Notice the notes in B phrygian? .....
Its in the key of G Major!
See E minor? Guess what
G Major again !!
Isnt theory wonderful ?
Learn all the major scale positions and you're golden
Then minor and dominant and augmented and diminished
Best thread ever !
I like the CAGED system; however, I have found that it often leaves guitarists with more questions than answers. It's kind of akin to teaching caclulus before teaching algebra and basic arithmetic. Anyone who has taken calculus knows that calculus is a fairly straight forward. What makes calculus difficult are the algebraic manipulations that one must perform in order to apply the rules.
A major flaw that I see with the CAGED system is that it does not really address minor chords and modes, which are the backbone of rock and blues. While we can go through the exercise of mapping the open chord shapes for Cm, Am, Gm, Em, and Dm to the neck, it is a painfully slow way to gain real insight into how notes and chords are laid out on a guitar, and it doesn't teach us a thing about re-voicing chords.
I have lost count of the number of people who I have met that are reasonably good guitarists who do not instantly recognize that the progression Em, Am, Bm is the relative minor 1, 4, 5 chord progression for the major 1, 4, 5 chord progression G. C, and D. These two progressions occur in rock more often than any other progression (the chords are often tuned down half a step to Ebm, Abm, Bbm, and Gb, Cb, Db). The CAGED system does not address this problem, which is why it is akin to attempting to teach calculus before teaching algebra and basic arithmetic.
Let's apply the information given for the key of Bm/D to the key of Em/G. Applying the three frets down the from the major key root note technique that I outlined above to the key of G yields the note E, which means that E minor (a.k.a. Em) is the relative minor key of G major (a.k.a. G). As the relative minor/major pattern shown above is mappable to any key, all we need to do is to move the pattern such that the first note in the pattern on string number 6 is the root note of the relative minor key. The note E appears in two places on string 6 on a 22-fret guitar and three places on a 24-fret guitar (the pattern spans six frets; therefore, we can only map it to two different places on a 24-fret neck). The first E note is the string played open. The second E note is fretted at the 12th fret; therefore, we can play the natural minor/relative major pattern between the nut and the 5th fret and the 12th and the 17th fret in the key of Em/G.
E natural minor
Let's add a new mode and pattern to the mix that allows one to really pump out notes once mastered. Five frets down from the relative minor root note or four frets up from the relative major root note lies the root for a related scale known as Phrygian mode. Phrygian mode is also a minor mode. In our case, we are going to look at B Phrygian because B Phrygian contains the same notes as E minor and G major. The pattern that I use for B Phrygian can also be played in two different places on the neck; namely, between the 7th and 12th frets and the 19th and the 24th frets (one must own a 24 fret guitar to play the extended portion of B Phyrgian). The Phrygian pattern can be looked at as the natural minor pattern with a lowered 2nd scale degree. Lowering the 2nd makes the pattern tidy because one can play two full octaves using four fingers without have to slide or reach for the 2nd.
Hopefully, forum members have noticed that we cover almost the entire fingerboard of using just two slightly different patterns. These two patterns are relatively easy to commit to muscle memory, which is what one has to do in order to play with any kind of speed.
One last thing: people who are following this thread should try playing the B Phrygian pattern from B to B (note number 1 in the Phrygian pattern) over an Em, D, C, Bm (or B7) progression. One will quickly learn why Phrygian mode is really cool. It is the mode that Al DiMeola uses extensively (the chord progression is basically the major strummed sequence in the song "Mediterranean Sundance"). Phrygian mode is often called the Flamenco scale. The key here is to play the chord progression with a Flamenco feel while ensuring that the B notes in the scale are played against the Em chord.