Play Simple Melodies to Practice the Five CAGED Shapes

Use melodies you already know : Excellent way to start “playing what you hear,” which is the goal of every musician!
• You should already know the Five CAGED Scale Shapes


• In order to follow this lesson, you'll need to be able to sing or hum some of the simple melodies you learned as a child, then be able to "match tones" to find those notes on the guitar neck. If you find this difficult, there's still hope!: Watch my video on Intervals and "Tone Deafness".

• If you try playing some simple common melody (for example, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star), up the guitar neck somewhere, while trying to keep your hand in the same position, you'll find you start to use one of the 5 CAGED scale shapes!

• Once you're able to play the melody in one part of the neck, try moving up (toward the bridge), or down (toward the nut), to the adjacent CAGED shape.

• The CAGED shapes go in the order C > A > G > E > D > C > A > G > E > D, etc.

• Try to figure out the scale degrees that make up the melody. For example, "Twinkle, Twinkle" can be written as these intervals: 1, 1, 5, 5, 6, 6, 5...4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1 (1=root of major scale).

• Not all melodies begin and end on a root. For example, "Happy Birthday" starts on the 5th degree of a major scale: 5, 5, 6, 5, 8, 7...etc.

• If you practice playing more melodies this way, your ear will get better at hearing what interval comes next. The difference between a beginning musician and an advanced one is their ability to know which interval comes next before they play it! It's all about developing your ear, then "singing through your instrument"! Once you start to get it, things get incredibly fun!