Nashville Numbering System

In a separate topic on the forum the trend was heading into discussing the Nashville Numbering System (NNS) and I thought it prudent to start a new topic regarding discussions on the NNS. Here is a link to the topic that started this.

Tab/Sheet Software?

So to start this off I would like to ask ask if anyone is using the NNS and if they feel it is beneficial for them?

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@Celticstar
It has a lot of benefits for me. Denoting makes the chord progression more intuitive. I just write (and remember) numbers and can play the song in any key without changing lots of paperwork.
Numbers can be easily communicated to bandmembers by raising fingers… ( or by banging the head while you play :slight_smile: )

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Up until this moment I though the NNS and the Roman Numerals were the exact same thing. Apparently it’s not Roman Numeral Analysis vs Nashville Number System – Coda Music Technologies

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Unless I’m mistaken, the NNS refers to chord progressions. I recall about a year or so ago learning about this in the TalkingBass Chord Tones course (or maybe it was the Walking Bass course??) at which Mark talked rather extensively about it. There was even a couple exercises that I did and recorded. Here is my 1625 progression in C.
1625 in C Major - (pampurrs.com)

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Yeah me too :slight_smile:

I mean they basically are. I think I prefer the roman numerals actually.

Yes, both the systems are used to describe chord progressions.

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Me too. Using Roman numerals has the advantage of telling you whether the chord quality is Major (upper case) or minor (lower case). The 7th in a Major scale is not used that much and is a diminished chord notated by a º Here is a little chart showing both.

Major Chords Qualities:
Nashville System: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Octave
Roman Numerals: I ii iii IV V vi viiº octave

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I vaguely recall reading, or hearing, or being taught somewhere along the line that Roman numerals are generally the preferred method of writing chord progressions. I don’t recollect the reason why, but @Celticstar 's reasoning makes sense to me.

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Ha, i was thinking about that yesterday afternoon and was going to start a similar thread on NNS :slight_smile:

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You can do that in NNS, vi = 6- or 6m

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I think that roman numerals are better for theory work and NNS is better for playing.

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If you were having a verbal discussion with someone and describing the chords in a 12 bar blues you would say they were 1 4 5 which is NNS not say Capital I, Capital IV, and Capital V.

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I don’t think anyone says roman numerals like that… I don’t tell anyone it’s Capital IV o’clock.

The common jazz progression ii, V, I is still said verbally as 2, 5, 1.

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No wonder they look at me funny when I do it the other way :grin:

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Well as long as you don’t say “lets play the Ivy” chord progression" :smiley:

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Of course not.
Written is usually roman numerals and spoken is regular numerical.

You just said the same thing I did only in a different way. :slightly_smiling_face:

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that’s what i get for posting at work :smiley:

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I really like NNS. The only reason I don’t use it for my band’s lead sheets is that I do all of the lead sheets by computer, and there isn’t a good way to do that. Someone was selling an ‘NNS Font’ that was supposed to have all of the symbols and stuff, but I couldn’t get it to work for me.

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Do you have a link for that? I’d like to give it a try…

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It was called ‘Number Chart Pro’. It looks like his link is dead now, it was http://robhainesstudio.com/numchart

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I do all my lead sheets on the computer also.

When I get a request for a lead sheet what I do is make sure they have chord charts and lyrics with them.
I then write the chord progressions for the Chorus and Verses along the top of the sheet.
Then if someone requests a key change, usually to accommodate the singer, just plug in the chords from the new key. Of course it is also a good idea to check that the initial chords for a song work and that you know all, or most of the key signatures. Another reason to understand the Circle of 5ths/4ths. :slightly_smiling_face:

Really what was supposed to be so special about the NNS software?

Most note values and symbols can be found free on the internet in a font that you just need to install in your word processor font file. The one I use has ♩ ♪ ♫ ♭ ♯ and ♮ For clefs I just copied artwork for them from the internet and resized them accordingly. For staves I just drew them out myself in the word processor program I use.

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