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The Nashville Number System: What Is It?

2Something familiar to any musician on the street worth their salt, the Nashville Number System is a form of shorthand notation which allows those familiar with chord numbers to act as last minute sub or sit on a session. Here we look at what exactly the system is and how it works.

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In this recent post from MusicThinkTank, Andre Madatian shares with us just what exactly the Nashville Number System is, and how it operates.

"From an outsider’s perspective, the notation can look like hieroglyphics at times, and has even been known to confuse scholarly musicians on first glance! The truth is that this form of notation is useful beyond the city limits of Nashville, in any situation where you might need a last minute player to sub in, or if you want to get hired on more session jobs. If you’re familiar with chord numbers, you’ll immediately recognize that aspect, but what are all these other symbols and how do they change the timbre or flow of what I’m playing in relation to the band, in real time? We’ll cover all of that."

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