Nashville Number System Lesson 1 – “The Fiddle Capo”


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In this FREE lesson, Megan Lynch Chowning discusses The Nashville Number System and what it means to us as fiddle players. Megan also discusses the use of “The Fiddle Capo”, which will be used throughout the remainder of this 7-lesson course.

Once you’ve mastered the tips Megan provides in this video, feel free to check out excerpts from the rest of this great lesson series:

If you would like to access the rest of The Nashville Number System courses as well as some great tunes, we encourage you to sign up for membership today!

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  • Performance video
  • Basic melody tutorial
  • Advanced melody tutorial
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Take your fiddle playing to the next level today!!

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  1. Thanks Megan!! This is a brilliant lesson. I am so glad that I found you.

  2. So good!!! I love you teaching style!!

  3. Thank you soooooo much! I’ve been playing violin forever and nobody could ever explain it like this. They’d just say “You’ll get it, just keep playing”. 🙄 I never got it. I would start crying. Now I feel like I have somewhere to start anyway!!!

  4. Back when i was in college I took a “Music Theory” course to pad out some electives i needed when i got near the end of my degree (Accounting). I’ve played music in bars as a bass player since my teens. 6 weeks into the course i raised my hand and asked “Isn’t this just the Nashville Number system”. i never could read music but my knowledge of that got me thru many long gigs playing songs i didn’t know. The look of disdain on the professors face was priceless. She gave me a B even though I wrote an extremely poppy, funny song “Please Don’t Take My Locrian Mode” (In Locrian mode).
    This lesson simply resonates with me now. i miss jamming but more importantly i miss playing with other people. This knowledge is invaluable.

    • That’s hilarious, Chaz. You had it figured out years ago.

      • This also reminds of a hilarious dialog me and my little brother, guitar god Jeffee Earth (Earth, Worm & Fire was our bands name). He played a note perfect version of Tony Rice’s Church Street Blues (I think was the song) that he bragged about learning on tablature “earlier that day” but he played it with no capo and it sounded like a train wreck. He’d make the soulful faces making that noise. I gave him a capo that “didn’t seem to work on my upright bass”. After the application of the capo to the 7th fret (I think) it sounded spot on perfect.

    • This stuff is the lifeblood of the actual playing musician, exactly as you knew all along! I hope you’re getting a chance to play with other people soon. : )

  5. Brilliant! I’ve known the Nashville number system for decades but this lesson provides a different and great perspective on how it relates to playing fiddle — I’ve developed my own version using double stop positions but never the construct you’ve shown for I, IV, V based on a I bar chord. Thankyou so much. I look forward to your other technique lessons.

  6. Thanks for the great feedback, folks. I’ve passed these comments along to Megan. All the best as you work your way through the course series!


  7. Banjo player joke (I play punkgrass banjo)
    A sentence never uttered: “The banjo player’s Lamborghini has me blocked in”

  8. Great Lesson – what a gifted fiddle teacher….she is so real!! Learned more in these few minutes than I have in years!!! On lesson 2 🙂

    And, what is bumper tune that plays at the end of these videos – so full of energy.

    This site is of such high quality – very impressive !!


  9. WOW, this lesson alone made it worth signing up. What a fantastic teacher. The reasons for this being better than all the other capos out there had me laughing out loud.

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