My short bio: So a couple of years back Reddit kindly upvoted a little album that I'd done in my living room up to the front page, and that since sparked gigs supporting people like Nick Oliveri, Joe Lynn Turner and Burt Bacharach to name a few! Last year I did a very successful AMA and thought I'd come back again :)

EDIT: Extra info! I have since put an amazing band together, we've been gigging all over the country and even done a festival or two!

This year my band and I released an album to great critical acclaim, and on Sunday we released our very own Christmas song called 'I Folking Love Christmas'... (shameless plug!)

My Proof: Imgur Link of my face!

Isaac and the Beekeepers - Where We Are (debut album) and the video to our first single from it 'Say It Tonight'

I'm on my mobile so answers may be a little sparodic over the next few hours, bare with me though as I'll try to get to them all :)

EDIT: Still here! :)

Comments: 50 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

KnowledgeNate10 karma

Can I learn to play the piano if I don't actually have musical talent?

And when I say "play" I don't mean repeating the pattern of keys on a song, I mean knowing how to put notes together that work in pleasing harmonies off of just messing with chords and keys.

Will the latter come with practice?

thesleepsessions22 karma

Can you drive a car without being a race-driver? Almost anything is achievable through hard work - nobody is a natural born pianist, but leaning to play the piano gives you the key to unlock your inner creativity.

sassyassburgers2 karma

Can you learn to sew a dress without knowing how to sew? Probably, but it'll take a lot of work and dedication, and it'll turn out crappy the first thousand times.

Especially if you basically want to compose a piece. That's like asking if you could learn to sew a dress without a pattern, just off the top of your head. Is that possible? Yes. You can google the basics, but the rest is just a shit ton of practice. Probably more practice than you've ever needed to practice at something in your entire life.

It sounds easy, but once you get into the specifics of piano technique and piano theory (major, minor, staffs, major minor scales, major minor chords, harmonics, natural, etc) it seems daunting, but don't give up if you're passionate about it, it's definitely doable.

PM if you have questions or need help starting.

thesleepsessions2 karma

Spot on. I used to practice for 6 or 7 hours a day in my teenage years, more when I wasn't in college. Being an adult has dropped that to a measly 3, maybe 4 or 5 on a weekend but it's still something you have to constantly practice and work at.

Elder_Joker4 karma

Any tips for getting the music out there?

I've thought of posting some YouTube videos but think it might be better to simply post my music on sound cloud...

What worked for you, reddit-wise?

thesleepsessions4 karma

Great question, one that I'm afraid I might not be completely qualified to answer, as I'm only really at the start of my career, but I'll try. The simple answer is one part being good at what you do (and remember, the definition of "good" is entirely subjective), and one part not being afraid of the word "No."

I can't tell you how many gigs, opportunities, radio plays, re-tweets etc I've had just by being persistent in the face of either being ignored or being told no outright. Hope this helps!

Gustyarse3 karma

Can you introduce me to Charlotte Church? like the tunes btw

thesleepsessions3 karma

Haha just because I'm Welsh!

Gustyarse2 karma


If you could have a listen to this sometime and give an opinion I'd be very grateful :)

thesleepsessions2 karma

Good ol' Folk. I love it all :D

Katzndawgz3 karma

Where's the best place you gigged?

thesleepsessions7 karma

Two places that I can't (won't) decide between. The first was a gig in my home town, we have a festival every year and bands get to play to a crowd of maybe 3000 or so. Obviously being a local band our reaction was HUGE, so that'll stay in my memory forever.

The other is a place called the Stiwt, a theatre not far from where I live. A couple of years ago, Wales were playing in the Rugby, there was a screen set up, the place was packed out with about 400 Wales fans (I'm Welsh myself!) beer was flowing and live music had been booked, for after the game. Wales won, and I went on immediately after. I took a total chance and screamed "Oggy oggy oggy!" and got the most amazing response thereafter to the gig. Fond memories!

Kingofawesome133 karma

Hey there, love your music. I'm trying to write some music like that but with a bit of a Woodkid(Neoclassical) twist. Who are your inspirations?

thesleepsessions1 karma

Hey thanks! My inspirations are Glen Hansard & The frames, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Andy McKee... stuff like that

averagestu2 karma

Hey, I'm currently in my final year of uni doing Law (in English and Scots law). For my dissertation I am covering contractual obligations in the music industry, focussing on exploitation and artists creation rights.

I was wondering if you guys have been signed by anyone yet? If you have, would there be any possibility of talking to you about your contract?

I realise this is a very sensitive question, so if there is any chance of it happening, please PM me. Thanks!

thesleepsessions1 karma

Nope were not signed to anyone I'm afraid. Here's to dreaming though & good luck with your work.

MasterAgent471 karma

What's the best way to learn to play the piano as a hobby?

Thanks :)

thesleepsessions1 karma

Practice practice and practice. 3 or 4 hours a day minimum. Commit, learn slowly, deliberately and don't be put off by how long it's going to take, and most importantly... enjoy it! :)

wtf_pizza1 karma

As an independent musician, what avenues have you been using to publish and distribute your albums? Curious because I have just gone through the hassle of figuring out how to release my independent band's first album.

We settled on using CDBaby for publishing because they're basically a one stop shop for distribution to the major digital music stores and streaming services. We also purchased their sync licensing service. We'll see how that goes.

I was annoyed when I discovered the requirements necessary to publish directly to iTunes. I was initially hoping to not have to go through a third party service for that just because I wanted to maintain complete control over our submission.

thesleepsessions3 karma

Hey man, PM me some links to your stuff!

I ended up going down the route of finding a cheap CD pressing & printing company on eBay to do that side of things, then I setup the BandCamp pages & social media stuff, and used a company called TuneCore to distribute to iTunes/Amazon/Play etc. In terms of actual distribution, with our CD we approached shops in our local area and asked if they'd stock our CD's on a little stand like this that we made, about 15 did in the end. Not much but it's definitely something!

The logistics are always a nightmare, especially when you're doing it independently.

wtf_pizza1 karma

Interesting approach with the CDs. Any luck with those?

With the enormous rise of the digital format, I've been hesitant to put much effort into duplicating physical copies of the album, save for a potential run of vinyl. However, our manager has reminded me that CDs actually still do sell at gigs and that there are still people out there in the media who prefer a physical copy of the album in your press kit.

Links headed to your inbox in a few!

thesleepsessions2 karma

CD's selling at gigs is definitely a huge thing still, especially when you don't put too much of a price tag on them. The local retailers probably sell between 3 and 5 a week each, on average, so it's not too bad. It just about covers the cost of printing more CD's I guess!

NorwayHosayuwotm81 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. Do you prefer acoustic guitar or electric guitar?

thesleepsessions1 karma

Good question! Definitely acoustic - it's my go-to instrument and I write all my songs on that first! Saying that, electric definitely has it's place which is why I use both live.

Israelyhotinhere11 karma

What is your favourite live concert memory?

thesleepsessions1 karma

Honestly? Motorhead at Donnington 2008. Lemmy came on, said "We are Motorhead and we play rock & roll" and that was about it... Overkill was epic and I got hit in the head with a bottle full of piss... ahh memories!

blue_like_jazz1 karma

Could I get your opinion on my cousin's EP??

thesleepsessions2 karma

I'll have a listen when I'm at home with my big speakers and I'll definitely let you know!

RemindMe! 6 hours "Let /u/blue_like_jazz know what you think!"

blue_like_jazz2 karma

Well you are just the greatest! I sent him your Christmas tune and he loved it! Please keep making music!

thesleepsessions1 karma

Awesome, thank you!

HateTheKardashians1 karma

Your cousin sounds great.

thesleepsessions1 karma

My cousin? You mean the other guys cousin?

thesleepsessions1 karma

Hey man, just thought I'd say I like it! There's a definite Scouting For Girls/Maroon 5 kinda feel to it, it's great! Your cousin is very talented.

finalformroll1 karma

What other Sites do you use?

thesleepsessions1 karma

None really, Redditor through and through

tacomuncher2471 karma

What is Nick Oliveri like? Is he a cool dude?

thesleepsessions2 karma

Totally sweet. The press has him all wrong. We exchanged CDs and talked for ages after I supported him live. He was in the crowd listening to me play which blew my mind!

Skroopy1 karma

What's your favorite dinosaur?

thesleepsessions2 karma

Now that's a good question! T REX because it's funny to imagine it struggling to do stuff with its little arms!

Ransora1 karma

So all I want(ed) to do when I grow up (ever since I was 9, so 8 years ago) was play in a band and sing and maybe play guitar or bass to if i can learn to sing and play, and that is still all I wanna do. I'm horrible at playing music though. I can't sing, still can't play guitar (8 years of playing can barely get through easy Nirvana and Tool songs), and I don't want to do anything else. It doesn't make me happy.

I also got very depressed around the same time, and had the philosophy of if I don't make it i'll join my idols the only way I can, suicide. And at about 13 i decided to set my sights on the 27 club because I obviously wasn't any better in 4 years of practice.

Nothing else in life brings me joy besides music but i obviously can't play music, so should I stop prolonging it or should i just throw myself away into another spiral of drugs? I did a lot of psychedelics and perscription pills at around 14 and stopped last year at 16, but honestly might just go right back to them because those are the only way im happy now, not even jappy playing music because I'm not getting any better.

Ive talked to tons of professionals and they honestly have no idea what to do, I'm a lost cause to them, and honestly i dont see anything else left for me to do. The only other time i was gonna commit suicide i met my best friend, he came to me out of the blue at a mall one day because i looked lonely.

I could go on forever about my backstory and why i feel this way but it honestly isn't worth it. I need to hear an honest answer from the type of people i look up to the most, what should I do?

thesleepsessions1 karma

Play more! It's hard to do, especially as an adult, finding time but if it's your dream and passion, then you make the time. I try an play for at least 3 hours a day, which is nothing compared to my teenage years, but helps all the same.

If you're struggling with easy songs, find yourself one that's slightly more complicated and learn it at a slower speed, once you can play it slow, speed up; Learning to play an instrument is all about muscle memory and remembering the patterns, which comes with repetition.

Once you have those slightly harder songs or sections down, you'll find the easier stuff get's even easier.

I'm assuming you're in your mid 20's with a full time job, so try to borrow time from other activities. If like me you like to watch a couple hours of TV in the evening after dinner, bring an electric guitar with you and do chromatic runs over and over while watching your favourite show. You'll be increasing your pick/finger coordination, dexterity & endurance whilst zoning out on the sofa!

The other great tool to help your playing, is to get an acoustic guitar and learn songs on that. Acoustics are inherently harder to play, they tend to be less forgiving of bum notes, have a higher action, thicker strings etc. You'll find that when you nail something on an acoustic guitar, the electric becomes way easier.

And... finally, the biggy! Get your instruments to a luthier for a proper and professional setup. I don't care how many people have "friends" that claim they can do it, nothing beats the eye and ear of a trained luthier with years of experience. They don't charge much and it makes literally all the difference in the world.

Singing by the way, isn't really (most of the time) something that can be self taught or learned from YouTube videos, because you're dealing with physiology too. Go find yourself a singing teacher, they will help you develop technique & give you all kinds of cool exercises and warm ups that you can do while you're practicing guitar too.

rectumbreaker0 karma

What's your view on


thesleepsessions2 karma

Good question, I think