Chords By Number

2017-10-26T13:18:10+00:00June 5th, 2015|11 Comments

Chords within a key can be numbered to more easily understand the functional harmony of a song and to also aid in memorising chord progressions.

In the early stages of playing we often we see songs as just long streams of unrelated chords but it’s important to know that the same chord patterns appear time and time again. Learning these patterns by number can help recognise sequences in any key and also give you a better understanding of they all relate to each other.

This Lesson is a preview of the Bassic Fundamentals Course 


Remember to LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, SHARE THE POST (just click on your preferred social platform below) and then …

Sign Up To Talkingbass For FREE!

Join over 40,000 members and R.A.I.S.E your Bass Game Today!

FREE Ebook Downloads, Practice Tracks, Drum Tracks and MUCH MORE!

Join Now!!


  1. Jim Batt June 6, 2015 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    making the most of your lessons,and especially the progression of each lesson to the next,well done.

  2. Liza Nicklin September 13, 2015 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    This lesson is excellent – thank you so much! 🙂

  3. eric young September 27, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    wonderful and enlightens lesson for me thank you very very much

  4. AUGUSTINE STEPHEN October 1, 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    You are a awesome online BASS GURU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Ray B October 24, 2015 at 4:13 am - Reply

    Great Video! What about if you are playing in a Minor chord instead of a Major? Does the same progression apply Maj,min,min,Maj,Maj,min,Dim,?


  6. Majdi November 4, 2015 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Cheers mate .. Great lesson .. I’m already enjoying advancing with you bit by bit! great stuff

  7. Will Greenlee December 28, 2015 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Great job! Thanks for making it easy to understand!

  8. carl huffman March 17, 2016 at 5:31 am - Reply

    Mr mark great lesson really but isn’t this just the Nashville numbering system which is also fantastic for transposing eartraining and changing keys of songs for your singer all you bass guys are missin the boat on all of that and country music as well and there isn’t bubcus on you tube for country players granted the older stuff was shall I put it very basic but the country from the 80’s thru now is tricky to play quick chord changes and lots of pickups lead in riffs that are very fun to play and I love and play in a rock band classic to present and a country band to I love them both but my heart is with jazz fusion and old soul stuff love ballads and up beat but I love to play anything because whatever you play it’s all related sooner or later I can put jazz riffs in rock or country and vice versa but it would be nice to have some off beat country and blues turn arounds your a great teacher and I love how you explain things but a little of that to would be great for many players and yes I can funk and double thumb with some of the best and although I am not a beast I am a brute lol at the age of 45 and started by ear at the ripe old age of 8 but from a very musical family that was very hard on me but I have always been lucky enough to play with the best musicians any area I lived just luck and hard work

    • MarkJSmith March 17, 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

      The Nashville number system is just a new name someone thought up (in Nashville) for a system that’s been in use through pretty much all of tonal music history. Chords are numbered using roman numerals very early on in classical harmony study. Many people seem to think it’s a practical consideration so you can learn things really quick and transpose easily. Which is true. It does help in that regard, but the main (and much deeper) reason for looking at chords in this way is as a means of understanding the tonal relationships between chords with a key with a view to analysis and composition.

  9. Pat Calabrese April 3, 2016 at 3:10 am - Reply

    The scale climb in the Led Zeppelin song “Heartbreaker” is a great song to use when learning progressions in modes

  10. Shawn Manning February 11, 2017 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Its amazing listening to you teach. And the fact that you take the time is even more amazing. I could follow you all day. Thank you for sharing your awesome tallent and gift.

Leave A Comment

NEW Simple Steps To Walking Bass - Release Week: 20% Discount 2 Days 5 Hours 45 Minutes 54 Seconds
Buy NOW!