progression so you can practise the CAGED minor chords. Just like last time, I’m including what’s known as a I-IV-V progression. Here, the Roman numerals indicate the position of the root note. So you can quickly get the hang of it, take a look at the last image below. The circle is a visual aid that can help you determine the rest of progression from the first chord onwards. On the right, there’s a visual representation of a fretboard with all the notes up to and including the twelfth fret. You can use it to look up the root notes of the chords.

Before you start hammering the chord progressions, make sure you fully understand part one on CAGED major chords and have mastered all ten chord shapes, so the five major chords and the five minor chords. Once you can play both chord progressions, you can start taking your CAGED game to the next level by mixing up the major and minor chords.

Want to learn even more guitar chords? Check out Hal Leonard’s Incredible Chord Finder or The Jazz Guitar Chord Gig Bag Book by MusicSales.

See also

» Learning To Play Guitar Chords For Beginners
» Learning to Play Guitar: Sheet Music, Chords, or Tab?

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