When you think of guitar chord patterns, two things might come to mind. For some, it means the whole CAGED guitar theory that deals with the 5 major open chords (and how other chords are constructed from them), while for others it might deal with progressions and strumming patterns. With this in mind, I’ve tried to combine these two common possibilities into a complete – but concise – one size fits all article. This way, everyone can get what they want (regardless of what you came looking for) and learn some other stuff to improve your playing while you’re at it! Read on! :)


First, let’s talk about guitar chord patterns in the context of the CAGED guitar system. The letters in CAGED represent the 5 major chords that can be played used open chords. In standard tuning, all other “normal” chords are constructed from these – usually in the form of barre chords. As far as major chord patterns go, this leaves the B- and F-Major chords to be constructed from A- and E- Major chords, respectively. Now, let’s look at the charts/diagrams for the five guitar CAGED system chords.


C MAJOR CHORD


|————————————————————–| – e
|–I———————————————————–| – B
|————————————————————-| – G
|————M————————————————| – D
|———————–R————————————-| – A
|————————————————————–| – E
1st Fret   2nd Fret   3rd Fret   4th Fret   5th Fret    6th Fret


I = index finger, M = middle finger, R = ring finger, P = pinky finger


A MAJOR CHORD


|————————————————————–| – e
|————————————————————–| – B
|————R————————————————| – G
|————M————————————————| – D
|————I————————————————| – A
|————————————————————–| – E
1st Fret   2nd Fret   3rd Fret   4th Fret   5th Fret    6th Fret


I = index finger, M = middle finger, R = ring finger, P = pinky finger


G MAJOR CHORD


|———————-R—————————————| – e
|————————————————————–| – B
|————————————————————-| – G
|————————————————————-| – D
|————I————————————————| – A
|———————-M—————————————| – E
1st Fret   2nd Fret   3rd Fret   4th Fret   5th Fret    6th Fret


I = index finger, M = middle finger, R = ring finger, P = pinky finger


E MAJOR CHORD


|————————————————————–| – e
|————————————————————–| – B
|-I———————————————————–| – G
|———–R————————————————-| – D
|———–M————————————————-| – A
|————————————————————–| – E
1st Fret   2nd Fret   3rd Fret   4th Fret   5th Fret    6th Fret


I = index finger, M = middle finger, R = ring finger, P = pinky finger


D MAJOR CHORD


|————M————————————————-| – e
|———————-R—————————————| – B
|————I————————————————| – G
|————————————————————-| – D
|————————————————————-| – A
|————————————————————–| – E
1st Fret   2nd Fret   3rd Fret   4th Fret   5th Fret    6th Fret


I = index finger, M = middle finger, R = ring finger, P = pinky finger


And those are the five CAGED guitar chord patterns! :) EVERY other chord is built on their basis so you need to know them – if you don’t already. To learn all about how the other chords are built from these CAGED chords, read my complete guide to barre chords here! :)


P.S. I’ve decided to turn the whole strumming patterns and chord progressions context into a separate post that I’ll do either later today or tomorrow! I’ll link to it from right here when I do! :)


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