Twitter/Facebook People - Help Define Me!

I need your help. Yes, yours.

I'll give you candy.


I've struggled with this for a while now.

As an artist, I hesitate to answer the following questions:

What kind of music do you play?
What do you sound like?
Who do you sound like?

Every time I'm asked I get this yucky feeling like I have to quickly justify my existence as a human being with my reply, because the real answer is:

"I sound like everything I've ever thought of. At least to myself."

But as someone who is doing this for a living, I have to be able to quickly capture the essence of my music, and hopefully entice the questioner to want to know more.

It's just the unfortunate reality of marrying art with business.

So as someone who is unable to objectively define my own creation without feeling like I'm lying or selling myself short, I'd like YOU to define me. For me.

But it has to be short, simple and, most importantly, intriguing.

Some random examples of what I'm talking about:

- Metal Band: "We sound like King Kong tearing the roof off of your childhood home."

- Soulful Singer/Songwritier: "A cross between James Taylor and Marvin Gaye"

- Jazz Fusion Group: "Like James Brown taking an axe to a burning piano"


So anyway, What kind of music do I play? What do I sound like? Who do I sound like?

After a while I'll pick one, or combine a few of your replies if they seem to work. If yours is selected, I'll:

- Announce it to the world and link to whatever you like
- Send you unreleased demos of the album I'm currently working on - Songs For People Who Like Songs About Themselves

Cool? Cool.

Either reply here, Twitter, Facebook, or wherever else you can find me

Thanks in advance. You're a life-saver.



As always, you can keep track of my goings on at:



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Making It - By Corey Coleman


New Album! First Song Is Here

I recently undertook an interesting new project. I'm writing, recording and releasing songs for people who requested them on Twitter. (details here)

The first song is finished!

The first song is done and available for immediate free download at coreycoleman.bandcamp.com

It's called Mr. Merlin (Basquiat's Esteemed Consort)

The album is called "Songs For People Who Like Songs About Themselves"

It took a bit longer to get this finished than I expected, as I have a tendency to come up with about 50 or so versions of something before settling on one.

Of course, that makes for good bonus material, which might just be included with the purchase of the album when it's finished.

But everything is free until I finish the record.

Strange business model, I know. But I'm sort of strange.

More coming soon. (There might even be a music video.......)

Stay Tuned.

And let me know what you think!

As always, you can keep track of my goings on at:



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Making It - By Corey Coleman


My Interview With FindGuitarTeachers.com

reposted from findguitarteachers.com

FGT: Hi Corey, can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

CC: I’m a full time singer/songwriter and recording artist living in Buffalo, NY. I would describe my music as the aural equivalent of Elvis Costello and Stevie Wonder making breakfast in the next room as Talking Heads’ “Life During Wartime” plays on your alarm clock radio.

Or, more succinctly, Soulful Alt-Pop.

FGT: Sounds tasty. How long have you been playing guitar?

CC: I started playing around the age of eleven. My mother had a big twelve string Guild that I started playing around with. It was too big for me to hold correctly, so I would lay it flat on my lap and play it that way.

My whole family is very musical, and my mother and father both sing and play guitar. Actually, now both of my brothers are singers and guitarists, and one of them, Sean Patrick, is also a songwriter.

Eventually my dad gave me the Eric Clapton – Unplugged tape (the rectangular plastic things you might see in a landfill or at the Salvation Army). I ended up teaching myself most of that record by the time I was thirteen, and it just evolved from there.

At more financially precarious times I sometimes wonder what would have happened if, instead of that tape, he had brought in a drafting table or a banking ledger. But in retrospect I was drawn to music and the guitar with very little outside influence.

FGT: So who would you say have been your biggest musical influences?

CC: Early on it was definitely Eric Clapton, moving on to BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. I started with the Blues and actually began playing semi-professionally when I was fourteen or fifteen.

At some point I accidentally received a Pat Metheny record in the mail, and that changed my entire universe. I started really diving into Jazz until I was about 20.

Recently my influences have spread out into some interesting territories. I’ve played Salsa music, Country, Progressive Rock, Bluegrass, Funk, and many other styles.

On any given day I could be listening to anything from Mos Def to Rufus Wainwright to Philip Glass.

FGT: Your tastes seems as extensive as your musical history! At what point did feel qualified to start taking on students?

CC: I’m not sure I ever thought about it in terms of qualifications. It happened organically. A neighborhood kid asked if I could show her a few things, which I could. She told someone who was looking for guitar lessons to get with me and it just sort of grew from there.

I think I was about 15 when I started teaching. Now, I was known to practice more than ten hours a day, so I was quite advanced for my age, but I’m sure there were plenty of holes in my understanding at the time.

It’s all about teaching what you know to be true, and admitting that you don’t know everything. So really, you’re qualified to teach as soon as you pick up a guitar and strum a C chord.

Doing it professionally is a different story. At that point you really need to know your stuff because you are being paid to basically be able to answer any question that might come up.

FGT: Do you have a specific philosophy or maxim towards your approach at guitar?

CC: I’m not sure I have anything defined to the extent where you could put it beneath a picture of some guy skydiving and hang it on your wall for inspiration, but I do have a couple of general thoughts.

I’m a proponent of very disciplined and intense focus on the guitar and anything else I may be learning, but I also know that if there isn’t any fun or implied reward it will be hard to follow through.

One very rigid requirement I have is that the guitar be looked at as a means to develop musicianship. So I focus on music theory. I am most interested in being a musician who plays music with a guitar. Not a guitarist who plays guitar music with a guitar.

I’m not sure if that makes sense to everyone, but it does to me.

Most guitarists are very guitar-centric and can’t communicate on a meaningful musical level with musicians who don’t play guitar. Yet every other type of instrument generally requires the ability to speak the same language as a trumpeter, violinist, pianist or harpist.

So I don’t allow myself or my students to claim exemption from that requirement. Unless someone comes to me and says “All I’m interested in is learning how to strum Hank Williams songs”. And even then, I would tend to introduce some level of theory into the mix.

FGT: What's the best part about being a guitar teacher?

CC: There are a lot of rewarding things about being a guitar teacher.

I suppose my favorite part is finding that “diamond in the rough” student who really invests themselves into what they’re doing and shows the fruits of those labors by impressing me every week.

FGT: What advice would you give to others who are looking to take on students?

CC: Treat each student as if they were your only student. They’ll appreciate it more, you’ll feel better about your life, and you’ll really stoke the “word of mouth” fires that will build your business.

I would also recommend that every new teacher do a serious inventory of what they know, and what they don’t. It’s a grave disservice to teach students incorrectly, so make sure to only teach what you know, and learn what you don’t know.

FGT: On the flip side, what advice can you give to the new student that will allow them to get the most out of their lessons?

Music lessons are not like Summer soccer leagues or swimming lessons in the county pool. Becoming a musician is a lifestyle choice. It’s like learning to garden or cook or speak Mandarin.

The most important thing is to throw yourself into it fully, practice until your fingers bleed, and take it seriously.

Again, it’s different if you’re only looking to strum Hank Williams songs (which is totally valid), but if you’re looking to become a musician (not just a guitarist), you’ll have to treat it the same way you would if you were becoming a physicist or else it isn’t going to happen.

FGT: Are you working on any special projects right now?

CC: I’m actually writing and recording a new EP of songs I wrote for people who responded to an invitation to request a song on Twitter. The details are on my blog.

FGT: Cool idea! Back to some technical details for a second - what is your practice regimen like?

CC: It varies based on what I happen to be working on at any given time. Ideally it’s about 10 minutes of warm-up exercises, followed by an intensely focused period of time devoted to the subject at hand. That period of time can be anywhere from thirty minutes to four hours, depending on my schedule and the amount of information to be absorbed.

After that I usually try and feed the information to my subconscious by nonchalantly playing something related while watching a movie or reading the news. I find that helps to codify it into a more “automatic response” situation when it needs to be recalled.

FGT: Interesting approach. How has your playing evolved over the years?

CC: At first it was a steady climb from very basic things like learning the modes and the blues scale to the point where I was starting to understand the Bebop vernacular and playing over changes. After that point, and up to now, it has tended to progress in momentary leaps and bounds. (i.e. learning a new Lydian Pentatonic pattern or an intense Chet Atkins lick).

FGT: Any parting words for your new fans?

CC: Ever wonder why time goes by faster as we get older? It’s because we stop learning, and everyday starts to look the same.

Corey Coleman's Links:



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Making It - By Corey Coleman


How do you, the music fan, want to download music?

Yesterday I decided to hand the keys to my music store at coreycoleman.bandcamp.com to anyone who showed up, letting people download tracks from my latest EP "Green" for free, with an email list signup required for free download.

I had quite a few downloads, and some people purchased the EP for more than the two dollar minimum by naming their own price.

It may have been my mom. I'll have to investigate.

I'm wondering what you, the music fan, the person in charge of this new music industry, think is the best way to go about distributing music online.

I've created a poll below with a few options.

Of course, I'm trying to make a living here, but I'm open to just about anything, and am primarily interested in providing music people want to listen to, delivered to them in a way they would prefer.

What do you think is the best way for me to offer my music and spread the word to new music fans?

Have other ideas? Cool. Mind posting them in the comments section? I appreciate it.

What do you think is the best way for me to offer my music?
Free 128k (CD quality) tracks, mailing list signup required to download, with the option to purchase (high quality mp3, wav, flac) album (name your own price).
Free 128k album download, mailing list signup required, with the option to purchase high quality individual tracks(name your own price).
Everything (tracks and album) set to name your own price. Free download requires mailing list signup.
Everything (tracks and album) set to name your own price. No mailing list signup for free download.

As always, you can keep track of my goings on at:



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Making It - By Corey Coleman


Do You Want Your Own Song?

Just a quick note. I'll be adding more to this later.

I just ran a fun little contest of sorts on twitter. If people simply replied to me before the time limit, I committed to writing, recording and then sending them a song about them. For Free!

I'll be posting more info about the process here.

Once the songs are finished, I'll post them here.

Stay tuned!!

Do you want your own song?

Get in touch at coreymusicsites AT yahoo and let me know.

Follow me on twitter at twitter.com/coreycoleman to make sure you're aware of my next crazy idea!


UPDATE 07-22-09 3:42 PM

Here's a photo of my scribblings for the first song I'm working on for this project.

As always, you can keep track of my goings on at:



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Making It - By Corey Coleman

Twitter Contest - Get Free Mp3's !!

Alright, so I'd like to try something cool.

This is a way for you to get some free music and help me spread the word.

So here's the deal.....

If you tweet this:

New music from Corey Coleman here: http://ow.ly/hNqa Follow him @coreycoleman

I will send you a direct message with a link to download one of the four songs listed on that page. For free!

If you would like one song in particular, send me an email at coreymusicsites AT yahoo with the name of the song.

In order to do this, you will have to follow me (If you're not already) on twitter. I'm at twitter.com/coreycoleman . Otherwise I won't be able to send you a direct message.


Feel free to edit the tweet, but just make sure to keep the link and @coreycoleman in there, so I'll be able to track you down and throw free things at you.


As always, you can keep track of my goings on at:



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Making It - By Corey Coleman


Corey Coleman Accomplices - Bandcamp

Breaking News!
2 Items

Item 1:

I recently set up a fan list (The Corey Coleman Accomplices - cheesy name, yes, but fun) where you can sign up to occasionally receive free mp3s of released/unreleased material, updates, videos, and whatever else I think you might dig. But not in an every five minutes "spammy" sort of way.

On that note I don't do "unsolicited" email (other than personal emails where you forward me a funny story about the workplace (perhaps a paper manufacturing company) and I reply with a cute picture of my cat (Basil) or my brothers (let's call them Ted, both of them) and I at a barbecue (In Austria) etc.) So the only way to get the inside scoop is to get on the list.

I encourage you to head over to coreycoleman.fanbridge.com and sign up now.

I won't force you to, but seriously, you probably should.

(and after you do, add me to your safe senders list too)

Item 2:

My new music store!

I just set it up with my new digital EP and it's ready to go. You can listen to and/or purchase each track, or the whole album.

The best part..... you get to name your own price. (Yeah, I thought you'd like that)

This is all to make sure I maintain a steady supply of Ramen noodles and guitar strings, so thank you in advance for that.

Anyway, check it out if you get a chance. I'm pretty excited about it.

The link again is: coreycoleman.bandcamp.com

Keep in touch


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Making It - By Corey Coleman


Concert Review: Abby Payne - Nate & Kate - Cyber Cafe West - Binghamton, NY - Feb 14, 2009

This is something I may do from time to time, when an event strikes me in a such away that it inspires my sharing it.

Tonight I decided to head on over to the Cyber Cafe West in Binghamton, NY. There were two groups on the bill, Nate And Kate, who I was familiar with, and Abby Payne, with whom I was not. They were both absolutely wonderful.

Nate And Kate started the evening with their sometimes joyous, sometimes melancholy, but always passionate folk-inspired songs which kept the audience captivated and entertained. It was a rare treat to watch and listen to two people so devoted to their art and audience.

Beyond their perfectly crafted originals, including their chug-chugging, whistle howling, steam billowing train song "Freight Train Play That Song", an additional highlight was their simply delivered cover of The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" and the truly beautiful cover of "A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow", originally performed by the fictitious duo Mitch and Mickey in the Christopher Guest satire "A Mighty Wind". I almost started chanting "Mickey!, Mickey!, Mitch!, Mitch!", but I didn't want to be THAT guy (Those who have seen the movie will understand. Those who haven't absolutely must).

All in all they are a completely original and refreshing sound and should be checked out by anyone who enjoys REALLY good music at www.myspace.com/nateandkatemusic or www.nateandkatemusic.com/
Their CD "Fame By Frame" is available at cdbaby.com/cd/natekate

Next up was Abby Payne and her band from New York City. What an absolute pleasure it was to bump into such an oxygen-infusing, jaw dropping songwriter and singer. Her sound is a brilliant blend of Powerpop and Piano Rock that basically renders you unable to stop tapping your foot and bopping your head.

The set was opened with the hard-hitting "Bad One" from her latest album "In A Pretty Box", available at cdbaby.com/cd/abbypayne. That set the tone for the rest of the night, which was filled with some of the catchiest, most well-written music I've had the pleasure to come across in a long time.

Featuring the rock solid and tone-warping bassist Chris Anderson, tight, funky and pocket drummer Kenny Shaw, steady-fingered and soundscape-weaving keyboardist Jacob Pleakis, and of course the boldly sweet vocals and imaginative piano stylings of Abby Payne herself, the band was absolutely perfect.

In terms of covers, it didn't hurt that they played songs by three of my biggest musical influences of all time, Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U", Ben Folds' "You Don't Know Me", and Tori Amos' "Precious Things". It was almost as if I had selected the songs I wanted to hear and they played them. What wonderful taste in music!

I left the cafe tonight feeling more inspired than ever to immerse myself in my music, and I thank them all for that.

It's amazing what you can come across when you're bored on Valentine's Day and decide to get out of the house. I'll be sure to continue following these two groups.

Musician contact/website info:

Nate And Kate:



Abby Payne:




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Making It - By Corey Coleman


The Greatest Valentine I've Ever Received

So here it is. February 14, 2009.

Honestly, I've never cared much about Valentine's Day at all (or any other holiday for that matter). I guess it has a lot to do with the arbitrary nature of them all.

Today, however, I finally got something other than M&M's and Hallmark cards out of Valentine's Day.

I received a phone call from the woman who was "my Valentine" for three February 14th's prior to (and not including) this one. After the conversation I realized that she was perhaps more my Valentine this year than ever.

It started with the obligatory "How do you do's" and a few of my trademark sighs, groans, and unsatisfied yawns (I'm sort of cranky most of the time. It's something I'm working on). I, embarrassedly, informed her that I had just started a new job for minimum wage at a gas station (you know, like a 16 year old with no work experience. Really demeaning, but somewhat necessary), and was dreading it. The silence that followed was deafening.

"You did what?!" she eventually exclaimed.

I explained, cerebrialy, that it was the first step toward getting back on my feet financially, so I could eventually lay down the necessary infrastructure to pursue music.

"What is wrong with you? You head out on your own to find happiness and fulfillment with music, and instead you soak in your own depression and self pity and seek stability over fulfillment?"

I hadn't expected her to react like that.

She continued....

"I gave up having you next to me every night so you could be happy, and a month later you've done nothing to justify that sacrifice."

Sounds harsh, I know, but she knows me well. I'm not really very capable of maintaining interest and a sense of responsibility toward anything or anyone other than music, and she knows that. She also knows that when I focus on anything else, everything suffers.

I'm now in a position where I don't have to worry about stability because, as she put it......
"The only stable thing you have is your talent, so use it!"

So I'm going to do just that. I'm going to focus on what I need to do to be successful.

-If I have to take my refund check and purchase music equipment that will allow me to make money with music, despite owing people, I will, regardless of who it offends.

-If I need to go to some far away place for a week to pursue an opportunity for ME, I'm going to, regardless of what the majority opinion happens to be.

-If I decide to drive to a city and sleep in my car for a few nights in order to play my music in front of people, I'm going to, regardless of how crazy everyone might think I've become.

In short, I'm going to focus on music, I'm going to earn my living solely from music, and I'm going to marginalize the influence of anyone in my life who may disagree with me. If I give myself a backup plan I will be less likely to force myself to succeed. If I have no other options the sense of urgency will increase and I will be forced to either succeed or starve.

This line of thinking is something my aforementioned Valentine calls "Corey Coleman Style". The way I used to look at the world before I started pretending I was something I am not.

Devil may care, looking the world square in the face, and daring everyone to attempt to dissuade me from my goals.

She turned my head around, as only someone who knows you as well as they know themselves can, and it was the greatest valentine I've ever received.

I know it all sounds irrational, sounds arrogant, sounds unsafe, sounds unstable, and I really honestly don't care, because again......

"The only stable thing you have is your talent, so use it!"

And that goes for YOU too!

Happy Valentine's Day!

- Corey


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Making It - By Corey Coleman


Open Couches And Small Town Bands

So this evening (morning), whatever it is, I have a lot on my mind.

I just returned from a very successful session with a couple of band mates. After the music began to wind down we ended up on the topic of goals.

You see, I'm in a very strange spot in my life right now. Were it not for financial limitations, I could basically go anywhere and do anything I like. That's a new feeling for me.

I'm sort of feeling like a scientist working on a genome project, desperately trying to piece everything together correctly, and avoiding making mistakes that could potentially stand in the way of completing the code.

Part of me wants to just go somewhere where there's a coffeehouse on every corner, and a singer on every stage, every night of the week. Someplace like Portland or Asheville or Austin. Why shouldn't I? In reality, I probably could find a way to make it work. Whether it be living in my car, which I might be willing to do (believe it or not), or depending on the kindness of sympathetic futon owners.

That's what I'm struggling with right now. I almost want to just put out a bulletin everywhere I can stating the following:

"Hi, I'm Corey Coleman. I hope you enjoy my music. If you happen to live in a town or city with a pretty decent music scene, I'd like to visit. I'd also love it if you might consider letting me stay in your spare bedroom or on your living room floor for a few days/weeks until I figure something else out. I don't have any money or job prospects yet, but I'll do the dishes, cook the meals, sing you pretty songs and feed the cat!"

Now that's a lot to ask, but you never know, the universe has a strange way of making things happen.

Anyway, back to the band...

Going into the session, I was basically in the state of mind mentioned above. In reality, I still am. I'd love to travel the world, meet new people, and carve out a life for myself somewhere more receptive to creative types.

We started talking about our short range goals and I was asked if I would be willing to commit to staying here in Binghamton, NY for 6 months (and not explore my options elsewhere) to see if we could get the band to a more successful place.

Now this band is GREAT. Like really good, and filled with really great people, but I'm still having this nagging feeling that I might be selling myself short yet again.

If I stay here, I'll have to secure some type of employment (of which there seems to be none available thus far), get enough money for a security deposit together, sign a lease, buy furniture etc etc etc..... Basically I would have to lay down some type of roots here.

But I don't have to.

I'm not sure what to do at all.

Anyway.... any open couches in Portland?............


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Making It - By Corey Coleman


The Small Stuff

At the time of my last post I was on my way to teaching a guitar lesson with an old student of mine.

I was worried I would hate having to schlep around town, house to house, just to make a meager amount of money. I was wrong.

I actually found that I sort of liked not having to keep a physical studio maintained and be constantly inviting random people into my living quarters.

This was a personal victory for me, albeit an admittedly small one. I had spent the day before dreading the idea of leaving the comfort of a home studio, but I decided to do it anyway. I needed the money after all....

This tiny, little baby victory led me to a number of additional ideas and thoughts that would not have occurred had I not stepped out of my comfort zone.

For instance:

...how many guitar instructors do I know of who travel to students houses? None. Therefore I have a unique selling point when it comes to advertising for students.

See? It's that easy!

If I hadn't tried, that would not have occurred to me.

Now I'm off to craigslist and other such sites to see if I can scrounge up some more students, who will undoubtedly lead me to more ideas and opportunities, provided I'm paying attention.


What have you done recently, or what could you do soon that might lead to a new outlook and new opportunities to better yourself?

Share your thoughts below!


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Making It - By Corey Coleman


On My Way To A Guitar Lesson


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Making It - By Corey Coleman

Who The Hell Is Corey Coleman?

So it's 4:01 AM on Thursday, February 5th..... 2009

I'm 25, soon to be 26 in April.

I know, I know, 26 isn't very old at all right?

But what if you had been repeatedly told by everyone you knew from the age of 11 or so that you were a prodigy, and destined for unbelievable fame and fortune?

15 years later you're sitting in your brother's spare bedroom, homeless, jobless, penniless and confused.

You look back on five or so failed long term relationships representing different epochs of your adult life, scratching your head, wondering why you allowed yourself to drift through life with nothing but a few dreams and a facade of self-identification determined by whichever girl you happened to be living with at the time. All of them wonderful, none of them as wonderful as the harmonies swirling around in your head, keeping you awake every night as you're trying to get to sleep before making the morning drive to the warehouse, office building, big box store or garage.

How could this be the fate of a "child prodigy"?

What happened to all those years in between getting that chill you still remember feeling after hearing that sobbing, screaming, euphoric first note of Jimi Hendrix's solo on "Machine Gun" and driving a '95 Buick four hours to the nearest friendly couch owner after having life as you know it ripped out from under you yet again?

26 feels old right now.

Maybe it's just the failure to make anything of myself that feels old. That's probably it.

Either way, I have two options:

1. Find a safe job in Binghamton, NY (where I currently am), save up for a place, get a few students if I have the time, and call it a life. As Thom York of Radiohead puts it "Nice Dream". At least while it lasted, but it's time to be a big boy now. Right?

2. Say no to the mindset of failure and self-fulfilling negative prophecies and find new and creative ways to MAKE this monkey on my back called music start working for me, and hopefully others along the way.

I'm shooting for the second option.

This will be a journal of the events that lead me to wherever I'm ultimately going, and hopefully a forum for others to share their experiences, encourage each other and exchange ideas.


I'm Corey Coleman, and I'm a professional musician.
It's time I started acting like one

Corey - Carthage Park


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Making It - By Corey Coleman