CAGED Arpeggios II: Developing Progressions


In the first installment of CAGED Arpeggios I developed the arpeggio forms of the CAGED chord-system shapes. This time the individual shapes will be put to work in replicating chord progressions. In this way you will learn how to modify the CAGED major shapes within the context of a key.

With some proficiency you will be able to use these shapes creatively over their respective chords in order to improvise and compose melodies. They also help develop your fretboard knowledge and reinforce the essential connections between scales, chords and arpeggios.




In this example I took the C chord shape from the CAGED system and arranged its notes into strict stacked thirds over two octaves. Then converted it into a minor and diminished arpeggio by flattening the third and fifth respectively.

Next I worked out a keys worth of chords based on the triads of the Cmaj scale: Cmaj Dm Em Fmaj Gmaj Am Bmb5 and chose the I - iii - vii progression Cmaj - Em - Bmb5. Then I slid the minor to E and the diminished to B to play the progression.


Sweep, hammer, tap and pull. Tap your foot every 3 notes.

Further Development

Take the remaining CAGED system shapes (A G E and D), develop their respective keys. Make the conversions to minor and diminished. Extend each shape to 6, 7,9,11 etc. When you are done extending, be sure to suspend them. Now take a look at some of your own songs and their chord progressions. See if you can replicate the chord progressions using CAGED arpeggio shapes.


Guy Pople is a music, education and multimedia specialist based in the UK`s North-West. He plays guitars, studies theory and runs St Annes Music in Lytham St. Annes, a one-stop shop for musicians on the Fylde coast of Lancashire. St Annes Music offers professional instruments, recording, tuition and accessories.

His live band Nomad is currently building up their original music. You can catch him
on Virtual Strangers.

Guy Pople

Send comments or questions to: