UNCAGED & FREE

UNCAGED & FREE: UNDERSTANDING, IMPLEMENTING AND OVERCOMING THE CAGED SYSTEM—TAUGHT BY ROLLY BROWN—Stefan Grossman Guitar Workshop GW1015. DVD, 121 min., $29.95. (Stefan Grossman Guitar Workshop, P.O. Box 802, Sparta, NJ, 07871, www.guitarvideos.com.)

The CAGED system gets its name from the common major chords C, A, G, E, and D that it uses to teach the guitar fingerboard in a way that’s easily understood and implemented. It’s a handy mnemonic and has entered into the mainstream of guitar instruction perhaps because it is such a simple method.

Rolly Brown is an articulate teacher who has done several DVDs for the Stefan Grossman Guitar Workshop. He knows how to start with basic concepts and build on them—not a common trait in instructors who are also players. The two-hour DVD goes through the system: the five neck positions; chord structures; major, minor, and blues scales and arpeggios; and how to navigate through them. What sets Rolly’s DVD apart is that he also discusses the limitations of the system and how to overcome them. He adds sections on intervals, pentatonic scales, and playing outside the bounds of the basic CAGED system. Tab and notation is on the DVD.

One tip: the table of contents is under the menu item “The Show.” Recommended for guitarists looking for a way into scales and arpeggios.CVS

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