Connect barre chords Guitar Lesson – Step 3

Chords Guitar Lesson - S3
In this step, we work out how to connect all barre chords using each of the 10 open position chords as our starting point!

You Must Connect All Shapes To Visualize The Fretboard

After learning the barre chords individually, shape by shape, the next step is to connect the shapes.

This means that you will be able to play, for example, an E chord in five positions on the neck.

We’ll do this in both minor and major using the five starting points of E, A, D, G, and C.

When you can play these exercises, you have mapped out the fretboard. All things like extended chords, scales, and arpeggios are built on top of these CAGED chord shapes.

Change the major 3rds to minor 3rds

These exercises will teach you how to play all minor barre chords all over the neck.

We start with an open position Em followed by an Em in a Dm shape – Cm shape – Am – shape – Gm shape.

In the next video, we start with an open position Am followed by an Am in a Gm shape – Em shape – Dm shape – Cm shape.

As well as practicing exercises like this you need real songs that use barre chords so you can see them in action.

You need to change the key, create second guitar parts, and start playing around with the shapes rather than practise them as exercises.

And remember, the secret to a successful CAGED system is to visualize the full shape, but only play a fraction of it.

So if you can’t reach all shapes, it’s not a problem. You’ll discover how true this really is when you start playing songs.

When you can play all exercises as the videos show, go through the missing starting points of F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, and B.

The CAGED system always lines up in the same way. All you have to do is play through all possible combinations.

In the next step, we extend these CAGED chord shapes to min7, maj7, dom7, and min7b5.

Chords | Related Pages

Chords | Step-by-step guitar course

This is lesson 3, how to connect CAGED barre chords from the Guitar Chords Course.

The CAGED system is the best way to organize the guitar fretboard. Starting with the open-position chords, we extend and connect them in this chords course.

Follow the 8 steps of the self-eliminating practice routine to map out the fretboard, it will be the best thing you’ve ever done.


Chordacus can display how all CAGED shapes connect.

Spytunes chords, scale, and arpeggio software, Chordacus is a refined version of the so-called CAGED system.

Now available as both a chromatic (original version) and “within a key”, developed with the help of a Spytunes student.

About me

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on connecting chords.

This guitar lesson on connecting chords was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.

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