The CAGED System A Shape

Difficulty: Spectrum

This next shape - this time in yellow - is the second most common shape - also known as position 4. Make sure that you locate it on the big neck diagram on the left.


Still we only use the notes F A and C but they form a useful and very common shape. Also notice that the 'root note' is on the 5th string - just like it was for the C shape - but now the notes are higher (further up) than the root note.

Add la Barré

Look at it more closely and I have put a barre over the first fret so you can clearly see the shape...

Imagine that the big black barre is the nut... see it?


It's an open A chord! easy :)

This shape is often called the "A shape barre chord". You know it is the chord F but the parent shape of the chord is from the common open A chord shape.

A new position... ;)

This shape is also reffered to as Position 4 - and is a very widely used barre chord, the only more popular one is the E shape.

A Shape / Position 4 really means in practice that the root note of the chord is found on the 5th string (in this case the note F) and the majority of the notes are found further up (higher) than the root note.

So be sure to understand the "A shape" and "Position 4" mean the same thing - depending on who teaches it.

Remember too that every shape on the guitar that DOES NOT use open strings is moveable. And this one is no exception.

It is usually played like this:

A Shape Barre chord

There are quite a few different ways to play this as a barre chord - if you are not sure it may well be worth checking out the CAGED chord shapes in the chords and scales part of this site.

As with the others the red note can be played too but as it is not the lowest root note - the way shown above is the most common :)

Only one to go now - CAGED - Last Shape (G).

CAGED System



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