Why CAGED for Guitar Doesn't Work Part 6: Automatic Lead Harmonies

How often do you look at a guitar player in awe and think to yourself "Wow, they are amazing. What is their secret?" Well, you'll learn that there is no big secret.

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Why CAGED for Guitar Doesn't Work Part 6: Automatic Lead Harmonies
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A popular soloing technique in the heavy metal genre is not only playing killer guitar solos, but having harmonies added on top of those leads. Of course, while it's heard a lot in heavy metal music, that is not the only music it is suited for. Anyway, being able to effortlessly harmonize on guitar is actually not as complicated as it seems (as I will explain in the video below).

How often do you look at a guitar player in awe and think to yourself "Wow, they are amazing. What is their secret?" Well, I am here to tell you there is no big secret. Often times, the guitar player is using what's called a "scale system". This allows them to work out harmony parts quickly and easily.

A friend once asked me to cut a solo on a tune that he was writing. He requested that I play a quick run at the end of the solo to lead into the next part of the song. After we recorded the solo, he was so impressed with it that (as a joke) he asked me to play it again as a harmony.

After taking a couple minutes to myself I said, "Okay, hit the record button", and I played the harmony.

My friend was convinced that I just performed some absurd guitar wizardry in front of him. But what I know is that if you teach your brain to think in the correct way (aka NOT the CAGED way) that playing a harmony really isn't as mysterious as it looks.

So, want to learn how to impress your own friends with your guitar harmony skills? Then take the next ten minutes to watch the following video in which I teach you simple concepts that you can start using immediately.

 

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What did I tell you? Learning this system is as simple as 1, 2, 3. Never again do you need to sweat for hours trying to figure out harmonies to your favourite solos. Now that you know just how straightforward this is, go pick up your instrument and try it out for yourself!

About the Author:
Tommaso Zillio is a prog rock guitarist and teacher with a passion for Music Theory applied to Guitar.

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150 comments sorted by best / new / date

    allenwrench.nuts
    Good grief is this guy still trying to sell his one-and-only system ? We didn't know but apparently all the great guitar solos that we grew up with are actually WRONG ... since Jimmy Page didn't play that way I shall therefore go and burn all my Led Zeppelin records. Thank you Father Tommaso for opening my eyes.
    Jere Toikka
    Tommaso has explained many times that he is presenting ONE of many possible systems that are better than CAGED. Why do you guys keep on falsely accusing him of giving a 'one and only' method?
    DWAUME
    [deleted]
    DWAUME · Apr 26, 2017 05:48 PM
    Jere Toikka
    I think you read my name wrong
    Jere Toikka
    Since either DWAUME deleted his comment or mods deleted it I'll just say that it was something along the lines of "Shut up Tommaso" etc. Real high quality talk
    DWAUME
    It was literally "shut up Tommaso." I saw you agreeing with T a lot so I thought I'd make a joke, my bad. I generally like his videos, not trying to hate on Tommaso here.
    tommaso.zillio
    You are welcome my son.  ... and of course, CAGED answer #7: "<famous player> used it". As usual, with no sources or confirmation. (it's #7 here: https://www.musictheoryforguitar.com/whythecage...)
    jamstation
    Here's a source. Guthrie Govan talks CAGED.
    tommaso.zillio
    Yes of course. He has also a book on it. And on the 2nd volume he explains 3NPS and there is not one line played in CAGED. Ask yourself why.
    jamstation
    In your previous comment you seem to imply that famous guitarists don't use CAGED
    "... and of course, CAGED answer #7: "<famous player> used it". As usual, with no sources or confirmation. "
    You asked for sources, and so I posted a video of a famous guitarist explaining the style of one of the greatest guitarists of all time, USING CAGED!! Now, you behave as if you knew this all along...
    Yes of course.
    You're full of it. QED Anyway, just to be clear: The criticism is not of 3NPS, but of YOU dissing CAGED to pretend that 3NPS is superior.
    tommaso.zillio
    "You seem to imply": if you answer to your interpretation of what I write (something that you tend to do quite a lot, incidentally), then don't complain if I answer 'yes of course'. I was answering to another comment that states that Jimmy Page used CAGED.   And clearly, Govan or anyone else explaining Hendrix or anyone else, does not mean that Hendrix actually was thinking in CAGED. I trust this to be obvious, but it's better to make sure, since you guys may think that CAGED is the only system with triad shapes...
    jamstation
    You contradict yourself, Zillio. In the video, Guthrie shows how it's done through CAGED. CAGED is nothing but triads. It is obviously the most efficient way to teach triads because it's defined by triads. The chord improvs in Hendrix's Little Wing is the linking of CAGED boxes whether you like it or not. You could go out of your way to explain it through another system if you like, but Guthrie chooses to use this system that you claim "Doesn't Work". Also, why is your article rated only zero? It's +10 and -21 right now. It should be -11. I have another question if you'd care to answer: Are you paying UG to put up these articles?
    tommaso.zillio
    Ah, ok, if you believe CAGED = triads and all the other systems are stupid because they have no triad then of course you think this way. Many other systems deal with triads (how can you play music without,  after all) and in more efficient ways than CAGED. And they can do a convincing imitation of Hendrix, like CAGED do, only they are easier to learn. As for the rating: it's probably a bug, I suggest you contact UG so they can correct it. I couldn't care less. And as for me paying UG... you can ask them this too - I think they can use a laugh
    tommaso.zillio
    (Still laughing about "are you paying UG". Oooh boy, you guys are a riot...  I am forwarding a screenshot of this to all my friends HAHAHA)
    jamstation
    Zillio, here you are resorting to your usual crap of twisting words around. Can't tell if it's down to poor comprehension or if it's deliberate. I've said it before and I'll say it again:
    1. You promote one system over the other, which is itself the problem. Nothing wrong with the systems, it's pretending that one is better than the other which hurts students.
    Also, I said:
    CAGED is nothing but triads. 
    I didn't say triads are defined by CAGED. Understand the difference. Obviously the triads are there to be accessed by whatever system you wish to use. Each system has its own advantage.. For example, if you just wanted to play Little Wing, CAGED is the fastest way to get there. If you wanted to play a scalar sequence, you could very efficiently use 3NPS too. Remember, I'm not against the systems. I'm against the tripe you post running down one thing to promote another. It's the separation that causes the damage. Address that.
    tommaso.zillio
    "CAGED is nothing but triads" that's they way they sold it to you. But in fact, there are other ways to "package" triads.  In video #3 of my "CAGED Sucks" series you will see that triads have 3 positions, not 5 (even in the Guthrie video you posted above, he uses a shape that is an hybrid of the D and C shape, to use the CAGED terminology) In fact, in a system that uses the natural 3 shapes of for triads rather than shoehorning the triad in 5 shapes (just because they resemble open string shapes, or because you want to superimpose them on pentatonics) then you will see that Little Wing and all that kind of phrasing becomes even easier. Not to mention soloing in general, with a clear separation of chord notes and tension notes. So, to borrow one of your arguments, if you just wanted to play Little Wing, CAGED is the fastest way THAT YOU KNOW to get there - but there are easier ways. One of them is my system - and there are others too.  If you don't like my system or even me, that's great, go an learn another system somewhere else, just don't believe automatically that CAGED is the best thing after sliced bread just because you don't know of any alternative.
    jamstation
    Please go read some Ted Greene to understand triads. Then go to Garrison Fewell. Then go to George Garzone and Dave Liebman. Then when you have learned something, come back with positions. You'll have more positions than the kama sutra. You're welcome.
    tommaso.zillio
    If after reading all these people (some of them truly great) you still think CAGED is the best way to go about triads, then there is no way to convince you. Good luck.
    harry.peggio
    BEWARE !!! Don't let anyone ever tell you You Mustn't Do It Any Other Way But Mine ... as stated elsewhere here, the problem is not the actual lesson (which may include valuable information) but the condescending manner in which different/alternative viewpoints are excluded without providing real arguments ! This whole rant (pt 6 ?!?) is not about what CAGED actually is or can do, it is about a self-appointed guru who wants to tell He Is Always Right And You Are Wrong.  Every real guitar player out there has zero problems to include both 1-note-per-fret (close fingerings) and 3-note-per-string (wide fingerings) in his playing, one does not exclude the other. You present CAGED = 1 n.p.f. and then only (!) in the narrow context of playing scales up & down, and triad arpeggios.  Narrow-minded, dogmatic, and above all very very unmusical ... so sorry :-(
    tommaso.zillio
    As usual, the problem is not what I say - the actual lesson - but the fact that you don't like it We are finally at the null criticism, you agree that what I say is correct, but nobody should listen to it.
    harry.peggio
    Mister, as usual the problem is that you avoid any sort of real debate, ignore arguments or twist them around. You present a tiny fraction of what CAGED actually provides - simply an overview of the fretboard - and find it necessary to rant on forever (pt6 ...). And yes, as stated, there is certainly valid information ... but then you insist ever again that therefore everything else is wrong ! ---------- It's not about CAGED, it's about your attitude ... it's killing music. And please don't forget to accuse me of 'Ad Hominem'
    tommaso.zillio
    Before I posted these videos, the standard answer to any question on scales and modes (here on UG and the net in general) was "go and learn the CAGED system".  I simply said that CAGED is not the best option and that there are many other systems out there - then people accused me of a number of things and asked me for an alternative.  Now I am showing ONE POSSIBLE alternative out of many and I get accused of being dogmatic. No sir, it's the people that say that there is only CAGED that should open their minds, and that are killing music. 
    harry.peggio
    'not the best option' , 'one possible alternative' ... that's absolutely NOT what you said in this series so far !! Go back and remake the whole series of articles using these statements as a guideline. And for God's sake, play some music.
    tommaso.zillio
    I said it multiple time in the videos so far.  As for playing: this is a teaching video, not a show-off video. You know that I have a YT playing channel (you commented there) so you know I can play. I can't say the same to you - care to post some of your playing since you insist on this point?  (Prediction: you won't)
    DWAUME
    He said your lesson "may include valuable information," and you twisted that into "you agree that what I say is correct."  Why don't you answer people honestly and genuinely?
    tommaso.zillio
    I posted a video on how to play harmonies and how it is much easier in one system than another. Can I get a honest and genuine comment on that? As I said, the problem is not the actual lesson - since there are not many negative comments on THAT. The problem seems to be either my "attitude" or my "tone" or even my "beard". Is that the kind of "genuine" you are talking about?
    Jere Toikka
    This. I find it is both easier, funner and more fair to talk at the level you are being talked to. Example: Snowflake used Ad Hominem. It wasn't very effective... Anti-PC used Ridiculous Ad Hominem. It was very effective! Snowflake used Complain. It wasn't very effective... Anti-PC used Mirror. It was very effective! Snowflake fled! It usually goes something like this. Some people don't realise they are doing the exact same thing they accuse others of doing. (And usually starting it) Not pointing any fingers. It is unneeded, since the evidence is there and pretty obvious for anyone who wants to see it.
    DWAUME
    I already know how to harmonize leads so the lesson didn't help me. That's why I didn't comment on the lesson. I also understand your frustration at harry.peggio and wish you luck iff your lessons are helpful to people.
    DWAUME
    Some people learn guitar better certain ways.  If our author has taught many students with many methods, he's probably seen what methods work more often than other methods.  If he wishes to reach as many people as possible then he would write an article promoting the most effective way, and shitting on the least effective way. Plus, shitting on the CAGED system is a no-brainer if you want outrage clicks.
    keytomusicnorth
    I learned CAGED and 3NPS at the same time at music college. No-one there had a good answer as to why there were two systems. The fact that 3NPS has a starting point and shape that goes with every degree of the scale makes it more complete for me than CAGED. This way of harmonising is really simple to use and effective and you wouldn't be able to use CAGED in this way. 
    oivind22
    Learning to play keyboard has finally made me want to learn to improvise on the guitar. It has made me realize how little I really know about the pieces I can play, especially complex pieces on classical guitar. What chord did I just play? What note did the melody land on there? It is much more clear on they keyboard. Anyway, this has made me realize that for improvisation to be fun for me, it is essential to know which notes I'm playing, and especially how they relate to the chords. Thinking in modes is the natural way to do this. Let's say you're going to play over a D minor chord in C major. It is much easier to think of the scale as D dorian, instead of C major, at least for me, because then I'm aware of the chord, and at the same time aware of which notes belong to the scale. You can think in modes without the 3-note-per-string system, but thinking about modes, and building scales from a certain root position and mode, naturally led me to see how there are just a few repeating patterns, and this is easier to se with 3-note-per-string system. There really is just one pattern (at least if you have 7 strings), the 7 modes just start the pattern in 7 different places (also, you have to remember to move everything one fret up when you go from 3rd to 2nd string). I tried to harmonize a simple melody line, BTW, just to test how simple it was. The author is correct: It is extremely simple.
    tegon_legend
    I felt the same way when I first started learning the guitar from having played piano. Trying to learn scales on piano was hard! Every single scale is a different shape. And there are seven modes. So when I came crossed CAGED, I was so confused how there were only 5 shapes? And they all looked different, very much like piano, and I did not want to go through learning scales with all that effort again.  And then ended up learning 3NPS and that was so easy. Took about 2-3 weeks to learn all the scales and modes up and down, horizontally. (Like you said, it's the same shape.) So I can move across the entire fretboard super easily now. Took something like 5 years to learn them all on the piano! I didn't want to go through all of that in CAGED again. And harmonising in 3NPS has been easy too. So I'm very pleased with my progress. Been learning guitar for less than a year, and understand all the modes and how to improvise and play in them better than guitarists that I've met who have been playing for 20+ years who have attempted to learn CAGED and then gave up and do know it but can't play in other modes. 
    foreverMoR
    Great video Tommaso. Best one so far IMO. It shows the  incredible power of the 3NPS and how easy it is to leverage it for everyday playing situations. Brilliant.
    sirus1987
    This is bad advice. I'm also not sure you totally understand the CAGED system. You talk about how CAGED has different numbers of notes per string and whatnot, but your missing the entire purpose of it. It's to locate the intervals around the roots so you're thinking in terms of musical tones instead of visual patterns. On top of that you can play 3 notes per string in CAGED, there is nothing stopping you from doing that as long as you pay attention to the interval in relation to your root shapes. Your assuming you have to play those same patterns they always teach to beginners. You should be trying to look at the fretboard in different ways everyday, otherwise your playing cant get really boring and stale. You also show all of these really simple musical ideas, you're just thinking about playing up and down scales. This all leads to some generally uninteresting music. Throw on a chord progression and play over your changes with that stuff and it will be super boring. 
    tommaso.zillio
    "your missing the entire purpose of it. It's to locate the intervals around the roots so you're thinking in terms of musical tones instead of visual patterns" I understand that. There are better ways to do that than to use CAGED. Check out the rest of the series "You also show all of these really simple musical ideas, you're just thinking about playing up and down scales" No, I'm breaking it down so it's easy to understand - do not confuse "easy" with "simple". Everything I explained in this video is not limited to "scales up and down" and can be extended to any level of complexity. 
    harry.peggio
    It seems I am not the only one who is being put off by the WAY things are being presented ...
    tommaso.zillio
    That's progress. Just one video ago you didn't like WHAT I had to say. Now you don't like the WAY I  say it. A few more videos and we'll see eye to eye
    Leo_Smith
    Awesome video, Tommaso! It's fascinating how personally people are taking this...
    Jere Toikka
    Exactly. For some people on here any comment that so much as agrees with what Tommaso says warrants a downvote... Then they complain about Tommaso's attitude? (Seriously guys, buy a mirror)
    bonekrusha27
    What's more of a waste, trying to figure it out or spending years proving that it doesn't work?
    darrylpowis
    Great Lesson Tommaso
    tommaso.zillio
    Thanks!
    Leo_Smith
    I just want to say I'm really tickled that even Tommaso's "Thanks!" has been downvoted. Yeah, Tommaso. That's exactly how a total jerk would say "thanks."
    Jere Toikka
    Remember Leo: The problem isn't him saying Thanks. It's his "attitude" when he says it :''D
    GuitarGod610
    Creating a harmony line is literally as simple as just playing diatonic 3rds. It works so well, sounds great, and doesn't use any sort of CAGED nonsense whatsoever. 
    GuitarGod610
    Judging from all the downvotes, I'm guessing then that none of you actually want an easy way to play harmonies. The CAGED system is needlessly complex. Learn your key signatures and you don't need any of that. FFS.
    harry.peggio
    @ "GuitarGod" there is no 'easy way' that will magically do it all for you, no matter what snakesoil you try. Do you know the way to Carnegie Hall ?
    GuitarGod610
    Dude, it's not "snakeoil". It literally is what bands have been doing for years. You take your melody line and double it in diatonic 3rds. There's literally no trick to it. It's just using music theory, unless that's also a "get famous quick" scheme now.
    tommaso.zillio
    GuitarGod610: some people here are so enamored of CAGED, and so angry with me because I speak out my mind, that if I said "the sky is blue" they will immediately reply that I am dogmatic and trying scam them...
    harry.peggio
    Certainly agree on that  ...  Allman Brothers fan here ! However, I was refering to the whole range of 'CAGED sucks' articles. Whether or not you're able to harmonize your leads in diatonic thirds has very little to do with how far you stretch your fingers or what positions you use but indeed with a little simple theory, and ears! Once again the author claims that 'playing CAGED', whatever that is supposed to mean, makes it unnecessesary unpractical; and that is totally far fetched. ... But yeah, cheesy 2 part leads, gotta love the 70s :
    Jere Toikka
    Yes, harmonisation is simple theory. 3nps (and 4nps) keeps it simple. CAGED making it more difficult because of inconsistency is objectively demonstrable. It is not farfetched at all. Harmonizing lead parts is more difficult with CAGED scale patterns as compared to 3nps for example.
    tommaso.zillio
    "Whether or not you're able to harmonize your leads in diatonic thirds has very little to do with how far you stretch your fingers" I don't think you actually watched the video, or understood what I explain.
    Dynamight
    Nice try, Tom Hess.
    GuitarGod610
    Hilarious. Tom Hess would have an entire system to explain what I just did in one sentence.  Seriously. Just learn your key signatures. It's not that hard. 
    tommaso.zillio
    GuitarGod610, you just forgot one of the rules of UG: if you agree with me then you must be Tom Hess
    harry.peggio
    PS as with literally all of his videos, there is about half a minute of guitar playing in here ... and it's not exactly mind-boggling, even for an instructional video. The rest, as usual, is Talk Talk Talk.
    tommaso.zillio
    Of course, because it is a teaching video, not a playing video. And I know you have seen my playing videos because you commented on them... so you know I can play (and anyone that can do a search on YouTube can confirm it) I can't say the same of you, though. I can't find a single video of you, and all your comments are just Talk Talk Talk with not even half a minute of video in it. Care to post a link?
    tommaso.zillio
    Guess who just checked out of the conversation? Come on harry.peggio, post at least half a minute of music: it's less than what I put in my videos
    AJGNW
    This method works amazingly well! It's super simple and easy to start using, and it's ALOT of fun =) Great video (as always) Tommaso!
    joaonofear
    I get the feeling that people who studied music theory or had lessons are having a hard time embrancing methods unknown to them, as a self taught guitarist every single way of improving, or diversifying your relashionship with your instrument is a good piece of advice to soak in imo, I mean...at the very least you're expanding what you know so....why the hate?
    oddworld
    IIRC the first name for these videos were "Why CAGED system sucks?", and to me, that attitude just plain sucks. People don't like to be told what to do and what not to do. Not trying to sound like a dick, but Tommaso's playing isn't on that level where (at least) I would think that I just wanna ditch everything everybody else is teaching and go with this, as there are millions of players who are better and use the CAGED system. You just can't say that X works better than Y and think that everybody should think the same. I think the teacher should find what works for YOU and go with that. Not to try to force fed you something HE finds the best solution. TLDR; I think Tommaso should change he's attitude and be more humble. Then people would show more interest.
    Jere Toikka
    As far as I know Tommaso has taught tons of students and realised alont the way that 3nps is superior to CAGED in making the guitar easy and fun to learn. "People don't like to be told what to do and what not to do." Then they are going to have a hard time listening to experts in any field A good player does not mean they have followed a good system. You can become a good player despite using a flawed system. It will just take more time and effort than with a better system. "You just can't say that X works better than Y and think that everybody should think the same." I think this is why Tommaso wants to debate rationally and is open to receiving criticism on his ideas and any rational defense of CAGED. Sadly, I haven't seen much of that. "I think the teacher should find what works for YOU and go with that." If a teacher has found that one system is consistently better than another, I'd say he sucks as a teacher if he even considers teaching the provenly inferior system. "Not to try to force fed you something HE finds the best solution." Students aren't force fed anything. They generally voluntarily pay their teacher to figure out the best way to reach their goals "I think Tommaso should change he's attitude and be more humble. Then people would show more interest." As to that, I'd say Tommaso is right to call himself an expert on this topic. Look at why people attack him: It is often because he is selling something, or that he labels other systems as bad, or because he is a student of Tom Hess or whatever reason that has nothing to do with the ideas he presents. What I care about is: Are his ideas right or wrong? So far I have seem much more proof towards the former and MUCH less towards the latter.
    oddworld
    Why not both? My teacher told me that I should learn it and then just forget it. I don't think about it actively while playing, but I tend to get my fingers to the right spots just by muscle memory. You're missing my point. Like I replied to Tommaso, it's not about the subject itself, but how you represent it. There's no absolute way to view the fretboard. To someone the CAGED might be easier than the 3-nps. If the student doesn't just get it, do you still force feed him the system of your choice every time he comes to learn something? That would frustate the shit out of me. I realize Tommaso isn't saying that 3-nps is the only way, but again, the attitude; "System X sucks." Not debating about if he's ideas are right or wrong, because it's neither. It's not an absolute truth with this kinda thing.
    tommaso.zillio
    The onus of proving that there is no absolute truth in "these kinda things" is firmly on your side.  I tried teaching different systems to different groups of people, and the difference is staggering.
    jamstation
    Confirmation bias, anyone? http://bfy.tw/Rdx
    tommaso.zillio
    You mean, people who were taught one system that can not see the obvious problem in it and will not accept the message that that there are other systems that work? Why Jamstation, I think for once we agree.
    jamstation
    Just because YOU can't teach this system effectively doesn't mean it's a bad system. There are several other possibilities... - You suck at teaching CAGED - You don't understand CAGED - You understand 3NPS better than CAGED - You have a predisposition against CAGED The fact that you resort to degrading one system to promote another proves that you really shouldn't have a career teaching music. 3NPS is great, 4NPS is great, and y'know what? So is CAGED. They're all valid ways to visualise and navigate the fretboard.  Musicians across the board benefit from studying CAGED as much as any other system. If you say "CAGED doesn't work", all it means is that you don't know what you're talking about. I'm just really happy that the UG users have gotten wise to your pathetic sales pitch.
    tommaso.zillio
    Then you are happy about nothing: as I said already, thousand of users visited my website and a sizeable percentage started the Master of the Modes course - against half a dozen vocal people like you in this comment section (Of course you'll think that people who agree with you are great, and everybody who comes to my website is victim of clickbait... here's your example of confirmation bias) The reality is that the tide turned already. Not only guitar students all around the world started noticing how CAGED is an inferior system - but many guitar teachers noticed the same years ago and stopped teaching it. I'm just one of the first ones who dares to day this openly, but there is a legion behind me. If the only opposition I have is people like you who can at best offer a "it does not work for YOU" argument, or people like Lamboflog and Harry.peggio that disappear as soon as I ask them proof that they are not just talk, then CAGED is already a dead system. There is one way you guys can make your case, though. You could start writing articles for UG that explain what you can do with the CAGED system. But it still won't work because: - You guys don't have the wherewithals to write articles. Your commitment  stops at posting comments here... writing articles is too much for you. - Every article you may write, I will write another one showing how whatever you just explained is easy on 3NPS or other systems.  (prediction: you won't write any article)
    jamstation
    Lots of students on your website? Good for you.  Bad for them. You're a manipulative businessman and a bang average guitar player. Our comments are articles in themselves frankly. There's enough input here for the intelligent guitarist to go through. And again, I re-iterate: You want to diss one system to promote your own website (3nps is certainly not your system). Real musicians understand the value of knowing as many systems as possible.  Here are two statements, both of which are true 1. Nothing works in isolation.  2. CAGED absolutely works. (Prediction: You will ignore tough criticism as always and resort to childish challenges instead of defending your stand, mainly because you can't)
    tommaso.zillio
    If I wanted to ignore criticism, I could simply not read the comment section. That's the only place you guys write anyway "Our comments are articles in themselves" Prediction confirmed. "You're a manipulative businessman and a bang average guitar player." Ad-hominem, as usual. Is that one of your "tough" criticism? Easy to answer. I am a businessman AND a guitar player: that's what you need to be to be in the music BUSINESS (as opposed to 'amateur').  And I can't be "manipulative" and "unpersuasive" at the same time, you guys should sort this out between yourselves
    jamstation
    Since you lack simple comprehension, let me break it down again: 1. You promote one system over the other, which is itself the problem. Nothing wrong with the systems, it's pretending that one is better than the other which hurts students. 2. You manipulate gullible beginners.  3. You don't fool real musicians. (Bonus: We can also tell that you can't play for shit)
    tommaso.zillio
    As usual, after I answer all your arguments, your only resort is insults and defamation. Just know that it's not working. The readers here, that you keep insulting as "gullible", are more intelligent than you think. (Bonus: at least my playing is out there. Is it cool in your basement?)
    jamstation
    Lol my band headlines festivals And it is cool in my basement too And you haven't answered all my arguments. Answer #1 in the above comment, for example. Edit: The readers here are definitely not the gullible ones! Ratings are -22 to +10 on this article right now.
    tommaso.zillio
    Your band headlines festivals? That is GREAT! So you will have no problem posting a video of you playing and proving how competent you are - or are you going to keep shooting from the sideline behind your anonymous nickname? As for answering #1: I seriously wrote the same thing 3 times in this comment thread. Here's the 4th: I did say multiple times that there are many good systems that work better than CAGED and that you don't have to use mine. I present mine as an example.  It's not that mine is better than the others. It's that CAGED is worse than the others (except CAGED teachers seem to be good at marketing) Now please read the rest of the comments and actually watch my videos before accusing me of saying stuff I never said and that you hallucinated (like me paying UG... HAHAHAHA)
    jamstation
    I stopped doing competitions back in college, but apparently you still haven't. Stop peddling wrong shit. Stop running down good things. Try to learn how to use CAGED. It's not all that bad.
    tommaso.zillio
    It's you guys who started saying that "I can't play shit". And I'm taking you seriously: since you think it is important that someone has to be good (it is) show me you can play. Finish what you started. Show me you qualify based on YOUR standards Now that I called you out on what YOU started, you are all backpedaling and saying that I want to make it a competition. No, I never did: as Bartok said, competitions are for horses not musicians. I am just asking you to qualify yourselves, the same way you asked me to qualify myself. But apparently you just want to hold me to a higher standard than what you accept from yourself. So... video or it did not happen.
    oddworld
    Well, if I like CAGED more than 3-nps, that's enough to prove your opinion about it false. It's not absolute, and to me, CAGED is just easier to see over the fretboard vs. 3-nps. Of course if the backing track is simple, I tend to see it with the 3-nps. But when the changes are fast and the scales tend to change with every chord, there's just too much to think about. Human brain just can't keep up with that, and that's a fact.  The chord tones are the one's that sound the best and with 3-nps I tend to think pretty much the whole scale, which usually is 7-notes. And that's just on the verge of how much, at least I, can think at a time. Maybe you can manage to play with 3-nps for awhile, but if you get enough of those odd chords, your brain will just freeze. Quick jazz-chord progressions to me are much more easier to think with CAGED, as there isn't that much time to think about what to play. With 3-nps there is, to me at least, too much of a risk to play the notes that don't fit that well. With CAGED I can nail all the notes that sound the best with little effort. You've said it before, that you can do that too with the 3-nps, but to me, it's not easier, at all.
    tommaso.zillio
    Who said anything about "liking"? If you play in CAGED long enough, you will get used to it. Does not mean it's the best way to go about it. There may be very well another system that would have been easier on you. Changing scales is an order of magnitude easier to do with 3NPS... if you invest in it half the time you invested in CAGED. Same for locating chord tones/scale degrees.  Just because you never did it, does not mean that it's impossible or even hard.
    oddworld
    Who said I never did? I started with both at the same time and figured the CAGED is easier to my brain.
    tommaso.zillio
    The way you talk about 3NPS show that you know the patterns, but not the system behind it. By all means, if you think you are completely right, it's your time and you can spend it however you want. As for me and my students, I want the best systems
    Jere Toikka
    I don't remember if Tommaso has already made a video or is planning to on the topic of why not to use multiple systems. And yes, in any system the goal is to get to the point where you don't need to think about it anymore and can focus solely on the music. I like the way Tommaso presents it, because it is fun to see the reactions. I'm a sucker for observing cognitive dissonance "To someone the CAGED might be easier than the 3-nps." I am not an expert so the only thing I can say is that I believe for most or all 3nps will be better, because it is more consistent. Are you going to watch part 7 and onwards? Because I think Tommaso still has many stones to turn. "If the student doesn't just get it," As a teacher of a different instrument my first way to approach this, If I knew the system worked was to change the approach in which I teach the system. Not much more that I can say. "the attitude; "System X sucks."" I get that that can seem arrogant, but as far as I know Tommaso is being honest and open when he speaks. In addition, he doesn't candy coat. If he says something sucks he doesn't do it without reason. "Not debating about if he's ideas are right or wrong, because it's neither. It's not an absolute truth with this kinda thing." So are you saying the differences in systems don't result in a difference in quality?
    tommaso.zillio
    Thousands of teachers force feed CAGED to their students, and nobody bats an eye.  I say that I don't like it and there are better alternatives, and everybody thinks that I am the one forcing people. One thing I'll say for the CAGED teachers: they have a great marketing department. They have convinced everybody that their way is THE way and everybody else is arrogant, dogmatic, etc etc. They are blaming others for what they are doing. Notice as usual that you are not saying anything about my videos, but only about my "attitude". That's the null criticism again.
    oddworld
    Like I said, the attitude. They don't start off by telling me how any other way to figure fretboard is shit. And that's my point. I don't like people who tend to think things trough negatives, you know? And I've watched your videos. Like I said, I don't care about your playing. It doesn't do anything for me. There's no musicality to me in them. But that's just me.
    tommaso.zillio
    When I was a student I liked my guitar teachers telling me what was wrong and a waste of time. That's why I was studying with them: to tell me what works and what doesn't. I don't like guitar teachers who pander to their students - damaging them in the process - because they are afraid of "being negative". I prefer to learn and get the truth without filters. But that's just me.
    oddworld
    Yes, but if your student is, let's say, on he's 10th lesson and he just _doesn't_get_it_. You still try to go the same route? No optional ways to go around something? I'd end those kinds of lessons in a heartbeat. The teacher should know more than one way how to get the point across.
    tommaso.zillio
    Where do you get all that, are you just assuming? Again, I said multiple times: "there are better alternatives to CAGED", emphasis on the fact that there is more than one. If my students do not get it in one way, I have dozen of other ways. Besides, in practice, if your system is actually good then the vast majority of students get it immediately with no problems (unlike... uhm... other systems). But yes, there are tons of alternatives - do you expect me to go through ALL of them in a 10m video? Do not confuse me with all the teachers who use one method (guess again... it's usually CAGED) and insist that their way is THE way. 
    oddworld
    That's my point, why say "technique X sucks" just 'cause you're not into it? Stop being a negative nancy and people will listen to you more. That's all I'm seeing. Bitching about how technique x is shit. And that's enough for me to not even open the video (watched some of the previous ones though). And it's not an absolute thing. With mathematics there are countless of ways to solve the problem, and even if it'd require more effort from you, some technique might be the one you just know by heart. Happened to me countless of times and even if my "technique" for the equation isn't right, I would get the result right. Even though I know it wasn't done the way it should, I'd get pissed if my teacher would then tell me that "that sucks". If he'd say "you should try something like this" and explain it to me well enough, I would actually get something out of it. Bad example, compared to the thing we're actually talking about, but anyway. I feel like I'm not getting  my point across. Do you like to listen to people bitch and moan? I sure don't
    Jere Toikka
    I know how you feel: Tommaso's way of saying things sounds harsh and unnecessarily brutal. I have previously felt the same way. But what I found is that conversations that go straight to the point, even at the risk of being "too direct" are something I very much respect. Nowadays my favorite conversations are ones where both parties go straight to the point, without any bullshit or candy coating You can ask yourself "Why does it bother me so much that Tommaso talks so directly about this?" Invest 15minutes to think about it and it may be an important change in your life. I might get hate for saying this, but that is the price I sometimes pay for addressing an elephant in the room...
    tommaso.zillio
    "Stop being a negative nancy and people will listen to you more" I can't be the meanie and the nancy at the same time, can I now? I merely limited myself to notice that one system does not work as advertised, and many others do. The establishment was successful in convincing you that "there is no absolute truth"... but ask yourself who has to gain by convincing you that there is no truth... I think truth exists, and that it's simple to find. I made this video series to explain it as I see it. Call me a whistleblower. I can't help to notice that you keep calling me names ("nancy", "bitch and moan" etc...) while as you can check I did not call you any name. If you stop a moment and reflect about this you may notice that my attitude is not what you think.
    oddworld
    Dude. You have a series which was titled "why CAGED system sucks". Seems like you just can't accept the fact that sometimes you can't be right.
    tommaso.zillio
    I started a video series showing that one system does not work as advertised. Some people answered calling me names. Who is again who can't even contemplate the possibility that they may be wrong?
    Jere Toikka
    Props to you oddworld, for actually trying to understand and ask better quality questions. This is refreshing to see in these discussions
    Lamboflog
    Well this isn't going well is it. 
    tommaso.zillio
    >2000 views in less than 24h... not to mention the activity on my website. It's actually going great, thanks
    Lamboflog
    So you are more concerned with hits and raising your own profile.  Fair enough
    tommaso.zillio
    Oh no, I am just saying that it's not going bad at all by any measurable way. Just because half a dozen of you are posting vitriolic (and hilarious) comments, does not mean that the majority of people is disliking my video. The numbers show that the silent majority is with me. If they don't post it's because they don't want to discuss with you guys. Think about it the next time you have something to say to MY attitude...
    Lamboflog
    You are just doing click bait , it's a lowest common denominator. Everyone learns differently, so your assertion that YOUR method is the only one is the problem here. I do love the fact you defend it so vehemently, despite not really knowing who you are arguing with half the time. Well done. 
    tommaso.zillio
    No seriously, how many more times do I have to say that there are MANY methods that work, that I am showing mine as an example, and that the only thing I am saying is that there is ONE method (CAGED) that does not work as advertised? Does it get tiring to misunderstand things this hard for this long, or it comes natural?
    Lamboflog
    Except it does. it just doesn't for you.  Now who can't understand?
    tommaso.zillio
    Well, if your argument is "Except it does" with no more qualifications, support, or proof, then there is not much left to discuss. Good luck.
    Lamboflog
    I need not qualify anything. I'm not after likes/hits etc. And as for qualifying/qualifications. More than you can dream of my fine bearded friend. As I say, you know not who you argue with. 
    tommaso.zillio
    Ok. Care to post your real name, or are you just talk? (prediction: "I don't need to post this")
    tommaso.zillio
    Guess who disappeared from this conversation? Come on Lamboflog, it's two articles you are building it up on "you don't know who I am", now it's the time for the big reveal.
    jamstation
    What he means is, click bait definitely works!
    tommaso.zillio
    If I were to write click bait, I would not put "part 6" on the title. No, what you see is people actually thinking about CAGED. I believe in the intelligence of the readers here. You guys don't - you think most people on UG are stupid and will fall for clickbait. And then you complain about MY attitude
    Skinna
    Even though ive always loved the CAGED approach, it's that beard and your general physical appearance that really ****'s me off the most.
    tommaso.zillio
    That's why you should always screen your guitar teachers for beauty, grace, and suppleness. I didn't realize it was important for you to take lesson from a beautiful man, alone with him in the same room, but hey, to each his own.
    rhett4
    Great article and video, Tommaso. To anyone with an open mind, 3nps is a far superior system.  "But, you can do x,y,z with CAGED too!" Yeah, I can also walk from California to New York, but it sure is easier to fly. I think all the haters on here are related to the guys who, a few hundred years ago, KNEW the earth was flat.
    JohanTillgren
    Great video Tommaso! I've seen this harmonization concept used by many great guitarists such as Steve Vai, Jason Becker and Paul Gilbert. Really simple way to create good sounding harmonies. 
    jensonpan
    Have to say the level of childish argument on this post is pathetic. Grow up. 
    Creimer
    Didn't watch the video. Why so many downvotes?
    Kaseke
    Because he keeps ranting on and on about how his way is better, and that the CAGED system has nothing but bad sides to it. He keeps presenting many techniques, that make snipets of what the CAGED gives you easier. I think the way that he presents things is bad, not the actual lesson.
    tommaso.zillio
    Translation: so far nobody here actually commented on the point I actually raise in this video. Essentially the arguments in this comment sections boil down to "we don't like your attitude"
    gitaarlessenopmaat
    @ Creimer Well I myself encourage my students to explore stuff, make mistakes and learn from them ... find out what suits them best. In my opinion there are no rules, only guidelines; this here is black and white.
    tommaso.zillio
    So... when you teach your student you simply say "figure it out by yourself"? Your role as teacher should be precisely to guide them and help them reach their goals in a shorter time and with less effort... otherwise they are better off being self-taught than working with you.
    Mike_Philippov
    Great point. There ARE many ways to do things on guitar, and some are better than others. It's the teacher's job to present the pros and cons of each and train his students to master the most efficient path.  Oh and cool video/article Tommaso...this article series sure gets a lot of attention
    barnabysenator
    By "moving up" the scale on the fretboard, Mr. Zillio intends to harmonize his melody using intervals of diatonic 3rds (or 6ths) which are considered "imperfect consonant" intervals (despite the name, these sound good most of the time). For every note he plays, the third above it sounds along in the 2nd lick, giving the rich textured sound you hear (C is played along with an A, F is played along with a D, etc.). We also like "perfect consonant" intervals, 5ths (A and E) and octaves and unisons. In counterpoint we do NOT want dissonant intervals such as perfect 4ths (e.g, D played along A) or Diminished 5ths (Eb played alongside A). Dissonance isn't always a bad thing - Jimmy Page's doubled main riff before the solo in Black Dog relies heavily on dissonance to get the dark textured character he was after.  This (im)perfect consonance/dissonance thing was made up ages ago and was primarily used in directing Common Practice (fancy) music counterpoint (2 or more melodic lines played together at the same time like this). It is useful to understand this because Baroque and Classical counterpoint managed to use a combination of perfect and imperfect consonances to provide different characters of the melodic lines AND show depth and understanding of music (yes, they were toffy-nosed pricks and we're better off for it).    I am not sure whether his second line consists of only of consonant intervals (3rds and 6ths) by just moving up the fretboard; We'll have to do the theory for that - oh, the irony! If I trust that they are all consonant intervals, then Jolly! This is good for on the fly guitar harmonies which may follow the rules of the counterpoint textbook and not be dissonant, however, I feel as though mixing imperfect and perfect intervals is the way to go.   I do prefer the stylings of Dr. Brian May, where he uses counterpoint theory to create moods and contrasts, up and down motion, fragmentation, augmentation and movement. This is done by taking time to figure out harmonies (warning - possibly with a pencil and paper). It does not rely on a "CAGED" system, nor relies on Mr. Zillio's Speedy Gonzales fretboard maneuvers, but on simple understanding of interval relationships (i.e, basic music). Listen to "Good Old Fashion Lover Boy" for his 3 part harmonies which also provides the most tasteful use of wah-wah I've ever heard. Listen to "Millionaire Waltz" man. Learning your counterpoint opens up what a guitar can do on a rock track AND (I hope this is why we're all here!) makes us more open, interested and educated musicians. Some resources:  http://www.music.ucsb.edu/faculty/rothfarb/cou...(2v).html http://openmusictheory.com/firstSpecies.html Tldr; Listen to some f*cking Queen.            
    tommaso.zillio
    Another typical answer... I present 10 minutes of video on a simple tip, and I get accused of not explaining contrapuntal theory (that will require way more than 10 minutes to explain and will confuse many who just want to play simple harmonies).  First of all, it is a fact that many "guitar harmonies" are just parallel 3rd or 6th - and if someone does not know how to how to play those, the video above is a good introduction. Once they know that, they can move to more complex situations. As for proof that I am aware that counterpoint exist, here's one of my fugues that I wrote for fun during a rainy afternoon:
    barnabysenator
    Lols. I like your T-Swift fugue The key matter to me here is explanation of a concept. If you would explain to me why moving your position helps you to bring about a desired harmony, even simply, it would let me explore more in-depth concepts. I don't think any guitarist who has the ability and wants to paint guitar harmonies would be averse to more complex ideas - something which would also help multi-instrumentalists. To communicate to another musician by saying 'I've started playing 2 positions up Bassman dude!' is rogue, uncouth and would probably put an otherwise gentleman on McCarthy's Watchlist.     I disagree with the assertion that 'many "guitar harmonies" are just parallel 3rd or 6th'. I think I can name a few popular guitarists who have recognized the importance of having a more complex counterpoint: Randy Rhoads, Steve Lukather, Steve Howe and the aforementioned May.          I believe you have shown a useful technique, a macro, which could help many under pressure guitarists to put down harmonies quickly in a studio - but as a musician I cannot stand knowing that I've done something cool without knowing why and how. I know you understand that peeps who watch your videos will go to other sources to increase their knowledge in more complex musical situations.  Thanks for the reply.     
    Jere Toikka
    I'd say in most cases it is better to FIRST know how to do something and after that get the explanation on what is happening. It is a way of teaching music theory that most people get excited by. Doing it the other way around almost exclusively excites only engineers and nerds (no hate, I'm a nerd too)  
    tommaso.zillio
    "I know you understand that peeps who watch your videos will go to other sources to increase their knowledge in more complex musical situations." Or they can come to http://musictheoryforguitar.com to get more knowledge from the same source : Thanks for replying.
    tommaso.zillio
    Incidentally, there are a number of technical errors in your post. For instance "Baroque and Classical counterpoint" do use dissonant intervals, not only consonant ones like you state.  This is also contrary to what you say later: "the rules of the counterpoint textbook and not be dissonant": lots of counterpoint "rules" (no such thing, but let's speak your language...) concern themselves precisely on how to resolve dissonance.  Just to put in another error you make: perfect 4ths are perfectly acceptable common practice counterpoint , in fact they are considered consonant in 3+ voices counterpoint when the perfect 4th does not involve the bass voice. But I would agree with you in recommending to listen to Brian May, and in fact I do say that in the video too
    barnabysenator
    You are very right to say this about my earlier post on Classical dissonance:  P4ths being the bastard sons of Minas Morgul and Cirith Ungol in 2-voices, are quite acceptable (and quite unavoidable) in 3-voice and chorale texture!       Fux's 'rules' to species counterpoint are what I am mainly concerned with 1st Species (as per the instructional video); I believe that they are a necessity when dealing with dissonance (I would imply other very useful conventions as well). On that point, Mr. Zillio is correct to say that musical resolution of dissonance is the key issue we must take heed of, not avoiding dissonances altogether. But to do so, we must respect some of these "rules". So how about 2-voice 1st species writing?  Common Practice Music utilizes P4ths, minor-2nds and other dissonant intervals in 1st species counterpoint very rarely - I believe when they are used they are used very carefully - It would be my mistake to say they weren't used at all, but... There are other "rules" as not using any non-diatonic notes, but I don't believe we are that pedantic, but treatment of dissonance in 1st species is important.   The mixture of different consonant and dissonant intervals is what I believe brings about truly inspired guitar harmony, however, I would caution against dissonance in 1st species. The "rules" are incredibly important to note-against-note counterpoint, as there is not much to hide behind - your choice of intervals is the highlight of the harmony.  That being said, early Rock and Pop to an extent has not taken this very seriously (Hendrix/Page), neither have the jazz greats such as Davis or Coltrane in their overdubbed works. I don't care that much in those contexts, the feel is King, but if you intend on doing something, Do It Right! Clean, melodic lead lines such as yours, or duelling fiddles either need these rules or could be greater displays of knowledge hard-work and talent. Just riffing-off 6ths and 3rds don't satisfy musical-me.  I bet this was very far from your point you were trying to put forth in your video. Species counterpoint is a musical intrusion away from a simple point you were trying to get across. Forgive the tangent and my obliviousness to your reference to Her Majesty.   
    sol_afro_within
    An essential part of the Tom Hess cult (the Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle) is following all which Tom Hess says without question. this guy is part of said cult and will therefore regurgitate whatever Tom Hess says, including the idea that using CAGED will make you a worse guitar player and that exclusively using 3nps is the way to go. I'll add this video on the entire matter for those who are interested in it:
     
    tommaso.zillio
    "Hey the author of this article knows a person I don't like, so everything he says is DANGEROUS! Here's a video so I don't have to engage in actual arguments, but I can still shoot them down"
    jensonpan
    Both systems are equally valid for fretboard navigation, neither is better than the other, and it would be worthwhile for any player to know both, rather like being able to read standard musical notation AND tab (and also by ear to complete the trinity); it is much better to have a balanced, holistic approach. I learnt the CAGED system over 20 years ago and the key thing about it is that you tend to use 2 or 3 shapes at any one time anyway, pivoting on a root note and travelling upwards and downwards from it, so in effect the experienced CAGED player IS playing 3 notes per string. With CAGED you don't see 5 separate shapes but one large shape covering 12 frets. If you root on the 6th string and travel up towards the headstock you are in the G shape. The opposite direction from the same root is the E shape and the octave note within this shape is the root of the D shape on string 4. Below your D shape you know from experience how it links into the top of the C shape which shares the same root note as the A shape below that. Knowing how the 5 shapes fit together is the key and you can play as many notes per string as you like. Knowing all the musical keys in both CAGED, 3NPS and up and down single strings - the unholy trinity - is the ultimate goal which can only be arrived at by experience, sheer hours of play. The 3NPS system only differs from CAGED in that the neck is split into 7 shapes (or positions) rather than the 5 CAGED. When I look at the 7 positions of 3NPS I see the 5 CAGED shapes but with more overlap - positions 4 and 5 are both A shapes and 1 and 7 are both E shapes, position 2 is D, 3 is C and 6 is G, but all with more overlap than CAGED into the previous and next position to achieve 3NPS. The harmonising trick for 3NPS shown in the video is neat and it does look an easier and quicker way than using CAGED for this specific task. However, CAGED has a clearer connection to chord shapes than 3NPS and is more beneficial for making that crucial mental connection from scale/arpeggio to chord. It means that when within a chord you know automatically where your extensions and surrounding scales/arpeggios are. CAGED scales work over 4 or a maximum of 5 frets, which is how chords are constructed. I like the way 3NPS encourages you to travel further on strings but the downside of that is that you may get lost as the shape becomes distended and not visually memorable nor distinct enough from its siblings. A combination of both systems would provide the best of both world's; thats my mission for the rest of my own playing and teaching days. I know CAGED very well but would like to know the 7 positions/shapes of 3NPS a lot better, to reap the benefits of blending the strengths of both systems. After all, if you can have 1 AND 0, you are in a quantum state. I'm torn between the light and dark, where others find their targets, divine symmetry...
    Jere Toikka
    For the point of multiple systems: Check Tommaso's previous video (Part 5). It addresses why there shuoldn't be multiple systms for the same thing. With 3nps you also eventually see one shape for the whole fretboarad. And I'd say it is much easier to do this with 3nps than CAGED since it is more consistent. Chord shapes: I think Tommaso has a separate video planned on. Don't quote me on that, but I recall him explaining there is a much easier way to learn chord shapes than CAGED.
    jensonpan
    I already know chord shapes and I find it incredibly simple and easy to locate anything via CAGED, so it's not necessary for myself. 3NPS looks equally useful. We can't judge or quantify which is the more elegant system until they are empirically tested and people's opinions on forums like this are just that - subjective. Its like saying a Strat is better than a Les Paul or vice versa when really neither is better, just different but essentially achieving the same outcome. CAGED was devised in the 80s and works on the basis of finding intervals in any given chord, arpeggio or scale with 4 fingers over four frets (sometimes 5 but no more), to keep things local, to minimise hand movement and to focus on finger movement across strings. 3NPS is an older system and was how many blues based rock players in the 1970s approached the fretboard from a scale point of view, moving further away from the root into a more distended shape, often not using the pinkie at all except to add an extension. 3NPS is used by modern players primarily for metal/shredding, fast leggato runs etc. It seems to favour this genre particularly. Chords, arpeggio and scales are located via the root note and both systems are based on this. The only discernible navigational difference between the two is that with CAGED you move across to another string to reach an interval but in 3NPS you find it by either stretching or moving further along the same string. I can see the benefits of both and to be honest nobody is going to stick rigidly to the 'rules' anyway; these systems are framework guidelines only. I will often travel down a string to reach a major 3rd for example rather than moving across, depending on what I am doing at the time and the style/mood of the piece. The important thing is I know where to find it. I started out with the CAGED back in 1994, when a top jazz player introduced me to it. He needed to access different voicings very quickly in a live situation and by locating the root and relationship of the intervals to it, he used CAGED as a handy route map when he had to think on his feet, often given unfamiliar songs to play literally minutes before the show. I have developed my own interpretation of it over the years but for me it is just an invisible guide that I can fall back on if I get lost. 3NPS I use in exactly the same way and I am already blending both systems naturally without thinking about it, because different musical styles force you to. Neither one is wrong or right. I like having the option.
    Jere Toikka
    What a system is used for mainly doesn't necessarily have anything to do with it being best for that style, or being only limited to that style. What is happening that the genre, where there is the most technical demand, the differences between efficient and inefficient systems and learning methods become VERY significant. For less demanding playing the differences aren't as obvious, but it will still take a longer time to learn using an inefficient system. You're right up to a point that a debate cannot be had with subjective opinions, but has to be held via objectively provable arguments. There definitely CAN be rational arguments made for and against each system and those can be used to evaluate them. I haven't seen anything explained that CAGED gives to you that cannot be done better with 3nps, pentatonic box shapes and sweep arpeggio patterns. As to an empirical study this is the closest I've heard: Tommaso has A-B tested CAGED vs 3nps with different groups of students and the test was totally in favor of 3nps. You can ask him more about the details.