Composing by numbers.

I started using the Nashville Numbering System of charting when I started to play with pickup bands. This is the traditional singer’s way; we walk in, throw down a chart, suggest a feel to the rhythm section, call the key, count ‘er in and hope for the best. This is not as simple as it sounds, at least with the calibre of musicians I was working with (grin). With all that, I thought I might as well compose stuff.

Until I started to truly appreciate NNS I floundered. I know, I know…but what I discovered was a method for non-geniuses to understand composition, just how simple, and yet how complex it is.

Dig, every chord, like a coin, has two opposite and complementary sides, a bright (major) side and a poignant (minor) side. This is called major aspect and relative minor aspect. Play these pairs and you will know what I mean. In western pop music it can be argued that its all about the 1, 4, 5. This is because these chords, along with their paired relative minors, of respectively, 6 minor, 2 minor, 3 minor, make an actual total of 6. With the occasional 7 minor, this gives us 7 chords ( unmodified by sharps and flats ) out of 7.

By dealing directly with feeling and sound, ( Emotional Aural Resonance ) the theoretical, methodical, material, 3D limits vanished for me.   Consider this deeply.