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#2698268 - 12/19/17 04:14 PM Nashville Number system thoughts?  
Joined: Jun 2017
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carolinakeys Offline
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carolinakeys  Offline
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I once thought I was gonna be a famous guitar picker in Music City until I went there and figured out the guy serving me beer in the local bar could kick my tail to the Cumberland river. I did however woodshed the number system. While I haven’t made the Hall Of Fame, yet, it made interval study in piano much easier. I’m interested in my PW fans, uh, I mean friends, thoughts on it. Please hurry, my limo is waiting.


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#2698440 - 12/20/17 10:27 AM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: carolinakeys]  
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JohnSprung Offline
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Conventional lead sheets work well enough for me. I've heard of Nashville Numbers, but never seen them in use. It seems to be a genre specific thing.


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#2698471 - 12/20/17 12:32 PM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: carolinakeys]  
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Kbeaumont Offline
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Like real book entries with numbered chords its the same thing. It makes transposing keys easier than standard notation.
If guitarist says I want to play this song and gives you a sheet with chord names. Then he proceeds to place a capo on his guitar you know there is going to be problem.
But if the sheet has 1 , 2m , v etc, its way easier to transpose then to go G up 4 1/2 steps, Am up for 1/2 steps etc.

Many pianists will laugh at guitar tab. But think about how it quickly solves a key problem. On a guitar any note can be plaid in multiple places on a fret board. But middle C is middle C in only one place on a piano. It makes sight reading it a whole lot easier. So who cares if it doesn't look the same as classical sheet music. A computer program can make it either.

So my take is if it makes things easier or solves a particular issue. Why not? The Nashville numbering systems really wasn't a country music thing. It was a session musician thing where you never knew what key a singer was going to want. And studio time is money.


A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....
#2698512 - 12/20/17 03:39 PM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: carolinakeys]  
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jjo Offline
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Chicago
Jazz players think about tunes using the same essential concept. While lead sheets are written out with chord names, most jazz players think of the chords with Roman numerals. That's why really good jazz players can play most tunes in any key.

I think the reason most jazz lead sheets are not written that that analysis is that the chords in jazz tunes are way more complex than Nashville stuff, so it would be much more difficult to assign a number to everything.

How does the Nashville system, by the way, deal with a piece in the key of C that goes to an Eb chord?
How does the Nashville system deal with pieces that modulate to different keys?
Can the Nashville system accommodate half diminished chords and altered dominants?

#2698615 - 12/20/17 10:05 PM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: carolinakeys]  
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dmd Offline
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I looked it up on Wikipedia and found it to be quite a sophisticated system.

It basically is able to notate everything you can imagine.

Not with a simple number, by the way.

Very similar to the use of Roman Numerals, etc ... in jazz circles.

So, I do not think it deserves to be ....poo poo'd. It covers the bases and it works.

It is too bad a numbering system (any kind) is not utilized more often. It would absolutely encourage understanding of different key centers early on.



Last edited by dmd; 12/20/17 10:06 PM.

Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2698713 - 12/21/17 08:56 AM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: carolinakeys]  
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jjo Offline
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I fully agree that the Nashville system way of thinking about a tune is enormously valuable. Every few weeks, I try to take a jazz standard and play it in all 12 keys. It's a great way to really understand chord progressions.

If you listen to Prairie Home Companion, you know that the new host, Chris Thile (a mandolin player) has a segment where listeners tweet in the names of pop songs that the band has never played, and they then play i on the airt. I remember one where Thile knew the chords, and he told the band something like: "It's I IV V three times and then a long IV." He then gave them a key and the band was off an running!

#2698878 - 12/21/17 10:07 PM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: jjo]  
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dmd Offline
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dmd  Offline
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Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by jjo
I fully agree that the Nashville system way of thinking about a tune is enormously valuable. Every few weeks, I try to take a jazz standard and play it in all 12 keys. It's a great way to really understand chord progressions.

If you listen to Prairie Home Companion, you know that the new host, Chris Thile (a mandolin player) has a segment where listeners tweet in the names of pop songs that the band has never played, and they then play i on the airt. I remember one where Thile knew the chords, and he told the band something like: "It's I IV V three times and then a long IV." He then gave them a key and the band was off an running!


I agree that it is valuable and usable.

However, it is no more so than what is utilized within the jazz genre.

In the jazz genre .... that same person might say the same thing .... I IV V (3 times) and ending on a long IV in the key of Eb.

The players would then know to play these chords ..... EbMaj7, AbMaj7, Bb7 (3 times) and end with AbMaj7.

They might also insert a few 9ths and 13ths with those chords here and there for additional color but it is the same thing.

If all music (leadsheets) would be written with that sort of notation, I think players would learn to play in different keys much quicker.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2698916 - 12/22/17 07:30 AM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: dmd]  
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Hidden son of Teddy Wilson Offline
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Hidden son of Teddy Wilson  Offline
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Originally Posted by dmd
[quote=jjo]
If all music (leadsheets) would be written with that sort of notation, I think players would learn to play in different keys much quicker.



As someone else mentioned, I don't think it would work that well (be legible) on standards that have sections in different keys.

#2699043 - 12/22/17 05:54 PM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: Hidden son of Teddy Wilson]  
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fizikisto Offline
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Originally Posted by Hidden son of Teddy Wilson


As someone else mentioned, I don't think it would work that well (be legible) on standards that have sections in different keys.


I am not sure why it would be any more challenging than to change key signatures. Start the piece with a note 1 = C then simply note 1=F or whatever if there is a key change.


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#2699054 - 12/22/17 07:47 PM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: fizikisto]  
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Hidden son of Teddy Wilson Offline
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Originally Posted by fizikisto

I am not sure why it would be any more challenging than to change key signatures. Start the piece with a note 1 = C then simply note 1=F or whatever if there is a key change.


How would you notate it? For example, say, Cherokee or How High The Moon?

#2705216 - Yesterday at 04:50 PM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: carolinakeys]  
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Pianolance Offline
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Pianolance  Offline
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Nashville, TN
I live in Nashville and actually know the guy that invented the Nashville Number system. His name is Wayne Moss owner of Cinderella Studios in Nashville which is the oldest operating independant studio in Nashville and walking in there is like walking into a museum. It's awesome. Anyway, the Nashville Number system notates every beat, not just chord changes. It made things easy for the players to write their own charts on the fly. Somebody would say something like: 11 11 11 14 55 55 55 54 11... and they would say it, Eleven, eleven, eleven, fourteen, fifty five, fifty five, fifty five, fifty four, eleven and all the players would have the chords written down within a minute or so. Then they could play the song in any key and if a verse modulated still use the same chart. It's an ingenious system.


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#2705270 - Yesterday at 08:04 PM Re: Nashville Number system thoughts? [Re: carolinakeys]  
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Hidden son of Teddy Wilson Offline
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Hidden son of Teddy Wilson  Offline
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Ok, suppose I'm on the bandstand, some guy comes sit in, tells me eleven, sixty six, seventy seven, ninety five or whatever.... I'll just tell him to get the heck out, right? you understand? I don't use that system, and I can play lots of songs in lots of keys... I wonder how I do it. "heck" is not what I wrote, but you get the idea

Last edited by Hidden son of Teddy Wilson; Yesterday at 08:05 PM.

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