# Nashville Number System - quick question

TheGoodTexan
November 13th, 2003, 10:20 AM
Brain freeze here.

In the key of A...

A=1
D=4
E=5

...does F = 5# or 6?

KokoTele
November 13th, 2003, 10:31 AM
6. There is no 5#.

TheGoodTexan
November 13th, 2003, 10:40 AM
6. There is no 5#.

Thanks a ton.

That's what I get for learning to play guitar by watching Hendrix Live at Montery Pop over and over and over and over. I think my mom knows that entire set by heart too...she heard it coming from my bedroom for years!

ashtray
November 13th, 2003, 10:41 AM
Er, isn't F sharped in the key of A? So an F natural in the key of A would be lowering the 6th note by a half step.

What exactly is "Nashville Numbering" anyways?

Joel Terry
November 13th, 2003, 10:42 AM
F would technically be 6b, because 6 would be F#.

Take care,
Joel :)

Dana
November 13th, 2003, 10:52 AM
Is it 6b, or b6?

I know when you say it, it's flat 6th, not 6th flat.

I know in standard notation it's backward, the flat (b) goes before the note, but it's called flat 6th, not 6th flat.

Glad it's music theory, and not music fact! :D

Joel Terry
November 13th, 2003, 10:54 AM
What exactly is "Nashville Numbering" anyways?

Steve, the NNS is a shorthand method of charting chord changes using numbers instead of actual chord names; that way, if a song is transposed to a different key, the numbers prevent you from having to rewrite all the chord names. Mostly, it's just a darn quick way to chart/ learn a tune.

Here's a good site to get the basics on the NNS:
http://studio-musicians.net/Musician_Resources/nashville_number_code.htm

Take care,
Joel

Joel Terry
November 13th, 2003, 11:01 AM
Is it 6b, or b6?

I know when you say it, it's flat 6th, not 6th flat.

I know in standard notation it's backward, the flat (b) goes before the note, but it's called flat 6th, not 6th flat.

Glad it's music theory, and not music fact! :D

Dana, that's a great point. You're dead-on correct about standard notation's requirements of placing the flat or sharp before the note; however, since the Nashville number system deals with a quick jot of actual chord changes, then 6b ("six flat") would be correct notation.

Remember, the Nashville number system is not really related to standard notation; it's its own methodology. It was developed for country, gospel, and rock tunes with relatively uncomplicated chords. One might run into trouble trying to use it to chart jazz--for jazz, you'd want to go ahead and chart the actual chord name, since most chords in jazz are extended.

Joel :)

KokoTele
November 13th, 2003, 11:04 AM
Wow, that site has a whole bunch of stuff that I never associated with the Nashville system.

What I learned was much simpler, though maybe I learned it wrong.

The way I learned it is how we get the typical I-IV-V notation.

I (capital) is a major chord.
i (lower case) is a minor chord.
I7 is the root 7 chord. A7 in the key of *
i7 is the root minor 7. Amin7
ii7=Bmin7

etc. etc. I know I read it in a book, and I know they called it the Nashville system. Maybe that book was wrong.

Andy R
November 13th, 2003, 11:14 AM
In common usage, it could be called either 5# or 6b , enharmonic changes can be called either: remember, the number system is not linked to any key!

Joel Terry
November 13th, 2003, 11:47 AM
Wow, that site has a whole bunch of stuff that I never associated with the Nashville system.

What I learned was much simpler, though maybe I learned it wrong.

The way I learned it is how we get the typical I-IV-V notation.

I (capital) is a major chord.
i (lower case) is a minor chord.
I7 is the root 7 chord. A7 in the key of *
i7 is the root minor 7. Amin7
ii7=Bmin7

etc. etc. I know I read it in a book, and I know they called it the Nashville system. Maybe that book was wrong.

No, you've got it nailed. There are some slight variations among different users of the Nashville number system. You simply learned a variation of it, that's all.

Joel

November 13th, 2003, 08:57 PM
6. There is no 5#.

Don't think so. Since the sixth scale degree in the key of A is F#, F is a variant of the 6th degree, namely flatter by a half step. It is either 6 flat or 5 sharp, the two being enharmonic equivalents (ie, they sound the same).

I also learned in college the Roman numeral system of chordal analysis, when major chords are upper case and minor chords are lower case. In the NNS, regular numbers are used, and a number alone is assumed to be major, while a number with a dash beside it (2-, for example) denotes a minor chord.

So, key of A major....... 1 2- 4 5 5# would be
Amajor, Bminor, Dmajor, Emajor,F

Hope this helps

Tony

Bill Hullett
November 14th, 2003, 01:30 AM
Nashville number system is its own VERY efficiant animal....While its true that it was originally designed (by the Jordinaires , I might add) as a simple chart for simple progressions...It has over the years evolved into a very sofisticated way of logging music.....Once you learn it you never want to go back to written music ever again....although I'm not a jazz player by any stretch .....I think that you would find , in its most evolved state , the number system a very cool thing......In twenty five years of fulltime sessions here in Nashville I've been handed written sheet music less than 10 times....number charts in the tens of thousands And used number charts out on everything from pop standards, rock, country, jingles, and movie soundtracks...........
To your question about 5# vs. flat6......If you took a pole in town here I bet it would come up 50/50....
although when I write a chart with that interval in it I generally call it a 5#.....but thats just because my ear references that pitch as a raised 5 chord as opposed to a flatted 6 chord.....
Also a wierd "Nashvillism" that exsists is that when you write a chart here if you use a # (ie: 5# ) people tend to put the sharps AFTER THE NUMBER .....BUT.....if your writing a number chart using a flat terminology.....(ie: flat3) people tend to put the flat in frontof the number.......Don't ask me why.....but thats the way we do it here....:-)
Bill Hullett

Baard
November 14th, 2003, 04:31 AM
Also a wierd "Nashvillism" that exsists is that when you write a chart here if you use a # (ie: 5# ) people tend to put the sharps AFTER THE NUMBER .....BUT.....if your writing a number chart using a flat terminology.....(ie: flat3) people tend to put the flat in frontof the number.......Don't ask me why.....but thats the way we do it here....:-)
Bill Hullett

Maybe itīs physical....as looking at the neck of the guitar or any keys or what.....the flatted note is alway to the left of the note, and the sharp note is to the right of the note itself. Pretty logic....

Baard

hendrixaxe
November 14th, 2003, 08:28 AM
As a rule of thumb, if a key contains #s in the key signature, the 'in between notes' would be referred to as as a # (relative minor keys shown in brackets):

G major (E minor) F#
D major (B minor) F# C#
A major (F# minor) F# C# G#
E major (C# minor) F# C# G# D#
B major (G# minor) F# C# G# D# A#
etc

If a key contains b s in the key signature, the 'in between notes' would be referred to as as a b (relative minor keys shown in brackets):

F major (D minor) Bb
Bb major (G minor) Bb Eb
Eb major (C minor) Bb Eb Ab
Ab major (F minor) Bb Eb Ab Db
Db major (Bb minor) Bb Eb Ab Db Gb
etc

This avoids mixing # & b in the same notation, which is confusing as hell!

All this theory comes from 12 years of playing trumpet in bands and orchestras, 26 years of guitar playing, and 5 years of music theory while studying O' and A' levels.

At the end of the day, for us guitarists the 7th fret on the 2nd string is still going to sound the same whether you call it F# or Gb!!

Hope this helps rather than confuses matters

TheGoodTexan
November 14th, 2003, 08:59 AM
Also a wierd "Nashvillism" that exsists is that when you write a chart here if you use a # (ie: 5# ) people tend to put the sharps AFTER THE NUMBER .....BUT.....if your writing a number chart using a flat terminology.....(ie: flat3) people tend to put the flat in frontof the number.......Don't ask me why.....but thats the way we do it here....:-)
Bill Hullett

Hey Bill - I never thought about it, but you're exactly right....especially with the flat in front of the number.

Another Nashvillism?...."can you hold that check till Monday?" :D

KokoTele
November 14th, 2003, 09:34 AM
6. There is no 5#.

Don't think so. Since the sixth scale degree in the key of A is F#, F is a variant of the 6th degree, namely flatter by a half step. It is either 6 flat or 5 sharp, the two being enharmonic equivalents (ie, they sound the same).

Doh! I was countin' wrong. That'll learn me :oops:

Bill Hullett
November 15th, 2003, 12:58 PM
Once an artist / producer / or songwriter raves about the job you've done and says "man that was killer.....I'm never gonna cut without you again" ......rest assured ....it'll be the last time you work for him....:-)

Bill Hullett

Andy R
November 15th, 2003, 05:47 PM
I thought that only happened to me, Bill!