Exercise: Play CAGED Scales in Thirds

A great way to get the Diatonic Series into your hands–and ears!
• You should already know the Five CAGED Scale Shapes


• The major scale is made of 2 whole steps, a half step, 3 whole steps and a half step. If you play every other note of the scale, you get the "diatonic series": maj3, min3, min3, maj3, maj3, min3, min (or diminished) 3.

• Two of the 5 CAGED Shapes cover a 4-fret range (the C and E shapes), so there is only one way to finger these. The other shapes (A, G, D), are 5-fret shapes. Try to find an efficient way to play in the transition areas of these shapes (where you have to slide out of the original 4-fret range).

• The purpose of doing exercises like these is not to become a "master of exercises," but because they can help you build strength, dexterity and familiarity with fingerings and sounds, etc., that you can then use in your songs and soloing.

• Use down/up picking. And, it's best to practice with a metronome: It's like having a little drummer that keeps you steadily on the beat! You'll really see your improvement as the exercise becomes second nature and your speed increases.