Fishman Artist // Chad JeffersYou wouldn’t think a musician who’s played behind Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Kenny Loggins would have made any mistakes along the way, or second-guessed himself as he went along. But Chad Jeffers says that the road to success is paved with plenty of pitfalls, and knowing the ropes beforehand could have saved him a lot of time.
That’s why Chad, a highly-respected guitarist, dobro and pedal steel player with worldwide tours and years of experience under his belt, has authored 25 Notes for the Successful Musician, a self-help book packed with practical advice and guidelines for aspiring musicians – novice or seasoned.
“It’s basically everything I’ve learned in the last 15 years that I wish I would’ve known when I started out,” Jeffers explains. “I’ve written the book the way it would be if I could have sat down with myself over drinks at the beginning of my own career and said, ‘Tell me about everything you know now to help me with my music career!’ That’s how I’ve written it – very conversational, full of all the details and unwritten rules that I’ve learned the hard way.”
25 Notes (25notes.com) is a valuable compendium of step-by-step information for musicians at each stage of their career. Chapters range from “If I Moved to Town with $500,” “How Do I Get Started,” and “Playing When You Don’t Feel Like It,” to “Practicing vs. Rehearsing,” “Learning New Songs Efficiently,” and “Songwriting as a Musician.”
Jeffers has been working on this book almost since he began his professional career. He started keeping a journal and writing down his observations as he went along, documenting not only what he saw but also the advice others passed along to him. “There are things in my book that I’ve never found on the internet or in any other book,” he explains. “I think people can actually save five years (or more) of their professional life with 25 Notes, because it gives an in-depth look at how the music business really works. It takes the gloves off – there’s no sugar coating on anything. It’s everything I’ve learned or been taught by the musicians I’ve worked with.”
After high school, Jeffers moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University where he later would receive a scholarship. He double-majored in music business and marketing. When he wasn’t in class, Jeffers spent his time working at Starstruck Entertainment, owned and operated by Reba McEntire. It was a one in a million opportunity for him to learn everything about the music business from the ground up.
In 2006, Jeffers went overseas on a USO tour with country singer Jamie O’Neal, John Popper of Blues Traveler, and radio talk show host Delilah. They toured the Middle East and ended up in Ramstein, Germany performing at the Landstuhl Military Hospital. The experience there was so powerful for Jeffers that he’s written and recorded a unique musical narrative titled “Miracles at Landstuhl,” documenting the events of his visit to that well-known military hospital.
“People always tell me that I’m living the dream,” Jeffers says. “I’ve been blessed to play with world-class vocalists and musicians, people who are truly the best of the best, and they’ve given me a sense of pride in my own work. But now that I’m moving into a different chapter in my life with producing, songwriting and authoring this book, it’s important to me to take everything I’ve learned and pass it along. If others hadn’t helped me in my journey, I wouldn’t be here today. My hope is that aspiring musicians will read this, take it to heart and practice what they’ve read. And one day, maybe they’ll write their own book to inspire the next generation. To me, that’s what living the dream is really all about.”