Chris Thile transcription book from Jake Howard

Like many touring musicians, Jake Howard, mandolinist with The Henhouse Prowlers, developed a presence on Patreon to try and recover some of the lost income when pandemic restrictions put an end to live music in 2020. And he was well prepped to offer instruction to the online community. A 2017 graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a degree in mandolin performance, Jake has both the practical and theoretical knowledge to offer advancing mandolin students, and hoped to find some success online.

His Patreon page became quite popular, both for the many videos and lessons he posted there, and for the fact that he only sought a subscription fee of $5 per month to access all he had provided. Especially at a time when most private lessons were cancelled, what did you have to lose?

With a total of 25 posts now on Patreon, Jake has just completed a book of transcriptions from Chris Thile’s playing on his 2011 duo project with Michael Daves, Sleep With One Eye Open. The album features 16 selections from the deep catalog of bluegrass standards, played in an unrestrained fashion with Daves on guitar. Many of the songs included are jam standards that every bluegrass picker should know, like Rabbit In The Log, 20/20 Vision, My Little Girl in Tennessee, Rain and Snow, Bury Me Beneath The Willow, Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms, and Billy In The Lowground.

Howard calls his new release Sleep With One Eye Open – Unofficial Transcription Book, and it is offered only to subscribers of his Patreon. That’s right…  by signing up for $5 you can get all of Thile’s breaks from the album, presented in both tab and standard notation, in a downloadable digital booklet.

Jake says that he recognizes he could be giving away all of his hard work for a small fee, but hopes that once people see all that he offers on Patreon, they will stay subscribed long term.

“It is true! Patreon is a monthly subscription of $5/month (and can be cancelled whenever you choose). If people stay subscribed, I’ll be releasing more exciting content every month. Just so people know, we’re focusing on Thile tunes and solos for the next little while.”

That, folks, is a deal, no matter whether you are new to the mandolin or are an experienced player with an interest in Chris Thile.

You can find the Jake Howard Patreon page online, and subscribing is a simple mater with a major credit or debit card.

Jake also shared a couple of sample pages so you can see the quality of the presentation in the book.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.