carl verheyen and classical guitar and caged system scales

The CAGED System: Part Four – Scale Practice with Carl Verheyen

CAGED system practical lesson that concentrates on the Diatonic scale and its association with the CAGED chords. However with a how-to-practice-CAGED-scales twist – utilizing Truefire’s Carl Verheyen country track.

CAGED (Again)

This post is designed to get you out there practicing your scales in a totally different method. This post will challenge your ability to think whilst playing as well as right hand alternating finger speed. It is all about making scale practice fun, interesting and challenging with the CAGED system.

Check the video out for a run through and explanation

Two quick quid pro quo’s: 1st-I stuck to a very basic up down interpretation of these scales due to time constraints but it is easy to grab your favorite patterns and practice them up and down too.

And, 2nd, before we start, this post is not designed for beginners – sorry. You will need to have gone through your scales and most especially your CAGED scale patterns.

CAGED Scales

But as there are only a handful of shapes, all you need to get rolling with this lesson is below. (And you don’t need to be an expert anything to learn new information!)

CAGED Scales Mixolydian

CAGED Scales sheet

Thinking ahead

You will need to have these shapes reliably under your fingers as this exercise will challenge you to think ahead, especially at the top tempo. So practice slow at first and then ramp it up.

Ear Practice

The great thing about practicing scales like this is you get to hear the keys change. As we move from A major (3 sharps) to D major (2 sharps) to G major (1 sharp), you can see and hear the notes flatten. This is great aural training as this is a basic cycle movement, Cycle of 5, and something that crops up in music of every century.

Carl Verheyen

If you don’t know or recognize CV’s name don’t worry, you are not the first, however you will have listened to his guitar playing already. He is one of the big sessions monsters that the studios employs to play all those cool guitar parts, from Ratatouille, Cars 2 to Star Wars, to many (seriously so many) more films.

Check out his site here – link to Carl Verheyen

His awesome blog posts – link to Guitar Secrets

If you have some time it is worth checking out this podcast, done by Guitar Player Magazine’s roving reporter Jude Gold. (Here is the – link– to loads more insane guitar interviews) In it Carl shares a particular story about reading, notes and nailing it that will make your insides squirm with the insane amount of pressure he has in some of his gigs. They also play loads. Worth a listen, check it out below. If you haven’t check out Jude Gold’s site – here. (Funky Town, that’s all I am saying!!)

If you want to get hold of Carl Verheyn’s SWAT Improvisation course (click here for direct link to it), from which this track is taken from. This is his Study 6 from this course – Country Groove.

Get it all that Truefire guitar goodness from this link-

If you haven’t already check out the CGRocks detailed course on CAGED – it begins ends with this link to lesson 3 below – please do! It has a full list of links to the whole course.

CGRocks Lesson Part three

But, if all of that is not possible, or you just want to kick your practice up a notch. Take the ideas from this lesson, playing changes and in scale positions, and use them on a track of your choice. It will make practicing scales fun and you will exercise your improvisation skills as well.

Truefire SWAT Course

Here is a quick overview, from Truefire, by the man himself on what his course is all about. There is tons of information, theory, techniques and guitar ideas, that you would be busy for a year to trying to get it all in.


Want more CAGED?

This book is currently out on Amazon for print on demand or e-reader. It steps through the CAGED system and how it can help learn and play a classic classical guitar piece such as Las Abejas by Agustin Barrios.

Click on the picture to go to

The bees CAGED BY Rhayn Jooste

The bees CAGED BY Rhayn Jooste

Free Cheat Sheet Download

Mixolydian Scales




Classical guitarist who strives to share a little #6stringinspiration.

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