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!
Have you tried our Nashville Number System Ear Training??
As you see more and more number charts, the patterns all begin to look the same. This is the AHH HAH moment! Most chord progressions are very similar, even if they are in different keys. Once you have a grasp of many of the commonly occurring chord progressions, playing popular music can be quite simple.
Here are some common chord progressions:
1 4 5 Common in almost all styles
2 5 1 *The Cornerstone of Jazz – Common in jazz and other styles
1 6- 2- 5 (1) Common in jazz and other styles
3- 6- 2- 5 (1) Common in jazz and other styles
4 1/3 2- 1 *Walk-Down – Common in almost all styles
1 5/7 6- 5 *Walk-Down - Common in almost all styles
GuitarThinker.com is passionate about being a leader in nashville number system education. Check out our number charts of popular songs. Professional musicians think of songs in terms of numbers, and so should you. We will help you learn, practice, and master this amazing musical tool.
The Nashville Number System is based on the Major Scale. No matter what your skill level, you know the major scale! Everybody learns it in elementary school.
In the key of C Major
do re mi fa sol la ti do
C D E F G A B C
Check out this great demonstration video by Chas Williams, who wrote the definitive book on the Nashville Number System. And if you haven’t already, make sure you check out our interview with Chas here.
Nate Dean is a session guitarist, arranger, Worship leader, and songwriter. He has played on hundreds of recording sessions in both Nashville and his hometown Kansas City.