The CAGED System D Shape

Next in the CAGED System module is the D Shape which is a funky little shape indeed!

View the full lesson at The CAGED System D Shape | JustinGuitar

Justin has such detailed, helpful advice on how to overcome the challenges of forming he E- shaped bar chord. I’ve got that under my belt (after years of practice!), but I’m struggling with the D-shape. Specifically, the stretch between fingers 1 and 2 seems enormous. Any advice?

That shape is used mostly for triads and the D shaped scale where the stretch doen’t come into play. The C shape is used a lot more minus the root on the A string. The e B G strings are fretted the same shape but can be played with a mini barre

In Justin’s suggested fingering for the D Shape barre chord, is the fifth string played or muted? There’s an “x” at the top of the digram, but a circle over the barre at the fifth string.

Yes and No.

Yes, in that the 5th string is the same note as you’re fretting on the 3rd string, except it’s an octave lower, so is an acceptable note to play for a D chord.

No, in that the 5th string isn’t the root note (it’s actually the 5th), and not using the root note to define the position kind of defeats the purpose of the CAGED system.

That makes sense. Then what’s the deal with the open circle at the left of the barre?

It’s either muted or not played. The circle on the A string above the root would mean mute. The X at the nut means don’t play. So you have the option. Either way it’s not part of the chord.

Ah, that’s what confused me. I’m used to seeing circles at “fret zero” on open chords telling me to play the notes.