Write chord charts

In the late 50’s, Neil Matthews devised a musical number system for the Jordanaires to use in the studio. Charlie McCoy and fellow studio musicians began adapting Matthews’ number system into chord charts. The Nashville Number System has evolved into a complete method of writing chord charts and melodies—combining Nashville shorthand with formal notation standards.

To learn NNS, try this book with accompanying CD/CD-ROM: The Nashville Number System. It gives you the language (written and spoken) of studio musicians, especially important in recording sessions.

Tom Kimmel recommended this book to me and I’m glad he did. It’s like an insider’s look into the way professional studio musicians think about and talk about music with each other. On a nuts and bolts level, it has helped me write clearer, easy to follow charts for my own songs.

Chas’ book is valid in Boston as in Nashville. Berklee is using tNNS to prepare students for the recording industry. — Robert Stanton, Assistant Professor, Berklee College of Music.

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