For those not familiar with the term ‘cog,’ it is usually associated with the expression ‘cog in the wheel.’ It refers to one of the teeth in a gear. In order for the gear to work correctly, each cog must be present and in good condition. How does this apply to music?
In short, it means that everyone has a part to play and each one is equally important in it’s contribution to the overall product. But let’s take a deeper look for a moment. Face it . . . most people don’t wish to be cogs. Everyone wants the spotlight and doesn’t think they need anyone else. More often than not, guitarists and singers (yes, I said guitarists. I will happily pick on my own kind.) are the worst for this, although it can exist anywhere in the musical spectrum.
What many people fail to realize, is that in order for a great show/product to work, all ‘cogs’ must be present and functioning at a pristine level. A-list shows are NOT A-list shows without each individual cog. Furthermore, that individual fronting the band (the guy/girl in the spotlight) is also a cog, because without them, you do not have a front person , and without you, it’s just a glorified karaoke show.
So, what is the best way to be a cog? Always think first: What does the music require? How might I best serve the song? The music is always what we serve and the second we lose that ideal, we fall into a pious mire of self-centeredness. A little indulgence is fine now and again, but never lose sight of the music.