C Shape C Major Scale

Part 1 of CAGED Scales

by Taura Eruera



The video above demonstrates how to play the first of seven CAGED scales, C major scale with the C shape.

The aim of this article for the beginner is to enable you to experience this scale

Not to entertain you with lots of theory.

The C shape C major scale is based on this chord here: the C open chord.


C Chord C Shape CAGED

You probably did not learn to finger the chord with this fingering.


You will however learn to finger the scale with this fingering (not with the chord fingering).

For a brilliant reason that you will learn soon.

For now, play the chord with this fingering.

Go ahead. 

Grab your guitar and try it out.

Now that you have done that,  guess what?

You have just played half the C major scale

Which of course, the video told you.

And about 1358 and 2467 arpeggios.

And 12345678 major scales.

Playing alongwith the video may not be the easiest thing to do.

It may not be predictable enough for that purpose.

But the music and tab below though are entirely predictable.

Play the Guitar Tab

That's why the 1358 and 2467 arpeggios---in the C shape---are diagrammed out for you here.

The chord is laid out in bar one. 

The 1358 arpeggio is laid out in bars 2 and 3 and the 2467 arpeggio is laid out in bars 4 and 5.

If you ignore the notation and just focus on the tab you'll find there are four levels of information to learn.

For each note.

Did you notice?

Four Things To Learn About Each Note

  1. Learn the tab string/fret locations off by heart.
  2. Learn the arpeggio number of each tab note from memory.
  3. Learn the note name of each tab note from heart.
  4. Learn the fingering for each note (see green shaded numbers)

Then of course, you add alternate or sweep picking and put them together at a low tempo like MM 60 and play them mistake free and accurate.


C Shape C Major Arpeggios

Congratulations! You have just learned the C major scale using the C shape and alternating arpeggios.

C Shape Ladder Scales

Now you can play the ladder scale for this C shape scale.

A ladder scale is one that you go up and down.

On the video we called this the 12345678 scale.

Again, like the arpeggios, there are four layers of information to learn for each note.

         The tab, the scale note number, the note name and the fingering.

Be sure to learn all four chunks for each note.

Then add your alternate picking, put on your metronome to MM40 and play the scale mistake free and flawless.

C Shape C Major Scale

Congratulations! You have learned the C Shape C Major Ladder Scale.

Now to turn this information into a habit, practice these bars for a few moments daily for 21 days.

Now onto the next shape: The A shape for C Major.