Nashville Number System

Tutorial & Examples in Every Key

A typical number chart may look something like this:

1    6-   5    4

1   5/7  6-   5

Every number is a measure. This particular chart is only 8 measures.

Dashes indicate minor chords. All other chords are assumed Major. Slashes show that a bass note has been altered.

If this song IN THE KEY OF C were written using chord symbols it would look like this:

C    Am   G    F

C   G/B  Am   G

If we changed the above number chart to THE KEY OF D it would look like this:

D    Bm   A    G

D  A/C# Bm   A

We would have had to re-write the chord symbol chart in order to change keys, but the number chart stays the same!


Common Number Patterns

examples in every key



1   4   5

C  F  G

Very common in pop music.

2   5   1

D  G  C

Very common in jazz.

1   5   6-   4

C  G  Am  F

Very common in pop music.

6   2   5   1

A  D  G  C

Circle of fourths.