Anyone who has been around musicians or the music scene in Nashville has probably heard of the Nashville Number System, an alternative musical system for the piano that is focused on numbers and chords rather than individual notes. The Nashville Number System was invented by musician Neal Matthews, Jr. in the 1950s for use by the band, The Jordanaires. It was developed further by later musicians and has been a staple of the Nashville music industry every since.

Since there are seven basic notes on a piano, the Nashville Number System is structured around the number 7. Players learn to play, anticipate, and recognize chords that correspond to each of the numbers 1 through 7. They also learn to change the keys of songs to be able to play in whatever key they like, and improvise to compose their own musical creations. Those proficient in the Nashville Number System are able to play a huge variety of songs at home for personal enjoyment, at church, school, or even on recordings.

The Nashville Number System is a great alternative for those interested in learning to play the piano by ear or without learning each individual note in traditional musical composition, or for those who perhaps took lessons as a child but did not keep up with it as an adult. It can be easily picked up by almost anybody and used in a wide range of contexts.

That is why at Miller Piano Specialists, we offer free adult classes in the Nashville Number System, each and every Thursday both in the morning and at night. Students will be able to play one to two songs by the end of the first class, and can only improve from there. Students with smart pianos or digital pianos at home can also bring their thumb drives and take the lessons home with them for further practice and enrichment. Classes are taught in a fun, relatable, zero-pressure environment and are designed to help adults discover the joy, rather than the stress, of playing music well.

To join a class on the Nashville Number System at Miller Piano Specialists this week, or to learn more about how we teach the Nashville Number System, give us a call at (615) 771-0020 or visit our website at