Playing Major chords in 5 positions using C.A.G.E.D.

Major, minor and 7th chord positions in the Key of C

Playing Major chords in 5 positions using C.A.G.E.D.


Playing Major chords in 5 positions with C.A.G.E.D.
What are cadences?
The world of cadences is a murky world of misinformation and general confusion.  In this guide I explain the difference between a Perfect Authentic Cadence and an Imperfect Authentic Cadence, as well as including a few other common forms that you are likely to encounter in music theory studies and while playing.  I hope it’s helpful.



Modulation is one of those music theory terms that can sound pretty intimidating when you’re starting out.  In this lesson I have tried to keep it to the essential details and given three examples of common modulation techniques (using pivot chords, parallel modulation and direct modulation).  Hope you find it helpful!

Also, I am currently working on a music theory ebook which will be FREE to all email subscribers.  If you haven’t already subscribed  then there’s still time!  Enjoy.


Chord Inversions

Chords can be played in root position (when the root of the chord is also the bass note), as well as in inverted form – meaning that a chord tone other than the root is in the bass.  This lesson explores this idea in more detail and gives some examples of how chord inversions are sometimes notated.  Enjoy!

Chord inversions

The minor ii-V-I progression

After a bit of time out trying to work out how to make videos (an ongoing project), I’ve got back to work on some music theory lessons.  Here’s an introduction to the minor ii-V-I progression which opens up a world of minor key harmony and musical possibilities.  Enjoy!

Minor scale harmony

Playing II-V-I progressions around the Circle of Fifths

ii-V-I progression on mandolin

Seven ways to become a better player

Bach for mandolin:  Menue II, Cello Suite I

Even if you’ve never considered playing classical music, I’d recommend giving J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas a go.  The fact that the mandolin is tuned the same way as the violin opens up a whole world of classical music.  Whatever your ability level, Bach has something for everyone – and the music itself is beautiful. Here’s a great introductory piece from cello suite I.

Introducing Bach on mandolin

16 jazzy moveable mandolin chords

Here are a set of jazzier chord shapes (including 9th, 11th, 13th and sus chords) to incorporate into your playing.  I will be posting other lessons on how to use these chords in a practical context.  If you haven’t seen my other two moveable mandolin chord charts, check them out here:

16 jazzier mandolin chords

Pick-stroke theory 2:  thinking in beats

In the previous lesson on Pick-Stroke Theory, I explained that rather than following a strict alternating pattern, Pick-Stroke Theory stresses strong beats with downstrokes followed by upstrokes for weak parts of beats.  This lesson explains that idea in more detail with a couple of examples.  Enjoy!

Using tab and standard notation together

While I would never discount the importance of sight-reading standard notation, I also think that tab can sometimes be unfairly dismissed as too informal or in some way inferior.  With fretted instruments, tab can be very useful for telling you the position in which a pitch should be played which can come in handy whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced player.  Enjoy!

Learning pick-stroke theory from bluegrass

Learning a consistent picking method will help progress your playing to the point where you don’t have to think about what your right (or picking hand) is doing, and can instead concentrate on fretting notes and constructing solos/lead parts.

Introducing chord progressions with the blues

The Blues is a great place to start learning many musical concepts such as chord progressions.  This is because even if you don’t necessarily listen to blues, or even play them, you will likely already have an idea of how they sound, making it easier to connect the theory with the music itself.  Enjoy!

Blues chord progressions

Tuning the mandolin

It almost goes without saying that making sure your mandolin is in tune is a fundamental part of learning an instrument – but it’s surprising how many people overlook this fact or become complacent about it.  So here’s a quick and easy guide to help you out.  Enjoy!

Tuning your mandolin

Getting started with the mandolin

When you first get your mandolin it’s natural to want to start playing straight away, but there are a few questions that you’re probably asking yourself:  Should I get a strap?  What about a footrest?  Why is this guitar so small?  But really, it’s a good idea to know the basics when it comes to holding the instrument correctly and so on as this will give you a sound basis for building speed and technique while minimising the risk of injury.

Getting started with mandolin