Sophie Giuliani

Melodic CAGED Soloing

Learn how to make your CAGED solos sing.

WHo it's for


If you’re struggling to make your CAGED soloing skills sound musical, this class is right up your alley.


10 days

Sophie will guide you through ten days of step-by-step instruction with interactive TAB and daily assignments.


Craft melodic solos

You'll leave this class with an expressive set of soloing skills that’ll unlock your voice as a lead guitarist.

Keep going

Take the next step

Once you've mastered this course, keep learning with advanced Master Classes and guided practice plans.

What you'll learn

Over the next 10 days, Sophie will guide you through expressive soloing techniques through the lens of CAGED.

  • Break out of CAGED shapes with linear movement.
  • Master the art of bends, slides, and double stops.
  • Learn how to make your solos sing with phrasing.
How it works

Your guided learning pathway

This music-first course is designed to help you take the CAGED system from uninspired scales to compelling melodic vocabulary. In each lesson, Sophie will break down a new melodic soloing concept. Then, she'll guide you through exercises to internalize what you learned in a musical context.

How to Make Music With CAGED

When you first learn CAGED , it's easy to get lost in the technical side of the system.

To kick off the class, Sophie will break down the fundamental tenets of what it takes to make the CAGED system come alive.

Linear Soloing

A drawback of the CAGED system is that it's easy to get stuck soloing within individual shapes.

Linear soloing is the antidote to this problem. It involves moving freely along your guitar strings, and over the next two days of the class, you'll explore linear soloing applications in two different keys.

Double Stops

Double stops are two-note micro chords that are perfect for beefing up melodic single-note lines.

If you haven't experimented with double stops yet, you're in for a treat – and if you have, Sophie will show you how to take them to the next level in Day 4.

Day 5. How to Combine Positional and Linear Playing

While positional playing can box you in as a lead guitarist, it's certainly not without its merits. In Day 5, we'll examine the benefits of positional soloing and practice blending the concept with linear playing.

Day 6. How to Develop Your Phrasing

Next, you'll learn about the arguably most important ingredient in a great solo: phrasing. This lesson is all about how to draw in your listener with various rhythmic and melodic tools.

Day 7. Connecting Positions Through Triads

As you learn the CAGED system and internalize the notes within each shape, you're unknowingly building a fantastic foundation for triad-based soloing. In this lesson, you'll learn how to blend triads into your lead playing.

Day 8. How to Incorporate Bends in CAGED

Once you tackle triads, we'll take a breather with a fun & simple lesson on how bending can give your solos a fresh injection of emotion.

Day 9. How to Get Beyond CAGED

The CAGED system is an organizational tool. Its rules can help us map out our fretboards and stay grounded while soloing. However, great music is about breaking rules and lifting off into musical outer space. Today, you'll forget everything you learned and let your ear guide you.

Day 10. Recap and Final Challenge

To cap off the class, Sophie will walk you through key points from the last nine days and challenge you to craft your own melodic CAGED solo.


Stay focused with this step-by-step learning program designed by our expert team of music educators.

10-Day Plan

Day 1. How to Make Music With CAGED

Learn about the fundamentals of melodic soloing.

If you’re checking out this Master Class, chances are that you’re familiar with the CAGED system, but need some help taking it from shapes → music.

The object of this first lesson is to help you understand how to make the CAGED system come alive and take your solos to the next level. Each day, you’ll review the CAGED positions and learn a fresh approach for connecting them using some inventive melodic lines.

We'll kick off Day 1 with a sampler platter of the techniques you'll work on over the next nine days, including slides, linear playing, double stops, and more.

Days 2-5

Explore the merits of linear playing and hone your double stops.

Days 2-3. Linear Soloing

Linear soloing involves moving freely along strings, as opposed to getting locked into positions for extended periods of time. Exploring this approach will help you achieve a greater sense of freedom and fluidity in your playing. These lesson have a lot of exercises to explore – over the next two days, you'll work on linear soloing concepts in two different keys.

Rather than seeing the major scale only in blocks on the neck, these one-string exercises you'll work on are a great opportunity to start seeing the major scale as a pattern of semitones and tones. This same pattern is consistent for major scales in every key.

Day 4. How to Play Melodic Double Stops

Today, we'll zero in on how and where to use double stops in your lead guitar playing.

These two-note mini chords make it possible to highlight a single-line melody in 3rds, 6ths, or octaves. Double stops are a super effective technique for adding some flair into a melody. Additionally, they’re useful for moving between CAGED positions.

Consonant intervals of 3rds and 6ths tend to be the most useful intervals for harmonizing a melody, but it’s not uncommon to see melodies harmonized in 4ths too.

Day 5. How to Combine Positional and Linear Playing

It’s all coming together in this lesson! Here, you'll combine the positional playing of the CAGED system with the linear techniques that you'll have covered since the beginning of the Master Class.

Soloing is all about freedom of movement and melody across the fretboard. Linear playing is great for building melodic and lyrical solos that span across the neck.

Positional playing, on the other hand, is a concise way to find all of the notes in a scale or mode in one position of the fretboard without having to shift. Developing the ability to move between positional and linear playing will make you a supremely better improviser and allow all of your soloing ideas to flourish!

Days 6 & 7

Learn about the art of phrasing and use triads to further unlock your soloing options.

Day 6. How to Develop Your Phrasing

Throughout this Master Class, we’ve discussed the two approaches of positional and linear playing. Fluency across the neck is a crucial skill to feeling comfortable and confident when building a solo, but playing the notes is only the first step to building a great solo.

On Day 6, Sophie will introduce you to phrasing – the secret sauce in any great solo. Phrasing is the creation of musical sentences that are used to build a solo. Musical phrasing works in the same way as a literal spoken conversation that you might have between friends. Your sentences will carry greater meaning when you emphasize a particular word or break a sentence into separate clauses.

Sophie will guide you through some key skills that you can add to your back pocket to take your melodic phrasing to the next level.

Day 7. Connecting Positions Through Triads

Triads are incredibly useful as they allow you to connect the CAGED positions of the fretboard together. In this lesson, you’ll look at the triads of G major and C major across the top strings. You can apply these shapes to any key once you know where to build them.

When building a solo, triads add a whole new dimension to your playing and can be used to change the contour of a melody. However, it can be a bit formulaic to grind out only triads in your solo. The best way to use triads is to join them up with melodic phrases that you already know.

Sophie will take you through this method in greater detail during a creative jam. Triads can also help you out of a tight jam when connecting CAGED shapes across the fretboard. All in all, they’re a practical tool to have under your belt.

Days 8-10

Cap off the class with fun, music-first lessons based on bending and creativity.

Day 8. How to Incorporate Bends in CAGED

This lesson will be a little easier today, so kick back and enjoy another fun day of learning. Bends are an exciting way to add some flair and interest to a melody. Just like a road trip it’s all about where you start, and where you’re going.

Bends are useful devices that you can use to approach target notes in a scale or triad. Lots of players use bends to switch up their melodic phrasing and smooth out melodies.

Day 9. How to Get Beyond CAGED

The CAGED system is a great way to learn how to get around the fretboard, but all great improvisers know that you need to have the ability to think freely when you’re creating. Otherwise, you’ll get caught up overthinking and trying to theorize every musical decision that you make. We want to make music and feel as free as a bird when we’re improvising!

The trick to avoiding this common pitfall is to develop two separate mindsets: creative & analytical. The analytical thinking and practicing mindset can be used to generate and develop ideas. However, “true” improvisers want to free themselves of this when they are performing / improvising.

Today, you’ll going to learn how to let go and let the music flow!

Day 10. Recap & Challenge

For your Melodic CAGED graduation, we'll review some key points from the past nine days of instruction and challenge you to compose your very own solo.

Student stories

Learn how Melodic CAGED Soloing has helped real guitarists break through their playing plateau and realize their potential.

“My favorite part about pickup music is probably nerding out in the forum with everyone. Just knowing you have a creative community to reach out to if you have any questions or you're stuck in a rut.”

Vicki Huang

United States

"I would highly recommend Pickup Music to pretty much anyone who has been playing for a few years and doesn't feel like they are getting better any more."

James Harrod

United Kingdom

“One of the things that's been the most fun for me has been the SongSquad challenges... connecting with other people in the Pickup Music community on Instagram and just encouraging each other as we're learning songs and practicing.”

Vin Thomas

United States

"Pickup Music really helped me push my musical boundaries."

Wytse Hokwerda


REAL students

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Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions aren’t answered below, please chat with us.

Is Pickup Music right for me?

Are you a guitar player who feels like you haven’t made progress in a few months… years… or even decades? 

You’re probably stuck in what’s called the ‘intermediate plateau’. This is very common and can be very frustrating.

What’s the cause? Well, it’s pretty easy to learn the basics on guitar. Learn a few open chords and you can play Wonderwall and hundreds of other songs. Learn a couple of scales and a few licks and you can play some lead. 

But what then? Triads? Modes? Arpeggios? The phrygian scale?!

Without a clear plan and learning system you fall back to playing the same old chords and licks over and over again. Or you bounce around free lessons online but nothing seems to stick. It’s a recipe for a lot of practice without much progress. 

That’s where Pickup Music can help. We specialize in taking players stuck in a guitar rut and turning them into advanced guitarists.

We do this through Learning Pathways that take you on a step-by-step journey towards fretboard mastery. We give you a highly structured system that shows you exactly what to work on each week to make serious progress. 

These Learning Pathways take the guesswork out of your practice routine. You are guided through a proven grade-by-grade system with daily lessons, play-along practice exercises and interactive workouts. 

But it’s not all about theory. We apply everything you learn to real music. That’s why every grade of our Learning Pathways build up to performing a song with a live backing band. This simulates what it’s like to play a real gig, with real musicians. It’s the absolute best way to learn. 

You also get 1:1 video feedback on your playing from our expert instructors and can attend weekly live lessons. This personal feedback makes Pickup Music the closest thing to taking in-person lessons, but at a fraction of the cost.

So does this method actually work? Will you see results in your playing?

The most common thing we hear from new members is that they’ve made more progress with Pickup Music in a few months than in years of teaching themselves. As one member recently told us, “I'm finally seeing progress for the first time in many years”.

Want to hear about other members’ experiences with us? Read our independent Trustpilot reviews.

Is Pickup Music worth the money?

Private guitar lessons will cost you about $50 per lesson or $2,600 a year. 

Going to a music academy will cost you about $40,000 a year.

A Pickup Music membership will cost you  just $180 for the whole year. 

That works out to 50 cents a day! 

But it’s not just about the money. It’s about not wasting your precious time. It’s about making actual progress on this beautiful instrument. 

By following our proven Learning Pathway system, you can stop wasting your time and effort trying to guess what you should practice next. Our guided programs eliminate the guesswork so you know exactly what you need to focus on each day and week to make lasting progress with guitar.

What makes Pickup Music better than other guitar lesson sites?

Most online guitar lesson sites are very good at teaching one-off songs and licks. Or they get super famous guitarists to record one-hour video lessons talking at length about their particular style and career.

The problem is that these approaches don't stick. They don’t help you to actually get better as a guitarist. You can waste a lot of time bouncing around these types of unconnected, one-off lessons. It’s a recipe for a lot of practice without much progress. 

Pickup Music takes a different approach. We give you a highly structured system that shows you exactly what to work on each week to make serious progress. We take you beyond the basics through a step-by-step journey towards fretboard mastery. 

By following a Pickup Music Learning Pathway, you are getting the most guided way to learn guitar. Over 6 grades, you are taken through daily lessons and practice exercises that carefully explain what’s going on behind the music. 

Each grade then builds up to song performances that apply everything you’ve learned with a live backing band. These challenges - where we simulate what it’s like to play a real gig, with real musicians - is the absolute best way to learn. 

The Learning Pathway method takes the guesswork out of your practice routine. Most guitarists start to see a rapid acceleration in their progress in a matter of weeks.

You can also get 1:1 video feedback on your playing and weekly live lessons. This personal feedback makes Pickup Music the closest thing to taking in-person lessons, but at a fraction of the cost.

Want to hear about other members’ experiences with us? Read our independent Trustpilot reviews.

What exactly do I get from a Pickup Music membership?

When you become a Pickup Music member you get unlimited access to our huge library of lessons:

  • 13 Learning Pathways giving you step-by-step instruction over 3 months
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  • 100+ essential lick packages to add new flavors to your playing
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You get to enjoy amazing features that create a premium learning experience:

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How do the Learning Pathways work?

Learning Pathways are kind of our special sauce here at Pickup Music. They take all the guesswork out of what to practice. 

You get day-by-day lessons, play along practice exercises with your instructor, interactive jams with the Pickup Music live band and you can submit videos of your playing for feedback from the Pickup Music team. 

We designed this system so that you will know exactly what to practice every time you pick up the guitar. This means that even if you only have time to practice with us once a week, you will still make great progress by following a Learning Pathways. 

How often do I need to practice to see results?

Ideally you would practice about three times a week for 30 minutes at a time. But we know that life gets in the way sometimes! So here’s the good news: deliberate practice matters so much more than how often you practice.

After working with thousands of guitarists, we’ve found that the most important thing is to know exactly what you’re going to practice before you pick up the guitar. Even if you can only use Pickup Music a few times a month, you will still make really good progress if you stick to the step-by-step structure of our Learning Pathways.

How long are the lessons? 

Pickup Music's lesson plans are designed to suit the amount of time you have available to practice.

  • Only got a few minutes? Try our 5-Minute Lessons to quickly add a new skill to your toolbox.
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  • Got a couple of days? Try a Master Class with one of our world-renowned artists. Each class is broken up into short, digestible modules focused on one topic. 
  • Ready to really commit to a multi-week program? Try one of our Learning Pathways. Over 3 months and 6 grades of learning, these detailed courses will take you on a day-by-day journey to master each level in the genre. Learning Pathways include daily practice exercises so you know exactly what to focus on. These courses are the best way to make lasting progress.

Whichever approach you choose, we recommend building the exercises you learn into your daily practice schedule. The best way to improve as a guitarist is through a consistent practice routine rather than sporadic, longer sessions. Learning guitar is a day-by-day, life-long journey.

Can I take the lessons at my own pace?

Everything on Pickup Music is designed to be taken at your own pace. There are no deadlines, so you can work at your own speed. You can stay on a topic until you really understand it before you move on.

While we divide our Learning Pathways into ‘days’ - this is a suggestion only. Some learners might take a few days in one sitting, while others will spend a few sessions on a single day. You can go at the pace that feels most comfortable to you.

How does the 1:1 video feedback work?

We want our members to get the closest thing possible to in-person lessons but at a fraction of the cost. That's why you can now get individual video feedback on your guitar playing from our team of expert instructors.

Here's how it works:

  • Choose a performance piece to learn at the end of each grade of a Learning Pathway.
  • Upload a video of yourself playing the performance piece.
  • An expert instructor from our team will review your playing and send you back a detailed video on what you're doing well and what you need to work on.
  • Repeat for each grade of the Learning Pathway.

Want to see a sample? Check out this recent video feedback from Pickup Music instructor Jack Handyside.

Is Pickup Music good for beginners?

Absolutely! We make learning the guitar fun and simple – the way it should be.

Too many people get frustrated with guitar because they develop bad habits and poor technique. Avoid these costly and time-consuming mistakes by taking Pickup Music's structured and step-by-step approach to learning guitar.

You'll start with Pickup Music's introductory program Beginner Learning Pathway. Over three weeks, we break down everything from simple chords and melodies to rhythm and lead playing. By the end of the program, you'll be able to play any simple pop or rock song (and even write your own).

Most importantly, we make sure you don't get stuck in the beginner's plateau - a common pitfall for guitarists who are just starting out. You'll keep making progress through Pickup Music's guided Learning Pathways. These programs are designed to quickly take you from a beginner player to an intermediate one who feels comfortable across the whole fretboard.

Is Pickup Music good for intermediate and advanced guitarists?

Pickup Music is the best platform available for intermediate and advanced guitarists. Our courses take you beyond the basics to advanced concepts like the CAGED system, triads, arpeggios, modes and improvisation.

The biggest trap for intermediate players is bouncing around from lesson to lesson without a plan or structure to get to that next level. We are known for taking intermediate and advanced players who have hit a ceiling and busting through until they reach the next level.

Am I too old for guitar lessons?

Many of Pickup Music’s members are in their 60s and 70s and have seen amazing success with our programs. Our platform is designed to be user-friendly for all ages and skill levels. And our supportive community is made up of guitar learners of all ages, cheering each other on.

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And we send you a reminder before your trial is about to end so you don’t forget about it. 

If you decide to cancel after that, you won't be charged at your next billing cycle. That means: if you’re a monthly member, you won’t be charged for the next month. If you’re an annual member, you won’t be charged for the next year.

How does the 60-day money back guarantee work?

In addition to the 14-day free trial, we offer a 60-day money back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your progress in the first 60 days of your membership, we will give you your money back - no questions asked.

Is it easy to cancel?

Absolutely! You can cancel at any time (although we'd be sad to see you go). Cancelling is easy, no tricks. Just go to your account page and click a button.

You won't be charged anything if you cancel during your 14-day free trial.

If you cancel after your 14-day trial, you won't be billed again at your next billing cycle. Your membership will remain active until it expires on the day it was originally set to renew.

Note: Once your membership expires, we'll save your progress on your Dashboard if you decide to rejoin at a later date.

What’s the difference between the annual and monthly plan?

The only difference is the price. The monthly membership is $29.99 charged monthly and the annual membership is $179.99 charged once a year. 

That means that if you select the annual plan you will pay 50% less and save $180 over a year compared to the monthly plan. 

We'll also send you reminders before we bill you each year so that you don't accidentally forget about it.

We give such a big discount for annual members because it aligns with our long-term vision to inspire and support lifelong guitar learning.

Can I buy lessons individually?

We don’t sell lessons individually. But the good news is you get access to every single lesson on Pickup Music through the one membership. If you’re only interested in one lesson, you could purchase a monthly membership and cancel when you’ve finished it – we have a hunch you’ll want to stick around though :)

How do I restart my membership?

It’s easy to rejoin Pickup Music and we’d be thrilled to have you back! We even saved all of your lessons for you while you were gone on your Dashboard.

To restart your membership, simply head to this page, select the plan of your choice, and sign up with the email address you used to sign up the first time around.

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