# Nashville Number System

#### SPUDCASTER

##### Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
And after you learn all of that. Then comes the diamonds and dots.

#### ndcaster

##### Doctor of Teleocity
ok, so how do the Nashville cats notate bar lines and rhythm?

#### swarfrat

##### Tele-Meister
ok, so how do the Nashville cats notate bar lines and rhythm?
While the concept is simple - it's evolved to cover a LOT of stuff.

#### ndcaster

##### Doctor of Teleocity
While the concept is simple - it's evolved to cover a LOT of stuff.
thanks

slow pace in harmonic rhythm, unconcerned about inversions, not much specific about any color tones

have you heard of French "grilles"?

#### swarfrat

##### Tele-Meister
Where inversions are specified, it's written with / roots. 1/3 is an inversion, as the bass note belongs to the chord. 2-/1 is not an inversion it's a ii with a b7 in the bass).

Color tones are written out 5°add13, etc... If you don't like it, don't use it. It brings value for a lot of people. If you're so good at transposing in your head while playing guitar in alternate tunings and reading notation (which does not describe fingerings or note choices btw) them have at it and if you need us all to bow to your superior skills just say so.

#### ndcaster

##### Doctor of Teleocity
Where inversions are specified, it's written with / roots. 1/3 is an inversion, as the bass note belongs to the chord. 2-/1 is not an inversion it's a ii with a b7 in the bass).

Color tones are written out 5°add13, etc... If you don't like it, don't use it. It brings value for a lot of people. If you're so good at transposing in your head while playing guitar in alternate tunings and reading notation (which does not describe fingerings or note choices btw) them have at it and if you need us all to bow to your superior skills just say so.
oh I didn't mean to sound critical, just rubbing chin, mulling it over

it obviously works

#### trapdoor2

##### Friend of Leo's
I do semi understand that oddly enough. Problem is, when I first picked up a guitar years ago I never learned scales. I’m the early 00’s I actually took a guitar course at a local community college. I quit halfway through because he was teaching theory and I leaned by ear. He didn’t like me doing that.
If you want change, you're going to have to work at it. There is no magic pill. Keep your ear...but train it. Find the notes in a song, identify them and ask yourself: why this note? What chord does it belong to? How does it fit structurally into the song?

You have to have the fundamentals to understand the system; notes, chords, scales, relationships.

#### FenderLover

##### Poster Extraordinaire
So much of what you will learn next comes directly from the major scale, including the number system. Just learn the major scale. Start there. The number system is baked right in and you'll need to know the major scale anyway if you ever want to get away from cowboy chords at a sing-along.
Aside from learning more about music, it'll give you the foundation to speak with other musicians. Self-taught can be the long road there. I had a friend that had his own terms for simple computer tasks. I couldn't talk to him. He didn't know what a desktop was. He didn't know what/where basic things were because of his self-taught path.

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#### loopfinding

##### Poster Extraordinaire
If you don’t understand the theory behind it, then don’t sweat it. Learning the harmonic theory is more important than the Nashville convention. If you’re not some session dude who needs shorthand, there’s no point in one upping people just to say you can. It’s not really an essential skill or milestone so much as it is a tool for people trying to get a specific job done (recording and coming up with parts quickly on the clock).

I understand the Roman numeral system. I can transpose stuff pretty easily. I’m not a professional, I play for pleasure, and on pretty much every gig where tunes are being played it’s either a) the material given is unambiguously written or reworked before the gig if there are complications or b) you just play it from the real book and nobody vibes you about “well actually I’m gonna call it last minute in this key cause if you don’t know that’s the original key and can’t do the math, you’re a rube.”

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#### gtroates

##### Tele-Holic
There are some great books available about the Nashville number system which could really benefit anyone trying to learn the system, the ones I have include sections with examples from studio players in Nashville, the examples are photos of the players’ pencilled notes. The numbers used are never Roman Numerals, that is a different system. There are rhythmic markings and accent markings to signify exactly how the music goes and even ways using numbers to quickly notate what the melody notes are during intros, for riffs, breaks, interludes, or endings. The system is used a lot in recording studios by the musicians and the composers to quickly set an arrangement in the studio as it is mostly written in pencil markings. The Roman Numeral system doesn’t tend to have multiple annotation devices like the ones used in the NNS.

#### FaithNicole

##### Tele-Meister
My one and only introduction to the NNS was a steel guitar player (a very good one) turned to me at a jam because he wanted to play a song only he knew. He asked me if I knew the system. I looked at him and simply said, nope, I've only been playing bass for a year (at that time). His eyes got real big and told me he would have guessed I'd been playing for decades. Made me feel good .. but not good enough to try to learn 'The system' hee

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