The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69990   Message #1191528
Posted By: Mark Clark
22-May-04 - 12:39 PM
Thread Name: Nashville Numbering System
Subject: RE: Tech: Nashville Numbering System
Actually, Robin, we Yanks use the Roman numeral system as well. The confusion arises because most players seldom actually write the numbers down or see them written. In a rehearsal or session, someone may miss a chord change when hearing a tune for the first time and ask "What was that funny chord in the bridge?" They'll get a reply like "Oh, that's a three chord." They never actually see the notation written and may assume that Arabic numerals are used.

The system works especially well in situations where several different stringed instruments are being played, some with capos and some without. If the key is A and the guitar player is capoed at the second fret using G fingerings, he may think of the three chord as a B or B7 rather than C# or C#7 it actually is. The mandolin player will be confused if the guitarist says it's a B7 but if everyone just calls it a three chord, there is no confusion and everyone knows what to play regardless of the key or their use of a capo.

      - Mark