Nashville Number System for drummers

michaelg

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Picked up this excellent book by Jim Riley on the Nashville number system and have been going thru it. Very impressive.


The book mentions that drummers can substitute all chord numbers by marking down "1" instead (the "1" method), So you don't get the chordal information but you still retain the phrasing, pushes , stops etc

As a drummer I may not need to know the chord numbers, but its still great to read along and hear them (rather than reading "1" ) as the music moves along so you get a better sense of the phrasing.

Just wonder if anyone uses this system and have any tips or techniques you use in/or addition to the 1 way of notation when charting songs?


 
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lossforgain

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I am sort of intrigued by this, so it’s just a method of marking where the changes are so that you “feel” the movement? If I’m understanding what you mean, the guitar player’s chart would say
| 1 / / / | 5 / / / | 6 / / / | 4 / / / |
but the drummer’s chart would say
| 1 / / / | 1 / / / | 1 / / / | 1 / / / |
Is that right?
This wouldn’t work for me because I play other instruments like guitar, bass, and keys so I would be thrown off by the numbers not following the real progression. But if you didn’t have that in your brain, maybe I could see it working.
 

michaelg

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Yes.
The guitarists part would be 1 5 6 4 and the drummers 1 1 1 1.

I can instinctively follow the guitar chart easier as I can differentiate the chords by listening even though I could not write them down accurately from listening alone.
 

repete

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I’ve used this before. I would attend blues jams and they would call out a shuffle in E and it’s a 1,4,5 - it made following along much easier. It’s like marking the song in sections with numbers instead of chords.
 

Stickclick

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Nashville Number System for drummers is when a drummer goes to Burger King and orders #1 to take out.
 

covinasurf

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Jim gave a presentation on the number system years ago at PASIC. Since then Ive been using a somewhat modified version. Sometimes number system, sometimes chart, a lot of the time a mix of both. I use ForScore at gigs so it has to fit one one page.

JH
 

dcrigger

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Hard to imagine the advantage of this over notation (loose sketchy notation) - for drummers. I totally get its advantage for guitar players, etc. - using scale step numbers instead of alpha chord names makes for real ease of transposition. But we don't transpose.

And while I welcome a lead sheet with chord symbols when handed to me - I can't imagine taking the time to write them down myself, when creating quick drum charts for my own use.

When writing a chart for a session or a gig, it just seems speed and flexibility is paramount. I need to be able to notate everything I need without making any marks on the page that I don't absolutely need.

So for example, if I notating an 8 bar verse of straight time, no accents, no pushes, I'll often take the space between two bar lines and write "Play 8" between them.... that's it.... next. If I need to mark down more info, I will (and can - because I can easily expand any bar or section to fully written notation) but if I don't need to... I'll use any shortcut that will save time writing things down.

My 2 cents....
 


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