Hi guys,

So I want to get better at guitar. I seem to have hit a wall. I've played for about seven years now in bands, etc. I've played violin for about 12 years, so I know how to read and understand music and theory. Lately, I've noticed my playing just hasn't been progressing. I seem stuck in that oh-so-dangerous pentatonic rut (you know the one, that classic blues scale). I can break out of the scale and go back into it. I have trouble doing any type of lead work over a major scale. I'd rate myself as an upper/mid intermediate player. I've had many experienced guitarists compliment my playing and lead work, so I'm not just tooting my own horn here.

Anyway, I want to learn more, but I've been reading articles about how I should stay away from the CAGED system of learning guitar. The only problem, all the comprehensive online lessons seem to teach CAGED. I don't want to screw myself over here. Does anyone here know of sites (similar to JustinGuitar) that teaches non-CAGED theory? Or should I just learn CAGED?

Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to take lessons (school and work).

Any help would be hot.
Quote by JD Close
Piano dick had some good parts, but should have said "As the business man slowly gets boned", would have accented the whole dick feeling of the album
There's absolutely nothing wrong with any method that provides a structured way of visualising the guitar, and I would argue that the usual opponent to CAGED, three notes per string, is not a good introduction, though later on it is extremely useful, as part of your overall knowledge in guitar navigation. Equally valid are playing horizontally along one or two strings. All these can be mixed up.

E.g., a CAGED position for strong familiarisation of intervals in that area, and especially of chords in that area. A working knowledge of 3 nps and/or horizontal playing to move yourself to another familiar CAGED position. Or learn to glue a couple of positions together.

Whatever you do, try and learn the intervals ... if you do all this by pitch names, you're in for a very hard slog.

But none of the above will make you more musical. For that, take a look at how phrasing is used.

I suspect from your description that you started guitar with the minor pentatonic / blues route? It's a really common problem for folk that concentrate on that to then struggle to function musically with major-based music. To help you there, take a look at the use of chord tones in solos (you know theory, right)
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Sep 7, 2016,
some quick ideas....you played violin for 12 yrs..classical material? if so..use some of those very melodic lines against a dominant or alt dom chord..then try against the usual suspects min and major in theory terms the ol ii7 V7 I7 trick

learn some melodic patterns (there are hundreds of them) they work like magic in spawning melodic ideas..thus their name

learn symmetric harmony..diminished and augmented theory..lots of very cool lines to be discovered in the chords and scales..

and of course the melodic minor scale and chords..pages of melodic ideas to be found ..

if studied..the above should keep you busy for several months..

hope this helps
play well

We all have plateaus. A plateau is our comfort zone that we must periodically break out from. CAGED is a great platform to launch from. Now visit Robben Ford and incorporate some tasty diminished riffs into your playing to capture the ears of sophisticated listeners.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Sep 14, 2016,