Playing your part: Being a cog

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.



3 responses to “Playing your part: Being a cog

  1. Nice post. I’d like to play devil’s advocate in a sense, and go slightly off-topic: why is it that guitar players are the ones who do the most amount of work in terms of admin and marketing? Haha!


    • Well, I think some of it may have to do with the go-getter type of personality that exists in many guitar players (though not all). This characteristic can be present anywhere though. In my opinion, a high-level work ethic is found in those individuals with a distinct vision/end-game in mind. They are willing to work as hard as necessary to attain that vision.


  2. Pingback: Just let me work! Micro vs. Macro | Music Business Etiquette: The Ground Rules·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.