The "Nashville" Number System

To Access This Lesson Subscribe Here


In this lesson we’ll cover the topic of the “Nashville” Numbers System. This system of using numbers to communicate chords is a super power in some ways. It will help you recognize the big picture in so many ways. In short, we’ll cover a method to number diatonic chords in a major key. Once familiarized with these numbers, communicating the form of a song between musicians becomes much quicker. As I say in the video, the Number System is basically like an anti-music theory, music theory. It’s a shorthand to communicate sounds and emotions rather than notes and letter names of chords. 

Once you have this framework to think about song forms, you can start  to categorize common chord progressions and realize that for the most part, there are like 5 different kinds of chord progressions with varying levels of substitutions or variations. Thinking about music like this will give you greater control and mastery of your instrument. You’ll get even greater mileage in your practice routine.

Crucial to engaging with this number system will be two aspects; ear training without your instrument and then linking that ear training with at least three main guitar key positions (G shape, C shape and D shape). Make ear training fun! Do it with songs you like.


Topics Covered: Nashville Number System, Diatonic, Chord Shapes, Keys, G major scale, major and minor chords, dominant seventh chords, half-diminished/minor seventh flat five chords, triads, 

Leave a comment