• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


Nashville Number System

Swain

Member
Messages
2,407
Let's see if this helps:

Basically, there are 7 primary Chords, in any Key. And they are numbered 1 through 7.

1 4 and 5 are Major Chords.

2 3 and 6 are Minor Chords.

7 is a Diminished Chord.



They are built off of the Major Scale Pattern. W W H W W W H

So, in the Key of C:

1=C 2=Dm 3=Em 4=F 5=G 6=Am 7=Bdim.

Does this help?
 

Wagster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,205
Swain gave some great advice.Remember that songs in minor keys are notated in the relative major key.For example a tune like Tom Petty's Last Dance With Mary Jane which is in A minor would be notated as 6- or 6m which is the relative minor (6th degree) of C major.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4sI7OP92kI
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,063
Swain gave some great advice.Remember that songs in minor keys are notated in the relative major key.For example a tune like Tom Petty's Last Dance With Mary Jane which is in A minor would be notated as 6- or 6m which is the relative minor (6th degree) of C major.
Not as I understand it. In a true A minor key, Am is i, C is III:
http://stovermusic.com/Folk_Guitar/fourteen.htm
The issue would be where it might be ambiguous whether C or Am was the key chord. That's not really the case with Mary Jane's Last Dance, where Am is plainly the tonic:
Code:
 i   VII   iv   i
|Am / G / |Dm / Am / |
The numbers refer to positions in the natural minor scale, which is the scale used there. There can be problems in minor keys where the 6th and 7th steps vary (as in harmonic and melodic minor). In that case it would be clearer to write G (in A minor) as "bVII", saving "VII" - or "vii" - for G#dim7. (And VIIdim or viio is clearest for the latter.)

The Nashville system does use ordinary numbers (1-2-3-4-5-6-7) as you say, but it aligns with the other standard jazz system of roman numerals.
The latter is more useful when it comes to adding extensions - at least in writing! - so we can have "V7" or "V9" rather than "5-7" or "5-9".
Of course, when used verbally on stage or in studio (for which the Nashville shorthand was invented), it makes no difference - "5" and "V" are both "five" ;) .

With the roman numeral system, there are two ways of showing minors: either in lower case (as above), or keeping all upper case and using "m" or (in jazz shorthand) "-". So (for a major key) -

I ii iii IV V vi viio (o = dim)
I IIm IIIm IV V VIm VIIo

The latter would be clearer when handwriting. (And clearer to use "m" rather than "-", although "-" is common enough in jazz charts.)
The problem of course, if you see "II", is to know if they mean a minor chord (and left off the "m", or meant lower case) or a chromatic major chord (D in key of C).
(But then there are always these kind of problems around the edges of any shorthand system... ;) )
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,063
OK, this is exactly why I asked for easy to understand...i found a site that offers a wheel type card for about 14 bucks that seems to be almost decipherable...but the info does not seeem to match up with what I think I understand y'all to be saying...

http://www.ducksdeluxe.com/nashvillenumbersystem.html
Looks like the same stuff to me.

If you look at the top half of the left-hand disc, you'll see the 1, 4 and 5 on top of one another (chords C F and G in key of C). The wheel also includes their classical names: 1 = tonic, 4 = subdominant, 5 = dominant.
To the right and below you can see the other 3 main chords in the key: 2 = supertonic (Dm); 3 = submediant (Em); 6 = mediant (Am). Although - WARNING! - it looks as if they're calling these chords D7 E7 and A7 (I can't quite read the detail, but it looks like "7" not "m".) If this is so, do NOT buy this. Those chords should be minors, not major or dom7.
Judging from what I can read on the right-hand disc tho, they do use minors correctly.
I notice it does have a little box towards the top (on the left hand disc) with "relative minor chords". But this is also a little misleading. The relative minor is a KEY. Relative minor of C major is A minor.

Provided it does give you the correct 3 minor chords for each major key, this would be useful little device. Personally I would like to examine one first before buying. (And it looks a bit expensive for what it is.)
Similar (and maybe better) products are available:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chord-Wheel-Ultimate-Tool-Musicians/dp/0634021427
http://www.chordwheel.com/
Looks like you can build your own here:
http://www.chipcollection.com/articles/make-your-own-chord-wheel/

More sites explaining the system:
http://www.guitarnotes.com/alan/ah_nashville_numbers.shtml
http://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/comping-chords-chord-progressions/3407-nashville-chord-system.html
http://www.gospelmusic.org.uk/resources/nashville_numbering.htm
http://worshipguitarguy.wordpress.c...part-2-caged-and-the-nashville-number-system/
http://www.bluegrassbassplace.com/instructional/nashvillenumberingsystem.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4sI7OP92kI
They all say the same thing, but details may differ, so you might find some easier to understand than others.
(Sorry if I made it sound complicated above, it's really very simple: Swain gave you the essentials.)
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,157
Let's see if this helps:

Basically, there are 7 primary Chords, in any Key. And they are numbered 1 through 7.

1 4 and 5 are Major Chords.

2 3 and 6 are Minor Chords.

7 is a Diminished Chord.



They are built off of the Major Scale Pattern. W W H W W W H

So, in the Key of C:

1=C 2=Dm 3=Em 4=F 5=G 6=Am 7=Bdim.

Does this help?
Actually isn't the 7 chord a Bm7b5? A Bdim has a G#/Ab in it which isn't part of a C scale.
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,063
Actually isn't the 7 chord a Bm7b5? A Bdim has a G#/Ab in it which isn't part of a C scale.
You're right.
The vii chord is a diminished triad - so "Bdim" is correct, because we're only talking triads to begin with here - but it gets extended into a half-dim Bm7b5 (B-D-F-A).
B-D-F-Ab is "Bdim7" (Bo7) and is the vii chord of C minor (harmonic minor).

The vii chord of a major key is almost never used in any case. In practice, 99% of the time, Bm7b5 is the ii chord in A minor, not the vii in C major.

In jazz, diminished triads are so rare that "dim" ("o") is often used as shorthand for "dim7", which is where confusion can arise. In jazz charts, you can assume that "Bo" means Bdim7, not a Bdim triad, and not Bm7b5.
 

fish78

Member
Messages
2,026
OK, I am beginning to get it...this makes the most sense of anything I have seen...Much easier than tabs for me...I am thinking that this will help me learn theory as well as quickly move from one key to another....I think I am going to pop for the Williams book....
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,063
A nice primer in this respect is the circle of 5ths, which those tools are based on. This is designed to show all 12 keys, in a logical arrangement (clockwise, more sharps, anticlockwise, more flats).



But if you treat each key segment as a chord, then the main six chords for a key occur in a block of 6: 3 majors in the outer circle, 3 minors in the inner circle.
The I (tonic) is in the centre, the IV (subdominant) anticlockwise and the V (dominant) clockwise. The minors (ii, vi and iii) are on the inside.

So say you want the chords for the key of D major. G (IV) is one side, A(V) the other. Bm (vi, most common minor in D) is right opposite D, and Em (ii) and F#m (iii) make the rest. (The missing vii chord is hardly used in practice, so you can forget it.)

If using the circle for composing hints, you don't even need to know about the key connection. Chords that sound good together are close to one another - that's how it works. The further away on the circle, the stranger they sound together (which might be a good effect... ;) ).

Even if you want to stick with the set of 6 for the key, one or two either side can make cool additions. Eg, in key of D in rock, a C major chord (bVII) is common (there it is right on the left of G).
 

rockstarjay

Member
Messages
368
Actually isn't the 7 chord a Bm7b5? A Bdim has a G#/Ab in it which isn't part of a C scale.
The VII chord in major is a half diminished chord:

1 b3 b5 b7

The fully diminshed 7 chord is:

1 b3 b5 bb7 (enharmonic with the Major 6th)

Both chords share the diminished triad (1 b3 b5).

Its name started getting changed to min7b5 largely because its symbol (VIIØ) was hard to typeset in the pre-computer era (it should look like a diminished symbol with a slash through it).


With the roman numeral system, there are two ways of showing minors: either in lower case (as above), or keeping all upper case and using "m" or (in jazz shorthand) "-". So (for a major key) -

I ii iii IV V vi viio (o = dim)
I IIm IIIm IV V VIm VIIo

The latter would be clearer when handwriting. (And clearer to use "m" rather than "-", although "-" is common enough in jazz charts.)
I agree, the all capital letter system is easier to decipher. Although FM7 and Fm7 are harder to distinguish drunkenly handwritten then FΔ7 and F-7. But easier to type on the computer.

I am thinking that this will help me learn theory as well as quickly move from one key to another.
Yes it will. For minor harmonies esp. its easiest IMO to use all capital letters, and specify chord qualities and flats. So the harmonized natural minor scale (harmonized means played with chords, don't confuse it harmonic minor) would look like:

I-7 IIØ (or II-7b5) bIIIΔ7 IV-7 V-7 bVIΔ7 bVII7

The reason being is composers often use whats called the composite minor scale which combines natural, jazz, and harmonic minor. So we can have chords built on VI or bVI, VII or bVII, and the qualities vary and can be substituted.

When you are out jamming, you will almost always see the chords actually written out (A-7, E7 etc) and its up to you to convert to the numbers if the singer wants a different key (or the horn player is in a transposed key).

For composing the numeral system is valuable because chords have functions or jobs in keys based on their numerical positions in the scale regardless of qualities, or if we are in a Major or minor key.
 




Trending Topics

Top