The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music


Did I purchase the right book

I have purchased the Big Print Book (got it today). I have knowledge of guitar chords (letters) but I want to learn the number system. I'm I going to be able to learn from this book or do I need another? I love mountain music and am excited to learn REAL mountain music. I also purchased the MP3 clips but it did not arrive with my book. Hopefully it will arrive soon. Stephanie H

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The number system is easy to follow. If you wanted to play in the Key of 'C' for instance, your 1 would be C, your 4 would be F (count four away from C) and your 5 would be G (count five away from C). The same goes for other keys. Your minors would be ii (Dm) an vi (Am) … two and six away from your root note. Hope this makes sense. It is all about counting :D

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Go to http://www.guitarnotes.com/alan/ah_nashville_numbers.shtml and print off the Nashville Numbering System and keep on in your case and stick one on the wall. Read and experiment with the chart until you understand it. After you understand the sound of 1 to 4 to 5 in a major key, it will become second nature and you'll hear the changes take place in a song. The minor chords will then begin to stick out in a song. Minor chords are relatives of major chords and are used as substitutions for major chords to add flavor and emotion. Some people use Roman Numerals to indicate the chords in a key but it's all the same. With Roman numerals it's easy to notate the minor chords (2, 3, and 6, or ii, iii, and vi).

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Thank you Jan and Gary. Your advise is very helpful.

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Yes, good summaries of the “1-4-5” system for chords from Gary and Jan. A summary and how-to is also included on page “vi” of Big Print Songs. Stephanie, your MP3-CD will be arriving separately, via USPS First Class Mail.

Btw, in our books, all chords are major by default; minor chords are denoted as “2m”, “6m”, etc.

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