Re: Nashville Number System
Lots of opinions here, but not much in the way answering your question.... NNS definitely applies directly to playing a song on drums. There's a few good web pages on NNS, some books on it.
Already mentioned here is how it notates form and structure (I - V - Pre - C) and the chords. And you can see that rhythms are written in above measures or for a section of the tune.
It also tells you the tempo, harmonic rhythm (how often chords change). Individual numbers represent 1 measure but if two or more are underlined or in parenthesis, it means that there is more than one chord change for that measure. Also the "<" symbol shows when chords are "pushed" to happen half a beat early (which you would usually follow with your kick). A diamond around a number means a sustained whole note (you would usually hit a cymbal). if there is an added measure at the end of a form it would use a single "." ... Slashes right after a number indicate a cutoff (choked hh or crash usually), and slashes by themself inside parenthesis or underline shows beats.
Ideally you can sit down with a NNS chart and play a song you've never heard before and know exactly how many measures in each verse, when to build the pre-chorus, when to fill into the chorus, where the accents are, if there are any stops/hits/diamonds and anything else that goes on in the song. If you understand the chords as well, you'll be ahead of the game getting the feel right, but either way it definitely applies directly to playing a song on drums.