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The Nashville Numbers System

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by higgi, Mar 3, 2006.


  1. I needed a way to make short and easy to understand notes for some songs. I started to use the roman numerals and key signature method that you find in music theory books. Then someone told me this was called The Nashville Number System. After using it for a month it seems to really have improved my understanding of theory. Plus I can make a chord chart for 40 songs on two sheets of paper. Example Bm: Vr(i vi VI v) Ch(i iv v). Its more like a cheat sheet than a real chord chart. I was wondering if many people used this notation.
     
  2. Thank you for posting a site with the info. By the way I posted in "Off Topic" because it's not tab nor a fingers hit the steel "Technique" subject.
     
  3. I have a cover gig as a sun bassist comming up, and on top of my amp i am putting a cheat sheet with the verse chirus and interlude numbers. I think it is very helpfull, and an easy way to understand the keys notes.
     
  4. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    Thanks for those great links guys. What a sensible system. I didn't run into it too much in LA or St. Lou. It's great for transposing music on the fly.
     
  5. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I've been using this method for a long time. I learned it from the older Blues and R&B guys I used to play with.

    They would call out a tune, give you some number and a key, and then go. It is amazing just how many tunes you can describe this way. I never knew any of the tunes these guys did, so they would just tell me the numbers. Sometimes they would also tell me the feel, like "shuffle", or where the breaks were, "watch me for the breaks". I never knew it was call the Nashville Method until I read about it here.

    Its all I use now. Everyone could benifit from knowing this, especially if you do fill in work. It seems like most of the players I meet use this system in one form or another.