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The Nashville Number System for Drummers is the course that George Lawrence taught to hundreds of drummers in Nashville starting in the early nineties. It explains the Nashville Number System of reading charts from the drummer's viewpoint. It includes actual charts from Mr. Lawrence's album and demo recording sessions in Nashville and Muscle Shoals, as well as online recordings of three of those charts. The system is not hard to understand or learn if you have a basic knowledge of how music works. You do not have to know music theory per se, to "get it". It's a system of shortcuts.
The Nashville Number System is a shorthand method of transcribing music by denoting the scale degree on which a chord is built. It is also a visual and aural system. It was developed by Neal Matthews in the late 1950s as a simplified system for The Jordanaires to use in the studio and further developed by Charlie McCoy. It resembles the Roman numeral and figured bass systems traditionally used to transcribe a chord progression since as early as the 1700s. There are no notes, staff, measures or bar lines like those used in traditional music notation. Instead, the number of a chord is written for one bar of music, no matter what the key or time signature is. For example: "1 4 5" is a common number system chord progression used in rock and roll. There are also graphic shapes and symbols used for other music terms like diamonds, arrowheads, arrows, parentheses, brackets, dots, diagonal/vertical/horizontal lines, etc.. The Nashville Number System was compiled and published in a book by Chas Williams in 1988. Mr. Lawrence's book is based on Chas Williams's book.