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We can’t wait for Ed Evilsizor to come down to the shop on March 3rd to demonstrate and instruct us all on the Nashville Number System and its uses. Ed is a superb pedal steel player and has spent decades in the music industry playing with some huge names, and on so great stages. His knowledge of the Nashville Number System (NNS) is what made it possible to play with so many people and in so many places throughout his lifetime.
The NNS is a method of seeing music in a number sequence, instead of the traditional solfège (Do, Re, Mi…) or in a "key" like G, C, D, Em. The NNS method was mentored into Ed by the great Sunny Curtis when he was working for him. After spending some time with Sunny it was just, “easier to think that way”, says Ed. This was evident to him when he would gig with players that weren’t savvy to the NNS and it all would end up like "hitting a wall", which is not what the audience wants to experience in their entertainment.
Most professional players in the world these days work off the NNS due to its generalized way of playing music with others. Transposition is no longer a worry if you know the number system because there are no longer key-annotated “notes” that you need to find... everything is now a number. So, moving from key to key is not a problem if you know where you need to be, “by the numbers”. However, this does mean you need to go learn your scales, but that is necessary for any musician wanting to cross that professional barrier.
If you have those scales down (or even if you don’t and you just want a new way to see and understand music) come down to the Nashville Number System night with Ed Evilsizor on March 3rd from 6pm-7:30pm. Make sure to bring a pen and paper to take some notes! Also, for those interested, Ed has said he would love to come to a band practice to help work this method out. If that is something you are wanting, make sure to ask him when you are here next Thursday.