Jayden Noble really wants to see how far he can go with a career in music. He’s never taken a singing lesson, never received any formal training when it comes to playing the guitar and has no family background in the entertainment business.
No, for this Philomath teen heading into his senior year of high school, it’s all natural talent.
“I’m not really sure how I picked it up,” Noble said last week before performing Thursday evening as part of the Music in the Park concert series. “I’ve had that drive in me — no matter what I do, I always want to get that next thing and get that much better.”
Whether natural or developed, Noble seems to have an ear for music. He picks up on the little things, the details that motivate him to advance his skills. A lot of trial and error is involved with the process but it’s nothing that he forces upon himself.
“The more and more I do it, the more I fall in love with music and playing music, you know, the interaction,” Noble said. “I’ve had multiple dreams of going somewhere with it, just to be able to give people that feeling. That’s what it’s always come down to for me. … If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t perform.”
The 17-year-old son of Josh and Sarah Noble, his love for music began at a young age. He liked to sing along to the radio and tapped to the beat. When he was around 7 or 8, he had a child’s play guitar that he’d pretend to play.
“One day, I think I was 9, my dad had a guitar in the corner in a case in his room and I went and got that,” Noble remembered. “I took the guitar out and I started playing it. And it was really hard to play — not the best guitar — but I tried to play on that and then I asked him, ‘hey, can we go get a guitar?’”
Noble’s dad struck a deal with him.
“He’s like, ‘if you learn how to play a song, we’ll get a guitar.’ So I learned how to play a song and we went and got this $120 guitar just to learn on and I played on that up until I was 15,” Noble said.
Noble didn’t play in front of an audience during those years — only in casual situations like in his room or maybe around a campfire.
Then came his 15th birthday when he received a Faith guitar from his parents. Noble started to get into performing and upgraded to a guitar with a pickup in it so he could plug into an amp.
“I’ve been performing now for a year,” Noble said. “My mom reached out to a whole bunch of different venues — taphouses, restaurants, whatever and I started playing around. People started talking and then one thing led to another. …”
Among Noble’s appearances was opening in April for Kurt Van Meter at the Music & Brews Festival, an event put on by the Oregon Jamboree.
Noble’s first appearance in front of an audience occurred in front of a biker crowd at a Veterans Day event.
“My dad has a few buddies that are bikers and they all do a motorcycle ride on a loop around Lebanon,” he said. “They were all meeting at the Lebanon park and were doing a barbecue or whatever and my dad got to talking to his buddies and he’s like, ‘yeah, we’ll have Jayden come over and play.’”
Noble said he had a little, inexpensive amp and admitted that the sound was not good.
“I went and played for an hour, two hours there and it was very nerve racking, especially with that audience,” he laughed. “I mean, you don’t know how they’re going to react, right? So I played and you know, they’re all shaking my hand and talking to me and it was just a good experience.”
From there, more gigs started to happen. His mom has played the role of agent for her son and started to get him set up for appearances. It was then that he told his parents that he needed quality equipment.
“So me and my dad went down to Guitar Center and spent a lot of money on good, upright speakers and a mixer board, cables, microphones, earbuds — everything you need to run live sound,” Noble said, adding that he’s fortunate that his parents were willing to help with the financial commitment involved.
As for influences, Noble mentioned a half-dozen names, including some of the classic performers such as Hank Williams Jr., and George Strait. Right now, he’s big into Luke Combs.
“If you listen to a lot of his songs, it’s the story that he tells throughout the song,” Noble said. “I think that’s what a lot of music nowadays is missing. It’s just a lot of the same exact story. There’s only so many ways you can say something before it starts to not sound right.”
But that’s not something he hears in Combs’s music.
“He took things and made them into amazing stories and put it in a song that grabs your attention, grabs your ear and you can’t help yourself but want to tap along with it,” he said. “That’s my goal … I want them to not be able to resist and have to go into it.”
Another goal is to advance in the music business to the point that he’s playing large venues.
Said Noble, “To be able to play for thousands and thousands of people … that would mean the absolute world to me and that is definitely my goal and hopefully in the near future.”
Noble’s talents have done more than simply provide toe-tapping music for those in the audience. For example, he recently took part in a fundraiser for Scott Schuler, who with his wife, Angie, have been longtime radio personalities with a love for country music.
“My uncle died from leukemia when I was like 9 months old and we were doing some fundraising for him and they (the Schulers) had done a lot of advertising for us,” Noble said. “It was good to be able to return the favor — it was a fundraiser for Scott, who has had some medical issues.”
Schuler had a lengthy hospital stay while battling atrial fibrillation and blood-clot issues.
Noble, who plans to graduate PHS in December but walk with his classmates in the spring commencement, has a busy summer ahead with bookings every weekend until September. And with the connections he’s making, a deal that gets him to that big stage just might be within reach.
“The amount of people I’ve come in contact with is insane,” Noble said. “I mean, we’re talking record deals and producers and big-time people that have been to Nashville quite a few times and have a name down there. I never thought I’d be where I am.”