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Nashville charts question

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,401
I recently started playing with a guy who suggested we write everything out using Nashville charts (for when he adds musicians). I'm no expert but I thought I knew how Nashville charts work, so I agreed to do it.

I was stumped in a minute when I sat down to write out Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay". Assuming it's in A, how do you write the G chord in numbered notation? It's not a VII, is it?
 

mthomps

Member
Messages
125
I always thought it was just the number of the chord you were on in the key. So if it's in A and the chord is G you just write b7.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,045
Grad school is when you understand"go to the twenty-five then fourteen fifteen"
That's Nashville talk.
 

Motterpaul

Tone is in the Ears
Messages
13,085
I remember country players using this system when I was recording engineer in Dallas. It has been a long time, but I think I recall for a V7 chord they would "57"

But as I thought I remembered it they used standard music theory for the nomenclature of the chords, and then just turned them into whole numbers - for example a

I6 chord (a I chord with the third in the bass) became a "16". I think people are going to tell me I am wrong, but that was how I remembered it. I also recall I had no problem following what they were saying with my music theory background, as long as you know scales.

A conversation in the key of C about whether a chord was an E-major or C with the third in the bass would be "Is that a 3-Major or a 16?" And of course a G9 chord was a "59".

But that is just my memory, and it could be wrong.
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,401
Thanks... I did it, just wasn't sure if 'b' or '#' was the correct way to denote accidentals in these charts.

Cruisemates: if a C with a third under it was a 16 (in C) , how would they write denote a C6 chord (C-E-G-A)? Or is there a slash in there to denote the bottom note?
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,045
I remember country players using this system when I was recording engineer in Dallas. It has been a long time, but I think I recall for a V7 chord they would "57"

But as I thought I remembered it they used standard music theory for the nomenclature of the chords, and then just turned them into whole numbers - for example a

I6 chord (a I chord with the third in the bass) became a "16". I think people are going to tell me I am wrong, but that was how I remembered it. I also recall I had no problem following what they were saying with my music theory background, as long as you know scales.

A conversation in the key of C about whether a chord was an E-major or C with the third in the bass would be "Is that a 3-Major or a 16?" And of course a G9 chord was a "59".

But that is just my memory, and it could be wrong.
That works too but I've heard it used in sessions as a shorthand for chord progressions. C F C G is called a 'fourteen fifteen'. Dm G is a 'twenty-five'. {these are verbal instructions}
I'm not sure if the books on the Nashville system get into this.
 
Last edited:

gtrnstuff

Member
Messages
2,523
All the Nashville charts I've seen (and that's quite a few after 30 years) use a vertical fraction of 1/3 for a tonic chord with the third in the bass. They just use the number of the scale degree.
So in the key of C, an F with a third in the bass is 4/6 but written vertically.
Horizontally the slash would mean a split bar, two beats 4 (F) two beats 6 (A). They would call out "four split six"
For A minor, they specify A- or A minor.

The other interesting thing is a song in a minor key, the tonic is named 6- even if the chorus doesn't go to the relative major 1.
Just a few tidbits there, that's in no way a full lesson in the number system.
 




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