Nashville Number System

Edited: December 15, 2017, 6:46 PM · Hi all,

In one of my threads, there was a mention of Nashville studio musicians.

I mentioned the Nashville Number System notation which is used in Nashville studios.

This video shows the basic principals of the notation.
I wasn't sure which category to place this in but i thought "Schools" might be appropriate.

Enjoy the videos.


Replies (4)

December 15, 2017, 7:57 PM · Fairly simple system. The second video took over half an hour to explain about five minutes' worth of content. Very stretched out.
December 16, 2017, 11:24 AM · This "system" is not just used in Nashville studios. I have played guitar professionally for over 40 years and in most of the venues where I worked it was required that you had a working knowledge of it. These were mostly live rock, popular and country music venues where we worked from chord charts. I almost never had to work with standard notation. All of the fiddle players I worked with were proficient with these charts and just marked them up as needed.
December 19, 2017, 2:01 PM · The Nashville numbering system is very popular among bluegrassers, many of whom can't read sheet music. Its chief advantage is that you can transpose a piece into any key but the numbers, being relative to the root, stay the same.
December 20, 2017, 1:11 PM · I hadn't heard of NNS until I read this column. After looking at it rather quickly, my first reaction is; If the arranger or the solo singer doesn't know the ideal key before starting the rather expensive recording session; that's amateur. If the bass player doesn't read bass clef and needs the chord/note system; that's illiterate. Yes, I know some of those session guys make more $ than I,...sigh.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Metzler Violin Shop
Metzler Violin Shop


Yamaha YEV Series Violin
Yamaha YEV Series Violin

Dimitri Musafia
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Corilon Violins

American Viola Society Festival and Primrose International Viola Competition

Aria International Summer Academy

Ciaccone: The Bass of Time

Borromeo Music Festival

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Pro-Am Strings Ltd

Violin Lab

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop