What is the Nashville Numbering System?
This is not a new thing – all great musicians use this number system.
The numbering system is a great way to not only play the guitar, but any instrument. It’s the fastest way, for sure.
The numbering system relates to the notes in the scale. This is in reference to chords, single notes, or both. Usually it’s written in Roman Numerals, but it doesn’t matter.
For example, let’s take the key of “G” major. Now if you don’t know much about music, this might go over your head.
One full scale contains seven notes, and each scale has to contain one letter name of each of the scale notes. So each complete scale MUST contain the seven basic letters to be a complete scale.
For instance, the note names of a “G” major scale are: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, and the final G is the octave. G major is I (1) – the tonic. A is II (2). B is III (3). C is IV (4). D is V (5). E is VI (6). F# is VII (7). G is VIII (8), or your octave.
Now for each note in the scale there is a chord. There are three majors and three minors, and they’re all in the scale. For example: I is major, II is minor, III is minor, IV is major, V is major, VI is minor, VII is diminished, and VIII is the octave.
So your I – IV – V of “G” major is G – C – D.
The changes relate to the scale degrees, which are the numbers associated with the notes in a scale.
This applies to any key! So if you can remember each note in your diatonic scale (scale of 7 notes with the 8th being your repeat octave), each note of your scale represents the root note of a chord.
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